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Can I keep Diamond Tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri) with Apistogramma borellii?

Asleepen

New Member
Messages
2
Hi, I'm just getting into the hobby and I've been interested in getting some Apistogramma borellii, especially since they're considered more accessible for beginners. I've been using this forum a lot for information and it seems to be more reliable than a lot of the information I see elsewhere.

Would Moenkhausia pittieri work well with borellii?

My tank is 125L, approx 80 x 35 x 50 cm. (L x W x H). The tank will also be heavily planted with a lot of riverwood, some inert rocks, and a sand substrate.

Ideally I'd keep a M+F pair of borellii, using the tetras as a dither. I don't mind if the tetras act as population control for any fry that may occur because I live in a rather remote area and would struggle to rehome them. Unless that dynamic would cause significant issues for the fish.

I'm 100% open to other suggestions for fish and any knowledge anyone would be willing to share, thanks! :)
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
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2,905
Location
Germany
Technically yes, just some things to consider:
- M. pittieri require constant higher temperatures. So that would mean keeping them at the constant low end of their range and A. borellii at their higher end, but this is possible in the range of 23-24°C.

- If the group of tetras is too big, it might become problematic getting food down to the Apistos. Usually this would either lead to overweight tetras because you feed more or you have to train each species on a different feeding spot (I can only make sure my fish get enough by feeding tetras on one ende and pencils and cichlids on the other end. You can bypass this by making sure the substrate is fine sand and has a layer of leaf litter. Then the fish will be able to forage a lot of their food, and you only have to make sure something lands here and there, they will find it anyway.

I personally would probably go for a more outgoing bigger and northern species of Apistogramma. Ideally I would choose something like A. macmasteri or A. hongsloi. A pair would work in that size, but the tank will have to be structured well to prevent aggression problems. Or you forgo on getting a female and only get a single male. In a display tank thats usually the less stressful option.
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
263
Hi, I'm just getting into the hobby and I've been interested in getting some Apistogramma borellii, especially since they're considered more accessible for beginners. I've been using this forum a lot for information and it seems to be more reliable than a lot of the information I see elsewhere.

Would Moenkhausia pittieri work well with borellii?

My tank is 125L, approx 80 x 35 x 50 cm. (L x W x H). The tank will also be heavily planted with a lot of riverwood, some inert rocks, and a sand substrate.

Ideally I'd keep a M+F pair of borellii, using the tetras as a dither. I don't mind if the tetras act as population control for any fry that may occur because I live in a rather remote area and would struggle to rehome them. Unless that dynamic would cause significant issues for the fish.

I'm 100% open to other suggestions for fish and any knowledge anyone would be willing to share, thanks! :)
Sounds like a reasonable plan. borellii are a really wonderful fish that probably don’t get the praise they deserve. Years ago I had the privilege of actually collecting some in the wild. Fish were collected from a “pond” that measured 32*c. I actually ended up ponding some of these fish back home, would usually bring them back inside once the water got to 14/15*c, but only got female fry from that experiment
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
281
Personally I would rather use smaller tetras or pencilfish, I like diamond tetras but they do get quite big for that size tank and might look out of proportion. They also seem to breed quite easily. If you really want the diamond tetras I’d agree that a larger Apistogramma and that prefers warmer temperatures would be better with them than the borellii.
 

Asleepen

New Member
Messages
2
Thanks for all the replies!

So it seems they can work, especially since borellii can tolerate a wide variance of temperatures, but they aren't the best match with the diamonds.

I love MacZ's suggestion of hongsloi, it seems like they appear in the same country as the diamond, though in different areas! So that's pretty interesting having a tank with species so close to each other geographically.

Hmm, maybe the diamonds would look out of place in a tank of my size when I get the appropriate schooling size? I've kinda been more focused on if the fish would do well and not how it would all look together... it might be worth thinking about. Thanks for bringing it up!
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
I love MacZ's suggestion of hongsloi, it seems like they appear in the same country as the diamond, though in different areas! So that's pretty interesting having a tank with species so close to each other geographically.
That was my idea. I know the M. pittieri come from a certain lake in Venezuela, and A. hongsloi and A. macmasteri are the two species of Apistogramma from Venezuela that you are most likely to find for sale usually.

So it seems they can work, especially since borellii can tolerate a wide variance of temperatures, but they aren't the best match with the diamonds.
Thing is, a wide range means they won't do well at either the high nor the low end constantly. Their temperature range is linked to the seasons. The best way of keeping them I know is simply in an unheated tank. That on the other hand is not wise to do with the tetras. So... yeah, you see the problem.

Hmm, maybe the diamonds would look out of place in a tank of my size when I get the appropriate schooling size? I've kinda been more focused on if the fish would do well and not how it would all look together... it might be worth thinking about. Thanks for bringing it up!
I think the tank size is ok for a school size of 10-15 of the tetras. If you get too many males that might pose a problem due to the lack of real estate for display territories (yes, tetras are a bit territorial).
But there are dozens of easily opbtainable tetra species to choose from, especially from Venezuela and Colombia if you choose to stay in that region, but there are also many perfectly suitable to go with A. borellii from Argentina and Bolivia.
 

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