a beautiful blue cichlid from Central America which is commonly referred to as the blue sifter cichlid
. This nickname is coined for a few obvious reasons which include the fact that its primary colors are blue and that it is known to sift the substrate for food. This is very similar to many species of Geophagus cichlids that exhibit the same behavior.
A. robertsoni is also called the false firemouth cichlid
because as juveniles they are very similar in appearance in terms of shape particularly the snout to Thorichthys meeki
also called the Firemouth cichlid. But as you have guessed by now firemouth cichlids
have bright red colors and A. robertsoni are bright blue.
All things considered this is a relatively peaceful cichlid considering it can reach upwards of nine inches. Its best suited for a larger cichlid community tank with fish of similar temperament. Check out the Astatheros robertsoni spawning video below and note the other fish in the tank and how close they are to the free swimming fry. You’ll notice the female is protective but not extremely aggressive were its lethal to other species in the tank.
Also called the Turquoise cichlid
, A. robertsoni is a substratum spawning cichlid. Females lay their eggs on a hard surface and the male fertilizes the eggs. Both parents protect and aid in raising the fry. It’s best to keep this species in pairs when older and keeping five or so small juveniles together and allowing them to naturally pair off is the way to go. Image via Flickr