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I think finally completed my tank (should I add some more dither?)

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Hello!

I think I finally completed my 40g Apisto tank (initially I kept a breeding discus pair here). I tried several dither fish combos:
1. silver hatchets
2. Pencil fish
3. glass bloodfin tetra
4. Corydoras sterbai

Nothing seems to have worked: the silver hatchets were bigger than the Apistos, and when they became comfy they spent their time bickering with each other near the bottom and saw one of them nipping the female Apisto when she got too close; the glass bloodfin swimming movement felt wrong and looked dull color-wise, and The Corys were making the bottom look like theres a party going on, and I did not like the pencil fish (maybe because they were color silver?). Overall complete lack of harmony with those fishes and the Apistos here.

Finally decided to go with 5 Cardinals. I like how bright they look in the stained water. Im not sure I like the empty look but for sure I dont like a very busy-looking tank.
Im just wondering if I can add 3 more fishes here, what should they be? Something maybe red or blue but not bigger than the Apisto since I want them to be the biggest fish here.
Looking for something not as lazy as the cardinals (they just hover in 1 spot); something that will swim around the water column but whos movements are not fast or eratic, or I can also just add 3 more cardinals.


20240205_181637.jpg
 

Hapisto

New Member
Messages
16
Do you wish to breed your apisto ? If yes, you should remove the cardinalis and go for Nannostomus marginatus. They look beautiful, are active and can't eat the fry because of their small mouth.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,984
Location
Germany
1. silver hatchets
Jumpers, but good choice. The reason they didn't work out would be the lack of structure at the surface. The behaviour towards the Apistogramma is strange, actually.
2. Pencil fish
The ultimate tankmate, even in breeding tanks. Many species of them also require surface structure.
3. glass bloodfin tetra
Ok in displays. Your problem with them is... yeah... They are known to be active surface dwellers. Research in advance should have brought that up before buying them.
4. Corydoras sterbai
Corydoras are generally not a good choice with Apistogramma. In tanks of 120cm length or more, the combination with a bachelor group of dwarf cichlids works out. If you have a smaller tank or a mixed sex group with female Apistogramma, they are not a good choice, because a steady high stress level can be established, leading to losses.

I have to set something straight, because you seem to have a problem with it: Bickering is NORMAL among characins. Be it hatchets, pencils or tetras. None of them are completely peaceful. At least not towards each other. They are also territorial to a degree. Males claim display territories. I would stock them up to 10 at least. 5 is too small a number for this species.

You should really add more structure and especially plants soon, just as you wrote in your PM. The setup, as it is, has several downsides:
- Lack of structure leads to fish claiming territory close to existing structure, ostracising the one unfortunate to not get any real estate, in turn raising stress and lowering immune response.
- Right now the tank is highly dependend on waterchanges and in danger of tipping. Only the low number of fish keeps this from happening.

Btw, how many Apistogramma are in there right now? Just one? If so - good. Stick to that.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,765
Location
Wiltshire UK

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Do you wish to breed your apisto ? If yes, you should remove the cardinalis and go for Nannostomus marginatus. They look beautiful, are active and can't eat the fry because of their small mouth.

Im not trying to breed them. I didnt want a female but everywhere I go they were only sold in pairs.
 

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Hi all,

I'd get <"some floating plants">, Pistia stratiotes (Nile Cabbage) would be ideal and <"biotope appropriate">. They won't only fill a space and provide cover, they are <"very good for water quality">.

cheers Darrel

Im not too sure floating plants will survive here but I can try. The tank has a polycarbonate lid. Theres a 2.5 inch clearance between the lid and the water surface and the lid accumulates way too much condensation. Will dwarf water lettuce do or is the regular water lettuce more efficient in keeping the water clean? Theres a lid for several reasons: I initially had hatchetfish, I had 1 loss due to jumping. Also had several tetra losses due to jumping; to preserve heat; this particular tank is also located in my bedroom and wanted to reduce room humidity since the evaporation rate is kinda crazy. Looking at the condensation Im wondering if Im breathing all that water before I added a lid.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,374
Most floating plants love condenstation; water lettuce, red root floaters and frog bit all grow fine in my black-water aquarium.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,984
Location
Germany
Most floating plants love condenstation; water lettuce, red root floaters and frog bit all grow fine in my black-water aquarium.
I wouldn't say they love it, as I have seen at least Limnobium and Phyllanthus rot after getting too much condensation on their leaves. But high humidity and warmth between the surface and the lid is indeed good.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,212
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
My experience with Pistia is that it's best to lower the water level so that the top of the lid 1"/2.5 cm above the tops of the leaves and angle the lid slightly so that condensation flows and drips down toward the back.
 

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Have to figure out how to pull my spray bar lower than usual to increase distance between water surface and lid. I tried cutting some tubes yesterday but they all cracked.
 

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