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Best Apisto tank mates for 20g high

dominic0087

New Member
Messages
3
I have a pair of Macmasteri and planning on getting tank mates mainly for a better looking tank. My options currently at my LFS are Cardinal, Black Neon and Glowlight Tetras.

I'm getting 6-8 for a decent school. Which would be best for a pair of Macmasteri? I've heard Black Neons will predate on fry less, but I think all of these will eat fry. I may not breed them anyway since I just want a balanced aquarium that would be less maintenance and pleasing with the eyes.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
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3,055
Location
Germany
As A. macmasteri are among the larger species, I would only keep a single male in that tanksize. Unless you have a second tank to separate the Apistos at any time you risk one of them succumbing to stress. A. macmasteri are also part of the majority of Apistogramma that are non-monogamous. Unless the female is receptive, the male will try to get her out of his territory. Sadly a fish tank has limitations. And once brooding, the female will likely turn the tables and all the other fish in the tank will be chased into a corner.

Considering this your goal
I just want a balanced aquarium that would be less maintenance and pleasing with the eyes.
I would really recommend a single dwarf cichlid and a 8-10 piece group of one characin species and be done with stocking.

And yes, all the tetras eat fry.
 

Mike Wise

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5 Year Member
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None of the tetra species listed are ideal with a pair of apistos that potentially will breed. Black Neons are reportedly less predatory, but all will try. So the question is not which tetra but do I want a breeding tank or a community tank. It's almost impossible to have it both ways in such a small tank. If the former, leave the 2 apistos by themselves. Macs are not a shy species so they don't need dither fish. If you want a community tank then, as MacZ suggests, keep only 1 apisto and build a community around it.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,400
For a tank that size i would consider borelli or similar. A 29 is really a better size for larger species of apisto. Also since these are non-pair forming you need some space for the female to escape the male. I have a pair of a. sp winkelfleck in a 29 and while they are relatively speaking a docile species there are times the female would like more space from the male.

I'm not sure if this is always true but the a. lineta i have the m/f aggression seems relatively low; the first week the male chased the female everywhere but since then they are frequently near each other without much bickering or chasing; the female just flicks her tail if she doesn't want attention from the male (very different from the winkelfleck and mac who will chase females endlessly).
 

dominic0087

New Member
Messages
3
Appreciate the replies. I would definitely transfer these Macs to a larger tank in the upcoming days. Aside for Borelli, what smaller species of Apistos might best live well for this 20g tank?

For now I won't get tetras yet since I want the best living conditions for them. Thanks.
 

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