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A. agassizii “Fire red” Predicament

Harrison

New Member
Hello everyone. I have become so infatuated with Apistogramma over the past year that I decided to try a new species - A. agassizii Fire red.

orginally, I thought I had brought home a male A. agassizii “Tefe red” and a female a. Agassizii Fire red. It turned out the male was actually A. sp. Tefe, so I returned him the following day for a male Fire red. So now what I have is a definite pair.

The male Tefe was in my tank for only a single day. The female Fire red has been very very aggressive towards the new male Fire red, which made me wonder: Did she lay eggs? Turns out she did, in the cichlid Stone. I noticed the eggs only 1 hour after the male Fire red entered the tank.

My question is, which male fish fertilized the eggs? I am not planning on raising this first batch of fry because I worry it will be a hybrid Tefe x Agassizii.

My other question - once this batch of eggs/fry is no longer, will the female stop harassing the male? Just want to have a calm environment. Should I separate the male and female Fire reds?

thanks!!
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
If you can, I suggest removing the male Fire Red for now. He is just a distraction. Yes, agassizii will cross with sp. Tefe, but the hybrids rarely survive. Those that do tend to be physically weak, show deformed scale rows and are sterile. Once the female is done with this brood, remove her, re-arrange the decor to remove her territory, and then introduce the 2 apistos at the same time.
 

Harrison

New Member
If you can, I suggest removing the male Fire Red for now. He is just a distraction. Yes, agassizii will cross with sp. Tefe, but the hybrids rarely survive. Those that do tend to be physically weak, show deformed scale rows and are sterile. Once the female is done with this brood, remove her, re-arrange the decor to remove her territory, and then introduce the 2 apistos at the same time.
Mike, I have 3 options for where to move the male Fire red for the time being. First, I could place him in a 10 gallon (housing an adult female cacatuoides temporarily as well as a few rasboras), a 45 gallon (with 21juvenile cacatuoides), or just move him to a breeder box in his Current tank (or any of the other two tanks). What would you suggest?
 

yukondog

Active Member
I would not put him in with the female cac. in a 10gl. the breeder box I would not do, can you put a divider in the 45 to give him his own space?
 

Harrison

New Member
I placed a divider in the current tank, separating him and all of the pencil fish from the female! After this brood is abandoned, I’ll remove the male and female, rearrange the decor, and then add them back at the same time. Hopefully this takes care of the aggression.
 

Harrison

New Member
A small update on the Fire reds, advice still needed. After the female finished with her initial brood ~5-7 days ago, I removed the divider and the fish, reorganize the decor, then replaced the fish. Now, the male is very aggressive toward the female (opposite of what the problem was before). I can tell the male is ready to breed, but the female just had a clutch less than two weeks ago, so I don’t know if she’s ready for another round yet. She has a tear on her caudal fin from the male. Should I separate them again for another week, and follow the same reintroduction process? I’ll try to post current pictures of the fish. Thanks!
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I guess I should have given you a more detailed recommendation.

You need to understand that A. agassizii is a polygamous species. In the wiild aggie males stake out a large territory that includes breeding territories of several females. As such he will always find a female that is receptive to his 'romantic advances'. Any female not receptive to his advances - and not aggressively guarding fry - will be attacked and, if possible, driven from the male's territory in hopes that a more receptive female will appear to take her place.

Your tank is the male's territory and your female has a smaller territory within the male's. When she wasn't receptive to his advances he tried to drive her out of his territory (the tank). If she cannot leave the tank, mayhem is the result. I should have told you to:
1. separate the fish,
2. re-arrange the decor,
3. re-introduce the female first for a week or 2 so she can recover from breeding, get re-oriented and establish her own breeding territory, and
4. only then introduce the male.

Personally if the tank is large enough to allow breeding territories for 2 - 3 females, I think things will go smoother.
 

Harrison

New Member
Mike, this is an incredibly helpful and detailed comment. Thank you for all the time you take helping others! You’ve been a big help to me over the last year when I’ve asked multiple questions.

as a side note, do you think it’s okay if I remove the male Fire red for the next few weeks and place him in the 10 gallon with a female Cacatuoides?
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
It really depends on how the tank is laid out. Very different species of opposite sex usually are not highly aggressive toward each other - if each cannot continually see the other. Lack of a sex partner seems to lessen territorial aggression.
 
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