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Rocktria

New Member
Messages
9
So I have a long, shallow, planted 16g tank which had a female apisto macmasteri. I used to have a pair but lost the male to an illness but the female survived.

The other day, I purchased another apisto macmasteri pair, I figured it would be nice to have a trio.

The issue is that since I introduced the two new apistos to the tank a day or two ago, the existing female has been harassing both of them, but especially the much smaller new female, and chasing them around the tank whenever she sees them. I think the issue might be that the existing female is large since she is a bit older than the other two (She is about the size of the male).

Do you think this is a concern? Or just a natural part of the process? I feel bad that the new apistos might be stressed because they are constantly hiding from the original female.

What would your thoughts or recommendations be? Should I separate the female?

Thank you
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
303
Cichlids are territorial, female cichlids that are motivated are downright terrorists. If your 16 is large enough (footprint), say 36x12 and structured in a way that their are places to hide, everyone probably survives (until there are babies).
 

Rocktria

New Member
Messages
9
Here is an image of my tank, the dimensions are 33.85" x 9.84" x 11".

There are a lot of little caves and nooks to hide in (often they hide in the java moss tubes on the left).

You can even see the very large female on the right there that is dominating everyone haha.

I guess I'm hoping the aggression balances out over time? It feels like a lot on the new guys in the tank.
 

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Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
303
ahh you think it would help if I add some more plants/hardscape in the center?
Center, right, left. If we’re going to try and keep 3 territorial cichlids, we need at least 3 distinct territories. Everybody’s gotta have a “home”
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
Ahh thank you! Ill give this a try
Yep, you should, otherwise on the long run you'd lose the lowest ranking fish.

Little help here with a schematic I drew up once. Important is to have sight blocks in the 10-15cm right above the sand, glass to glass. The fish should not be able to look under it or around it. All the area in sight will be claimed as a territory, so such a big open area in the foreground as it is popular in scaping is the least useful arrangement for dwarf cichlids.

structure dwarf cichlids.jpg

This is a technique I like to use, using a base of rocks and pebbles as a base. That tank was for Dicrossus though, so, please ignore tha fact it's open on the left.
structure dwarf cichlids2.jpg structure dwarf cichlids3.jpg structure.jpg
And btw: Caves are usuallly only used for spawning. Otherwise the fish stay out of caves that have only one entrance. Because dark holes mean predators lurking.
 

Rocktria

New Member
Messages
9
Yep, you should, otherwise on the long run you'd lose the lowest ranking fish.

Little help here with a schematic I drew up once. Important is to have sight blocks in the 10-15cm right above the sand, glass to glass. The fish should not be able to look under it or around it. All the area in sight will be claimed as a territory, so such a big open area in the foreground as it is popular in scaping is the least useful arrangement for dwarf cichlids.

View attachment 14064

This is a technique I like to use, using a base of rocks and pebbles as a base. That tank was for Dicrossus though, so, please ignore tha fact it's open on the left.
View attachment 14063 View attachment 14062 View attachment 14065
And btw: Caves are usuallly only used for spawning. Otherwise the fish stay out of caves that have only one entrance. Because dark holes mean predators lurking.
Thank you for sharing this!! Super helpful I didn't know it had to be glass to glass. I figure I can just focus all of the rocks and driftwood I have in the center to emulate this.
 

Evert

New Member
Messages
1
I had a very similar problem with a trio of macmasteri recently. One female was terrorizing the other female and the male. The male was spending all his time behind the filter. I had a lot of plants, structure and caves on the 20 long tank and thought I was covered. Eventually I placed the extra female in a separate tank. Shortly thereafter my aggressor fish spawned. When the babies appeared (about 80 of them) the male started to appear more often.
 

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