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Panduro and Nijsseni

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by vpik001, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. vpik001

    vpik001 Member

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    Hi All,

    There are new arrivals in my LPS - Apistogramma Panduro and Nijsseni. I read some threads and watched some videos about them. However, I would like to confirm with you as experts my understanding and get valuable recommendations before I buy them and go into trouble :).

    1. Panduro is monogamous species. So would it better to buy 2 pairs in order to get at least one bonded pair out of them? Or one pair should be fine and they will bond anywhere?

    2. Nijsseni is not monogamous species. So I should I be fine if I buy only one pair?

    3. Is it OK to keep them together since they mature? I mean 2 pairs of Panduro together and separately, 2 pairs of Nijsseni together? Is it OK if I put them in two adjacent tanks with transparent glass and they will see each other, i.e. Panduro will see through the glass Nijsseni. Would it create better bonding for Panduro?

    4. I watched videos and saw that both Panduro and Nijsseni males look after the fry and their females allow to do this. Is it always a case? Could please give me some tips or links to threads where it had been already discussed?

    It does not work with Agassizii and Cacatuoides females when they are breeding. Once they have got eggs I need to remove males as females chase them like crazy. Even in the big and full of hidden spots tank.

    4. Some females of both Panduro and Nijsseni have black spots over the whole body, but some females only have black spots on their heads. I found more beautiful if females have more black spots. I think it is better genes. What do you think?

    Any other recommendations are welcome. :)

    Thanking you in advance.
  2. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Good for you for getting others' opinions before jumping into something new to you. I've kept and bred all of the mentioned species so here are my opinions. One caveat - fish are individuals, just like people, so there can be exceptions to any rule.

    Both species belong to the nijsseni-group and behave somewhat the same. Both form breeding pair - not bonded pairs. A pair can successfully breed and raise fry several times in harmony, but an unsuccessful breeding attempt can also lead to a breakup of the pair. When this happens each will look for a 'better' partner. I have found A. nijsseni to be more 'choosy' about partners than A. panduro. As such, I generally buy 6 fish - 2 males and 4 females if possible or 3 pairs.

    It really depends on the size of the tank and how it's laid out. Realize that once 2 fish form a breeding pair, they will want to remove any competition. When this happens you have 2 fish attacking individual fish - not a good idea. I prefer to start breeding tanks with 1 male and 2 females. Then I keep a close look for any bonding behavior i.e. attacking the female not chosen. I always put a floating piece of pipe as a refuge for the 'loser'.

    Generally, males are accepted near the fry more so than most species where the female is the sole caregiver. Of course this depends on the individual fish.

    This has all to do with the how more polygamous species operate. In the wild males are too busy driving off predators and competitors to interact much with a mother and fry. In an aquarium predators and competitor are not usually there. Without anything constructive to do males often bother a brooding female. Brooding females don't want a bright, showy, male that can attract a predator near her fry. So she will try to drive him away.

    There are 2 populations (at least) of A. panduro. On one females in brood dress show a large oval flank patch - but not as large as on A. nijsseni. The other population (Brustband/Breastband) shows a broad vertical band that extends over much of the flanks at the Bar 3 location. Both populations show a cheekstripe on the operculum.

    A. nijsseni has only one form in the willd. Brooding females show a very large flank patch at Bar 3 and the gill cover is almost entirely black.

    Domestic raised fish often show some variations in color pattern where the flank patch can be smaller on one side than the other, or missing altogether. I have a similar experience with females of A. wolli, another nijsseni-group species. Specimens TomC & I collected in Peru all had similar spots on both sides. Females from my tank-raised specimens not uncommonly have a spot only on 1 side. I prefer to breed females with spots on both sides.

    Hope this helps.
    pizzagetsmefrisky and ButtNekkid like this.
  3. vpik001

    vpik001 Member

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    Thank you very much Mike! You are very helpful as usual! :)
    I will post some photos once I have bought them. I decided to buy two pairs of each species.

    Recently I bought two pairs of Agassizii Alenquer. Such a luck! What a gorgeous fish! They are still young, I think 6-7 months old, however one male starts to have somewhat redish at the bottom of his tale. It looks really beautiful in combination of green and white net over his tale.
  4. vpik001

    vpik001 Member

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    Hi All,

    I have decided to update my thread here rather than creating a new one. Last week, I got 6 Nijsseni and 6 Panduro fish. Fish is still young, probably 5-6 months old (LPS could not tell me their age), however I did a deeper research, spent a lot of time looking at the fish, its colours, male/female features, behaviour and ended up to conclusion that I have 1 male and 5 females of Panduro and 1 Female and 5 males of Nijsseni. Not a good sex ratio at all, especially for Nijsseni :(
    Then I checked other Pet Shops' chains under different brands trying to find more Panduro's males and Nijsseni's females. However, all Pet Shops have the same suppliers (2-3) who import fish to New Zealand, so stock and varieties of fish are quite limited. I found and bought three more fish - 2 males of Panduro and 1 female of Nijsseni. However, I think, either supplier or Pet Shop staff themselves made a mistake in labelling this fish, because they are 2 males of Nijsseni and 1 female of Panduro.

    Could you please help me to identify the following Panduro/Nijsseni species as well confirm their sex?

    1. Two Nijsseni males which were labelled as Panduro. Please confirm if I am correct.




    2. Panduro female which was labelled as Nijsseni. Please confirm if I am correct.




    3. Young Nijsseni species. I think they are two males. Please confirm if I am correct.




    4. This is Mike's explanation of differences between Panduro and Nijsseni :

    https://apistogramma.com/forum/threads/nijsenni-and-panduro.22276/#post-102761


    Question 4.1 - Panduro females (e.g. video with the female in p.2) do not always have marks on their caudal fins. They are sometimes quite "pure" in colour at all, i.e without any big and typical marks or spots on their body. So, in this case, we need to consider another distinguish feature such as her cheek stripes, so I presume, females like this one are Panduro by default. Am I correct?

    Even my only one Nijsseni female has a typical Nijsseni's caudal rounded spot and a blotch on her flank (only on one side), her gills are not covered in full of black like could be. So, is it probable that more marks/spots will appear in future when Panduro/Nijsseni females grow and mature completely or will be in breeding conditions?

    Question 4.2 - Nijsseni males which I currently have are also a bit different in terms of coloration, marks and spots. For example, two males in my video #1 do not have a visible caudal spot and their full body is quite yellow. I noticed that their caudal spot may appear for a bit, but not visible all of the time. However, the other two males which are even smaller in size (my video #3) have very distinctive caudal spot which is visible all of the time and their colour is not yellow at all. What is the reason for that? Quality? Age? Dominance?

    Question 4.3 Most of my Panduro females are yellow, however all of them have black edge of their front / ventral fins. Is this the most distinctive difference between males and females? I used especially this feature to differ females from males in this complicated situation. Am I correct?

    I read in some post that Mike already explained how to sex juvenile fish from the nijsseni complex. If anybody knows that thread, could you please post the link here? Thanks.

    By the way, one of Panduro female has already paired off with my only one male. I have already put them separately into a breeding tank. :) Male becomes pretty bright and typically for Panduro males, blue colour appears on as well as caudal spot horizontally extends into caudal fin.

    Question 4.4 Panduro females can have two main coloration types of their lateral spot - broad vertical band or large blotch on ventral half of flanks. I would probably add the third one - "pure" or "clean" colour mentioned above. When they breed, will the mother's coloration be stick and dominant to her females' fry?

    Question 4.5 If I am not successful to find any more Panduro males, once my male has bred with the first female, can I invite him again to the group of other females in a hope that he will pair off with another one? What are my chances?
    I read that both Panduro female and male are good parents and I can leave him with the first female to grow the fry, but I would like to breed him with different female who has different colouration.

    Question 4.6 Opposite situation to Nijsseni. If the current dominant male does not want to pair off with the only one female in my Nijsseni group tank, probably she is not yet in breeding conditions and I need to wait... should It be a right strategy if I remove the dominant male and give other males to match with the only one female?


    Thanking in advance for all answers
  5. vpik001

    vpik001 Member

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    Is everyone busy to help me with getting answers on my questions above?:(
  6. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I fear that you asked too many questions for which you can find answers if you do a search here. If already answered before, others just don't feel the need to reply. I, for example, generally don't view videos for ID purposes. Maybe it's just me, but I find moving fish are too often hard to ID and when I pause the video the 'still shot' doesn't have definition good enough for a confident ID.

    Re: color pattern, many change and even disappear on inbred or domestic fish. Lateral and caudal spot most commonly are affected. Occasionally this is even seen on wild specimens. Also realize, like most cichlids, apistos can alter their color pattern depending on mood.

    As for your panduro male being added to your other females, I see no problem. Nijsseni-group species as a rule don't form mated pairs, but breeding pairs. Your male will probably accept another breeding partner, or maybe not. You can only try. As for the nijsseni, I'd be patient and see what happens. She should eventually 'hang around' one male more than the others, but maybe not. If the dominant male harasses the otlers too much the remove him.
    vpik001 likes this.
  7. vpik001

    vpik001 Member

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    Thank you Mike.

    I thought video is much better than photo for ID purposes as it is sometimes really hard to make good photo. Apistos are really fast fish and hides all over the time. In video you may see more... but is my opinio of course :)