Breeding Apistogramma borelli & Papillichromis ramirezi

by Don Kinyon

I treat these two small cichlids about the same and they both spawned at about the same time, so I will group them together for this short report. I acquired a young pair of each, and in a short time, feeding on a varied diet of live, frozen, and dry foods, they were breeding size and condition. I kept the Rams at a temperature of 82 degrees and the Borelli at 78.

The rams were housed in a 30 gallon tank with an undergravel filter. They laid eggs several times before I lost patience and removed the broken flower pot they seemed to prefer, along with about IW eggs. The pot and eggs were placed in a ten gallon tank that I had filled earlier with water from the spawning tank mixed with fresh. In four days the eggs hatched, and the young were free swimming a few days later.

The Borelli, in their 10 gallon tank, never ate all the eggs or young, but I was never able to save more than a few until I removed the overturned flower pot with eggs attached. This was also placed in a 10 gallon tank with water from the parents tank. The Borelli don’t seem to lay as many eggs at one time, but the mortality rate isn’t nearly as high.

All the young fish were raised on newly hatched brine shrimp, micro worms and water fleas (when I could find them). My tap water has a pH of about 7.4 when stabilized, and a hardness of 8.5 degrees.

I hope in the future to have better luck raising these fish with the parents.