THE GENUS APISTOGRAMMA
This is a fairly large genus, boasting over 65 species of smaller cichlids that are rather localized in their natural distribution. More commonly known as "dwarf cichlids", this popular genus spawn in the same manner as most of their larger cichlid family members. The adults are easy to sex, as the males are much more brightly colored, and have extended dorsal and anal fins. Although the juveniles look very alike, and are often sold as "mixed dwarf cichlids", as it's difficult to determine which species the young fish actually are, and if they are males or females. This trait has been seized by cichlid breeders, and some interesting hybrids of Apistogramma (and other cichlid genera) have arisen over the past few decades. Most eggs are ovid in shape, and are laid on the sides of rock, plants, and substrate rather than on top. The egg colors range from a brownish-tan color to a white or clear color, and hatch in 2 to 5 days. Most in this genus do well in 22 to 28 C and a pH range an acidic 6.2 to neutral 7.0. Use light aeration, and don't keep this genus in an active room, as they get "spooked" easily. They have a broad diet, but when ill, often require live foods to regain normal eating habits.