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Borellii vs. Macmasteri

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by bbetta, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. bbetta

    bbetta Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello everyone!
    My planted 70Lit/20G (60cm/23inches L x 40cm/17inches H x 30cm/12inches W) will be empty as of next week and I'm thinking of getting back to Apistos. I can only buy the exact number of fish i'm going to house in this tank and I don't have the option of buying 5-6 specimens and waiting for them to pair up. I've read that the ''easiest'' Apistos to do so are the ones related to the regani-group. I really like Panduro, Nijsseni and some Agassizii forms but since they can be picky about their mate I think I should avoid them.
    A. Borellii (that I've successfully kept and bred some years back) could be an option as well as Macmasteri (sold as Viejita Red II). When I had the Borellii's I initially started with 4 fish (3f 1m) because they accidentally added one extra. For almost a year everything was ok ( I even had 3 females breeding at the same time) but one day all of a sudden 2 of the females started fighting nonstop and I had to give away one of them.

    I also visited an LFS recently and they had some oversized ''Viejita Gold'' , the male was easily 9cm TL, and this got me thinking if they truly are a good choice for my tank.

    I'd like your opinion about which of the 2 species is the most suitable and if they should be kept in a pair or trio. I don't want to overcrowd the tank, I just want to have the best ratio to minimize stress/aggression.

    Thanks,
    Billy
  2. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    A pair of Macs or trio of borellii should work if the tank is properly laid out. BTW A. agassizii is a polygamous species and males will breed with any female willing to breed with him. Again, in a properly decorated tank, you should be able to keep a trio; pair not so much.
    bbetta likes this.
  3. bbetta

    bbetta Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello Mike,
    If I got that right, you are proposing a pair and not a trio of Macs or a trio and not a pair of Borellii's?
    Will Agassizii males (or any other species) chase down females when they aren't in their brooding colors? This is the kind of behavior I always observed with my Rams. After a spawn, the male would chase the female for days till she got back in Breeding condition. This is something I want to avoid and never ever happened with the Borellii's. I guess this is why you're proposing multiple females.

    Here's a pic of the tank, it looks pretty similar to that at the moment. I'll also add as many coconut caves as the fish that'll stay there.

    http://s288.photobucket.com/user/billybbetta/media/DSCN2840_zps7watx0fd.jpg.html][​IMG][/URL]

    In your opinion, which is the best choice out of the three?

    I know it may look like I'm overthinking it but after a bad experience with rams, I want to have the best possible outcome. They are cichlids after all but I'd like to achieve the "calmness" that Borellii's showed for about three years in this tank, with another species, if possible.

    Thanks
  4. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Of the 3 species A. borellii is the most peaceful and adaptable re: temperament, temperature and water values. Macs are "casually monogamous" like most species in the regani-lineage. Males aren't normally aggressive breeders like polygamous species, so a pair will work most times. I suggested a pair because of the tank size. Macs are fairly large and robust, and females can have 100+ fry in a spawn. Aggies, being polygamous, are always looking for a female ready to spawn. Any female that isn't ready will be driven out of the male's territory, usually the entire tank.
    mr. Uaupesi and bbetta like this.
  5. mr. Uaupesi

    mr. Uaupesi New Member

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    If you want a peacefull tank I'd suggest borelli like Mike said. If you have a good pair of mac's they would be fine there aswell. Once they are a bit paired up they won't really fight. Same for my baenschi, they're a very close pair.
  6. bbetta

    bbetta Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you for your instructive answers.
    Looks like I'll get back to a trio of Borellii. I remember them not being a monogamous species from my last experience so I'll probably stick to a trio if I can get my hands on the Opal color morph.
  7. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    A. borellii is a regani-lineage species where the male will be happy (not overly aggressive) with only 1 breeding partner. If, on the other hand, there are other females interested in breeding with him, well ...
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  8. bbetta

    bbetta Member 5 Year Member

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    I was just about to send you a PM seeking the answer you just posted! Thanks again Mike! As I stated before I've kept Borellii's before and I've seen all the behaviors you described. I always thought that 2 cichlids would fair better in my dimensions, even though there was no aggression with 3.
  9. Phile

    Phile Member

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    I've also kept borelii as a pair in a species-only tank and they did fine.
    bbetta likes this.