Apistogramma Panduro originates from South America / Peru & is commonly confused with Apistogramma Nijsseni as the males look very similar. They also share the common name Panda Dwarf Cichlid.
Their natural habitat is soft & slightly acidic water, however they will happily live in neutral water.
Ideal conditions for breeding are a temperature of 24 to 26 deg’C with a pH around 6.5 & a general hardness of around 4dH.
Sexing the adult fish is fairly easy. The main differences are that the male is larger than the female. The male has a blue sheen to his body, tail & dorsal fin. The elongated ventral fins have yellow tips & the tail is fringed with red. The female is more yellow with a red fringe to her tail, when in breeding condition the pigment area around her belly is black.
An adult male can reach a size of around 3 to 3.5 inches long, with the female around 2.5 to 3 inches.
To achieve breeding condition, Panduro’s should be fed a varied diet with occasional high protein foods such as bloodworm or brine shrimp.
The tanks set up should consist of a fine gravel substrate with some bogwood & plants for shelter. Small pots are ideal to serve as caves for spawning sites, where the female will attach the eggs to the sides of the cave. Half of a coconut shell with a hole in the top would do the same job.
The female stays close to the spawn site, cleaning & guarding the eggs. While the male guards a larger territory.
The fry hatch after around four days, they will not need food for another two days or so, as they will live & grow off of their yolk sack until they become free swimming & can actively take & seek out food.
Fry can be fed on microworm or liquid fry food & eventually will be big enough to take newly hatched brine shrimp after another week or two.
© Vincent Balman. Strood & District aquarist Society. 2006. This fact sheet may not be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author