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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my pair of Apistogramma ortegai "Papagey". I'm including the recent official description which shows 2 forms - "Pebas" and "Papagey". They are in breeding colours so maybe some fry soon?

"Apistogramma ortegai
(Teleostei: Cichlidae), a new species of cichlid fish from the Ampyiacu River in the Peruvian Amazon basin"
http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2014/f/zt03869p419.pdf

aOrtegai_2016-1.jpg aOrtegai_2016-3.jpg aOrtegai_2016-4.jpg aOrtegai_2016-5.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This might be old hat to some but it's the first time I've witnessed this most interesting behaviour. After 24 hours of introducing the male into the tank and which was after a 10% water change, I noticed the female was really aggressive. About 12 hours after I took the pictures above I noticed the tail fin of the male was really chewed up. The female has staked out an area in the rear of the tank under the drift wood and kept the male far away who cowered out of sight under some plants. I fed them a little food which they both ate. Then I noticed the male started to rotate 45 degrees one way and back. He did this several times and then the female came out from the rear of the tank to take a look. She started to rotate sideways and back too and then they started to chase each other. One would lead and then the other would lead. The male would also do a shimmy movement. Then the female did a most interesting move - she kind of skipped sideways in the water and then very quickly would return. I've never seen a fish do that before. Every once in a while they would twirl around together. The female was very aggressive and after her movements would swim toward the male kind of like seeing how the male was reacting. One time she got a hold of the long rays of the male's dorsal fin and wouldn't let go. The male swam away with the female still hanging on. At least 5 seconds went by and once she released, she'd bitten off some of it. I left to let them do their thing because the light was about to turn off for the night. I'm assuming this is normal mating behaviour?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The female is now hovering near the area she staked out in the rear of the tank. She has dug a spot under the drift wood. Looks like this variety is a digger. She's making sure the male doesn't get too close and his tail fin is taking a beating.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The two of them were no longer happy with each other. The female still guarded her cave and kept decorating her home by spitting gravel from it. The male was not happy at all - just look at the picture. His fins are ravaged. So back into another tank he went - to recover. I knew it was time for them to separate since the squabbles were quite violent. They were locking lips and would stay that way for 20-30 seconds. Lots of hanging on to fins and being dragged around as the other tried to escape. This was way different from a couple of days before during mating.

aOrtegai_male_2016-6.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Haven't seen any fry yet -probably still too early. But I'm not sure if there will be any. Observing the female, she no longer goes in and out of her cave since the male was removed from the tank. I don't know if that is significant until after a few more days go by and fry should be free swimming if there are any.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still no fry. The female is definitely not interested in her spawning cave anymore. But she still has breeding colors with the spots not the usual dark horizontal line. Does anyone know if her behaviour signifies that there are no eggs/fry in this attempt? How long should I wait before trying the pair again?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Definitely no fry this time. The female is back to normal colours again. Also, it looks like I made a mistake in the ID of the variety. After consulting an apisto expert, the fish are actually Apistogramma cf. ortegai (Pebas). Can't change the thread title unfortunately.
 

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Nice fish!!!
Normally my pairs can re-mate every 14 days or so and in between it goes back and forth from male aggression to female aggression.
Your male has a lot of damage and needs some more places to hide and not get hit. If you don't already make sure you've got lots of wood and plants and "sight line blocks" and exits if caught. also give him caves or something up high to keep him out of sight. Usually 2-4 days after eggs laying they will hatch and she will lead them out. With some they get it right the first time some it takes 2-3 batches. Some females will play nice with their males and some not. Be prepared to take the male out once shes locked up in her cave but i usually watch till i see her leading out her eggs. If you can keep him in with them sometimes they work together to protect the fry and its really cool to watch.
i hope that this helps.
RH
 
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Discussion Starter #10
There are a lot of hiding spots in the tank. oak leaves. driftwood. plants. The problem is that the male would go looking for the female and the female would clobber him. Other times the female would be all flirty and the male would get closer and then the female would let him have it. It was really bizarre. But they are separated right now.
 

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shes a bit of a beotch it seems and maybe there not going to be a good pair together....once she's lost her breeding colour try to add the male back and see what happens. Also, she may not be old enough to have babies yet....how old are they? you also may try adding some dither fish for a while to see if it spreads her agression out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Second attempt

After some time apart and feeding mostly live food I put the male back in with the female two days ago. Right away they started their mating dancing. The female was not in breeding colours but the next day she was a bright yellow again. Another new behaviour I hadn't seen before - they both started tilting head down at 60 degrees and swimming toward each other. There is not the same aggression as before. The female hasn't started choosing a breeding spot yet.

I read more frequent water changes is helpful during breeding attempts. I'm going to try every second day 20% changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The aquarium lights came on for the third day and I was just about to do the first water change after putting the fish back together and I noticed the male was hovering near the female lair behind the driftwood. I couldn't see the female and I assumed she was in her dugout cave under the driftwood. Then the male made his way into the cave and out of sight. I watched for him to be chased out but that never happened. I waited for half an hour before I got tired of looking at nothing happening. Anyway, looks like they got the hang of it this time.

This happened almost 48 hours to the dot since I put the male into the tank. I did a 20% water change right after that and have been feeding grindal worms and frozen bloodworms twice daily. I didn't raise the water temp and it's at 72. pH 6.8.

Just noticed the male is back out and swimming around - that was about 36 minutes he was in there. The female is still in the cave.
 

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That sounds very promising!! hopefully she will bring out wigglers in 2-4 days. Watch how she treats the male when she brings her fry out...she may get hyper aggressive to him. If she does, try to let them figure it out but if not separate the male asap. If you have dither fish he may take a roll in raising the fry and help chase other fish away. Several of my pairs are like this and a couple i have separate as it would be death to papa...! I have my pairs in 10gand20g tanks so it can be a challenge....lol BTW - Do you have any pics of the parents?
 

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cool! I've heard this things produce offspring as much as once every few weeks! Is that true?
 

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these things ***
 

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yes, they can reproduce fairly often especially if you don't separate the m/f. I've got 2 pairs that had fry on Feb 14 and again on Mar 20-26.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Still no sight of any fry. But the female continues to go in and out of the cave under the driftwood. The cave faces toward the back of the tank so I have no idea what's going on inside. Most of the day she's sitting with her head just outside the cave watching what's going on. She's letting the male hang out right near the cave as well. That's quite a bit different from a couple of weeks where she shredded his fins if he so much as looked at her funny.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looks like it's a no go for the 2nd attempt. The female was being chased around by the male so I separated them out again. And there's no fry.
 
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