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Hi from Belgium

darua

Member
Messages
31
Hi everyone

I've got a pair of cacatuoides for a few months now in 1 tank.
I recently bought a pair of macmasteri gold form for my new setup but I'm not 100% sure if my female macmasteri is a gold form.

Can someone verify which type of macmasteri I have?
I've added a picture of my male (biggest one) and my female (smaller one).

Thanks!
 

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MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
The breed can't really be determined. Domestic strains have no rules for naming. Basically every breeder can call their strain whatever they want. I have seen these sold as "gold", "blonde", "orange" or "orange twist". And that's just some of the names.

But they seem to be at least from the same strain. If they come from the same tank at the store and the same batch from the wholesaler you can be quite sure it's a fit.
 

FishEZ

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
49
Location
Brampton, Ontario
The photo you submitted is a regular Macmasteri. The gold form looks a lot different. She's very similar to your male, but with less colors and of course, smaller size as would any macmasteri female be.
 

darua

Member
Messages
31
The breed can't really be determined. Domestic strains have no rules for naming. Basically every breeder can call their strain whatever they want. I have seen these sold as "gold", "blonde", "orange" or "orange twist". And that's just some of the names.

But they seem to be at least from the same strain. If they come from the same tank at the store and the same batch from the wholesaler you can be quite sure it's a fit.
They do come from the same tank at the store, the guy from my local fish store bought 2 pairs that were labeled as 'macmasteri gold' from a breeder/wholesaler in Germany. I took one pair.

I can follow your explanation that they can label it whatever they want but I don't know if it's good to breed with them if one of them is a regular macmasteri and the other one is a gold form.

I received pictures like this where you can clearly tell this is a different form than my female. But my male looks similar to the one in the picture.

I just feel a bit "scammed" when I notice the fish I ordered isn't the exact form I wanted and paid for.
 

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darua

Member
Messages
31
The photo you submitted is a regular Macmasteri. The gold form looks a lot different. She's very similar to your male, but with less colors and of course, smaller size as would any macmasteri female be.
Should I go back to my local fish store and tell this or just keep the fish together?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
The photo you submitted is a regular Macmasteri. The gold form looks a lot different.
Not regular domestic, not wild type either. But as I said, the naming is a mess. It's very likely you have seen yet another form as gold, doesn't change the fact, that these are strikingly different from the usual domestic forms with a mostly orange-red body colour.

They do come from the same tank at the store, the guy from my local fish store bought 2 pairs that were labeled as 'macmasteri gold' from a breeder/wholesaler in Germany. I took one pair.

I can follow your explanation that they can label it whatever they want but I don't know if it's good to breed with them if one of them is a regular macmasteri and the other one is a gold form.

I received pictures like this where you can clearly tell this is a different form than my female. But my male looks similar to the one in the picture.
I wouldn't breed any domestic forms, honestly. Why would you? There are farms in the Czech republic, the Nederlands and South East Asia that mass produce them. In Germany every second so-called breeder has them in stock and you see ebay confidentials full of people offering domestic Apistogramma. Additionally they are overbred, have weak genetics and health. If you like the fish, keep them but don't breed them. If not, return them asap.

I just feel a bit "scammed" when I notice the fish I ordered isn't the exact form I wanted and paid for.
Should I go back to my local fish store and tell this or just keep the fish together?
Let's put it this way: In legal terms you have not been scammed. They labeled the fish as a domestic form.
 

darua

Member
Messages
31
Not regular domestic, not wild type either. But as I said, the naming is a mess. It's very likely you have seen yet another form as gold, doesn't change the fact, that these are strikingly different from the usual domestic forms with a mostly orange-red body colour.


I wouldn't breed any domestic forms, honestly. Why would you? There are farms in the Czech republic, the Nederlands and South East Asia that mass produce them. In Germany every second so-called breeder has them in stock and you see ebay confidentials full of people offering domestic Apistogramma. Additionally they are overbred, have weak genetics and health. If you like the fish, keep them but don't breed them. If not, return them asap.



Let's put it this way: In legal terms you have not been scammed. They labeled the fish as a domestic form.
I wouldn't breed them to sell or make any kind of money btw, I just expect them to hopefully lay eggs and maybe raise their fry at one point.

Is their a way I can stop them from breeding if they feel good in the tank?

I found a picture of the 2 pairs when they just arrived in the shop but difficult to identify imo which couple I bought but I do think the biggest male from the bottom right and the female in the upper left corner.
 

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MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
I wouldn't breed them to sell or make any kind of money btw, I just expect them to hopefully lay eggs and maybe raise their fry at one point.
The money aspect is very irrelevant to me, too. But you will have to grow them out, feed them and get them to new homes at one point. If you don't want all that fuzz: Return one fish, keep one single.
Is their a way I can stop them from breeding if they feel good in the tank?
Separate tanks. Period.

I found a picture of the 2 pairs when they just arrived in the shop but difficult to identify imo which couple I bought but I do think the biggest male from the bottom right and the female in the upper left corner.
No pairs (as in f/m, they don't form actual pairs), but at least 3 males and one I'm on the fence about. Or they have finally reached a point where the females are as colourful as the males.
 

darua

Member
Messages
31
The money aspect is very irrelevant to me, too. But you will have to grow them out, feed them and get them to new homes at one point. If you don't want all that fuzz: Return one fish, keep one single.

Separate tanks. Period.
Ok, that's clear but why do local fish stores suggest buying apistogramma's as a pair or 1 male with multiple females? Is this purely for the purpose of making more money or are the fish also calmer or more "satisfied" with a male-female combination?

No pairs (as in f/m, they don't form actual pairs), but at least 3 males and one I'm on the fence about. Or they have finally reached a point where the females are as colourful as the males.
What do you mean with: they don't form actual pairs?

When I bought them, the owner of the fish store couldn't separate 2 duo's of f/m either because 3 of them looked very similar (the ones in the bottom part of the bag as you already said) and 1 was smaller and had different coloration.

That's also why I said I'd want the smallest one so I wouldn't end up with 2 males by mistake.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
Ok, that's clear but why do local fish stores suggest buying apistogramma's as a pair or 1 male with multiple females?
1. Money.
2. Because in the past many people saw breeding as the highest level of fishkeeping. Accordingly, even if the lifestyle of a species does not include monogamous pairing, stores offer pairs. If the fact that these fish are polygamous has transpired to them they offer trios. But nobody tells you that you will have to make sure your tank is big enough (they will tell you 60cm is enough for 3 A. macmasteri, which is simply wrong), has fitting structure (they will tell you a very barren island scape will be fine), the fish are very territorial (during breeding against ALL fish in the tank), and having a second tank for separation is very advisable.

What do you mean with: they don't form actual pairs?
As mentioned above: A. macmasteri are archetypical polygamous Apistogramma in that regard. A male has a territory and will spawn with any female ready to breed. If a female isn't ready it will be chased away. After spawning the male is not really involved anymore, often the female will chase him off aswell. In both directions it is possible one fish dies, if the tank is too small or not well structured.

Depending on the size and structure of your tank a bachelor group of males can be still better than a "pair". Depending on your goals. In a display a single male or bachelor group is the better choice.
 

darua

Member
Messages
31
But nobody tells you that you will have to make sure your tank is big enough (they will tell you 60cm is enough for 3 A. macmasteri, which is simply wrong), has fitting structure (they will tell you a very barren island scape will be fine), the fish are very territorial (during breeding against ALL fish in the tank), and having a second tank for separation is very advisable.
Can I share pictures and ask your advice of my 2 tanks I currently have apistogramma's in? They're both 60cm unfortunately, my local fish store told me it was sufficient & on some websites I've read that it's ok as long as you don't have too much other fish or more than a single pair appistogramma in it.

I will not be able to fully rescape my aquarium since they are quite new (4 months & 1 month) but I may be able to add some improvements in the short term. Or in the next setup not make the same mistakes I made now.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
Of course, just post them. High resolution and overview would be best.

I will not be able to fully rescape my aquarium since they are quite new (4 months & 1 month) but I may be able to add some improvements in the short term. Or in the next setup not make the same mistakes I made now.
Often rearranging the wood and rocks or adding a big piece of rootwood does the trick. Switching substrate or sourcewater to RO are advisable longterm and don't have to be done immediately.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,305
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
darua, I'm afraid that MacZ come on a bit strong at times. Don't worry if they breed or not. Remember that <5% of fry produced in the wild survive anyway. It's Nature. Whether one wants to produce and grow out fry is up to them. As for a 60cm/24" tank, it can be suitable depending on the decor and the species it contains. Just enjoy the fish.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
Mike, I think you are misunderstanding my point. Also... 5% in nature. yes. In nature. I see people asking what to do with surviving fry from unintended breeding in german forums all. the. time. I rather give people a heads-up beforehand.
I know in the US often there are fewer breeders and sources for the fish, in Europe you have a much higher captive population of the common species and strains per capita and a higher density of hobbyists in smaller areas. I know at least 10 people in my part of town that offer their unintended Apistogramma offspring online right now. In such circumstances preventive population control is advisable.
 

Mike Wise

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Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,305
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Mac, I understand what you write, but just because fish produce offspring doesn't mean that the hobbyist needs to raise them. As I wrote, "Whether one wants to produce and grow out fry is up to them". If a few survive that is fine. You can always find someone who will take them off of your hands for free. For most of us this is a hobby, not a money-making operation. Just enjoy the fish.
 

darua

Member
Messages
31
Well, I'm not aware of how stacked the belgian market is for the common apistogramma species.
I'll see how old my fry will get eventually.

I've shared my 2 tank setups.

First one has a pair of cacatuoides with currently 10 fry of 2,5w old and she already laid new eggs a few days ago. The tank also contains 6 hyphessobrycon megalopterus, 3 otocinclus, 3 amano shrimp and 3 nerite snails. There's also CO2. I've recently added a few crypto in front and some extra hygrophila in the middle and removed some lilaeopsis because the brown algae were taken over.

Second setup is my most recent one with only a pair of macmasteri gold & 5 otocinclus in it. I've added catappa leaves to make it a bit more natural but I've opted for less plants to have another look & see how easy or difficult it was to attach java fern & anubias on a piece of wood. I might add 2 or 3 neritina pulligera next week.
 

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MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
Mac, I understand what you write, but just because fish produce offspring doesn't mean that the hobbyist needs to raise them. As I wrote, "Whether one wants to produce and grow out fry is up to them". If a few survive that is fine. You can always find someone who will take them off of your hands for free. For most of us this is a hobby, not a money-making operation. Just enjoy the fish.
Not what I meant, actually. We have too many surviving fry it seems (because ... people) and finding new homes is not that easy here as you might imagine. Sometimes for free is too much.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,198
Location
Germany
First one has a pair of cacatuoides with currently 10 fry of 2,5w old and she already laid new eggs a few days ago. The tank also contains 6 hyphessobrycon megalopterus, 3 otocinclus, 3 amano shrimp and 3 nerite snails. There's also CO2. I've recently added a few crypto in front and some extra hygrophila in the middle and removed some lilaeopsis because the brown algae were taken over.
The tank is okay-ish. The structure should work, the substrate is sub-par, water presumably too, due to the Seiryu rocks (they raise GH and KH).

Second setup is my most recent one with only a pair of macmasteri gold & 5 otocinclus in it. I've added catappa leaves to make it a bit more natural but I've opted for less plants to have another look & see how easy or difficult it was to attach java fern & anubias on a piece of wood. I might add 2 or 3 neritina pulligera next week.
I'd drop the wood on the floor. Just tilt it so it closes the gap under it. As I always say, it's not a line-of-sight block if you can look through under it. Just rotate the wood to the front and lay it down flat on the sand so it forms a block from one side to the other.
Here the substrate and leaf litter are a good choice. Again with the Seiryu... that stuff is truely my bane. I don't like it due to its properties.
I wouldn't add the snails. besides the fact you don't need them, they will likely starve in that tank. How long are the others i the other tank? And how long are the Otocinclus in? These fish are quite fragile in that they often come in starved and die quickly because they are really bad in identifying intended foot items. Maybe some finely ground dry foods or anything that would sink down to form a layer on surfaces like Artemia nauplii would work. Also they are neither algae eaters nor strict vegetarians. They prefer bacteriafilms and aufwuchs, the layer of microorganisms, algae, bacteria etc that forms on surfaces under water.
 

darua

Member
Messages
31
The tank is okay-ish. The structure should work, the substrate is sub-par, water presumably too, due to the Seiryu rocks (they raise GH and KH).
Which stones would you suggest for a apistogramma aquarium (or any other fish that need soft water with a lower ph) or just no stones at all?
Do seriyu rocks keep raising the GH & KH even after a long time being in the tank?
I wouldn't add the snails. besides the fact you don't need them, they will likely starve in that tank. How long are the others i the other tank?
My nerite snails are 3 months in my tank with the cacatuoides. I like the way they keep your hardscape and glass clean tbh... I thought my tank with the macmasteri could only benefit from it too besides the otocinclus. I would buy some sort of snail sticks if I buy some nerite snails in the setup with the catappa leaves & softer water so they don't get soft shells & die because the water is too soft.
And how long are the Otocinclus in? These fish are quite fragile in that they often come in starved and die quickly because they are really bad in identifying intended foot items. Maybe some finely ground dry foods or anything that would sink down to form a layer on surfaces like Artemia nauplii would work. Also they are neither algae eaters nor strict vegetarians. They prefer bacteriafilms and aufwuchs, the layer of microorganisms, algae, bacteria etc that forms on surfaces under water.
The otocinclus are also 3 months in the tank but I've already had several deaths last month and a half.
(5 out of 8 died unfortunately) I do check if their white bellies are swollen so they get enough food, but the otocinclus where I had multiple deaths don't eat any food I give them such as blanched zuchini or algae wafers. The other 5 otocinclus in my new setup with the macmasteri eat both blanched zuchini & algae wafers.
My lfs told me that otocinclus are the best algae eaters to keep in small 60L tanks in combination with nerite snails. He said that other algae eaters might try to eat the eggs of the apistogramma's at night.

I do feed my cacatuoides fry cyclops so maybe thats similar to artemia and will also create a layer for the otocinclus?
 

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