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Ivanacara Bimaculata

FeetPixel

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I know these are Acaras but I genuinely believe I’m onemof the sole owners in North America because I can’t find much documentation. I bought these from a Swede that collected their parents himself- looking for any pointers from someone that has kept these or a similar species.
I’ve got them in a 125. There are some Julie angels and some Cacatuoides in there. They’ve been in there less than a week and have danced with eachother multiple times. They’re not even fully colored yet!
I’ve got driftwood and almond leaves in there to keep the PH low. I think I need more driftwood for cover. More plants to come.
there are quite a bit of shrimp in there, the fish have enjoyed eating the smaller ones.
does anyone know of these being successfully reared?
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Mike Wise

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I was actually surprised to see these fish offered on Aquabid recently. Before seeing the photos I was sure they were actually only misidentified I. adoketa, but the really were I. bimaculata. I. bimaculata is found in true blackwater biotopes - very acidic and no hardness - similar to I. adoketa. I would treat them the same. IMHO this is a species that should have its own breeding tank.
 

MacZ

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I. bimaculata is found in true blackwater biotopes - very acidic and no hardness - similar to I. adoketa. I would treat them the same. IMHO this is a species that should have its own breeding tank.
Absolutely agree.
 

FeetPixel

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I moved some wood around and added some more plants, I also added more almond leaves. I have the means to double up on the leaves, should I? I liked the bare sand more but these leaves do wonders of getting my ph down into the 5’s.
the Bimaculata colored up nicely and the male chased the female around for a few minutes before they began dancing- this time instead of their normal shaking dance, they also swam in circles so closely that they were touching eachother. It was cool the see. Afterwards the male had a standoff with one of the Cacatuoides. no actual fighting though. This tank is the only option for them, but if push comes to shove I will remove everything else. The Bimaculata are my priority here.
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MacZ

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I have the means to double up on the leaves, should I?
Yes, but keep in mind they use up a lot of oxygen during the first days when bacteria colonize them, so do it in batches and keep the airstone running. After some weeks of building up leaves I would remove it. At one point it supports gassing off naturally dissolved CO2, which then raises pH again.

Though honestly, for these fish the TDS/EC readings are more important than pH, GH or KH (the latter two should be zero anyway).
 

FeetPixel

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13
Yes, but keep in mind they use up a lot of oxygen during the first days when bacteria colonize them, so do it in batches and keep the airstone running. After some weeks of building up leaves I would remove it. At one point it supports gassing off naturally dissolved CO2, which then raises pH again.

Though honestly, for these fish the TDS/EC readings are more important than pH, GH or KH (the latter two should be zero anyway).
thanks for the advice. my TDS readings are about 7 on average from my RODI, and I was only using that water for half of the water changes. You think I should step it up to RODI only? What is EC?
 

Mike Wise

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Looking at the tank and its inhabitants I don't see much success with reproducing this rare and expensive fish. I see fry predators everywhere. Those who have been here for any time know my opinion: a community tank is not a breeding tank. I hope I'm wrong in this case.
 

FeetPixel

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Looking at the tank and its inhabitants I don't see much success with reproducing this rare and expensive fish. I see fry predators everywhere. Those who have been here for any time know my opinion: a community tank is not a breeding tank. I hope I'm wrong in this case.
It would be cool if everything had babies and got along, but I agree it’s unlikely. I didn’t expect to come across these fish, they are the only unplanned livestock but I’m happy to rehome the other stock if these fish breed due to their rarity. This was originally going to be modeled after the amazon river.
what are your thoughts of RODI only, as opposed to tap+prime?
 

MacZ

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thanks for the advice. my TDS readings are about 7 on average from my RODI, and I was only using that water for half of the water changes.
Test your tankwater. If you use RO for half the waterchanges you should be at half the level of your tap. 7 is only how it comes out directly from the RO unit.
You think I should step it up to RODI only?
Yes, though that means your Apistogramma and the guppies have to move out, they won't take that well.
What is EC?
Electric conductivity. Your TDS-meter should be able to read that too. Usually about double the TDS-reading but in a unit called micro-Siemens per centimeter (µSi/cm). Internationally the more common unit.

I agree with Mike, if you want to breed these fish, and I can only encourage you, because they are rare in the hobby and rare-ish in the wild, you will have to rehome not only the Guppies and the A. cacatuoides, the Cardinal Tetras will also have to go. Probably easier to move the Ivanacara to a breeding tank (80x40x40cm would be a good size). The other fish (except the guppies) will still appreciate softer water nonetheless.
Have a look at water parameters in South America. The Amazon basin is for the most part a softwater region with extremely soft water.

what are your thoughts of RODI only, as opposed to tap+prime?
Tap and prime is for standard community tanks and beginners. RO is the only way in softwater aquatics, except if you can collect rainwater. For the Ivanacara RO is a must.
 

FeetPixel

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13
Thank you for these helpful resources & the constructive criticism, I really appreciate it.
would the Cacatuoides need to go because RODI is too soft?
 

FeetPixel

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13
Fish are the priority here, agreed. Do you say the Cacauoides wouldn’t like RODI because it’s too soft?
 

MacZ

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Germany
Do you say the Cacauoides wouldn’t like RODI because it’s too soft?
The Ivanacara are blackwater fish, which is the most extreme variety of softwater in South America. A. cacatuoides usually lives in clear- or whitewater which is a bit less soft and a bit less acidic. Sure, there are some blackwater populations, but your A.c.s and the Angels are a domestic strain, I don't know how well they will do in TDS below 50. The tetras are the only fish besides the Ivanacara I am certain can do with this. The guppies will at one point just drop dead, they are hardwater fish.
 

dw1305

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Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
What is EC?
"Electrical conductivity" a measure of the amount of ions in solution, estimated from the electrical current they conduct. Usually quoted in micro Siemens.

Pure H2O is an electrical insulator (I'm ignoring the self ionization of water).

Conductivity doesn't tell you which ions you have (and some ions are better conductors of electricity than others), but it is a <"nice linear scale"> all the way from 0 microS (ultra-pure water from a DI unit) to 53,000 microS (53 milliS) for fully saline sea water.

As examples our DI water in the lab. reads about 1 microS., our rainwater from 30 microS - 150 microS, tap water about 650 microS (it is from a deep limestone aquifer and fully saturated with Ca++ and 2HCO3- ions).

The black water rivers in the Amazon (like the Rio Negro) will be below 30 microS and often down into single figures. @Tom C has values he measured on his website.

We make up our own conductivity standard solution:
Conductivity Standard Solution. 1413 µS/cm at 25°C, using 0.01 M. potassium chloride (KCl).

The RAM of potassium (K) is 39.1 and chlorine (Cl) 35.5 and the RMM of KCl = 74.6.

74.6 g of KCl made up to a litre with DI water is a one molar solution, 7.46g in one litre a 0.1 mol solution and 0.75g in 1 litre a 0.01 molar solution, so we are talking small amount of ions (K+ & Cl-).

I don't attempt measure 0.746g of KCl accurately, I use the molar stock solution and serially dilute it when I want a 1413 microS calibration standard.

cheers Darrel
 

Mike Wise

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Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
The I. bimaculata have 2 benefits with regard to successful reproduction. They are in a large aquarium that is decently aquascaped and the pair will both defend the area around the fry. If they succeed, great. If not, I'd house them in a separate breeding tank.
 

FeetPixel

New Member
Messages
13
Little update-
color is improving daily. They get a mix of flake, pellet and frozen every day. They ate all my shrimp. I’ve been keeping their bellies full. The female has begun chasing the male much more, they always end up dancing.
the one I suspect to be male has been showing a breeding tube (?) for the last week or so.
the first pic is the suspected male and the second pic is the suspected female.
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MacZ

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Location
Germany
They get a mix of flake, pellet and frozen every day.
Try to move away from dry foods. Or to such that have no grains and starches in them. The less carbs the better. And for the protein base, fish meal is similarly bad. Insect or crustacean-based is best.
 

FeetPixel

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13
Try to move away from dry foods. Or to such that have no grains and starches in them. The less carbs the better. And for the protein base, fish meal is similarly bad. Insect or crustacean-based is best.
Thanks for the advice! I was feeding a little bit of bug bites flak and Vibra bites worm-shaped sinking pellets.
I prefer frozen anyways, they seem to enjoy it so much more. I just wasn't sure about the richness of frozen-only. Anything else you suggest? For frozen i've been feeding a lot of blood worms, a little brine shrimp and a little Emerald Entree (which they aren't crazy for)

I have begun to transition to mostly RODI, right now my watercahnges are 75% RODI. Just step one as i continue to familiarize myself with the content you messaged me earlier (thanks again by the way!) I really want to do it right without any mistakes.
 

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