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Apisto general questions as well as type question (cacatuoides vs agassizii)

JoeyFreshwater91

New Member
Messages
7
Good Day all,

I am fairly new to the hobby and My son (he's 4) and I got into this because he wanted a pet and this seemed easy. I have since learned that it is more work than you would think but I have caught the bug and LOVE it. After about 6 months of having mostly dither fish while I planted and decorated the tank, I tried my luck with Blue Rams. My experience with them was similar to many others in that they died quickly after I bought them for no apparent reason. This lead me to believe that I have not honed my skill enough as a fish keeper to have such a sensitive fish. After doing some research for a more hardy "show case" fish, I found the Apistogramma and in turn, this website.

I have a 29 gallon (110L I think?) moderately planted tank with 3 rock caves and a drift wood cave (I will upload a pic later when I get home) so there will be plenty of hiding places for the Apistos and my current stock.

My current stock:
4 panda corys (I have read that these are hit or miss with apistos but I think I have enough cover for them to co-exist.)
4 Neon Terta (I had 8 at one point but I live in New Orleans and we recently had a hurricane that knocked out power for 2 weeks and I lost half of them. They were my only losses so it made me feel like my tank must have been pretty healthy to survive that long without light or filtration.)
4 Endler Livebearers (All Males. I love these little guys)
30-40 Neocardina Shrimp (I bought 5 and they have bred a decent amount. I am aware that the apisto might eat them all but I am at peace with that.)
2 Amano Shrimp (Apistos won't eat these will they?)
1 Japanese Trapdoor Snail (No issue here I hope?)

My tank specs: (these numbers have been stable for the last 3 months at least)
78 degrees F (about 26 Celsius)
0 ppm Ammonia
0 ppm Nitrite
10-15 ppm Nitrate (I think this was the issue for the Rams)
7.5 PH
GH and KH are both on the higher end but I do not know the exact numbers.

SO after my LONG introduction let me get to my questions:

1) Do you suggest a pair or a solo Male?

2) Do Males get their full colors if they are solo? Do they get depressed?

3) I love the colors of both the cacatuoides and the agassizii. Anything I should know about either variety?

4) could I keep one Male cacatuoides and one Male agassizii or is that asking for trouble?

5) Any other tips?
 

JoeyFreshwater91

New Member
Messages
7
On another Forum I was told that Cacatuoides do better than agassizii in hard water. Are there any other varieties that do well in hard water?

I am now planning on doing 2 solo males. 1 Cacatuoides and one other.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,186
Location
Germany
Just a hint: For stocking info better look in other forums. This here is quite small and many users are only here to discuss on an intermediate level and above.

4 panda corys (I have read that these are hit or miss with apistos but I think I have enough cover for them to co-exist.)
4 Neon Terta (I had 8 at one point but I live in New Orleans and we recently had a hurricane that knocked out power for 2 weeks and I lost half of them. They were my only losses so it made me feel like my tank must have been pretty healthy to survive that long without light or filtration.)
4 Endler Livebearers (All Males. I love these little guys)
30-40 Neocardina Shrimp (I bought 5 and they have bred a decent amount. I am aware that the apisto might eat them all but I am at peace with that.)
2 Amano Shrimp (Apistos won't eat these will they?)
1 Japanese Trapdoor Snail (No issue here I hope?)
The Endlers and a good number of young shrimp will likely be in food size. Rest is somewhat fine. In my opinion Apistogramma are not that much of a community fish and even for a single specimen the tank should have certain conditions and interior structures. Can you post a picture of your tank?

1) Do you suggest a pair or a solo Male?

2) Do Males get their full colors if they are solo? Do they get depressed?

3) I love the colors of both the cacatuoides and the agassizii. Anything I should know about either variety?

4) could I keep one Male cacatuoides and one Male agassizii or is that asking for trouble?

1. Solo. As you have no previous experience, are not looking to breed them and have Corydoras in the tank, this is the best option.

2. They will not flare much, but they are fine solo. Fish do not get depressed.

3. see 4.

4. Don't. Just don't. Please only keep one species per tank. Using the search function here on the forum will likely guide you to several threads asking exactly the same question and the usual answer is: Don't mix your Apistos. Especially not in tanks smaller than 40 gallon. Because if interspecies aggression occurs it is especially nasty and I doubt you want your kid see that.

Are there any other varieties that do well in hard water?
Species. Not varieties. Yes, there are and for all of them the "keep one species and one single fish"-statement applies: Apistogramma macmasteri, A. borellii and A. trifasciata, aswell as pretty much any domestic strains of A. cacatuoides, A. borellii, A. macmasteri. Domestic strains of A. hongsloi and A. agassizii work as well, but please make sure they are domestic breeds and not wild caughts. If in doubt, take a pic and ask here on the forum, but don't buy unknowingly.
 

JoeyFreshwater91

New Member
Messages
7
Just a hint: For stocking info better look in other forums. This here is quite small and many users are only here to discuss on an intermediate level and above.


The Endlers and a good number of young shrimp will likely be in food size. Rest is somewhat fine. In my opinion Apistogramma are not that much of a community fish and even for a single specimen the tank should have certain conditions and interior structures. Can you post a picture of your tank?



1. Solo. As you have no previous experience, are not looking to breed them and have Corydoras in the tank, this is the best option.

2. They will not flare much, but they are fine solo. Fish do not get depressed.

3. see 4.

4. Don't. Just don't. Please only keep one species per tank. Using the search function here on the forum will likely guide you to several threads asking exactly the same question and the usual answer is: Don't mix your Apistos. Especially not in tanks smaller than 40 gallon. Because if interspecies aggression occurs it is especially nasty and I doubt you want your kid see that.


Species. Not varieties. Yes, there are and for all of them the "keep one species and one single fish"-statement applies: Apistogramma macmasteri, A. borellii and A. trifasciata, aswell as pretty much any domestic strains of A. cacatuoides, A. borellii, A. macmasteri. Domestic strains of A. hongsloi and A. agassizii work as well, but please make sure they are domestic breeds and not wild caughts. If in doubt, take a pic and ask here on the forum, but don't buy unknowingly.
Here is a picture of my tank. I am willing to switch up the scape if necessary. There is some lidwigia behind the “tree” but it took a real hit during the power outage so it’s all short right now and has yet to start growing again.
 

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anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,477
A solo male cockatoo or better borelli will work fine. In general they do better with a finer substrate; but for a solo display fish I wouldn't worry even if it is less than ideal. I doubt the endlers will be endangered as my cockatoo left alone fishes far smaller and the males are very lazy eaters and not well suited for chasing surface fishes. However the shrimps are more likely to be fish bait. Stucture isn't the best for breeding apisto but it is fine for the solo male.
 

JoeyFreshwater91

New Member
Messages
7
A solo male cockatoo or better borelli will work fine. In general they do better with a finer substrate; but for a solo display fish I wouldn't worry even if it is less than ideal. I doubt the endlers will be endangered as my cockatoo left alone fishes far smaller and the males are very lazy eaters and not well suited for chasing surface fishes. However the shrimps are more likely to be fish bait. Stucture isn't the best for breeding apisto but it is fine for the solo male.
Not sure if anyone cares but I ended up getting a male Apistogramma Atahualpa. It was all my LFS had in stock and he looks great and seems happy. In the first couple of days he might have eaten some shrimp but he’s not going on a shrimp murder spree or anything. He doesn’t even seem to notice my other fish.

my only question is if you all think that it’s actually an Apisto Atahualpa cuz I can’t find any pics online of a blue Atahualpa. Regardless he is a fine looking fish IMO.
 

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JoeyFreshwater91

New Member
Messages
7
Atahualpa can have a blue sheen or iridescence.

This little guy looks more like trifasciata. Can you post more pics?
I only have one more on my phone but MacZ also thinks it’s a trifasciata and after googling it, I 100% agree. It was definitely mislabeled at the LFS.

Technically it was labeled as a “sunset Apisto” and i googled that term and came away thinking it was an Atahualpa.

I am relieved that it is a Trifasciata because I did not read great things about the Atahualpa regarding its size and aggression.
 

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JoeyFreshwater91

New Member
Messages
7
I only have one more on my phone but MacZ also thinks it’s a trifasciata and after googling it, I 100% agree. It was definitely mislabeled at the LFS.

Technically it was labeled as a “sunset Apisto” and i googled that term and came away thinking it was an Atahualpa.

I am relieved that it is a Trifasciata because I did not read great things about the Atahualpa regarding its size and aggression.
Also, do apistos control the intensity of their colors/stripe? I notice that his black line is sometimes SUPER distinct and other times it looks a bit faded. I am not sure if its the angle I am looking at him or if he controls the intensity based on his mood.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,186
Location
Germany
Usually Apistos have at least 4-5 patterns depending on mood and situation. They can switch colours very quickly.
 

Samala

Active Member
Messages
99
Location
Oviedo, FL
Trifasciata is a good species to keep as a single male. They're beautiful all on their own and males are pretty tough on females. If you ever get interested in breeding, plan to definitely get a bigger tank and completely fill it with plants, leaves, and other structure.

Enjoy him!
 

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