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Cacatuoides Harem or pair

Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Hi all, I'm just after people's opinions and experiences on this. After reading these fish do well in harems I decided to add a few more females to my set up.

What sort of behaviour is the norm for this kind of set up? I ask because it appears my females are starting to set up a bit of a pecking order and the lowest ranking female doesn't ever seem show her yellow colouring. She looks pretty dull most of the time but still has slightly red tips on her dorsal fin and tail.

I'm now wondering whether going back to having a pair would be a more suitable set up and kinder on the fish.

What are your thoughts please?

Thanks in advance.
 

Shane Puthuparambil

Active Member
Messages
126
How big is the tank? Can you give us any more information regarding your system? Is it black water? Do you have lots of leaf litter and objects blocking direct line of sight among the fish?


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Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Hi Shane, thanks for the response.

Tank size 55g. No loose leaves. Here's a picture of it I took a while back. The elodea densa has grown a lot since then and hangs forward breaking sight lines fairly well, I suppose it could be better. And the java ferns that are dotted about near the coconut caves and wood have now doubled in size. Currently have one male to four females. No longer have the rams.

Thanks
 

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Shane Puthuparambil

Active Member
Messages
126
IMO, you need more plants centrally placed. I would add a wide variety of stems, ferns, and other space occupying plants to the centre and edges of the scape. I would highly suggest Crypt. Wendtii, Lutea, or Balansae as all grow large and provide nice hiding spots. I like where you are going with the pots (coconut shells lol). If anything thing, after adding more plants to break up the tension, I would add 1 more male and see how the interactions go down. Usually, with harem spawning apistos, the addition of another male generally sparks competition between the other females, creating more powerful bonds between any single pair. When this occurs, an equilibrium and balance in aggression can be achieved.

It is your personal preference, though. Whatever you personally think is easiest and best for the fish is something that only you know. I have not had many experiences with Apistos, but I have read much about them. Have you considered adding a couple larger pieces of wood, something that could potentially take up a bunch of space and provide the necessary cover for your females?

Anyways,
If you have any more questions regarding Cacs or apistos in general, talk to @Mike Wise or @coralbandit . Both are very knowledgeable fish keepers in general and can provide you with high-quality advice!

Hope you can figure everything out!
Shane
 

Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Thanks for the info Shane really appreciated. I've been toying with a rescape for a while now and the larger bits of wood are definitely something I'm considering. Will also look into those plants too.

I'd love to add another male to the tank too, especially if I can get one with similar colouring to the one I have now. I've been reluctant to do so at the moment though because of the tank size and aggression worries. I suppose with the added cover of new plants and wood it would be a bit more achievable.
 

Shane Puthuparambil

Active Member
Messages
126
No problem! Someone I know said that in the wild, it is often easy to find over 300 apistogramma sitting in a few sq ft of leaf litter, so for that reason, I think having plants and wood will increase the complexity of the habitat! Inform me on how everything goes. If you are looking to purchase apistogramma online, check out the Wet Spot Tropical Fish, as they have many varieties of cacs available! GL!


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chris1805

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
333
Location
Odijk, the Netherlands
be carefull here. You can't compare a group of 300 wild apisto's with a group of 5 in your tank. Two males in 1 tank will lead to fights, i think a 55g is not big enough for that. I wouldn't even dare to try that in a 300L tank (which should be arround 80 gallons). How many females did you add to your tank? If i were you i would add more wood, and definetly start using dead leaves to create a leaf litter. One problem that you also have is that you have introduced some females later. The one female you started with does not accept new females, since she thinks the whole tank is her territory. Best thing to do right now, is rescape your tank, add a lot of wood and especially a lot of leaf litter. I would also highly advise you to not add a second male, i am quite sure one of the males will die.
 

Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Chris many thanks for your response. Now you mention it the first female is definitely the most unforgiving.

I've got 4 females in total. So three of them are new additions.

Am I safe to use any type of dead leaves? And will I get tannins from them?

Shane thanks for the advice on wet spot. Unfortunately I'm based in the U.K.
 

chris1805

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
333
Location
Odijk, the Netherlands
Any dead leaves will give tannins. You can collect some oak leaves which are safe for sure. There are some more but i don't know their english names. What most people do however is that they buy Catappa leaves. Some say these have medical powers, but i believe that is never really proven. Those give tannins for sure, which i like. If you don't like it you can always add a some carbon in your filter, this will remove the tanning although, i highly advice to keep the tannins since your fish will love them. As far as i can see are all the plants you have quite forgiving to having not much light, so you shouldn't have to worry about tannins. Sadly my own tanks are quite a poor example of tanks with a lot of leaf litter but that's simply caused by the fact that i am highly money constraint currently.
 

Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Thanks again Chris. Let me know the names of them other leaf types still, I'll try and find a translation if there is one. Guess I'll be heading to the lfs this weekend to get some more wood and plants.
 

Phile

Member
Messages
58
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
Oak leaves should work OK for you, and also chestnut, since they are in the same family. Just be sure that you collect them from areas that have not been sprayed, or that receive agricultural runoff (may contain herbicides and pesticides). Ask around in your area. There ought to be other cichlid keepers in your area, or a local aquarium club. You can check at a LFS, they might know.
 

Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Hi Phile and thanks for the response. I'll have a look into this. There are plenty of oaks and chestnut trees in my local area and I'm pretty certain they're unlikely to have any agricultural runoff, but I'll ask around first.


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Bruston87

New Member
Messages
17
Location
London/Kent, UK
Hi all

I've made a start on a rescape. The idea is to build height in the centre of the tank. Unfortunately I didn't buy near enough plants and the wood on offer wasn't particularly big when I went. I've done what I could for now. Still looking to build on the plants in the centre around the central price of wood both in height and bringing them forward too. Does anyone have any suggestions on how it's looking so far?

I probably should add the water has some tannins in it now from the wood and when I get around to adding some leaf litter I'll hopefully be able to maintain it at a moderate amount of tannins (other half isn't keen on it). I've definitely noticed an difference in some of the fishes behaviours because of this though.

Thanks in advance
 

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Phile

Member
Messages
58
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
You need to make it look like a jungle. That will be good for the fry also. They will have a lot of places to graze on in the first few days. If you're serious about getting fry, you should have either a microworm culture started, or a brine shrimp hatchery ready to start.
 

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