Butterfly fish


Chromis butterfly: content, compatibility, video review

Microgeophagus ramirezi Chromis butterfly This fish has many names, more complete information about it
You can read here -

Order, family: tsikhlovye.

Comfortable water temperature: 24-32 ° C.

Ph: 5.8-7.5.

Aggressiveness: not aggressive 20%.

Compatibility: only with peace-loving and non-aggressive fish.

Personal experience and useful tips: Very beautiful small fish. Because of the "crown on the head," it is sometimes called the "goldfish", although it has nothing to do with carp goldfish. It is also called apistogramma (but this is not a real apistorgamma).

Despite all the beauty of the fish, its disadvantage is that it is very demanding to the content, painful - the "white semolina" with poor content is provided to it.


The body is slightly stretched, the head is large, the mouth is terminal.

Body color is yellow with a blue sheen. The front of the back is reddish-brown. Throat, chest and abdomen golden. The eyes are crossed by a black transverse strip. The whole fish is covered with iridescent blue, green dots and spots. The fins are transparent with a red border. Closer to the head with the back fin has a rich black color (crown). Fish length up to 7 cm.

For the maintenance of the necessary aquarium - from 30 liters per couple, densely planted with plants. Fish can be kept with peace-loving fish.

Recommended water parameters for the content: hardness varies, better soft, pH 5.8-7.5, temperature 24-32 ° C. Aeration, filtration and water change 1/5 weekly. The fish are very capricious and comfortable parameters of water, the conditions of detention may be different. When buying a butterfly chromis, you should check with the seller the specific parameters that contained the fish. Otherwise, unfavorable hydrochemical conditions lead to diseases, especially bacterial infections and ichthyophthyriosis.

Feeding aquarium fish must be correct: balanced, diverse. This fundamental rule is the key to successful keeping of any fish, be it guppies or astronotuses. Article "How and how much to feed aquarium fish" talks in detail about this, it outlines the basic principles of the diet and feeding regime of fish.

In this article, we note the most important thing - feeding fish should not be monotonous; both dry and live food should be included in the diet. In addition, you need to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a particular fish and, depending on this, include in its diet ration either with the highest protein content or vice versa with vegetable ingredients.

Popular and popular feed for fish, of course, are dry food. For example, hourly and everywhere can be found on the aquarium shelves of food company "Tetra" - the leader of the Russian market, in fact, the range of feeds of this company is striking. In the "gastronomic arsenal" of Tetra are included as individual feeds for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricarids, guppies, labyrinths, arovan, discus, etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized foods, for example, for enhancing color, fortified or for feeding fry. Detailed information on all Tetra feeds, you can find on the official website of the company - here.

It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its production and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food in a closed state - this will help avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.

Video about chromis butterfly

Butterfly fish

The butterfly fish is a fish with the original name, living both in sea water bodies and in fresh waters and aquariums. Depending on the habitat, it has different colors and body shape. The fish received its unusual name due to the bright colors and large fins resembling wings.

Description of species of butterfly fish

The marine butterfly fish is a small but very bright fish living in wildlife. In the natural environment of these fish can be found between the coral reefs, where their beauty is highlighted by the rays of the sun and clear water. Butterfly fish are considered one of the brightest species on Earth, and this deserved its name. In terms of their structure, marine butterfly fish are distinguished by a flattened body and a long dorsal fin.

Freshwater butterfly fish occurs most often in stagnant water, is common on the African continent and is inferior in color to its marine counterparts. Freshwater butterflyfish got its name because of the wide fins that resemble butterfly wings. In addition, this species of fish can fly short distances over water. These skills distinguish the butterfly fish from other inhabitants of the reservoirs.

Pennant butterflyfish can also be found in wildlife among reefs and deep channels. Adults are pair-dated, while young people prefer to live alone. Pennant butterfly fish has an original color. Her flattened high body is painted in white and black stripes, and her hind fin in yellow.

The aquarium butterfly fish is most often freshwater fish. Her body resembles the shape of a boat and reaches a length of 10 cm. By color, aquarium fish are not very bright, usually gray, gray-green or brown in color.

The aquarium butterfly fish is distinguished by the same springiness as its marine counterparts. That is why it is recommended to keep the aquarium closed.

Content of butterfly fish

The butterfly fish does not like to live with individuals of a different species. Small fish can be perceived by the butterfly fish as food, and with large fish it can fight for the territory. Do not addicted to those fish that bite off other people's fins, since in this case nothing will be left of the wing-fins. As neighbors for the butterfly, species inhabiting the bottom will do (for example, catfish).

Aquarium fish-butterflies are demanding to the volume of the aquarium. Usually it is an 80-100 liter aquarium for several individuals. Ideally, if one fish lives in a 40-liter volume. The tank should be tightly closed with a glass lid without cuts, so that the fish could not jump out of the water and cut.

Butterfly fish love warm water, the temperature in the aquarium should reach + 25-30 C. As for plants, small-leaved species are necessary for fish. The water level should be low, then the fish will feel calm and spend most of their time between thickets of plants.

Water should be changed every week to 15-20%, while ensuring good filtration of the aquarium. The soil for butterfly fish is not critical, since it practically does not sink to the bottom.

Feeding is an important process in keeping the butterfly fish. In nature, she prefers to pick up insects from the surface of the water, so she does not pay attention to food at the bottom. Too small food is also not suitable for feeding. You can use large feed flakes, as well as add to the diet of grasshoppers, flies, cockroaches.

In saltwater aquariums, they also contain pennant butterflies. These species have a brighter color. For example, a bright yellow butterfly butterfly fish can live in a marine aquarium.

Ramirezi's apistogram

One of the most popular fish in our aquariums is Ramirezi's Apistogram. They say that it is this small, beautiful cichlid that became the prototype of a goldfish from the m / f "About the Fisherman and the Fish".

The extraordinary beauty and small size of the fish, the peaceful disposition make it possible to keep them both in herbalists and in tsikhlidnik, both professionals and beginners.

Well, let's take a closer look at this amazing inhabitant of our aquariums.

Latin name: Apistogramma ramirezi, also wore Papiliochromis ramirezi, modern correct Microgeophagus ramirezi.

Russian synonyms: Ramirezi apistogram, Ramirez apistogram, Ramirez apistogram, butterfly apistogramm, chromis butterfly, ramirezki, ramrezi apistogram.

Foreign names: Ramirezi, Ramirezi Dwarf cichlid, Butterfly cichlid Ram cichlid, Sudamerikanischer Schmetterlingsbuntbars, Sommerfuglecichlide.

Order, family: Perciformes (Perciformes), cichlids, cichlids (Cichlidae).

Comfortable water temperature: 25-30 ° C.

"Acidity" Ph: 6-8.

Stiffness dH: It does not matter, preferably up to 15 °.

Water for breeding: dH up to 10 °; pH 6.5-7.0; temperature 25-27 ° C and above. kH is minimal.

Aggressiveness: not aggressive 10%.

The complexity of the content: easy

Compatibility of apistogram ramiresi: although they are cichlids, but not aggressive. Favorable attitude even to small, peaceful fish and even to vivipartes. As neighbors, we can recommend: red swordtails, ternets, tetras, neons, danios, all peaceful catfish, gourami and lyalius, parrots, other non-aggressive cichlids and even discus and scalar. Chromis-butterflies get along with virtually all small or peaceful fish. Moreover, they are favorably related to aquarium plants - they do not pinch, do not dig and do not uproot them. Of course, this property allows you to contain ramirezok even in elegant herbalists.

At the same time, one should not forget that Ramirezi's apistogram is a cichlid, a sort of micro predator. And like all tsikhlovymi, it is characterized by territorial, intraspecific aggression. See the article - compatibility of aquarium fish.

Not compatible: The butterfly apistogram is unequivocally incompatible with large and aggressive fish - cichlids and catfish, piranhas and other aggressors. Not compatible with the whole family of goldfish.

How many live: Ramires apistogram is not aquarium long-liver and can live for about 4 years in cool water - 25 degrees. And 2-3 years in warm water 27-30 degrees. At the same time, it is worth noting that these fish are thermophilic, they feel good in warm water, which, in fact, allows them to be kept with the same thermophilic fish like discus. And, in the cold water, ramirezka is uncomfortable, they often start to get sick. According to my own observations, I can say that this is the way it is - just that the apistograms of semolina butterflies))) Warm water is comfortable for these fish and as is well known, Ichthyophthyriosis is not comfortable. Find out how much other fish live IN THIS ARTICLE!

The minimum volume of the aquarium for Ramirezi's histogram: from 30 l., in such an aquarium, you can put a couple + small catfish and small neighbors. Under good conditions and in large aquariums, they sometimes grow to 6-7 cm. See how many fish can be kept in X liters of an aquarium. HERE (at the bottom of the article there are links to aquariums of all volumes).

Requirements for the care and conditions of Ramirezi's histogram

- necessarily need aeration and filtration, weekly substitution of up to 1/4 of the volume of aquarium water.

- it is not necessary to cover the aquarium, the fish do not jump out of the pond.

- lighting is not demanding, it is desirable that in the aquarium cover, one of the lamps has a special lamp that enhances the color of the fish (for example, Marin Glo), with such lighting all the richness of colors in the apistogram will be clearly visible. As aquarium plants can be recommended any stretch from vallisneri to eleoharis parvula.

- Aquarium decoration, at your discretion: stones, grottoes, snags and other decorations. In the aquarium must be provided an open space for swimming. Shelters are not particularly needed.

Feeding and diet apistogram Ramirez

The fish are omnivorous and the feed is absolutely not whimsical. They are happy to eat dry, live food and substitutes. Like many aquarium dwellers love live food: bloodworms, Artemia, choke, Cyclops, Daphnia. Food is taken from the surface of the water and in its thickness, the fish do not disdain to walk along the bottom, collecting the remnants of food.

Feeding any aquarium fish should be correct: balanced, varied. This fundamental rule is the key to successful keeping of any fish, be it guppies or astronotuses. Article "How and how much to feed aquarium fish" talks in detail about this, it outlines the basic principles of the diet and feeding regime of fish.

In this article, we note the most important thing - feeding fish should not be monotonous; both dry and live food should be included in the diet. In addition, you need to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a particular fish and, depending on this, include in its diet ration either with the highest protein content or vice versa with vegetable ingredients.

Popular and popular feed for fish, of course, are dry food. For example, hourly and everywhere can be found on the aquarium shelves of food company "Tetra" - the leader of the Russian market, in fact, the range of feeds of this company is striking. In the "gastronomic arsenal" of Tetra are included as individual feeds for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricarids, guppies, labyrinths, arovan, discus, etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized foods, for example, for enhancing color, fortified or for feeding fry. Detailed information on all Tetra feeds, you can find on the official website of the company - here.

It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its production and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food in a closed state - this will help avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.

In nature, live: small reservoirs of tropics, subtropics of South America. Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia.


The body of the ramirezi is egg-shaped, flattened laterally, large eyes, the mouth is terminal. Dorsal fin long, high.

The overall color of the Ramirezi apistogram is blue with a violet tinge, the mouth and forehead are red. From the back there are several rows of dark spots that turn into incomplete transverse stripes. More coal spot bounds the eye.

A bit of history: The Latin specific name of this apistogram was in honor of Manuel Vicente Ramirez, who collected specimens of this species of fish.

Varieties (types) of Ramirezi's histogram

There is a fairly large number of breeding forms of this dwarf cichlid: cylinder - electric blue - neon, gold, as well as the voile and albino form. Below is a photo of a selection of types of apistograms.

Breeding and sexual characteristics of the Ramirezi apistogram

During spawning, especially males, become intense - blue-violet color. In the male, the color of the abdomen is orange, while that of the female is crimson. The first rays of the male dorsal fin are black and elongated; the 2-3 rays of the dorsal fin are usually longer in the male than in the female. In females, the black spot on the side is usually framed by paetkas. Males are larger than females. Ramirezi's apistograms become sexually mature by 4-6 months, when they reach a length of about 3 cm.

Breeding and spawning ramirezok not difficult, in fact, it is typical of the spawning of most tsikhlovyh fish. In fact, spawning occurs independently.

The big problem in breeding is the formation of a good pair of producers. Ramirez’s apistogram is characterized by laziness and squeamishness towards offspring, they either eat caviar or leave it without care and attention. Caused - it is a long maintenance of fish in the home. The domesticated specimens are lazy and need to puff very well to get a caring couple of manufacturers. Everything else is not difficult.

Pairs are persistent and persist throughout the reproductive age. For spawning is usually used an aquarium of 15 liters, with coarse sand, with thickets of plants and an abundance of flat stone surfaces. The water in the spawning tank should be sour (0.1-0.3 units) and warmer at 1-2 ° C than in the general aquarium. The thickness of the water column is about 8-10 centimeters, because in vivo, Ramirezi’s apistograms spawn in shallow water. It is necessary to ensure a weak flow of water.

An incentive for spawning is daily topping up with fresh soft water.

The female lays clutch (50-400 eggs) either on a flat, open surface, or on the inner wall of the grotto, caves, etc. After that, both parents begin to care for the offspring, especially the male. Eggs get over, the dead are destroyed. Masonry can be moved from place to place.

The incubation period of caviar, depending on the water temperature can be from 45 to 80 hours. Well, then the larvae appear, which, due to the yolk sac, feed on their own for 5-7 days. In the first days, the larvae are not mobile, then the male begins to move them into the pits.

Then the larvae turn into fry, which need to be fed with starter feed: live dust, frayed live and dry feed. However, even the most favorable conditions do not guarantee the survival of young.

Interesting video about Ramirezi Apistogram

Ramirezi's apistogram is a fish with many names and colors

The Ramisrez apistogram Mikrogeophagus ramirezi or the cichlid butterfly (chromis butterfly) is a small, beautiful, peaceful aquarium fish that has many different names.
Although it was discovered 30 years later than its cousin, the Bolivian butterfly (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus), but it is Ramiserez's apistogram that is now more widely known and is being sold in large quantities. Although both of these cichlids are dwarfed, the butterfly is smaller in size than the Bolivian and grows up to 5 cm, in nature it is somewhat larger, about 7 cm.

It is worth noting that this fish has many different artificially derived forms, such as voile, neon, blue neon, electric blue, albino, gold, balloon and others. But in this its diversity does not end, it is also called very differently: Ramirezi's apistogram, Ramirez butterfly, chromis butterfly, butterfly cichlid and others.Such diversity confuses lovers, but in fact we are talking about the same fish, which sometimes has a different color or shape of the body.

As these variations, such as electric blue neon or gold kneading, are the result of incest and the gradual degeneration of fish due to intragenital crossing. New, brighter forms, in addition to beauty, also receive weakened immunity and a tendency to diseases. And sellers love to use hormones and injections to make fish more attractive before selling. So, if you have conceived to buy a butterfly cichlid for yourself, then choose from a familiar seller, so that your fish does not die or turn into a gray likeness of itself after a while.

The chromis butterfly is considerably less aggressive than other cichlids, but is also more complex in content and capricious. Ramirezi is very peaceful, in fact it is one of the few cichlids that can be kept in a common aquarium even with such small fish as neons or guppies. Although they may show some signs of attack, they are more likely to frighten than actually attack. Yes, and this happens only if someone invades their territory.

Habitat in nature

Ramírezi dwarf cichlid apistogram was first described in 1948. Previously, its scientific name was Paplilochromis ramirezi and Apistogramma ramirezi, but in 1998 it was renamed Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, and it is correct to call it all Ramirezi microgeophagus, but we will give way to the more common name.

It lives in South America, and it is believed that its birthplace is Amazon. But this is not entirely true; it is not found in the Amazon, but it is widely distributed in its basin, in the rivers and streams that feed this great river. She lives in the Orinoco River Basin in Venezuela and Colombia.

It prefers lake chromis-butterfly and ponds with stagnant water, or a very quiet current, where there is sand or silt at the bottom, and many plants. They feed on digging in the ground in search of plant food and small insects. They also feed in the water column and sometimes from the surface.


Chromis butterfly is a small, bright cichlid with an oval-shaped body and high fins. Males develop a more pointed dorsal fin and they are larger than the female, up to 5 cm in length. Although in nature cichlid the butterfly grows up to 7 cm in size. With a good content, life expectancy is about 4 years, which is not much, but for fish of such small sizes it is not bad.

The color of this fish is very bright and attractive. Red eyes, yellow head, body casting a blue and purple, and a black spot on the body and bright fins. Plus, different colors - gold, electric blue, albinos, voile. Note that often such bright colors are the result of the fact that either chemical dyes or hormones are added to food. And by acquiring such a fish, you risk quickly losing it.

Electric blue and ordinary

Difficulty in content

The butterfly is known as one of the best cichlids for those who decide to try to keep this type of fish for themselves. It is small, peaceful, very bright, eats all kinds of feed. The butterfly is undemanding to water parameters and adapts well, but is sensitive to sudden changes in parameters. Although it is quite easy to breed, but raising a fry is quite difficult. And now a lot of pretty weak fish, which either die immediately after purchase, or within a year. Apparently it affects that the blood has not been updated for a long time and the fish has weakened. Either the fact that they are grown on farms in Asia, where they are kept at a high temperature of 30 ° C, and practically rainwater, has an effect.


Chromis butterfly is an omnivorous fish, in nature it feeds on plant matter and various small organisms that it finds in the ground. In the aquarium, she eats all kinds of harvesting and frozen food - bloodworms, tubule, coreret, artemia. Some eat flakes and pellets, then not very willingly as a rule. To feed it you need two or three times a day, in small portions. Since the fish is rather timid, it is important that she have time to eat for their more lively neighbors.

Content in an aquarium

The recommended aquarium volume for butterfly chromis is from 70 liters. They prefer clean water with little current and high oxygen content. Mandatory weekly water changes and siphon of the soil, as the fish is kept mostly at the bottom, then increasing the level of ammonia and nitrates in the soil will affect them first. It is advisable to measure the amount of ammonia in the water weekly. The filter can be both internal and external, the latter is preferable.
As the soil is better to use sand or small gravel, as butterflies like to rummage in it. You can decorate the aquarium in the style of their native river in South America. Sand, plenty of shelters, pots, snags, and thick bushes. At the bottom you can put the fallen leaves of trees, to create an environment similar to the natural.
Chromis-butterfly does not like bright light, and it is better to put floating plants on the surface of the species. Now they are well adapted to the parameters of the water of the region where they live, but ideal would be: water temperature 24-28C, ph: 6.0-7.5, 6 - 14 dGH.

Compatible with other fish

The butterfly can be kept in the general aquarium, with peaceful and medium-sized fish. By itself, it gets on with any fish, but larger ones can offend it. Neighbors can be both viviparous: guppies, swordtails, patsilias, and mollies, as well as various haracin: neons, red neons, rodostomuses, rasboros, erythrozonias.
As for the content of Ramirezi’s apistogram with shrimps, it’s small, but cichlid. And, if it does not touch a large shrimp, then the trifle will be perceived as food.
A ramirese butterfly can live alone or in a pair. If you are going to contain several pairs, then the aquarium should be spacious and have shelters, as the fish, like all cichlids, is territorial. By the way, if you purchased a pair, it does not mean at all that they will spawn. As a rule, about ten young people are bought for breeding, allowing them to choose a partner for themselves.

Gender differences

The female from the male at Ramirezi's apistogram can be distinguished by a brighter abdomen, in her it is either orange or scarlet. The male is larger and has a more pointed dorsal fin.


Ramirezi's apistogram in nature forms a stable pair and lays at once 150-200 eggs. To get fry in an aquarium, as a rule, they buy 6-10 fry and grow them together, then they choose a partner for themselves. If you buy just a male and a female, then there is far from a guarantee that they will form a pair and spawning will begin.

Chromis butterfly prefer to lay eggs on smooth stones or wide leaves, in the evening at a temperature of 25 - 28 ° C. They also need a quiet and secluded corner, so that no one bothers them, because under stress they can eat eggs. If the couple persistently continues to eat caviar immediately after spawning, then you can remove the parents and try to raise the fry yourself.
The formed pair spends a lot of time cleaning the selected stone before putting caviar on it. Then the female lays 150-200 orange eggs, and the male fertilizes them. Parents guard spawn together and fan them with fins. At this time, they are especially beautiful.

Approximately 60 hours after spawning, the larva will hatch, and in a few more days the fry will swim. The female will move the fry to another secluded place, but it may happen that the male starts attacking her, and then he needs to be planted. Some pairs divide the fry into two flocks, but as a rule, the male takes care of the entire flock of fry. As soon as they swim, the male takes them into his mouth, “cleans” and then spits it out. It is rather funny to watch a brightly colored male take one after another fry and rinse them in the mouth, then spit it out. Sometimes he pulls a big hole in the ground for his growing babies and keeps them there.

As soon as the yolk sac disappeared in the fry and they swam, it's time to start feeding them. Starter feed - micro-craw or infusoria, or egg yolk. At naupilii Artemia, you can go in about a week, although some experts feed from day one.
The difficulty in growing fry is that they are sensitive to water parameters and it is important to maintain stable and clean water. Water changes should be done daily, but not more than 10%, since the large ones are already sensitive. After about 3 weeks, the male ceases to protect the fry and must be transplanted. From this point on, the water change can be increased up to 30%, and it is necessary to replace it with water passed through osmosis.

Bolivian butterfly

Most people try to follow fashion in clothes, in behavior, in hobbies. Catering to her directions, many change their wardrobe style, manners, their hobbies ...

Fashion exists in aquarism, when the content of certain fish is the general trend of a certain period of time. However, there are some fish to which the momentary wind does not apply, which have always been, are and will be in domestic and foreign aquariums, which always have a wide range of their admirers. Such a universal fish is the South American dwarf cichlid, which is often called the Bolivian butterfly.

Pygmy Cichlid: The Secret of Popularity

In principle, there is no secret: the high constant popularity of the Bolivian butterfly is explained quite simply.

  • Firstly, this exotic fish is not capricious, it gets along well with other inhabitants of the aquarium, unassuming in food. Keep it is not difficult, and even a novice in aquarist can cope with it.
  • Secondly, the size of the Bolivian butterfly allows her to settle in a medium-sized aquarium (80-100 liters), the acquisition of which does not cause so much damage to the family budget. By the way, the fish itself is very inexpensive.
  • Thirdly, the Bolivian Little Cichlid itself is very attractive. It is able to decorate any aquarium not only with its color, but also with interesting features of its behavior.
Is a fish that recognizes the owner and can even take food from his hands, may be uninteresting?

Description and characteristics

The Latin name of the species is Mikrogeophagus altispinosus. In the literature, you can find another name - "Bolivian chromis butterfly".

Its dimensions are quite small: the length in the natural environment rarely reaches more than 8 cm, and in aquarium conditions it is no more than 6-7 cm. Females are usually slightly smaller - about 5-5.5 cm. Despite such dimensions, the chromis butterfly is the most authentic South American freshwater cichlid in both body shape and body structure.

When viewed in profile, the body shape of the fish resembles an egg, the sides of the body are strongly compressed. The main body of the body is yellow, the chest and head are orange in color. There are wide pale gray vertical stripes all over the body, which become visible in bright light. The eyes are bright black, above them there is a black stripe.

This species is called the butterfly because of the large transparent fins.

The dorsal fin is high, it goes from the back of the head to the beginning of the tail section. On its upper edge passes an elegant red stripe. There is a similar strip along the edges of the lush caudal fin. The pectoral fin is pointed, its color is complex, as the rays change color from blue to bright orange. A relatively large anal fin is pink or orange.

In a word, a pretty bright fish, in the color of which almost all the colors of the rainbow are present. The Bolivian butterfly lives 4-5 years, but some sources indicate a different lifespan - up to 7 years.

Gender differences are expressed in larger males and their brighter coloration. The fin rays of males are slightly longer than those of females.

Habitat in nature

Already from the name it is clear where the habitat of this cichlid is. These are the rivers of Bolivia and Brazil. The fish does not like ducts with a fast current, it lives in slow, and sometimes in stagnant water, where there is a lot of aquatic vegetation, tree driftwood, branches. There he finds chromis and its food - aquatic insects, larvae, young of other fish.

After the first specimen for description was caught in Bolivia (in 1911), the fish was seen in the Brazilian rivers of the Rio Guaporé (originates in Bolivia), as well as Igarapi (central Brazil).

To the depths, the Bolivian butterfly does not swim, preferring muddy or sandy shoal, well warmed by the generous heat of the tropical sun.

There is no pronounced schooling behavior; individuals can exist as shoals or in pairs, and alone.

The scientific name of the species has gone through several stages:

  • at first it was called Crenicara altispinosa,
  • after 65 years (1977), the fish received the name Paplilochromis altispinosus,
  • and now its name sounds like Mikrogeophagus altispinosus.
In pet stores and popular literature for aquarists, it is called microgeophagus, paplilochromis, or simply butterfly chromis.

Features of the content in the aquarium

There is nothing extraordinary in the content of microgeophagus. Even a beginner aquarist who has become familiar with some of the rules, at least in theory, can cope with this.

Sizes of aqua system. You can keep a pair of dwarf cichlids in a 60-liter aquarium. However, in this case there is a chance to never see their offspring. The fact is that small “South Americans” will not just create a pair without a choice.

The freedom-loving and independent microgeophagus choose the female for spawning independently from several options.

That is why a flock of 5-6 heterosexuals is most often organized, and for this you need a 100-liter aquarium. Least.

If the home aquatic system contains other aquatic animals, then its volume should be even greater.

Water parameters. The Bolivian butterfly is a resistant fish; it is able to tolerate fluctuations in temperature and changes in its parameters. But you should not scoff at such a sweet creation, it is better to create an optimal environment for him, as close as possible to the natural one. These conditions are:

  • temperature from +22 to +28 degrees;
  • water hardness ranging from 5 ° to 20 °;
  • acid-base balance of 6-8 units.

Good filtration is necessary, 20% of water should be changed weekly.

Bottom organization. The substrate of the soil can serve as ordinary river sand or fine gravel (run-in). A small fish can dig for food, therefore particles of soil should not be with sharp edges. However, you should not worry about aquatic vegetation: the butterfly chromis will not dig it out.

The decor. At the bottom of the aquarium should be installed various shelters: pieces of ceramic tubes, inverted ceramic cups or pots with holes, stone caves and caves, snags. These elements will serve as shelters for small fishes.

Plants you can land those that take root in a tropical aquarium. If the vegetation floats on the surface of the water, then it is even better, as the ornamental fish prefers shaded parts of space.

The lighting should be muffled, as the bright light irritates the microgeophagus.

Feeding. You shouldn’t worry about food: the dwarf cichlid gladly consumes both live and frozen food from the bloodworm, the pipeker, the corret. Commercial feeds for cichl (pellets or chips) are also suitable. The main thing in the organization of food - to avoid overfeeding.

It is believed that these ornamental fish have some intelligence. Of course, they can not tell the owners about their experiences, but they recognize their owners, and in some cases even take food directly from the hands.

Experts recommend launching newly acquired individuals of Mikrogeophagus altispinosus into a working aquarium, whose biosystem has already reached a stable balance.

Compatible with aquarium neighbors

The small Bolivian cichlid quietly exists with other small cichlids. Peace in her blood. If there are separate clashes for the territory, they will not lead to any serious consequences.

But one should not, however, forget that the butterfly chromis is a predator. If there is a desire to share in an aquarium, for example, a flock of microassembly of nevi (10 mm in size), then you can say goodbye to them forever. Experimenting is not worth it.

Caviar and fry of any ornamental fish will also be eaten with great pleasure.

Barbusses, corridors, gourami - these are the neighbors who can quite easily exist together with microgeophagus.

A little about the reproduction of individuals of the species

Pair breeding is formed at the request of the fish themselves. Based on what circumstances or personal qualities of the individual create a married couple, no one knows. At least, the Bolivian butterflies do not reveal this secret.

Breeding is possible in the general aquarium, but in this case the roe and fry will be destroyed either by the voracious neighbors, or by the cichlids themselves. That's why you need an equipped spawning with the parameters of the main aquarium. Spawning occurs under subdued lighting conditions on a large sheet of aquatic plant, on a flat stone or directly on the ground; The usual number of eggs from 70 to 100.

Parents guard the clutch until tiny fry hatch out of them. Immediately after this, it is better for the producers to relocate back to the main aquarium and start starting feeding the fry with dry egg yolk or microworms.

Experts say: a small flock of Bolivian butterflies is easy to maintain, and positive emotions when communicating with them are guaranteed. It is impossible not to love them, and in this case they will reciprocate.

Apistograms - water butterflies

Апистограммы являются рыбками из семейства цихлидовых, обитающими в водах Амазонки. Свое название апистограмма получила за особенность внешности, что от латинского "кривая линия на боку". This fish has more than 100 species, many of which are selection works. Apistograms for many years remain popular inhabitants of aquariums as unpretentious and beautiful creatures that have good compatibility with many species of fish. Their maintenance in an aquarium does not represent special difficulties at observance of necessary measures of hygiene, and cultivation of fishes is possible even for inexperienced aquarists.


Natural species

The most popular include the following aquarium species of fish: ramiresi apistogram and its subspecies, altispinoza apistogram, cockatoo apistogram, agassian apistogram.


Ramires apistogram

The ramiresi apistogram or ramires apistogram was named after the importer of fish for the aquarium trade M.V. Ramirez. The fish has synonyms "chromis-butterfly" and "microgeophagus". The type of ramiresi is considered to be a widespread aquarium fish around the world, it can be recognized by a characteristic black band, which lies from the eyes to the gill covers and a peculiar color.

The ramiresi apistogram has a flat elongated body up to 7 cm. On the sides there is a pattern with a dashed line and rows of dark spots. Ramirezi can be painted in shades of blue with a purple or gold hue. The head of the apistogram of Ramirese is small, there is a triangular spot near the eyes.



The apistogram of the cockatoo was so named because of its appearance, resembling a cockatoo bird. The cockatoo fish has characteristic elongated rays on its dorsal fin like a crest. In size, the cockatoo can reach up to 12 cm and need a more spacious habitat. Along the powerful body of this apistogram, there also passes a dark stripe, which disintegrates into spots. Cockatoo females are smaller and have rounded anal fins, while males are larger with pointed anal fins. Kakadu can have different colors, because there are not only natural, but also artificial forms. The cockatoo apistogram can be colored in variations from golden to brown.


Apastogram Agassica or flare reaches a maximum of 9 cm and is characterized by a specific shape of the tail in the form of a candle flame. This apistogram has different color variations depending on the habitat: yellow, red, white-blue. On the back is a dark fin with an orange border, the body crosses the lateral line. The fish has a rather aggressive temper, it is better to keep it with moving fish from the middle and upper water layers.


Bolivian butterfly

The altispinoza apistogram is also called the Bolivian butterfly apistogram in honor of its colorful appearance. This bright apistogram is popular for its beauty and peacefulness. The fish has a flattened egg-shaped body of a yellow shade with a large pale orange head. In males, the apistogram of altispinoza has a dark spot on the body, which produces thin vertical stripes of gray. In females there are 2 more pale spots in the middle of the body. Dorsal fin high dark with red outline. On the long tail rays there is a red border. The apistogram of altispinoza has large eyes with a black border, which is crossed by a black stripe.


The Borelli apistogram appeared in Europe since 1936 and gained popularity for its beauty and unpretentiousness. This butterfly is painted olive-blue with a yellow head and a breast. Breeding of breeding species has given new forms of this apistogram: "opal", "yellow-headed", "red-headed".

Breeding species

Electric blue

Electric blue

The electric blue view was derived from the apistogram of Ramires and looks great in an aquarium with a dark background. Electric Blue dimensions are up to 6 cm, body color is neon-blue, and the front of the orange-red shade. The brightness of color in electric blue depends on the quality of their conditions of maintenance and proper lighting.

Ramirezi Gold

The ramisresi gold apistogram is a colorful dwarf cichlid with original colors. Golden ramirezi painted lemon bright color with blue spots on the sides and tail. In male gold dorsal fin orange with high rays, turning into a red hue. The golden female has a solid golden body. Ramirezi Gold has beautiful black eyes surrounded by a ruby ​​ring.

Ramirezi Blue Neon

The type of ramiresi blue neon is also a color form derived artificially and suitable only for experienced aquarists. Gentle neon lives about 2 years in good conditions, it is kept in pairs or in a group where the number of females prevails.



The veil butterfly has chic appearance thanks to its long tail and rainbow colors. Apistogramma butterfly painted in yellow-olive color with blue and dark spots. The tail rays are outlined in magenta, and unpaired fins in red. The male is larger than the female, up to 8 cm and brighter. The veil butterfly is a rather peaceful and unpretentious aquarium fish.

There are also less popular, but the same beautiful views as the pandurini apistogram, the widget apistogram, the macmaster’s apistogram, ramiresi balloon and others.


Apistogram has a calm and peaceful disposition, unlike other cichlids, it is not inclined to damage plants and dig the ground, except for the type of apistogram of the cockatoo, for which it is better to choose soft soil. The size of the aquarium depends on the type of apistogram, but with a height of 30 cm. A pair of fish of the type apistogram of ramiresi live in an aquarium of 25 liters, and the apistogram of a macmaster requires an aquarium of 60 liters. Lighting will suit muffled. With a sufficient number of plants, snags and other decor, the butterfly apistogram will feel quite comfortable.

Water parameters: acidity up to 7.5, hardness up to 12 °, temperature 25 ° С. Replace 20% of water weekly and install a quality filter. The butterfly is very susceptible to the purity of water and is susceptible to infection by serious diseases.



Breeding of the apistogram in aquarium conditions is accompanied by the correct selection of pairs and spawning stimulation. At this time, the apistogram become quite aggressive, as they protect their offspring from strangers. For one pair of fish, a capacity of at least 15 liters with a temperature of 27-28 ° C with soft acidic water is necessary.

Apistogram ramirezi spawn from 5 months in an aquarium with a fine-grained substrate, flat stones or caves surrounded by bushes of plants. In the apistogram ramirez parental instincts are absent, they are able to destroy their numerous offspring by eating it. Experienced aquarists recommend depositing a pair of ramires apistograms in a separate container of 15 liters in the vicinity of a sword bearer, which will stimulate ramiresi to better care for caviar. The female apistogram of the Ramires during spawning becomes yellow, lays up to 200 eggs on a smooth surface. For a male apistogram you need to install a cover. Juveniles are fed with artemia, live dust and rotifers.

Ramirezi Gold

Electric Blue spawn on reaching 3 cm in length, digging holes and putting them in the eggs. Weak electrician blue parental instincts can cause the death of eggs, but good parents hatch tender larvae.

Cockatoo females turn yellow during spawning, throw up to 80 eggs and hide them in their chosen refuge. The male cockatoo protects the territory with offspring for 3 days.

The Bolivian apistogram matures by 12 months, producers should be planted in a 60-liter aquarium. The young butterfly is also prone to cannibalism, therefore more adult individuals are chosen for the couple.

Breeding of the species apistogram agassitsa occurs to six months of age in a common or separate aquarium. For spawning substrate, you can take a flower pot or coconut shell. The female sweeps up to 300 eggs and aggressively protects them from other fish.


Apistograms refer to predators, in nature they feed on insect larvae, fry, and invertebrates. In the aquarium, all types of ramirese apistograms are fed by any live food, the fish prefer rotifers, daphnia, cyclops, and bloodworms. Consumed in the form of ice, flakes and dry food.

Ramirezi Blue Neon


Despite its cichl origin, the butterfly is non-conflict and tolerant of its neighbors. The Ramisres apistogram and the cockatoo apistogram get along well with rassets, neons and scalars. The Borelli apistogram and the agassica apistogram have excellent compatibility with characteristic barbs and small barbs, the altispinosis apistogram, ramirezi balloon and neon can coexist with guppies and cockerels.

Apistograms are one of the most beautiful aquarium fish, possessing many pleasant qualities of character. Any aquarist will be interested and informative about their content in an aquarium and observing their habits.