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Apisto Cacatuoides Triple Red - General Breeding conversation


New Member
Hi all -

So this is just a general conversation thread, just looking for any general comments. I've read through a lot of the threads, and seen much of the basic info (ie the bigger the tank the better, separate the male after breeding, etc). I am located in Chicago, Illinois

Background - 20 gallon long tank, set up per previous recommendations on this forum (multiple caves not facing each other, no direct line of sight, non-aggressive dithering fish, soft water, lots of plants, etc). See picture for layout overview.

I have 1 m, 2 f cockatoo, and originally 15 Chili Rasbora. I had seen various success in keeping the chili with the apisto reported and I can report that indeed the population of my chili is going down (there are only 9 visible as of this morning). I think the male is snacking on them.

The good news is that one of the females successfully spawned after a few weeks in the tank, and there are at least 25+ babies swimming around (at least 1/4 inch in length and continuing to grow). The mom still aggressively protects them, but many of them are at the point of just exploring - sometimes directly under the male without being chased (or eaten). There was originally over 100 fry from the hatch, but I siphoned out half of them to try to raise in a separate tank (it didn't work out well for that batch). The entire tank gets BBS, vinegar eels, live Daphne, and commercially prepared fry food. I change 25% water every week to try to maintain high water quality.

Interestingly the other female is continually chased by both the male and female and has taken a darker color (not the original bright yellow). I am trying to pull her out, but the tank is so heavily planted and landscaped that it's not been easy. So much for trying to establish a harem! I suspect that 20 gallons just doesn't give enough space for each.

If you look at the picture, almost dead center (or just to the left of the female) is a piece of driftwood with a pseudo-cave like structure. That is where the female laid, raised and hangs out with the brood.

So now I have the high class problems of raising the young to a size that others might be interesting. I might pull a few more out to try and raise separately.

Thanks for reading my humble brag of success! Anyone interesting in tank raised triple-reds in the near future? Anyone have any suggestions on how to pull out the other female, or should I leave her and let them figure it out?




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New Member
A good reason for another tank!

Can you comment on the risk of the male eating the fry? I looked today and they are almost 10 mm now.

I tried to remove him and/or the other female last night but no luck. So far the male hasn't shown any interest in the larger fry (he was more interested when they were newly hatched). I don't want to be lulled into false security and then wake up one morning to a fat male and missing fry


Active Member
You can use a bottle trap to catch the adults as well, if you do need to catch the male. You just cut the top off a plastic water bottle, put the top part inside the bottom the other way round making a funnel entrance. Use a turkey baster to put live food inside the trap. I recently tried this in a tank with lots of plants and driftwood that I didn’t want to take apart. Caught the Apisto in 15 minutes with very little disturbance. I never would have caught him with a net without dismantling everything.

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