Apache Trout (Oncorhynchus Apache)

Apache trout

Last updated on July 9th, 2022 at 09:29 pm

Apache trout (Oncorhynchus apache) are one of four subspecies of rainbow trout and an important species to keep in an aquarium setting as they are native to Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico where they live in the flowing waters of the Gila and San Francisco rivers. They are very hardy fish that feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, worms, and smaller fish but can also be easily trained to eat flake food and pellets if necessary.

They are native to the Rocky Mountains, but they have been introduced throughout the world and are raised commercially in some areas to be used as game fish and food fish. These fish can be quite difficult to care for and are not suitable as beginner pets, so it’s important to learn how to care for them before you bring one home!

Apache trout (Oncorhynchus apache) care requires very specific parameters. If you are interested in keeping this fish, be sure to learn more about its needs before buying one to ensure you can provide the right environment and diet.

Origin and descriptions

Apache trout, sometimes referred to as Arizona trout, are native to Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. They’re freshwater fish and they’re best kept in bodies of water that have a low pH level of 6.0 or less with a dH range of 2-12. They can be found in small streams that have cool water and suitable habitat. You should also keep these fish in an aquarium that has a temperature range between 57-65 degrees Fahrenheit with a higher than normal oxygen content in order to provide them with optimal conditions for survival, growth, and happiness.

Additionally, you should feed your Apache trout food pellets made from the beef heart and high-quality flakes made from shrimp or krill as well as live insects like blackworms. Finally, you can use dechlorinated tap water when you fill your tank because chlorine can kill off your fish by making it difficult for them to breathe properly.

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Species profile

Apache trout

Apache trout belong to the family Salmonidae, a group of fish that also includes salmon, steelhead, and rainbow trout. They are native to Arizona and New Mexico in North America. Apache trout have a dark green back with silver sides and a white belly.

Males develop orange-red spots on their lower fins during the spawning season. This species is smaller than other trout species, but it is an excellent game fish due to its willingness to take the bait and fight hard when hooked. In general, apache trout are not difficult to care for.

They thrive in large tanks at temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C and 24°C). Like most freshwater fish, they prefer a neutral pH of 7.0 or slightly acidic water. It’s important to make sure your tank has plenty of hiding places so they can feel safe from predators like birds or raccoons.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the Apache Trout is Oncorhynchus apache

Apache Trout habitat

Apache trout are native to New Mexico and Arizona but don’t need a highly specific type of habitat. They can live in a wide range of aquatic environments from cool, spring-fed streams to large lakes. As long as they have enough space to live undisturbed, they should be fine living with other fish species that aren’t aggressive or territorial.

If you’re keeping your Apache trout in an aquarium, it’s best to keep them alone since they will outgrow most tanks and become stressed if there isn’t enough room for them to swim around. It’s also important to make sure your tank is well-filtered because these fish produce a lot of waste; consider using an under-gravel filter or frequent water changes if you want your pet to thrive.


Apache trout can grow up to a maximum size of 6 to 24 inches (15-61 cm) in length, and weigh around 0.2-2.7 kg (0.4-6 pounds).

Tank size

Due to their big size, the minimum recommended tank size for a single Apache trout is 250 gallons (946 liters).

Tank requirements

A single Apache trout will do fine in a 250-gallon tank, but if you plan on adding more fish to your tank, it’s best to start with a larger aquarium. Since Apache trout can be aggressive and territorial when kept in smaller spaces, adding more than one fish to your tank is probably best avoided until you have plenty of experience with them.

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If you are planning on keeping multiple Apache trout together, make sure that they are all roughly equal in size, it’s not uncommon for two or more males to fight over territory. If there is no dominant male present, however, multiple males may coexist peacefully. In any case, an aquarium that measures at least four feet long by two feet wide by 18 inches deep should provide ample space for a pair or trio of these active swimmers.

It’s also important to note that although some aquarists report success keeping Apache trout in freshwater tanks, most experts recommend using a brackish water setup instead. Brackish water has slightly higher levels of salinity than freshwater does; it usually contains around 10% salt content. This makes it ideal for many marine species while still being suitable for those who want to keep their tanks as close to their natural habitat as possible.

Tank mates

Oncorhynchus apache are an ideal freshwater aquarium fish because they are very hardy and can live in a wide range of water conditions. Keep these fish with other medium-sized, community, freshwater fish. They should not be kept with fast-moving or aggressive fish species due to their slow movement and a rather large size.

Some good tank mates are other Oncorhynchus species, such as rainbow trout and cutthroat trout; catfish, such as blue cats and channel catfish; goldfish; sunfish; koi; basses, such as largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

Apache trout can also be kept with other game fish, including walleye, northern pike, sauger, crappie, and white bass. However, they should not be kept with predatory fish species because they will eat them.


Apache trout

Oncorhynchus apache spawn in quiet water along stream beds. Female Apache trout typically lay their eggs under large rocks or other types of cover, and males watch over them until they hatch. This is a good first step to breeding them: try looking for potential nest sites in your tanks to mimic these conditions.

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Once you find an appropriate spot, place a female fish there and wait for her to lay her eggs. If you’re lucky, she’ll choose that location as her spawning ground! If not, don’t worry—you can always move her after she lays them. Either way, once she has laid her eggs, remove her from your tank so that she doesn’t eat them.

Male Apache trout will guard their nests aggressively, often chasing away any fish who come too close. If you want to protect your young Apache trout fry, make sure no adult males are present when they are hatching. Once they have hatched, feed them infusoria or rotifers until they are large enough to eat baby brine shrimp and micro worms.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Apache trout are moderately aggressive and should be kept in a large aquarium. They may fight with other fish if there is not enough space for them to establish their own territory. Do not keep two males together because they may fight to death over the dominance of the tank.


Apache trout

When setting up a tank for Apache trout, be sure to provide hiding places such as rockwork, driftwood, and PVC pipes. These fish are nocturnal and shy; they’ll spend most of their day hidden in their preferred spot. In a community aquarium, they get along well with other species of similar size and demeanor. Larger fish may threaten them or simply bully them out of their hiding spot. Avoid housing them with aggressive or territorial species.

If you keep multiple Apaches together, make sure there is enough space for each one to find its own territory. They prefer hard water that has been treated with dechlorinator. A pH between 7 and 8 is ideal, but they can tolerate a range from 6.5 to 9.0 without issue if acclimated properly prior to introduction into your tank.

What they eat

Apache trout are omnivores, and in their native range, their diet consists of aquatic invertebrates like crustaceans and insects. In captivity, a good staple pellet will ensure that your Apache gets all of its essential nutrients. In fact, supplementing with live foods will lead to better coloration. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a favorite treat for them. Feed your Apache once or twice per day at least once a week.

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Apache trout

Apache trout can live more than 15 years in captivity. It’s likely that they have a similar lifespan in their natural habitat as well.

Parasites and diseases

Apache trout are susceptible to diseases and parasites, and you should quarantine new fish for two weeks. If a fish gets sick during that time, it’s wise to move any other new fish into a quarantine tank so they don’t get sick as well.

Apache trout are especially vulnerable to ich, which is why it’s important to treat tap water with a de-chlorinator before adding it to your aquarium. In addition to ich, there are several other common parasites and diseases that can infect them.

Fish lice can appear as small white or gray spots on your fish; these spots will typically be found on fins or around gills. Lymphocystis disease causes raised white bumps on your fish; these bumps may eventually turn yellow or red in color if left untreated.


In nature, trout are preyed upon by an array of species. These include fish such as bass, walleye, and even water snakes. There are also birds that will take them including cormorants and gulls. Even small mammals like mink, skunks, and weasels will eat them when given the chance.

Do they make good pets?

While they do not typically make good aquarium fish, it is possible to keep them successfully if certain conditions are met. As always, when you own a pet, it is your responsibility to ensure its care.  Apache trout can be sensitive and may react poorly to sudden changes in water quality or temperature. They may also be susceptible to diseases that affect other species of trout.

For these reasons, they should only be kept by experienced aquarists who have access to a large tank with proper filtration and aeration equipment as well as quarantine tanks for new arrivals. If you decide that an Apache trout is right for you, please research their needs carefully before purchasing one from a dealer or breeder!