Max Size: 7.5cm

Redline Apistogramma (Apistogramma hongsloi)

Redline Apistogrammas, Apistogramma hongsloi, are generally peaceful and suitable for the community aquarium as well as a species only aquarium. However, these fish can become somewhat territorial when breeding. Therefore it would be best if you kept a single pair of these fish in a small aquarium.

However, you can have a more significant group in a bigger aquarium, provided you keep one male with several females so they can form a harem and make sure they have plenty of broken lines of sight. The females will choose individual territories, hence the importance of many visual barriers within the aquarium.

You could keep these fish with Barbs, Danios, Tetras, Guppies, and other Livebearers, as well as Dwarf Cichlids, smaller Gouramis, Catfish, and Loaches. If you keep these fish in a small aquarium, you should avoid keeping larger, more aggressive fish with them. Also, it would be best if you didn't keep these fish in the same aquarium with other Apistogramma species.

As long as you have adequate cover and structure in your aquarium, these Apistos are unfussy when it comes to decor. Ceramic flowerpots, plastic piping and other artificial materials are all valuable additions. However, if you would like a more natural-looking arrangement, you could use a soft sandy substrate, and some branches and wood roots placed so that plenty of shady areas and caves are formed. Adding dried leaves to the aquarium would further accentuate the natural feel and allow the growth of beneficial microbe colonies.

These fish will also appreciate a dimly lit tank; therefore, aquatic plants such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, Cryptocoryne and Anubias would be ideal as they grow in such conditions. In addition, a few patches of floating vegetation to disperse the light even further may also prove helpful. Lastly, Filtration, or water flow, should not be powerful, and substantial water changes are best avoided.

When viewed from the front or from above, the Redline Apistogramma has a torpedo-shaped body that is relatively slim. From behind the eye to the end of the caudal fin, the adult male's body has a fine, grey-black zig-zag stripe along the spine line. As far back as the gill plates, the head is marbled with silver and reddish-pink, while the lips are dark grey and thickened.

In the female Redline Apistogrammas, the colouring is pale yellow, but it becomes more vivid during spawning. There is also a distinct greyish black stripe running along the body from behind the gill plates to the edge of her caudal peduncle, as well as a broken black line running along the body. It would be easy to think that these two fish were different species because they look so dissimilar.


Redline Apistogramma
Redline Apistogramma
Redline Apistogramma
Quick Facts
Scientific NameApistogramma hongsloi
Year Described1979
Other NamesNone
OriginsColombia, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespanup to 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.0
GH1 - 6
TDS18 - 268
73 - 84℉
22.8 - 28.9℃

Natural Habitat



In the home aquarium, the Redline Apistogramma will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is pretty straightforward to distinguish the males from female Redline Apistogrammas. Males are larger than females and typically develop more extended and pointed fins. The males are also more vibrantly coloured than females. In contrast, females are smaller than males and turn a bright yellow colour with black fins when in breeding conditions.

Other Cichlids of interest

African Butterfly Cichlid(Anomalochromis thomasi)
Banded Apistogramma(Apistogramma bitaeniata)
Blue Panda Apistogramma(Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini)
Bolivian Ram Cichlid(Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
Checkerboard Cichlid(Dicrossus filamentosus)
Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid(Apistogramma cacatuoides)
View all Cichlids
Date Added: 02/11/2021 15:09:31 - Updated: 31/08/2022 14:19:38