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Hello from Berlin

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by flori, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. flori

    flori New Member

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    Hi, I'm Florian, a 33 year old software developer from Berlin.

    I've had fish tanks as a kid, then forgot about them for 20 years, and got back into it recently.
    Now I have a 20l tank with red fire shrimp:

    [​IMG]

    a 64l planted tank with Hyphessobricon amandae:

    [​IMG]

    and a 86l blackwater tank that I just set up today:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've never kept Apistogrammas before, but that shall change!

    The newly set up blackwater tank I would like to stock with a pair of Apistogramma borelli and a small shoal of either Nannostomus marginatus or Paracheirodon simulans.

    I have a couple of questions regarding that plan and I hope you can help me out :)

    1. Would you say there is a strong pro or con for either of the planned tank mates for the Apistos?
    2. I have a couple of savu pods in the tank, will they make for good caves for the Apistos? I'm not a big fan of the coconut caves, but if the fish prefer them, I'll get those.
    3. I would first put in the characins, and then after a couple of weeks, the Apistos. I've heard you shouldn't do it the other way round, because then the Apistos will consider the whole tank their territory and fight the "intruders". Is that correct?
    5. Not really specific to Apistogrammas, but you guys probably know your blackwater: I cooked up a nice "tea" from the botanics I got (savu pods, beech and almond leaves) but didn't use it all; can I just put it in a clean bottle and keep it for the next water change or will it go bad?

    Hope that wasn't too long of an introduction, greets, Florian :)
  2. Ade205

    Ade205 Active Member

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    Hi Florian, welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, have to say I'm loving your tanks! Can I ask what's the carpet plant in the 64l?

    Re your questions, I'd choose N. Marginatus over P. Simulans. Although I believe they do stay a little smaller than Paracheirodon Innesi, I believe they would still be more predatory towards fry than the Pencil fish. My preferred dithers are pencil fish, although I decided to try a group of Microdevario kubotai in my A. Elizabethae tank and I'm loving them. They are so much more active and entertaining to watch than the pencils, their colours are amazing, especially if their tank receives any direct sunlight, and have remained tiny... so tiny that i wouldnt keep them with any Apistos with bigger mouths like Cacatuoides. Time will tell if they predate on fry.
    The savu pods will be ok, Apistos love any small cave or crevice although I always use a coconut shell or two in my tanks. As for who first, I've never really planned, though if forced I'd go with dithers first, but I've never had issues either way. As for blackwater, I cant really help you there! I kinda wing it lol My A. Elizabethae are in a blackwater tank but the tannins are solely from the wood and weekly added leaf litter.
    Hope this helps, I'm sure your going to love Apistos, make sure to pop up some pics when you get them.

    Ade.
  3. flori

    flori New Member

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    Hi Ade, thanks for the compliment! The carpet plant is Eleocharis pusilla which grew nice and dense and seems to be rather undemanding.

    Thanks for your answers, that cleared a lot up!
    The Microdevario kubotai might also be a nice choice, I imagine them look very nice in blackwater. So many fish to choose from :)
    A also came across Nannostomus morgenthaleri which are quite small and look lovely, but they're a hefty 20€ per fish. Your pencils are not very active / interesting to watch? I saw videos of them on Youtube pretend-fighting and courting where they seemed quite entertaining.
    Still got some weeks to make my final decision :)

    Another thought I had was adding some undemanding shrimp (e.g. Caridina pareparensis parvidentata) as a 'clean up crew' since snails won't appreciate the acidity and software I suppose. Do you have experience with shrimps in such type of water?

    Greets, Florian
  4. Ade205

    Ade205 Active Member

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    Hi again.

    I keep a few different species of Nannostomus currently and they are active and interesting to watch, but the group I have in the same tank as the Microdevario kubotai are very much out done by the constant antics of the Rasboras. They never stop their little quarrels, constantly zipping around the centre front of the tank chasing each other. They are very entertaining!

    Re shrimp, I've not a lot of experience, limited to Amano's and cherry Reds, and no experience at all with keeping in blackwater. I know there are species that live in soft water but I'd still imagine they need certain things in their food like calcium as I'd imagine molting wld be an issue in very soft water devoid of minerals. As said though, I'm no expert!!

    Ade.