Species group: Cichlids
Other common names: Panda Apistogramma; Nijsseni’s Dwarf Cichlid
Scientific name: Apistogramma nijsseni
The Panda Dwarf is known for its beauty and elegance. The female fish maintains a blazing yellow and sooty black coloration at all times. A large spot on the gill cover extends up to the eye. The sides and caudal peduncle, as well as the first three-four dorsal rays, show a blotchy pattern. The anterior ventral fins are also black, giving the overall look of a Panda. A light red band is noticed near the edge of the tail fin. Light blue is the main body coloration of males. The lower body, the tail, and the ventral fins are all yellow. The round tail fin has a narrow red-orange band outlined in black.
The Panda Dwarf is a peaceful, shy fish. They are suitable for community tanks and are never kept singly. They are kept with small fish that are not overly aggressive. They show territorial behavior while spawning.
The Panda Dwarf requires a 55-gallon capacity tank. This species requires a well planted tank for hiding. They prefer a rocky tank with a substrate of fine sand gravel. These accept all kinds of food-flake frozen, pellets, etc; however, they like variety in their food. Fish of this species are bottom dwelling. These fish require plenty of swimming space. These fish are very sensitive to water changes so good filtration is a must.