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catei, D18 or pucallpaensis

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
My 3 year old male Hongsloi is likely going to die soon and I'm looking for a replacement species for a 29. I'm looking for a species that is ok in white water (my water is kh 3 gh 7 tds 120 ph 7.0-7.1). The water was slightly too hard for hongsloi for eggs to hatch (which is ok i think). I think what happened to my male Hongsloi is three weeks ago the heater failed in my water change pail and the water was cooler than expected so the temp dropped 6 degrees during water change.

I'd like a passive species that is mostly pair bonding or opportunistic poly as they are less likely to have m/f aggression when not breeding (my female hongsloi had to hide 24/7 when not ready to lay eggs). If small enough and passive enough i'd like to keep 2 pairs in my 29. I've read a bit about these species (which are readily available) but not sure which is best or if they are all pretty much equal: catei, D18 and pucallpaensis. I'm leaning torwards the catei but not sure. Borelli would be another option but I have several pairs of them so i think something different would be in order. This is my 29:

2
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
Would mac be an option? I always had the impression they were on the aggressive side things and typical m/f behavior of poly (i.e, m tries to drive f away when not breeding) ?
 

Mike Wise

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Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
All of the species have 'problems' you need to think about:

A. sp. D18 (alacrina-group) is behaviorally similar to A. hongsloi.

Ap. pucalpaensis have tiny fry that normally cannot eat newly hatched BBS. If you want fry and willing to feed infusoria at the start, then I would give them a try.

A. caetei - I have not seen any caetei-complex species commercially available in the hobby since the early 1990s. I would love to get them again, particularly A. cf. caetei (Rotwangen) and A. cf. sp. Araguaia (Crixas). A pair would be great in a 29, but not 2 pairs. My guess is that the "caetei" being sold are A. sp. Steel-blue. Males are reported to be very aggressive and females are rare.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
All of the species have 'problems' you need to think about:

A. sp. D18 (alacrina-group) is behaviorally similar to A. hongsloi.

Ap. pucalpaensis have tiny fry that normally cannot eat newly hatched BBS. If you want fry and willing to feed infusoria at the start, then I would give them a try.

A. caetei - I have not seen any caetei-complex species commercially available in the hobby since the early 1990s. I would love to get them again, particularly A. cf. caetei (Rotwangen) and A. cf. sp. Araguaia (Crixas). A pair would be great in a 29, but not 2 pairs. My guess is that the "caetei" being sold are A. sp. Steel-blue. Males are reported to be very aggressive and females are rare.
Mike -

Thank you. This is the fish the seller said was caetei:
Ta

And this is the fish the seller said was pucalpaensis:
Pa
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If I go with pucalpaensis would you get 1 pair or two pairs? Also are Macmasteri behavior similar to hongsloi with regards to m/f aggression ?
 

Mike Wise

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5 Year Member
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Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
As I thought, the "A. caetei" are A. sp. Steel-blue.

As for Ap. pucallpaensis (which they are in the photo) I personally would not add 2 pairs in a 29. A 29 (30x12x18"h/75x30x45cm) has the same bottom surface as a 20 long, and the top half of the 29 is not used by apistos anyway.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
As I thought, the "A. caetei" are A. sp. Steel-blue.

As for Ap. pucallpaensis (which they are in the photo) I personally would not add 2 pairs in a 29. A 29 (30x12x18"h/75x30x45cm) has the same bottom surface as a 20 long, and the top half of the 29 is not used by apistos anyway.
Thanks MIke. Ok I'll see what else he has when he sends out the mailing list but it sounds like pucallpaensis is a better choice than Macmasteri, D18 and steel-blue. I guess borelli would be another tranquile species but i have those in another aquarium - and while i like them i want this to be a learning experience.
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As for the fry - the tank is 3 years old but if they are successful at breeding and need more food I'll have to learn how to raise infusia. Biggest problem with frys is finding someone to give them away to once they get larger.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
This is one of the fellow I ended up with:
A9


And this is his lady friend:

A7
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One concern is so far they haven't touched the food yet. I believe they were wild caught so i'm not sure what it will take to get them to eat dry food - i'll give it a few days before i panic.

The two pairs are in sep tank - i figured given the expense of shipping i might as well as get two pairs. One is in the above tank - the others are in a 5 - i'll try to get the 5 upgraded to a 10 in a week or so - it has shrimp; and 4 ember tetra - one that can't really swim (been that way for a year). I suppose i should be saying good bye to the shrimp.... pity they were just starting to multiply.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
379
Location
San Francisco
Nice job getting pictures! They’re pretty shy fish in my observation.

You could try frozen foods and slowly mix in with dry. Most of my apistos were never very crazy about dry food ever. If they don’t take that, you can go indefinitely with BBS.

What kind of shrimp do you have? Mine coexisted with Amano shrimp just fine.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
Cherry red and blue - they are fairly large now - almost as large as the ember. BBS or BS (brine shrimp)? I hate to go that route indefinitely because i'm not setup for it - my other apisto love fluval bug bite - so hopefully i can convince these guys to at least give it a try ;)
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
379
Location
San Francisco
Baby brine shrimp (BBS) are pretty straightforward if you use the hatchery dish. I think it's much simpler and cleaner than the inverted 2L bottle for small scales. I hatch every 4 days and keep leftover aliquots in the fridge, so I always have it going.

Yeah, mine took Bug Bites, and I also got them to take Hikari Micro Pellets. No other dry foods, though. Right now, you don't know whether they don't like it, or if they just won't eat anything yet, right? It may just take some time to wean them onto it.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
Baby brine shrimp (BBS) are pretty straightforward if you use the hatchery dish. I think it's much simpler and cleaner than the inverted 2L bottle for small scales. I hatch every 4 days and keep leftover aliquots in the fridge, so I always have it going.

Yeah, mine took Bug Bites, and I also got them to take Hikari Micro Pellets. No other dry foods, though. Right now, you don't know whether they don't like it, or if they just won't eat anything yet, right? It may just take some time to wean them onto it.
Yea - i suspect they just don't know it is food. I have a hatchery dish; just kind of cramp in the condo. I'll hatch a few i guess and see what happens.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
379
Location
San Francisco
Yeah, I get it. Before we moved, I used to keep my dish in a defunct 5g tank on top of the dryer. Now it’s on the floor in my office. I briefly considered keeping in the garage in a styrofoam egg incubator, then came to my senses.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
I picked up some brine shrimp (adult) from the lfs when i was getting other items - injecting them into the 5 in front of the fish was easy enough and they snapped them up - in the 29 it is much harder because the fishes are more skittish and other fishes are less skittish - the cardinals tend to grab most of them - but i'll try again tomorrow morning. I'm pretty sure they are getting other bits of food anyway.
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I picked up a 10 - i'm not sure i really need to upgrade the 5 to a 10 but i did pick one up with some additional substrate so maybe i'll do that next week. I mostly dread trying to get the shrimps out of the 5 - esp those tiny babies everywhere. Oh well something to think about over the weekend.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
379
Location
San Francisco
I picked up some brine shrimp (adult) from the lfs when i was getting other items - injecting them into the 5 in front of the fish was easy enough and they snapped them up - in the 29 it is much harder because the fishes are more skittish and other fishes are less skittish - the cardinals tend to grab most of them - but i'll try again tomorrow morning. I'm pretty sure they are getting other bits of food anyway.
I did this as well, just to make sure they were eating. I don't think the adults are very nutritious, though, unless they're gut loaded.

I picked up a 10 - i'm not sure i really need to upgrade the 5 to a 10 but i did pick one up with some additional substrate so maybe i'll do that next week. I mostly dread trying to get the shrimps out of the 5 - esp those tiny babies everywhere. Oh well something to think about over the weekend.
Definitely does not hurt to have the extra space, so hard to go wrong here. With the shrimps, you can try to bait them with a large piece of blanched vegetable to get a lot at once. Good luck!
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
I did this as well, just to make sure they were eating. I don't think the adults are very nutritious, though, unless they're gut loaded.


Definitely does not hurt to have the extra space, so hard to go wrong here. With the shrimps, you can try to bait them with a large piece of blanched vegetable to get a lot at once. Good luck!
These are shrimps that are raised as food. bbs looses their nutritious value very quickly as they consumer hte egg sacks but if you grow them up and feed them lots of food they regain some nutrition. I don't really know how much. I had looked into raising adult bbs - but i won't bother. My problem with bbs is that i ahve to constantly re-hatch them - folks say you can stick them in the fridge and they will last longer but I'm not sure how reliable that approach is and for what duration. worms are suppose to work better since they can live in the tank - i think vin. eels are frequently recommended but i never really looked into them - probably should.
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This is my first time with wild cichlid and was a bit surprise just how shy they are - wild cardinals and cory have been a bit of mix results with some very timid and others not very timid - the pair in the 5 seem to be getting a bit braver. Oddly for both sets it is the male that is most skittish and the female is a bit more out going - maybe if I understood the nature of fishes i wouldn't find it odd but i had expected the male to be more dominant of the two.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
379
Location
San Francisco
My problem with bbs is that i ahve to constantly re-hatch them - folks say you can stick them in the fridge and they will last longer but I'm not sure how reliable that approach is and for what duration. worms are suppose to work better since they can live in the tank - i think vin. eels are frequently recommended but i never really looked into them - probably should.
It's definitely annoying to keep rinsing out the dish, though some people reuse the hatch water 2-3x. I believe the principles of why the fridge works: the metabolism is slowed at low temps so they aren't consuming the sac much (if at all). The recommendation fo 2 - 3 days is based on viability. They can't live in a suspended state forever.

You can easily verify they're alive after 3 days, because you can see them moving after being rinsed in warm water. So the only thing you'd be skeptical of is whether the yolk sac is intact. I believe it is, but one could easily verify it using a loupe or a children's microscope.

I'm keeping fish that can only eat live foods, so Im not the best gauge for what the average person is willing or interested in doing to maintain cultures. Some of them are really low maintenance, though.
  • I keep Asellus in the tanks now, so the offspring will be food source. No maintenance.
  • Vinegar eels and microworms are almost no effort once you start the culture, and can be left alone for long periods of time. But they're TINY and most useful for very small fish/fry. My femaie Alto did eat microworms if she was target fed, so your Apistogrammoides might. My corys and pencil fish loved microworms.
  • Grindal worms are also pretty easy, but worms are high in fat and shouldn't be fed too often.
  • Springtails are easy, if you have surface feeders.
  • BBS I think is easy, but requires a regular schedule. The nice thing is that it's easy to restart if I need to go out of town.
  • Daphnia/moina seem like the most work, but I'm going to try it.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
Yea i passed on dario dario because I didn't want to deal with the live food for them; when i get out of this condo it will be easier - i'll have a fishroom with sink in the room and the fish room can be a 'messy' room while leaving the office clean. Anyway i'll look into vinegar eels and asellus - hopefully the fishes will become a bit more bold over time.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
379
Location
San Francisco
I started a vinegar eel liquid culture, which can literally go 6 months without doing anything. But the feeding part takes some effort because the culture is so dilute. I didn't know until after I'd already set up my culture that you can also culture them in oats/porridge just like microworms. You can then harvest them off the sides of the container. In case you're interested in trying that: https://thekillifish.net/vinegar_eel_culture/

The Asellus you can buy from Carolina Biological Supply (unless you live in CA). They're listed as "Freshwater isopods."
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
604
I started a vinegar eel liquid culture, which can literally go 6 months without doing anything. But the feeding part takes some effort because the culture is so dilute. I didn't know until after I'd already set up my culture that you can also culture them in oats/porridge just like microworms. You can then harvest them off the sides of the container. In case you're interested in trying that: https://thekillifish.net/vinegar_eel_culture/

The Asellus you can buy from Carolina Biological Supply (unless you live in CA). They're listed as "Freshwater isopods."
what are asellus and can they survive in the tank for a while? One of the big negative of brine shrimp is they tend to have a short life span once put in freshwater and if they are not all eaten can pollute the water.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,439
Location
Germany
what are asellus and can they survive in the tank for a while?
They're listed as "Freshwater isopods."
And they can buld a steady population as long as they are not predated on too much.

if they are not all eaten can pollute the water
Not my experience. The fish seek out (dead/dying) Artemia settled on the bottom. Most of the feeding action with my dwarf cichlids and Artemia happens by way of sand sifting.
 

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I'm clueless. If I say something you can safely ignore it.
Apistomaster wrote on anewbie's profile.
I see that The Wet Spot Tropical Fish currently has the fire red A. agassizi you are looking for. Here is the link:
I've always had good experiences buying from them on line.
Hallo,
I am Hanzle from Holland and keep apistoos for 40 years. Had my own aquarium shop from 1984 till 1988. Always s great fan from apistoos and hyphessobrycon which is s great combination in a Community Aquarium. Perhaps.....in the near future I start breeding apistoos again. Have a 400 liters Community aquarium for hyphessobrycon wadai and apistogramma biteaniata.
I want to get a 55 gallon slightly planted tank with many caves and I am thinking of getting 2 electric blue acaras, 3 blue rams, a apistogramma, 3 angelfish, and some corrydoras. Will that work if I keep the temperature at about and 80 or less?
I have kept fish for quite a long time but never cichlids. I want to find out more about them.
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