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Hello and questions about my Trifasciata couple

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
Hey from Oakland, CA! Been sneaking around on this site and finally wanted to join and introduce myself :)) I got an Apisto Trifasciata last september (my first apistos!) and within the first week they spawned! Since then the last 4 fry are in the growout tank and I finally reunited the parents. However, I can’t quite tell what their behavior is right now? The male is flicking his tail and doesnt always seem that happy with the little mommy - chasing her. I am posting a video and picture of my tank to get some feedback of what’s going on and whether I need more line of sight blockers. I have at least 3 little caves.

What is the behavior in this video? Are they doing ok?

I think my main questions are:
- does the tank have enuf line of sight blockers?

- Could I add any female offspring I have? (i have at least 2 other females in the growout tank) and would that help distribute some of the aggression?

Again this is my first apisto pair and still learning about them. Thank you so much for any insight and looking forward to the feedback!
 

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Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
314
Seems fairly normal. He wants to make more babies, she’s still thinking it over. Apistogramma can be territorial little buggers, rival males and non breeding females will be chased out of “his territory”, breeding females will be allowed to stay. More hidey holes, and breaks to the line of sight may help. More females may distribute the aggression from the male….until one of them spawns…and the shoe is on the other foot.
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
Thanks @Apistoguy52 ! Ok, it’s good to hear this looks normal :)) The tank is a 22gal long, 36x12x12. Safe to add 1-2 juvenile females then? Or could I do another cichlid like checkerboard cichlids? I read they wouldn't compete for breeding areas, but I’m also a cichlid noob and am appreciative of more experienced advice!
 
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Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
Thanks @Apistoguy52 ! Ok, it’s good to hear this looks normal :)) The tank is a 22gal long, 36x12x12. Safe to add 1-2 juvenile females then? Or could I do another cichlid like checkerboard cichlids? I read they wouldn't compete for breeding areas, but I’m also a cichlid noob and am appreciative of more experienced advice!
Or a small Laetacara or checkerboard?
 

MacZ

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3,184
Location
Germany
The behaviour is normal. A. trifasciata belong to the majority of Apistogramma that are non-monogamous. As Apistoguy said, they are territorial and females that are not willing to breed get chased from the territory. If a tank is too small and sight blocks are not set correctly this quickly ends in a death from stress. Or the tables turn, once a female is brooding.

Safe to add 1-2 juvenile females then?
No, because what the colleague has seemingly not gotten across to you: The fish you currently have, have established territories. If you want to add more you'd have to take out the whole hardscape, get the fish out, rescape and add the old and new fish back in together. In which case I would quarantine the new fish for 3-4 weeks first. But in the tank dimensions you have there... honestly, I'd not even keep a female but only a single male and that's it. The smaller the tank the more you have to be certain whether you want one thing or the other: A display (males only) or a breeding tank. You can't have both in one without lots of stress for fish and owner alike.

Or could I do another cichlid like checkerboard cichlids?
Absolutely not. Sorry. More than one species of dwarf cichlid requires a tank at least 150-200cm long. Even if you just wanted 2-3 Apistogramma-males of different species, the tank would have to be at least 120cm.

nd whether I need more line of sight blockers. I have at least 3 little caves.
Caves are also not what you need, sight blocks are indeed what is missing in that tank. Caves are dark holes with one entry, that's giid for a breeding spot if the cave is small enough. Bigger caves mean potential predators. Otherwise a fish that is beeing chased will not hide in a cave without escape unless there is absolutely nothing else in the tank to hide behind/in.
Make sure with the sight blocks, that they go from glass to glass and that you avoid open areas like the one you have in the front, where the fish can overlook a big area. Those will be claimed as one territory and the rest of the tank will not be safe for anyone, sight blocks or not.
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
@MacZ @Mike Wise - thank you all for your feedback. Really appreciate it. I will not add anymore cichlids or offspring. I’ll sell the bebes T_T

Also grateful for a definition of sight blockers, blockers from glass to glass. I feel like I haven’t seen that clear of a definition anywhere. I will fix that up. I really want to do this right for the female to be less stressed, so I appreciate the callout. I’ll add some dither fish instead for something up top.
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
Jaspy, your tank certainly is large enough for the pair that you have. I find Mac a bit overly conservative in this respect. I do agree with him that adding additional fish would be a risky idea.
@Mike Wise,
Is there a gallery or page on the site that shows good examples of tanks with proper sight blockers and setups?

And if I add dither fish, do I need to take out the apistos and rearrange the setup? Or is it okay to add them with the apistos in the tank?

Thanks again for your insights!
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
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11,303
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
If you add dithers, just choose wisely and add only the minimum for their well-being. Adding dithers - only after an extended quarantine period - normally doesn't require re-arranging the tank decor.
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
If you add dithers, just choose wisely and add only the minimum for their well-being. Adding dithers - only after an extended quarantine period - normally doesn't require re-arranging the tank decor.
Thanks Mike. Appreciate the advice. I think I’ll hold off for now and fix the scape. I’ll use some manzanita branches I have to help sight block.

Any suggested threads that show examples of tanks that have good like of sight blockages?
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
You can search for them on this site. Many, if not most questions can be answered via search.

@MacZ has shared an <example schematic of tank structure> a few times.

And @dw1305 often shares a <view of a heavily planted tank> from the front.
Ah found it! Thank you and thank you @MacZ for this schematic! So essentially you are dividing the tank into two parts, using a large peace of wood as the main divider and wall between the two sections. For my pair, this would establish 2 “defined” territories, yes?
 

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Jaspyjasp

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@MacZ If I want to divide the tank horizontally/lengthwise - how does this rough plan look? Am i understanding this concept correctly? But i can see that dividing from the short side like u have above would give the apistos more equal opportunity to come up to the glass. My little female loves to come visit me the glass.
 

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MacZ

Well-Known Member
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3,184
Location
Germany
You can combine this with crosswise sight blocks, but the division you drew up alone will indeed give one fish a territory in the front and the other will be pretty much confinded to the back and at worst be attacked whenever they come forward at feeding time.
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
You can combine this with crosswise sight blocks, but the division you drew up alone will indeed give one fish a territory in the front and the other will be pretty much confinded to the back and at worst be attacked whenever they come forward at feeding time.
Agreed. Its not a way to live T_T Thanks for the tips. I think i’m starting to understand. So front to back blockers with rocks and plants interspersed between wood pieces. I might draw something up again and show it before rescaping. Thanks again for your help!
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
Agreed. Its not a way to live T_T Thanks for the tips. I think i’m starting to understand. So front to back blockers with rocks and plants interspersed between wood pieces. I might draw something up again and show it before rescaping. Thanks again for your help!
@MacZ and anyone else - I made some more layouts. I wish had better wood pieces but oh well… Which 2 would work best for the pair?
Thank you in advance for your input!!
 

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MacZ

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Location
Germany
Honestly, you can plan all you want, if the wood won't do as you want this is too much planning. I call my drawing a schematic for a reason. Because it makes clear what to look for. But neither the hardscape nor the fish will 100% predictably do as one might expect. A centimeter too far off the glass and the piece is not seen as a border, a very curious and big fish and no barrier in the tank may be accepted as such.
 

Jaspyjasp

New Member
Messages
19
Honestly, you can plan all you want, if the wood won't do as you want this is too much planning. I call my drawing a schematic for a reason. Because it makes clear what to look for. But neither the hardscape nor the fish will 100% predictably do as one might expect. A centimeter too far off the glass and the piece is not seen as a border, a very curious and big fish and no barrier in the tank may be accepted as such.
Understood. Is there one that makes sense in that bunch? At least I’ll know what to shoot for. Thanks in advance.
 

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