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Lurks

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5 Year Member
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I'm new here so hello! When I was doing some dwarf cichlid research I stumbled across this forum. It looks like it's packed with the sort of specialised expertise and advice which I'm not having a lot of luck with my local fish keeping forums. So I thought I'd give it a go. :)

After having returned to the jobby some 15 years later with a large south american black water biotype tank, I was really taken by a dwarf cichlid pair. Rams actually, not Apistos. However it made me want to set up a smaller tank in my office with a view to making it breeding friendly, if not actually a breeding tank as such. And I thought I'd like to try Apistos there instead.

I set up the new tank this weekend and it's only half planted so far:
final.jpg

Water is nicely tinted up due to peat filtration already, very soft water and PH around 6. So far so good.

Now the question I have is... is this 120L tank suitable for raising two pair of different species? I'm not sure you can see it from that shot but I have three caves, one flowerpot on the right you can clearly see, one in the sunken gap of that large peice of bogwood and one on the far left. The tank is around .85m across.

I think being practical the issue also comes down to what I can get hold of with regards to pairs of apistos. Here's what:

Apistogramma Cacatuoides
Apistogramma Hongsloi
Apistogramma Nijsseni
Apistogramma Viejita
Microgeophagus Ramirezi

I'd probably pass on the rams since I've gone to the effort to make nice caves which would seem to suit apistos.

I have pretty good control over the water chemistry, decked out with RO water. This tank will be plenty more planted up and cycled before I touch it but you could grately assist me in giving me your practical thoughts on whether I'm aiming two high with a couple of different species pairs.

Also, I thought I'd add perhaps 4 otos for glass cleaning duty and 5 pencil fish 'ditherers' since some people seem to think it's a good idea. I'm happy to skip if there's no good reason.

Anyway, leaping it on the deep end here I hope you can help me out.

Cheers ;-)
 

aquaticclarity

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Location
Richfield, WI
Welcome to the forum. :)

I think you may have a hard time with two species of Apistos in that tank. A better choice would be a group of Apistos. and a group of rams as the two fish have slightly different territory desires. I just don't think two species of Apistos. will have enough bottom space to be very happy together.

The A. cacatuoides would not be my first choice in your tank only because they don't need the low pH and soft water you are providing. They readily handle 7.5 pH and moderate hardness. The other fish on the list would all be great choices. And it's nice to see someone work from a list of available fish instead of a list of hard to find fish. Not that dreaming is bad, but it can get frustrating to see pictures of fish and not be able to find them.

I've kept otocinclus in dwarf tanks before and the only potential problem would be the otos eating the cichlid eggs. But your tank looks like it will have enough plant cover that a few fry may survive.

The pencils or another small dither fish are almost a must. I move a group of Dicrossus maculatus out of a mixed tank where they were out and about all the time into their own quarters. They hide for over 3 weeks. I put some coral red pencils in the tank and the Dicrossus instantly came out of hiding.

Good luck and have fun choosing your fish!

Jeff
 

Lurks

New Member
5 Year Member
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3
Ah ha. Thanks for clearing up the dither fish issue. I'd be surprised if Otos ate eggs, they seem to find it trickt to even eat a small fraction of a flake on the bottom - if they could even have a go I imagine it would take so long the parents would see them off? I can well believe that corys on the other hand would cause all kinds of problems in that regard.

I can skip on the two apistos pairs if that's not going to work. I wouldn't mind using rams since I really like them. If they're going to prove to be more compatible I can get over the aesthetic worry that they wont use my nicely provided caves :)

So in that case I appear to be nailing down the stocking a little further. A pair of blue rams and a pair of:

Apistogramma Hongsloi
Apistogramma Nijsseni
Apistogramma Viejita

+ five pencil fish and four otos (maybe).
 

Mike Wise

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Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Is your 120 L tank 100x30x40cm? This tank, slightly larger than a US 30 gallon long aquarium, should be large enough for pairs of 2 different dwarf cichlid species. Just don't use 2 species that are very similar in appearance. Otocinclus are probably the safest loricarid to put in with dwarf cichlids, but there is always the chance that they will find some eggs or fry to eat.
 

Lurks

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
3
Is your 120 L tank 100x30x40cm? This tank, slightly larger than a US 30 gallon long aquarium, should be large enough for pairs of 2 different dwarf cichlid species.

It's not that long. It's 80x35x42 I make it with a rough measure. So 20% shorter width ways which is probably the important dimension in terms of space for each species?
 

Mike Wise

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5 Year Member
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Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Okay, your tank is smaller in area. Depth (top to bottom) in not important for dwarf cichlids. I recommend only a pair or trio of Apistogramma - or a pair of Apistogramma with a pair of Laetacara or Bolivian Rams. M. ramirezi is too small and delicate to keep with some of the larger Apistogramma. If you can find A. pertensis, A. iniridae, A. caetei, they will do well with Ramirezi. Ramirezi require higher temperatures than most Apistogramma, however. A very rough rule is to have a 30 cm diameter territory for each female Apistogramma plus extra space for the male. This can be modified somewhat by arrangement of boundary markers (plants, rocks, wood).
 

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