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Apistogramma cf. Agassizii (netz) eggs don’t hatch

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Hello,
Before I made a forum about IDing mine apistogrammas. They were sold to me as A.gephyra which I can relate to. They shop owner ordered A.pulchra but when they were grown it seems that they were another species cause a.pulchra stays much smaller. Now mike wise says it’s A. Cf. Agassizii (netz) which I can really relate to and also Mike Wise knows this a lot better than me. Now should the apistogramma netz eggs hatch in my water
ph 6,5, kh 3 and gh 6. I added the fish on a Friday and exactly a week later i had eggs. After three days the female just gave up the eggs. This could be because the eggs were not fertilized, the water was not right or because she has not got enough experience which would be weird cause the seller told me they laid eggs before which I do believe cause they laid eggs just one week in the tank. Also she has taken good brood care three days long.

It is known that the eggs of a.gephyra will only hatch in really soft and acid water. So mine question is what was the issue with hatching these eggs? And is it still sure that it is a species in the A. Cf Agassizii (netz) subcomplex?
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Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
that’s right but I can not work with RO and I found it risky to work with chemicals. I can only use peat and botinicals. Also I made a mistake with typing I have a gh of 4. This still could go lower but for the fishes now it is okay.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,180
Location
Germany
As the spawn didn't hatch, first measure is the parameters.
In my experience you should first adjust conductivity, pH and/or temp first.

Conductivity will only be possible with rainwater, distilled or RO.
pH... with a KH of 3 peat will likely work. It will also drop KH a bit, but conductivity will stay relatively high.
Temp, well obviously the easiest.

You can also generally go lower: I run my display (yes, a display, not a breeding tank and still lower readings than many set for breeding) at a conductivity of about 65 µS/cm (30-40mg/l total dissolved solids), pH about 5 and temp is irrelevant in my case, but 25°C.

If that doesn't do it, work on the stock. maybe one female too many, maybe the catfish are a nuisance...

Didn't you say you don't want to breed? Well... you could just leave everything as is, then.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
I already use peat but not that much so should I add more?
I could increase the temp. It is now 24 c.

Rainwater also is not possible because I don’t have the right gutter.

I don’t really think the stock matters to much cause the eggs should still hatch.

I dont intent on breeding but it is part of natural behavior and if the eggs don’t hatch it means that something is wrong or not how it would be in nature. We will never be able to really mimic a eco system in the home aquarium and I will never get the perfect water because I can’t use a RO system.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,180
Location
Germany
I already use peat but not that much so should I add more?
Well yes.
I could increase the temp. It is now 24 c.
Up to 26°C
Rainwater also is not possible because I don’t have the right gutter.
Shame. But I have the same problem concerning rainwater. Half the year it rains so little here, it wouldn't be enough.
I don’t really think the stock matters to much cause the eggs should still hatch.
It is actually still possible, though unlikely, that the female was too distracted.
We will never be able to really mimic a eco system in the home aquarium and I will never get the perfect water because I can’t use a RO system.
True and likely. You're limited by that. May I ask why you can't get an RO unit?
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Up to 26°C
I will think about it but the electricity bills are pretty high.
True and likely. You're limited by that. May I ask why you can't get an RO unit?
I don’t have the space and it can be quite expensive to get.

I will add some more peat and put the temp to 26 c.

It is actually still possible, though unlikely, that the female was too distracted.
I don’t think that cause she was defending them 3 days straight and then suddenly she just gave them up and ate them.

I will probably getting another tank soon just a 60cm if I want I can breed some fish in there. I just think as fishkeeper is should breed these cause it is just a rare wildcaught fish that almost nobody has. But I don’t really focus on breeding Maybe later.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,180
Location
Germany
I will think about it but the electricity bills are pretty high.
Tell me about it. :(
I don’t have the space and it can be quite expensive to get.
Mine was 60€ and fits in small box: 40x20x12cm. Also not permanently installed, I hook it up when needed. I live in a small flat, less than 30m². I know the problem of space very well. What needs space is water canisters to store the RO. I'm lucky to have relatively soft source water and good pressure from the tap so the wastewater : RO-ratio (1.5:1) is acceptable
I just think as fishkeeper is should breed these cause it is just a rare wildcaught fish that almost nobody has.
In a way, yes. But from experience: Successful and relevant breeding needs space, time and money. And it can quickly take over your life (and flat/house). Been there. To be precise my dad and I have both been there for over 10 years. If you have what it needs, allright, go for it. If not, just be careful not to be drawn in too much.


Recently I forgo a lot of things so I can keep my fish and I'm glad I don't breed them. That would definitely have crashed down if I hadn't consciously decided to leave it. I'm helping a number of people to maintain their tanks and also a fishroom and a aqua/terra-room. I have to admit, I wouldn't be able to affort the necessary facilities these days. Many people are giving up the hobby just due to financial reasons at the moment.

Sorry for the off-topic, recently many hobbyists around me are sharing low-budget solutions on end and people are giving up left and right.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Well I live in a big enough house but I am just 14 so everything I do in the hobby like adding a new tank I need to discus with my parents. Also a 14 year old does not have the most money. But I try and make the best out of it. I found when you use low quality stuff it does not pay off. For my it’s just hard to run with one tank cause if I make a mistake with buying a fish I can not put it in another tank. I just have one tank at the momment which is 100 cm 40 cm 50 cm lxbxh. And the only tank I now can get is a 60 cm but everything is expensive for a 14 year old. But I am don’t want to stop. I just really struggle with one tank cause I still have some fish from long ago and I cannot put them in another tank or something like that even when it is better. I have brought some fish back to the lfs but I don’t want to keep doing that so I am being really aware of what I buy I cannot just see I cool pair of apistogramma and take them home with me.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
I now just know more about the hobby and I want to mimic biotopes more and do some breeding I mostly want to see the breeding behavior of apistogramma or other dwarf chiclids. But the thing is that a display tank cannot be a breeding tank and I can only set up one extra 60 cm tank so it’s just really hard.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
582
Location
San Francisco
My advice: Don't worry about breeding. Here's why:
  1. Apistogramma aren't endangered. There's no pressure to preserve these species. In fact, they are quite popular and bred commonly in captivity.
  2. Agassizii are not rare.
  3. Since you don't know the catch location, and since agassizii forms are highly polychromatic, you don't actually know exactly which species you have. So what's the market for "this is similar to Netz but I'm not sure"? Not that different from domestic forms, which aren't rare.
Then there are the practical aspects, like Mac says:
  1. Do you actually have space to breed these? You'll need minimum three tanks: One for quarantine or separating a pair when needed, one breeding tank, one (large) growout tank.
  2. Do you have the time and money to raise the fry? You need to do a LOT of water changes and feed live foods multiple times a day. So you'll also be spending time hatching artemia on a regular basis, and maybe growing other live foods.
  3. Can you actually place the offspring once they're big enough to be sellable? Maybe you'll have some folks interested in the beginning, but you'll have so many offspring you'll likely flood the market. Then what? Are you planning to package these up and sell them by the mail? That's a lot of work for no guaranteed return (often a loss).
  4. Do you know how to line breed? Are you planning to separate out your breeders, cull the fish that don't have the desirable traits, outcross when needed? Where will you get the outside bloodlines if you don't know the species.
I could go on and on, but it's not as easy as hatching eggs. There's everything that comes after. My advice: think about what you want and how much space you want this hobby to occupy in your life at age 14. Breeding takes a lot of time, patience, money, and ultimately experience. There's no rush for any of this.

You have beautiful fish. There is a lot to gain and learn from maintaining a display tank.

-B
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,180
Location
Germany
I would sign Ben's post. Spot on!

I was 8 or 9 when my dad and I got into breeding fish and by age 18, when we dismantled the fishroom (oh boy... 20 years ago now...), I had been through more different species than many people ever keep or breed in their life and learned more about ecology and behaviour than many grad students. But otherwise I missed out on a lot. It was a good time I wouldn't want to miss, but it cost me some of my youth.
We had a fishroom with 1.5 thousand liters and a 2.5 meter display tank in the living room. That was a full-on family side-business.
You get sucked in and one leads to the other: "Nice species we got there." - "Oh that female has eggs! Let's grow them out and sell them!" - 2 years later: "Have you looked at the fry in tank 5? Seem to be itchy." - "I'll feed tank 7-12, then I'll have a look. Have you sorted the juveniles in 3 for sale yet?"
Anyway, that's why I nowerdays avoid situations that might get me into breeding fish again. I was tempted last year upon finding out that two of the species I keep have been banned from catch and export in at least one country, but I still decided against it.
The full spectrum of behaviour is nice to watch and very interesting, but in case of breeding behaviour it comes at the price of having more mouths to feed and eventually give away if the fish manage to actually get their fry through.

You have beautiful fish. There is a lot to gain and learn from maintaining a display tank.
I can only underline this!
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
You’re both right.

I don’t want to get sucked in the breeding to much cause before you know you have a fish room full of breeding. I also don’t want to breed the whole time it would just seem fun to me to grow out some fry not every batch of eggs.
Breeding takes a lot of time, patience, money, and ultimately experience. There's no rush for any of this.
This is true it also takes a lot of space but the only way you can get experience is by trying it.

I am not going to full on breed. I am going to enjoy and improve my display tank. And maybe I will try to grow out some fry but I can’t breed fully because I don’t have the space or the money.
 
Last edited:

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
The female laid eggs again this time in a coconut I took a look at the eggs but they were all grey but there was no fungus. So does this mean they warent fertilized?
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
312
The female laid eggs again this time in a coconut I took a look at the eggs but they were all grey but there was no fungus. So does this mean they warent fertilized?
Grey….odd. I’ve seen eggs that ranged pinkish to red, and even cream but never grey. Wonder if her diet has effected the color of the eggs.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
I feed them lots of black mosquito, mysis, sometimes fresh Artemia and high quality pallets. I think it has something to do with the water values which now are: ph 6,5, kh 3 and gh 4. Or the male just didn’t fertilize them.
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
312
Water seems reasonable….I would be more concerned that I ended up with similar, but different species. I’ve always had horrible luck with wild caught agassizii types. If these were exported from Manaus, it would be possible to have females of gephyra, sp netz, sp bbcs (Careiro), sp tefe, and agassizii ( Tefe) and possibly others in the mix
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
I have some pictures if you want but I think nobody will be able to know what they are. I don’t think they are gephyra cause I heared they have when in breeding/ stress markings they have two different dots. I could sent some pictures of the female.
 

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