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A. Agassizii female flashing, red gills

BC Matt

New Member
I have a new pair, 1 week in my tank today. Recently the female has been flashing against leaves and driftwood fairly regularly. Her gills also seem more red. Color seems OK. She's been eating although not aggressively. Spends a lot of time under the driftwood in her cave. Yesternly she was displaying for the male though (fins flared, brighter yellow, single black spot instead of lateral line, turning onto side when male approached). Still flashing thougj. No spots that I can see. I noticed the male flashing once or twice in the first day or two but haven't noticed since.

55g moderately planted (growing in)
Pool filter sand and driftwood
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 10ish
Temp 26

Water is a bit on the hard side 7-8o
But I'm working on that.
Did a pwc yesterday around 35-40%
My first thought is gill flukes. I haven't had this in my tanks before though so I'm not sure. Hoping to get this resolved fast. These are my first apistos and I really don't want to lose them.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
If her breathing rate looks normal, the problem may go away without treatment. There's lots of protozoans and other things beside flukes that can irritate gills. Watch out for rapid/heavy breathing (other than just after eating a large meal, when heavier breathing is normal).

BC Matt

New Member
This is probably a hard question to answer but what would rapid breathing look like in an apisto? I just haven't had enough experience with them yet to be confident regarding what is considered normal behaviour.

BC Matt

New Member
I've also noticed them "popping their jaw" or "yawning" from time to time. My research seems to suggest that this may be normal behaviour or it may be them trying to get rid of a foreign substance in their gills. Not sure what to think about that.


5 Year Member
If you're sure there's a problem, you better start a general treatment that deals with protozoans. Things can often take a bad turn real fast and if you're inexperienced with Apistos, IMO it's better not to risk it.
If she really is rapidly breathing, she should look something like any other fish dealing with the same problem. Compare her with the male. If she has difficulty breathing, increase the aeration of the tank. Aquarium Salt also helps fish breath easier and deals with some parasites (don't overdose).

Billy :)