Apistogramma borellii

Hands down my all time favorite Apistogramma! It was one of the first species that I had spawning success with back in the early 1990’s when you could find wild caught borellii in almost any good independent store (remember those?). What’s not to like? Big fins, lots of color and color variation (a single population can have multiple color patterns in males from all blue, blue and yellow, near yellow, and any of those can have a red face too), and they don’t get huge. Ive kept a trio in a 10 gallon tank and had both females tending to (and stealing each others) fry with the male over seeing the whole ordeal!
Unfortunately as Brazil greatly reduced allowed collecting and exports in the late 1990’s A. borellii along with many other aquarium staples started to disappear in the trade. Czech breeders have offered several selectively bred forms of borellii but the line breeding to isolate specific color traits have left the fish unusually weak, especially males, A very beautifully high yellow form of A. borellii shows up now and again from Uruguay, specifically found at Bella Union, but they are far and few between. (This population does very well in warm if nor down right hot conditions by the way. Their small pockets of water heat up during the day unlike the cool flowing water we often think of for the region.)
But once again Apistogramma borellii are coming out of Brazil! The last few imports I was able to get have come from the Pantanal Region (think giant seasonal river/swamp) between Brazil and Bolivia. THIS is the fish I remember! Small, attractive, and variable in color. Not to mention hardy and pretty easy to breed.
I have a limited number of small unsexed fish available yet. Get your’s before it’s to late, again!

Fish Handling Advice

I would highly recommend you don’t drip acclimate. As the fish release waste (ammonia) in the water the pH also drops. That is good as ammonia becomes less toxic the lower the pH. But as you drip acclimate the pH rises and the ammonia becomes more and more toxic. Just allow the bags to warm or cool as needed and then open the bags, pull the fish out (or pour them into a net) tossing the toxic shipping water, and get the fish into the tank/clean water ASAP. Scarry, I know. But that is how I handle all of my fish. MUCH better results this way.