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Apistogramma agassizii - Aquasoil or sand?


New Member
First post here, sorry if the question has been answered in depth elsewhere.

I have a pair of Agassizii in a 45g tank, alongside cpds, shrimps, snails, ottos, and a few corydoras and have had them breed and lay eggs about 4 times in the past few months. There hasn't been any fry so far, as it seems the female ends up eating the eggs herself/predation from assasin snails that I've noticed seems to go for the eggs. The female has been quite efficient at keeping the corydoras away from the hardscape that is used for the eggs, and the corys are well fed so they don't seem overly interested in the eggs. This has led me to belive that either the stress of the other fish is causing the female to eat the eggs herself, or that the water parameters are a bit off for her and she eats the eggs due to them not developing.

I've decided to set up a 20g for the pair, but haven't decided on the bottom layer of the tank. I know the fish prefer sand and the pair can be seen going through the sand in the 45g looking for eddibles throught the day. At the same time, I'd like to lower the ph a bit through the use of Aquasoil, as my tapwater comes out just above neutral(7,2 - 7,3) and I see the aquasoil as a more stable way of maintaining lower ph alongside organics. There's also the benefit for plants with a substrate of aquasoil. The soil I have on hand is supposedly able to maintan a ph of around 6.0 - 6.5(Denerle Scapers Soil), which will be harder to maintain with just sand and organics.

So after all my rambling, what are the thoughts on the use of aquasoil or sand for agassizii apistos? Should I go for the soil and it's usefullness in maintianing a more stable ph, or is the sand and shifting habbits of the fish more important? There's always the option of using both and using hardscape/barriers to seperate.. But never tried that before and seen&heard mixed results of doing it that way.


New Member
Hey there. First post/reply for me too.

I have my A. agassizii in a heavily planted tank with ADA Amazonia powder. The grain size is smaller than standard aquasoil and they love to sift through it. Mine keeps the PH stable around 6.4 (though my tap water is very soft).

Good luck with them!


Hi Oslor,

Welcome to the forum.
I have Apistogramma Agassizii and in their tank the substrate is about 3cm mix of dirty, seachem fluorite, osmicote pellets and root tabs with a 3-4cm cap of sand. As mentioned they like to sift the sand at times so I like to use sand of top to allow them to do so. The bottom mix of dirt and seachem fluorite is good for the plants. I have soft and slightly acidic water to PH wise I'm ok.



New Member
I use CaribSea Supern Naturals fine sand, PH neutral. In my opinion the finer the better as they love to filter food from the sand. Plus if you have or add corys they they can burrow easily in the sand without damaging their barbels. You can use a larger smooth stones and natural wood aquascaping to add texture to the sand as desired.

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