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How big should a breeding/grow out tank be?

Bramgroet

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182
I have a trio of WC apistogramma cf. Agassizii (netz). One female already laid eggs. Now I don’t want to breed a lot but I would like to raise some fry. I am thinking about 15 to 20 fry each time. So not the whole batch probably. Also I would like to do a small breeding project with some WC nannostomus marginatus rio negro and with some corydoras ambiacus. But how big should the grow out tank be? Can I do a 45 x 40 x 30 cm or a 50 x 40 x 30cm or should it at least be 60 x 40 x 30 cm ? So I will only breed / grow out one species at the time. I am not an experienced breeder so I am just trying to get some experience. I don’t have the space and money for more than one grow out tank. I don’t want to make a lot of profit I just want to grow out some fry to get some experience. Thank in advance.
 

Mike Wise

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IMHO grow-out tanks should be larger than breeding tanks. For N. marginatus any of the sizes that you list should be fine, but not for apistos/corys. My preference is 2 gallons/8L per fish, even when small. For example, I just moved 16 (17 if I can catch the last one :mad:) 1"/2.5cm A. wolli juveniles to a 30 gallon long tank (36x12x16H"/90x30x40Hcm).
 

Bramgroet

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182
Thx for answering. I don’t have the space for a bigger tank then a 20 gallon I rather have a 15 to 17 gallon tank. I don’t intent on having to many fry. Just want to raise some fry. I also want to bring some of these fish in local since you never see them. And definitely no wild caught. So would a 15 to 20 gallon work or do I have to go bigger then that to raise apistogramma. I want to raise the apistogramma fry about 6 months. And for the nannostomus and Cory’s i have to do some more research.

A bit off topic but how many breeding / grow out / display tanks do you have right now.
 

Mike Wise

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A standard 20 should be able to grow out 10, maybe 15 fry until sexible young adults (6-10 month), but it also depends on how you manage water quality and eventual territorial aggression. I have 6 grow-out tanks presently in use (20H, 29H, 30L). The remainder of my 20+ tanks presently running are breeding, quarantine, and geriatric tanks. I have more I can set up if I need them.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Is it possible to grow out some fry in mine main tank. It is 100 x 40 x 50cm so 200 liters or 55 gallon. The stocking is now:

3 apistogramma cf. Agassizii (netz) WC
1 farlowella sp.
12 nannostomus marginatus WC
3 corydoras ambiacus (they are leftovers)

So can I grow out some fry there or should I really use a separate tank? I am maybe going to grow out the fry to about 4 to 5 cm. My lfs sells a lot of apistogramma and where they sell the most at 4 cm. So maybe they take it but they would probably sell faster en for more when the males start to color up.
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
157
Location
Canada eh
Personally, what I'd do is remove the fry or eggs (after the fish have spawned a few times) and raise them in the 70 litre or so tank, which makes it easier to feed them. Once they are around 1.5-2cm transfer them to the 55 gallon and remove the parents, and add the parents to the 70 or so litre that you were using as a growth out. And then you can raise the fry out for a couple of months in that.

I also lack grow out space yet I breed. I find you need many waterchanges, feedings and a lot of moving around to be sucessful.

Good luck.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Would I need to decorate it. It is going in my bedroom so it would be nice if I can decorate it. With leave litter, sticks, botanicals and some plants? All the rotting material will provide a 24/7 food source but will also put pressure on the biological capacity. Since it is in my bedroom I would like it to be a bit of a South American biotope which functions like a grow out tank. For breeding I think it is important it is wel decorated. Is it possible to do this or should it be a bit plain with a bare bottom?
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
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703
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Clarkston, WA
I once raised over 40 Apistogramma agassizii Blue fry from a wild pair in a 20 Long. Took about 6 months for them to reach maturity.
I went with a bare bottom tank although I covered to bottom with those hollow ceramic biological filtration media. The stuff makes great hides for growing territorial fry. I believe intense intraspecies competition begins within weeks after hatching. I think it can also help keep a decent sex ratio should they start out about even.
Newly hatched brine shrimp twice a day and frozen bloodworms once a day.
Most important were the daily 50% water changes.
This approach is a lot of work.
If I were planning on a more natural aquascape approach I'd want a tank of around 125 gallons.
 

Bramgroet

Member
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182
Thanks for reacting.
So you would think that it will not be do able to make a more natural scaped tank for grow out? Is this because of the rotting material it creates overtime? Cause i can't think of another reason why it would not be possible.
 

Apistomaster

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Clarkston, WA
Thanks for reacting.
So you would think that it will not be do able to make a more natural scaped tank for grow out? Is this because of the rotting material it creates overtime? Cause i can't think of another reason why it would not be possible.
I think many beginning breeders of Apistogramma underestimate their intraspecific aggression and territorially.
It is also difficult to feed the growing fry adequately and still keep up very high water quality.
And lastly, Actual volume of water per fish matters and substrate and any bulky decorative rocks displace and thus reduce available water volume.

I used to breed fish commercially. My mindset is geared towards doing the most with the least. Most of my experiences with "natural" breeding Apistogramma spp. has been accidental or incidental. For example, I had a pair of A. borelli living with a young pair of wild Brown Discus as dithers. The A. borelli spawned before the pair of Discus did. It was not easy to remove the 2 dozen surviving A. borelli fry.
They were the only 4 fish in a planted 29 gal. tank.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
I think many beginning breeders of Apistogramma underestimate their intraspecific aggression and territorially.
Well that’s why I fought some more scaping would make break more eyesight. I will not be raising to many fry as I said before just 20 or so. Also I want to breed some wild nannostomus marginatus in there and even later maybe corydoras ambiacus (where I can’t find much about especially nothing when it comes to breeding)

But would you think I can raise about 20 apistogramma fry in a 19” x 11” 14.5” tank or should i really go for 20 gallon tank ?

Thanks for helping.
 

Apistomaster

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5 Year Member
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703
Location
Clarkston, WA
Well that’s why I fought some more scaping would make break more eyesight.
Hence my rationale for using the hollow ceramic biomedia as mini-caves and structure suited from the very beginning of the lives of Apistogramma fry. Aggression is a factor from the starting of fry dispersal. This can have a disproportionate effect upon the juvenile females. It may contribute to ending up with sex ratios skewing towards males even if you begin with a 50/50 ratio, which is not a given. Other factors affecting sex ratio may include pH and/or breeding/incubation temps.
Also I want to breed some wild nannostomus marginatus in there and even later maybe corydoras ambiacus (where I can’t find much about especially nothing when it comes to breeding)
So 3 potential breeding projects. Nannostomus marginatus may be communally bred if large numbers are not your goal. I'd recommend about 5 in a 36 inch heavily planted tank. I know of no reports of breeding Corydoras ambiacus.
The key to breeding most wild Corydoras is an endless supply of live blackworms and massive water changes.
But would you think I can raise about 20 apistogramma fry in a 19” x 11” 14.5” tank or should i really go for 20 gallon tank ?
The available floor space is only 19" x 11". That is the same as a standard 10 gal of 20" x 10". Over the years I used mostly 10 gal tanks for breeding my Apistos but I would usually bring pairs together, let them spawn then remove their eggs to a hatching container. From there they go on to the grow out tank(s). I still recommend using a 20 long even if you're raising only 20 fry.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Other factors affecting sex ratio may include pH and/or breeding/incubation temps.
Okay well the ph will be around 6,5 with a GH of 4 which is pretty high but would be considered do able I think. I can’t use RO cause I don’t have the space for that. The temp at around 25 °C or 79°F.

The key to breeding most wild Corydoras is an endless supply of live blackworms and massive water changes.
That is exactly what I am going to try.

I am not going to breed large cause I don’t have the space for that. Also I don’t think I can sell all my fry. I am going to get some experience with breeding some of these species. I think some of them will sell like the then F1 apistogramma cf. agassizii (netz) and probably the corydoras ambiacus as you don’t see the often. But I don’t know if the nannostomus will sell they will be F1 with parents from the rio negro which are pretty. But they are cheap especially the normal variant. The rio negro have a red stripe from the end of the head to the beginning of the claudal fin above the lateral band.
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
703
Location
Clarkston, WA
Okay well the ph will be around 6,5 with a GH of 4 which is pretty high but would be considered do able I think. I can’t use RO cause I don’t have the space for that. The temp at around 25 °C or 79°F.
That range of water chemistry has worked well for me when I have bred wild caught A. agassizii. I have not raised any the netz variant but I would also begin with similar conditions. FWIW, I tried to breed a wild pair of these but I failed. Mine died, but that's fish keeping.
But I don’t know if the nannostomus will sell they will be F1 with parents from the rio negro which are pretty. But they are cheap especially the normal variant. The rio negro have a red stripe from the end of the head to the beginning of the claudal fin above the lateral band.
I had some very nicely colored Nannostomus marginatus over 50 years ago but haven't seen really nicely colored specimens in ages. Price isn't everything. I consider them a very desirable, challenging species to breed and if I ever successfully bred and raised them, I'd be sure to crow about it. I've only raised many N. beckfordi and my breeding stock was tank raised. Pencilfish fry have ridiculously small mouths. I wouldn't try until I had enough Paramecium cultured to get through the first 10-14 days. They don't all grow as fast so there will be some overlap between the infusoria stage and beginning of feeding the fry newly hatched Artemia.
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
157
Location
Canada eh
Breeding 3 species in one tank is very difficult, especially apistos and corys (my two top genus im breeding currently.)

A general rule for breeding wild corys, especially lineage 8 is a massive im talking 50-80% waterchange with water that is roughly 6-7°F cooler. What i usually do is take the water from 76° down to 70° degrees or so. Another trigger is blackwater conditions (although not for all species) and large amounts of food. You can combine this with fasting for around 1 week before and doing a waterchange and feeding heavily, this can work well also. On planet catfish there is one report of breeding and i know that there are more reports of breeding that are unreported.

However, i can almost guarantee you will lack success with solely 3 adult specimens, 6-12 is generally the size of breeding groups, some experienced breeders only using 5 when the species is expensive or hard to come by. Granted, I have bred C. Sterbai with solely 2 fish, however that is a very rare occurrence, and they had already spawned with others before being separated.


Also, about the grow out tank layout for your bedroom, personally i have 9 tanks in my bedroom (its the only way my parents allow that many tanks) and almost all are very soft water aquariums. If you can plant lightly as well as using floating plants and some driftwood for grow outs, i find they look quite nice. However, if you are moving fish around often, i'd not recommend more than a few pieces of driftwood, and instead a lot of leaf litter for sight blocking between juveniles.
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
Breeding 3 species in one tank is very difficult, especially apistos and corys (my two top genus im breeding currently.
It’s not going to be on the same time I have plans for this over a long period of time.

However, i can almost guarantee you will lack success with solely 3 adult specimens
That’s also what I thought but I do think I have 2 males and one female so that’s ok. The female is really big I can sent pictures this afternoon. But I think I am in a different time zone so you will probably read this when it’s evening for me.

Also, about the grow out tank layout for your bedroom, personally i have 9 tanks in my bedroom (its the only way my parents allow that many tanks)
Well you’re lucky with 9 tanks my parents let me have two tanks. I have one big tank and I am getting one 20 gallon tank.

d some driftwood for grow outs, i find they look quite nice. However, if you are moving fish around often, i'd not recommend more than a few pieces of driftwood, and instead a lot of leaf litter for sight blocking between juveniles.
I will definitely do that I like black water aquariums a lot they look more natural so I will add leaf litter, some wood and some floaters maybe one fast growing underwater plant.

I had some very nicely colored Nannostomus marginatus over 50 years ago but haven't seen really nicely colored specimens in ages. Price isn't everything. I consider them a very desirable, challenging species to breed and if I ever successfully bred and raised them, I'd be sure to crow about it.
I read a lot that people use them as dithers but still they manage to breed and there is even continuously fry growing up in a tank specialized in breeding Apistos but we will see. I like the marginatus more then I thought they have an interact a lot with each other. And the males have little fights.

A general rule for breeding wild corys,
There are not wild. There are just a species you don’t see often. They look quite nice.
is a massive im talking 50-80% waterchange with water that is roughly 6-7°F cooler. What i usually do is take the water from 76° down to 70° degrees or so.
I will try that with a lot of feeding black worms. They are not really a black water species I believe.

Both of you thanks a lot for helping.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,776
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I read a lot that people use them as dithers but still they manage to breed and there is even continuously fry growing up in a tank specialized in breeding Apistos but we will see.
You can get a trickle of fry from each species in a big enough, heavily planted, tank, but it is a trickle and often just enough to maintain populations, but not a money spinner. With Apistogramma spp. you also have the sex ratio issue, if you end up with fifty females you are really going to struggle to sell them and if you end up with fifty males you are going to struggle to stop them killing one another.

It might depend a little bit where you live, but I live in a hard tap water area and often I literally can't give away my surplus fish. If I was willing to courier fish it might open up more possibilities, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't help that much.

If I was going to try and breed a fish for profit (I'm not) I would go for a smallish colourful Corydoras pp., something like Corydoras duplicareus.

At the moment I have a small colony <"Corydoras pygmaeus"> maintaining themselves, they are ideal for me, you could literally keep a 100 in a well planted 60 cm (2') tank if I wanted them to ramp up production. I like them, but they have no commercial value however.

corydoras_pygmaeus2022-jpg.196142


Corydoras hastatus would be better, but I don't have any any more. @Apistomaster is the <"master of breeding"> these.

cheers Darrel
 

Bramgroet

Member
Messages
182
If I was going to try and breed a fish for profit (I'm not) I would go for a smallish colourful Corydoras pp., something like Corydoras duplicareus.
I don’t want to breed for profit it is more that i don’t want to be able to not get rid of the fish I breed.
It might depend a little bit where you live, but I live in a hard tap water area and often I literally can't give away my surplus fish.
I live in the Netherlands in a province where the water is pretty soft. Ph 7-7,5 and kh to 3 or 4. And a gh that is much higher maybe 6 to 8. My lfs is a pretty famous one in the Netherlands. You might know it i think not but maybe it’s called Utaka. They are famous for there more rare species they have and more than 3/4 of the fish are wildcaught. So they will probably take my more rare fish which need more work on water parameters.
 

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