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Are different Apistogramma females compatible with one male?

Rklein99

New Member
Hello! Newbie here. I have a pair of A. Baenschi that are doing well in a heavily planted 20 gal with numerous hiding places. The male chases the female a lot, but she seems to manage and is eating well. My local fish store only sells pairs, but they do have several other species of Apistogramma females without matching males for sale. Does it make sense to purchase one of these to relieve some of the pressure on my Baenschi female?? Or is this asking for trouble? Thanks for any suggestions.
Ron
 

Rklein99

New Member
I’m so glad I asked the expert! The female seems to be managing well and Is not shy to come out to eat. Thank you so much for your advice
 

yukondog

Active Member
Do you have dither fish in with them? Some dithers may help him focuse on the dithers instead. Good luck
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Looks like courtship to me. Don't expect many fry to survive with a dozen fry predators (Neons) in the tank.
 

Rklein99

New Member
Great! But as you’ve said, it’s a community tank, not a breeding tank. I’m just enjoying watching the behaviors.
 

naturlvr

New Member
My Male..just purchased has 2 females of the same breed...is that ok? Also If I put angels in the breeding tank will they eat the babies?
 

Larry Rogers

Member
5 Year Member
I’m so glad I asked the expert! The female seems to be managing well and Is not shy to come out to eat. Thank you so much for your advice
There is no pat answer to your question, much more information is needed to be accurate. Generally it is not a god idea to inject a single cichlid of the same species into a tank where you have a pair. The female may attack the newbie, the male may attack the newbie, they may both attack the newbie and kill it. or the newbie may attack and kill rival and set up shop. That said many of the apistos will harem breed if you have enough space, plenty of hiding places and spaced out breeding areas, and a good central ara for the male to strut his stuff. Harem breeding apistos are not good company for anything elseM including other cichlids, shrimp, corys, tetras, and snails. They are aggressive and hungry and will defend their little patch tooth and nail. The male will usually keep females separated but you can still have some interesting things happen.
! Subordinate males will maintain female colors and try to sneak in and fertilize a few eggs even to the point of siddling up to the dominant male and courting him.
2 I have had as many as three females breed in the same cave at the same time with the same male. When this happens one female usually winds up keeping the brood and the others are driven off and may be killed if they do not stay hidden.
3 On occassion you may have two females decide they do not need a male and spawn eachother. Sadly they are mistaken because this usually occurs when both are about to pop and a lot of eggs are lost. Sometimes it will happen in a harem tank if the male is spawning another female.
4 And the rarest of the situations is the whole lot will go on a spawning frenzy. In a shallow 8 foot by 2 foot by 1.3 foot tank I once set up to harem cucatoides i had one male spawn four females at the same time. He would run through one nest then go to the next, and the next, and the next, and repeat the cycle. He left in his wake a banner crop of offspring which was good because he killed himself with the effort.

If you are going to attempt harem breeding I have found it to work better if the male is allowed to establish his ground for a week or more before females are added and then all the girls go in together. Keep an eye on things for anyfish that will not be part of the group and let them do their thing. Live foods help but plenty of high quality food will suffice. Do not feed all in one place it defeats the purpose. Instead drop a little food in to each fish's "home".
 

Larry Rogers

Member
5 Year Member
Looks like courtship to me. Don't expect many fry to survive with a dozen fry predators (Neons) in the tank.
When you consider tankmates for spawning fish it is worth considering that pirahna are tetras too. Most any tetra will suck up any fry they can find. As a result of this propensity most any apisto that is spawning will kill tetras with equal relish.
 

Rklein99

New Member
There is no pat answer to your question, much more information is needed to be accurate. Generally it is not a god idea to inject a single cichlid of the same species into a tank where you have a pair. The female may attack the newbie, the male may attack the newbie, they may both attack the newbie and kill it. or the newbie may attack and kill rival and set up shop. That said many of the apistos will harem breed if you have enough space, plenty of hiding places and spaced out breeding areas, and a good central ara for the male to strut his stuff. Harem breeding apistos are not good company for anything elseM including other cichlids, shrimp, corys, tetras, and snails. They are aggressive and hungry and will defend their little patch tooth and nail. The male will usually keep females separated but you can still have some interesting things happen.
! Subordinate males will maintain female colors and try to sneak in and fertilize a few eggs even to the point of siddling up to the dominant male and courting him.
2 I have had as many as three females breed in the same cave at the same time with the same male. When this happens one female usually winds up keeping the brood and the others are driven off and may be killed if they do not stay hidden.
3 On occassion you may have two females decide they do not need a male and spawn eachother. Sadly they are mistaken because this usually occurs when both are about to pop and a lot of eggs are lost. Sometimes it will happen in a harem tank if the male is spawning another female.
4 And the rarest of the situations is the whole lot will go on a spawning frenzy. In a shallow 8 foot by 2 foot by 1.3 foot tank I once set up to harem cucatoides i had one male spawn four females at the same time. He would run through one nest then go to the next, and the next, and the next, and repeat the cycle. He left in his wake a banner crop of offspring which was good because he killed himself with the effort.

If you are going to attempt harem breeding I have found it to work better if the male is allowed to establish his ground for a week or more before females are added and then all the girls go in together. Keep an eye on things for anyfish that will not be part of the group and let them do their thing. Live foods help but plenty of high quality food will suffice. Do not feed all in one place it defeats the purpose. Instead drop a little food in to each fish's "home".
Thanks! I’m not going to add any more fish! I’m not looking to raise any fry. I’m just enjoying watching their behavior. The Apistogramma pair are just showcase fish in a community tank. For now, they are ignoring the neons. I understand that might change if they do mate, so I’ll keep an eye out for that. Thanks for the thorough info!
 

Larry Rogers

Member
5 Year Member
It should also be noted that many young aquarium keepers are used to small tetras. A healthy, completely grown neon from a good wild strain ma be 4 to 5 centimeters long. These three centimeter neons that you have grown up on are the result of decades of overfishing and breeding limited stocks in on themselves. And that 5 centimeter black skirt tetra that the were so proud of at the shop, I have had them at 9 centimeters. When these tetras reach their size it is far easier to understand their relationship to the pirahnas.
 
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