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Getting a pair of juvenile A. Hongsloi - Tips and tricks.

guy_in_a_tie

New Member
Messages
14
Hi everyone,

I am getting a young pair of A. Hongsloi in the next few days and would just like to know if anyone has any specific advice/tips for this specific species. I have of course done plenty of research and set up my tank accordingly etc but would jutst like to know if there is anything people have learnt about these fish from keeping them themselves. They are very small at the moment ( no more than 1.5 inches) and so I will keep them in a ten gallon tank until I have the 20 gallon set up in about a months time which they will be moved to. It will be a apisto only tank apart from some dither fish (maybe some rasboras, I haven't decided yet).

Thanks in advance,

Ilias
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,050
Location
Germany
They are very small at the moment ( no more than 1.5 inches)
I contest the sexing then. Hope you really get a pair, I myself would not have ordered more than a single male for that tank size. You might want to set up the second tank immediately, because once they start to show territorial behaviour you need to have a way of separating them at any given time.

My experience: A brooding female A. hongsloi pushes all other fish including the 3 times bigger male into a corner in a 60x30x50cm tank. When non-brooding the tables turn and the male wants a non-receptive female out of its territory. I was just going to separate them when the female ran into a piece of driftwood while being chased and died shortly after from inner bleeding.
Other than that a fish relatively peaceful, would shoo away other fish (Nannostomus eques in my case) from the core of his territory (sleeping spot and feeding spot). Grew quite big: 10cm. Otherwise quite easy to handle fish.

I have of course done plenty of research and set up my tank accordingly
Then what are your findings? Tell us what you already know, so we can add or correct.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,399
My female hongsloi were not as aggressive as some other species towards the male; but from what i've read this species has a much wider variance in behavior than some of the other species. That is not to say she was 'friendly' towards the male but certainly far less aggressive than borelli or cockatoo. From what i've read some see more pair like forming behavior at times and others less so.

In any event regardless - this is a large fish and a 10 is way too small even if breeding is not an issue. I would suggest a 20 long as an absolute min. so they have room to swim et all. I personally would think a 20 high would be a bit on the small side.

Sexing can be tricky. It is sometimes fairly obvious but i've had large females appear nearly identical to the male until they start breeding.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,050
Location
Germany
In any event regardless - this is a large fish and a 10 is way too small even if breeding is not an issue. I would suggest a 20 long as an absolute min. so they have room to swim et all. I personally would think a 20 high would be a bit on the small side.
Fully agree.

Sexing can be tricky. It is sometimes fairly obvious but i've had large females appear nearly identical to the male until they start breeding.
A problem mainly in hormonally treated domestic fish out of mass production. Wild type fish show clearer dimorphism.
 

guy_in_a_tie

New Member
Messages
14
I contest the sexing then. Hope you really get a pair, I myself would not have ordered more than a single male for that tank size. You might want to set up the second tank immediately, because once they start to show territorial behaviour you need to have a way of separating them at any given time.
I am quite confident they are a pair and the staff at the shop have also said they are, I will have a last look before I take them home. For the 20 galllon tank, I am picking it up in a few days so I will set it up instead of waiting as it sounds that they are slightly-more-agressive fish so i will have it ready. However as i am a first time apisto keeper, do you recommend to get a pair of macmasteri instead or is there really no difference size/behaviour wise. there is also a pair of panduros at the shop if you think maybe that one is maybe better, I would love to know because 10 cm does sound much larger than anything i have read online (it says around 7cm max) so if thats wrong im unsure about keeping them in a 20 gallon.
Then what are your findings? Tell us what you already know, so we can add or correct.
Well I've made sure the temp is between 24 - 28 (on the lower end of that) and that the ph is around neutral, slightly acidic. the water is not very very soft but slightly soft and im adding in IAL to lower ph and make it more soft hopefully. there are also plants and rocks and wood to stop line of sight. Thats what I can think of at the moment.
My female hongsloi were not as aggressive as some other species towards the male; but from what i've read this species has a much wider variance in behavior than some of the other species. That is not to say she was 'friendly' towards the male but certainly far less aggressive than borelli or cockatoo. From what i've read some see more pair like forming behavior at times and others less so.

In any event regardless - this is a large fish and a 10 is way too small even if breeding is not an issue. I would suggest a 20 long as an absolute min. so they have room to swim et all. I personally would think a 20 high would be a bit on the small side.

Sexing can be tricky. It is sometimes fairly obvious but i've had large females appear nearly identical to the male until they start breeding.

thanks for your reply aswell. i answered/asked any questions above but i didnt want it to seem i had just ignored your reply. :))
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,050
Location
Germany
and the staff at the shop have also said they are
I have learned to not trust that in almost all cases. Unless they are real specialists in dwarf cichlids (and sorry, doesn't sound like it.)
However as i am a first time apisto keeper, do you recommend to get a pair of macmasteri instead or is there really no difference size/behaviour wise.
A. macmasteri grow basically to the same size as A. hongsloi and bigger. I've seen 11cm specimens.
there is also a pair of panduros at the shop if you think maybe that one is maybe better, I would love to know
A. panduro belong to the A. nijsseni-complex, which are known to be picky when it comes to chosing partners and it often takes several attempts with different males until the female accepts a guy.
because 10 cm does sound much larger than anything i have read online (it says around 7cm max) so if thats wrong im unsure about keeping them in a 20 gallon.
A. hongsloi and A. macmasteri grow out to roughly 10cm in males, A. panduro 8cm in males.
All in all, I recommend starting with a single male to get the basics of maintenance for these fish right and not get a pair of any of the species you named in a tank under 80cm length. If they will only sell you pairs, stay away from all species besides A. borellii for your tank size. All others will end up with at least one fish dead.
Also a bit of a relieve you get them from a store. Sounded like you were getting them via mail. In which case you would be in trouble.
the water is not very very soft but slightly soft and im adding in IAL to lower ph and make it more soft hopefully.
Unless the KH is under 2° you will not see any significant changes. Also leaf litter and botanicals influence pH and KH, not GH.
there are also plants and rocks and wood to stop line of sight.
Sounds ok, the rocks are not limestone or the like, yes?
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,399
i will add that panduro pairs are less violent once a pair forms (all bets off until the pair forms) but again a 10 is going to be too small. You mght get away with a 20 high for panduro pair until they break up. people say borelli will work in a 15 - tehy are quite a bit smaller and gentler species but have the typical polygamous behavior where female 'hates' the male while she has a brood. Panduro will require softer water for successful breeding than Hongsloi and Macs.
 

guy_in_a_tie

New Member
Messages
14
I have learned to not trust that in almost all cases. Unless they are real specialists in dwarf cichlids (and sorry, doesn't sound like it.)
ok good to know
A. macmasteri grow basically to the same size as A. hongsloi and bigger. I've seen 11cm specimens.

A. panduro belong to the A. nijsseni-complex, which are known to be picky when it comes to chosing partners and it often takes several attempts with different males until the female accepts a guy.

A. hongsloi and A. macmasteri grow out to roughly 10cm in males, A. panduro 8cm in males.
oh wow i did not know they could grow that big everyone i have asked have said 7 or 8 cm maximum for apistos in general so this is very useful!
All in all, I recommend starting with a single male to get the basics of maintenance for these fish right and not get a pair of any of the species you named in a tank under 80cm length. If they will only sell you pairs, stay away from all species besides A. borellii for your tank size. All others will end up with at least one fish dead.
Also a bit of a relieve you get them from a store. Sounded like you were getting them via mail. In which case you would be in trouble.

That sounds like a good idea, i will definitely get a bigger tank over the next few months so i can get a female aswell. The shop did say they could order in quite a few different species of apisto for me so if I asked for A. borellii would that be a possibility to keep in a 20 gallon or not? and yes im in england and theres a maidenhead aquatics store (big branch) near me which is good.
Unless the KH is under 2° you will not see any significant changes. Also leaf litter and botanicals influence pH and KH, not GH.

Sounds ok, the rocks are not limestone or the like, yes?
oh ok useful to know and yes the rocks are definitely not limestone. Also what do you mean by a kh of 2° is it just 2 ppm? my test kit goes from 0-500 ppm so if thats the case it would be hard to tell.
 

guy_in_a_tie

New Member
Messages
14
i will add that panduro pairs are less violent once a pair forms (all bets off until the pair forms) but again a 10 is going to be too small. You mght get away with a 20 high for panduro pair until they break up. people say borelli will work in a 15 - tehy are quite a bit smaller and gentler species but have the typical polygamous behavior where female 'hates' the male while she has a brood. Panduro will require softer water for successful breeding than Hongsloi and Macs.
so if the panduros at the shop were a pair would it be fine in the 20 gallon? also is there a 100% certainty that they will break up? or is it possible to know after how long? I think, if there was a brood, i would be able to move the male to the 10 gallon until i take the fry out of the tank, (which i would like to do quite quickly) right? or is that not possible.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,050
Location
Germany
oh wow i did not know they could grow that big everyone i have asked have said 7 or 8 cm maximum for apistos in general so this is very useful!
There are about a hundred scientifically recognized species from 6cm A. borellii to 12-14cm species (somebody correct me, was it A. kullanderi?).
The shop did say they could order in quite a few different species of apisto for me so if I asked for A. borellii would that be a possibility to keep in a 20 gallon or not?
Preferrably in a 20 long, yes.
and yes im in england and theres a maidenhead aquatics store (big branch) near me which is good.
Been a while but seen a maidenhead aquatics from the inside some 8 years ago.
Also what do you mean by a kh of 2° is it just 2 ppm? my test kit goes from 0-500 ppm so if thats the case it would be hard to tell.
° is the sign for degree. 1 degree hardnes (KH = carbonate or GH = general) is about 17.8 mg/l.
 

guy_in_a_tie

New Member
Messages
14
There are about a hundred scientifically recognized species from 6cm A. borellii to 12-14cm species (somebody correct me, was it A. kullanderi?).

Preferrably in a 20 long, yes.
oh i will look into that then
° is the sign for degree. 1 degree hardnes (KH = carbonate or GH = general) is about 17.8 mg/l.
ahh ok interesting didnt know that.

thanks for all the help though i hope to send pictures of whichever apistos i get in a few months :) good luck with all your fishkeeping adventures too
 

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