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The Apistogramma Macmasteri also known as Dwarf Cichlid or Redneck, are popular specie because they look different than most Cichlids. Their stunning unique coloration, tiny size and temperament make them different from other Cichlids. They are peaceful and suitable for both community aquariums and species-only aquariums.

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Features of Apistogramma Macmasteri:

  • Caring for Apistogramma Macmasteri and breeding them is reasonably easy.
  • Apistogramma Macmasteri are peaceful fish except when it comes to males during spawning season.
  • As long as there is plenty of hiding space and the tank is large enough and the proper ratio of males and females is maintained, these fish should not pose much of a problem.


The Best Aquarium Size for Apistogramma Macmasteri:

A single pair of Apistogramma macmasteri can be kept in a 56L tank but a group will require at least 110L or more. These fish are generally not very fussy about the substrate but do best when the substrate is soft and sandy. Slightly darker substrate and background can make their colors pop quite well. Some leaf litter and bogwood or driftwood can also be added to replicate the feel of the natural habitat of the Apistogramma macmasteri.

After an Aquarium for your fish? Browse Aquarium Tank Selection here.

Tank Mate Compatibility:

Fish such as Tetras, Barbs, Danios, Guppies and other Livebearers would be suitable tankmates, as well as smaller Gouramis, Catfish, and Loaches. However, you should avoid keeping these fish in small aquariums with larger species that are more aggressive. You should also avoid keeping these fish in the same aquarium with different species of Apistogramma.

Great tank mates for Apistogramma include:

 Coburg Aquarium, specialised in different species of live fish.


Feeding :

They feed primarily on frozen and live food such as bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. Always get your fish from someone you can trust so you can get to know their feeding habits. Some Apistogramma macmasteri can be made to accept dry or flake food with time but it takes patience and is not always a given. Whatever they eat, they should be fed twice a day with just enough food that they can finish up in a couple of minutes.

In Coburg Aquarium online, we stock a variety high quality fish food for your choice.

Search fish food in our High Quality Fish Foods collections.


Apistogramma Macmasteri Tank Setup:


Aquarium Filtration

Filtration should not be powerful, and you should avoid substantial water changes.

Here are some great ones to consider:

Plants for Apistogramma Macmasteri

Fairly dim lighting is recommended and plant species from genera such as MicrosorumTaxiphyllumCryptocoryne and Anubias are arguably best since they will grow under such conditions. 

Interested in Live Plants for your aquariums? Click here to see more Fish Live Plant 

Decorations for Apistogramma Macmasteri

These Apistos don't care about the decor as long as your aquarium has enough cover and structure. It is a good idea to add ceramic flowerpots, plastic piping, and other artificial materials to the aquarium. Alternatively, if you'd like a more natural-looking arrangement, add some branches and roots to create plenty of shade and caves on a soft sandy substrate.

Ideal Ornaments for your fish tank:

After more nice quality decorations?  Check our Aquarium Ornaments.


These fish prefer dim lighting with a maximum of 8-hours of light every day. Under bright lighting conditions, they can become skittish and start losing their coloration due to stress. They should have plenty of cover and hiding spots to feel secure. A few patches of floating vegetation to diffuse the light even further may also prove effective.


Starting at the bottom of the tank, stick with fine sandy substrate. The rivers they reside in are usually littered with leaves. While you don’t need to replicate that in your tank, the fish will appreciate the sandy bottom. This species is known to dig every once in a while, so sand makes that possible without injury. Sand is also great for keeping live aquatic plants, which are a must-have for Apistogramma. 

A variety of Substrates are available at Coburg Aquarium. 

Additional Information

Fish Keeping Snapshot :

Preferred Water Parameters :

Aquarium Set-up Service:

Our design team enables us to create the tank you desire, install your tank where you wish to and provide a maintenance service to ensure everything runs smoothly. We can create almost any aquarium from the small home aquarium to large commercial aquariums for offices, hotels or restaurants. Coburg Aquarium, Australia's leading aquarium shop.

Please contact us if you need any custom tank services.