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Help with Apistogramma Borelli breeding

heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
Hello everyone,

First post on this forum for me. English is not my first langage, excuse me in advance if i make mistake.

So here is the situation :
I have a 60L liter tank, heavily planted ( and lots of emersed plant too), pretty average level dyi fertilisation, injecting low amount of CO2 with the jello yeast method, heated to 23/24 degre celsius. I do 25L WC weekly. The tank has been running since November 2022.
It was inhabited by 4 or 5 amano shrimp, a ton of ramshorn snails and a female betta that died in last September.

So in November, I bought a couple of Apistogramma Borelli at my LFS in part with the goal of having a go at trying to breed them. I know it's really not the optimal setting to do so. The male was weak from the start and started to get bullied by the female, they had a spawn, which she put on the low end of the heater. He passed away 2 days later and of course the eggs never hatched.

I bought another male a week later. Even tho she is a very aggressive fish, since then I did not have any issue with the new pair. They get along pretty well, being most of the time together and he is always displaying to her. She is been spawning like clockwork every ten days, always on the low end of the heater, so i had no trust in the viability of the eggs but had no time to take care of a pontential spawn.

End of January I changed the heater place in the hope that she choose another spot (There is a coconut cave in the tank but she never dared to even enter it), and it worked. She has spawned 2 times since, each time on the substrate under the mass of plant. Which make it really hard to see the egg.

Every time she keep the egg for between 24 and 48h and then she get disinterested. She was already doing that before but I was blaming the heater for burning the egg. Like I say, I pretty much cannot see the egg, so i don't know if she, or something else, it them. (the snails, or the shrimp ?).

I want to say I know it's hard to breed apisto sometimes and i'm not gonna do it instantly, more so with my setup. I don't plan on making a proper breeding setup right now but I would just really want to atleast go to the next stage and see wrigglers whih seems doable.

What should I do and expect ? Just wait until it work ? What could be the culprit of my failures ? Or least what are some road i could investigate ? I feel pretty stuck right now.

Thanks in advance for your help.

And last some pics of the tank and the fish. Sorry for the bad quality.

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Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
290
Tank is quite cold for breeding in my opinion. At 23/24* she probably loses interest before the eggs are even close to hatching. Raise temp to 26*.

Do we know anything else about the water? KH/GH/TDS? While borellii are usually pretty flexible when it comes to water, if it’s obscenely hard, it could cause some problems.
 

heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
Ok i will try that !

Sorry i forgot the most important. I use RO water which i remineralize to 0kH/4gH. I don't mesure TDS.
The tap water is insanely hard where I live unfortunately.

Also I feed normaly when she is keeping the egg (2 times per day), and it seems to not help her stay focused on it. but i don't want them to get hungry and eat the egg.
 

heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
Hikari Vibra bites, Hikari micro pellets, Fluval Bug bites ( cichlid formula ), frozen daphnia, frozen artemia, frozen mysis, nauplii of artemia that I hatch, live daphnia ( but right now my culture has crashed due to temperature ) and live enriched adult artemia for a week whenever I go to my LFS.
I'm planning on culturing grindal worm and microworm or vinegar eels but I have a hard time finding a starter culture here in Belgium.

I'm planning on feeding the fry nauplii and infusoria at first
 

heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
I'm not sure if I understand your question.

My tank base is 124cm above the ground of my apartment and the water column is aproximately 34cm high above that.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,218
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I only asked because shaddows above the aquarium can frighten the fish. Frightened fish do not breed well. Your aquarium is at a good height. Floating plants are useful to avoid shadows from above.

Is your tank in a "high-traffic" area with a lot of movement (people walking)?
 

heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
Yes it's in my living room.

The male is always at the front of the aquarium but she pass a lot more time at the back of the tank. She doesn't seem scared of human at all, though, she comes immediately when she see me for food. She is still a lot more precautions than him.

They spawned in the cave for the first time this afternoon ! The temperature is set at 26 degree.
 

heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
Thanks.

It's been more than 48h and she is still guarding the cave. I've seen her only two times today, each time she tailwhipped the male who was to close of the entrance. What amazing fish, their comportments are incredible. I understand people going down the rabbit hole :)

I just have a question concerning WC. I should have done it today. But I don't want to disturb her. I haven't fertilise also. How long should I wait ? I'm really not stressed about water quality with amount of plant and microfauna, I have in the tank.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,218
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
If you are worried about the condition of your water, just siphon off a quart/liter from the top of the tank farthest from breeding cave and replace. Do this 1 - 2X/per day for a few days. Me? I just don't do it because my tanks are under-populated.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,002
Location
Germany
Ok but when do you start doing normal WC again ?
Most people just keep doing their normal routine. It's just water out, water in. You can do that by siphoning off at the top 10cm. If you fill the water back in carefully the fish won't be really disturbed.
Just forego on plant pruning and other intensive maintenance.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,218
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
For me, I just siphon off 10%/water change a couple of times each week for the first 2 week. Then regular 25% water changes. After a month, regular gravel cleaning and water changes.
 

apisto_newb

New Member
Messages
2
I'm still pretty new to the hobby, but I'll share my experiences with apistogramma borelli opal breeding with you. I found this post when searching for info on breeding and raising fry. I guess this is kind of my introduction here as well as some info. I've also been posting this at fishlore.

I started with a 29 gallon tank in October of 2023. I used Fluval Stratum covered with diamond blasting media as substrate. I added RO/DI water, dragonstone, a healthy amount of driftwood and a ton of plants. I thought I was cycling by adding some ammonia, but later found out I was wasting my time since my pH dropped through the floor. Within weeks and still currently, I bottomed out the pH tests that I have. The best I can figure, my pH is less than or equal to 6 as the test just don't show any lower, so ammonia is not really a concern. I have 0 KH and 4-5 GH. 0 ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Temperature is steady at 78F. I was doing water changes of between 3 to 5 gallons weekly, but lately, I've only been taking out between 1 and 3 gallons every couple of weeks when cleaning out extra floating plants and some algae growing on top.

My idea was to set up a community tank with several varieties of fish and add one male and two female apistogramma borrelli. I started with a ottocinclus cats, then moved on to adding some black neons. Next was hockeystick pencilfish along with the apistogramma borelli. I lost most of my black neons right away before I had added anymore fish. The ottos and the pencilfish did great though. I lost all of my apistogrammas. The male just never took at all for some reason. I don't think he ever ate. The females did better, but both bloated up quickly and were gone in a month. I think the apistos were tainted. Anyway, I later added another borelli opal male and he did great.

In the middle of all of this, my black neons started randomly reproducing as I would just notice fry appear. I had dropped to 4 of them, but now have 8. I next added two female borelli opals from another source. I've been feeding fluval bug bite flakes and supplementing with blackworms and some hikari pellets. I added the females on January 31st I believe and then had my first batch of fry show up on February 10th. The female kept them in the front of the tank, so I was able to siphon out 5 of them into a breeder box (in retrospect, I should have tried to get all of them). A week later, the second female was guarding fry and I wasn't able to get any of them out. Since then, I've seen more breeding behavior, so I expect to see more fry soon. I'm feeding the ones I do have baby brine shrimp. Somehow, in my breeder box, two more fry of another species have shown up. I honestly believe they are more black neons and that they had to have been sucked up into the breeder box tube that's pulling water from the main tank. I can't otherwise explain how they got there.

I think I've been extremely lucky as I didn't come into this with the plan of being a breeder. I just thought, hey throw them together and see what happens, if they breed cool, if not, no big deal. I ignored all the warnings about putting males and females together in a community tank. I did go with borelli as they have a reputation for being a more peaceful apisto, and I did scape the tank so as to provide lots of cover and possible breeding caves and whatnot. I think the key has been my water parameters and aquascaping.

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heelllooo

New Member
Messages
18
Thanks everyone for the help.

But unfortunately, it was a fail.

I did not have time to update but the same as usual happened.

Wednesdays night she started to go out more and more of the cave to eat. And Thursday I didn't see her go there a single time during all day. She totally lost interest in the egg.

I still don't know what's the issue..if she eat them or they are just not viable.

They will try again in ten days as usual but I don't know what to try.
 

apisto_newb

New Member
Messages
2
Your methods are not my (or most other's) methods, but if it works for you that's great.
I agree wholeheartedly. But, sometimes, it's easier to be lucky than good. There's some new fry this weekend. Hard to see, but they are there, barely. Only a few left. Not sure if it's worth trying to siphon them out as I'm trying to get the bigger fry into a bigger tank soon. I'd like to get that done first before taking on a new brood in the breeder box.

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