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Keeping and Breeding A. Ortegai

Hi.

Im about to get myself a group from this fish. They are wild caught and they come in 2 varieties in the pet store. Purple and blue. Now this fish comes in many names A. sp. 'Pebas', sp. 'papagei', sp. 'algodon', sp. 'putumayo', sp. 'ampiyacu but the real name is atm A. ortegai and is part of the regani complex. The other names are in my understanding varieties of the same fish.

Now i dont find much info on these fish but I found this site and the name suggest here I might find some answers.

So my questions are.

1. What is the difference in keeping wild caught fish vs farmed.
2. What is the proper way to breed wild caught apisto. ( i think it might be more difficult with wild ones?)
3. What water should I have to get proper spawn ( good ratio of males/females and healthy ofc)
4. Tank minimum size for breeding pair and tank size for a group 2+3.

With best regards Gabriel
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
A. ortegai (sensu lato) is actually 2 different species, which is something Dr. Römer and I agree on. The type locality of the specimens used by Britzke, et al. appears to have been contaminated by human introduction of specimens from other locations. Not only do DNA studies (unpublished) agree with this, but the locality has been collected for over 20 years and only recently has A. ortegai (Papagei) been collected there. For now A. ortegai (sensu lato) includes:

A. ortegai (holotype form) = A. sp. Papagei/Papagallo/Parrot; ; A. sp. Galaxis (sometimes); A. sp. Algunas; A. sp. Nanay (sensu Römer, not Melgar); A. sp. Frank (commercially); A. sp. Larinus II; A. sp. Larrini, and A. sp. Algodon I (sometimes)

A. cf. ortegai (Pebas) (some of the paratype specimens) = A. sp. Pebas in its many color variants (morado/purple; Ampiyacu; Dolly; Big-foot; Naronha, etc.)​

A. sp. Putumayo = A. sp. Algodon II (sometimes) is a different species.​

Now I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

1. Wild fish and domestic fish are no different, health-wise - IF (and a BIG if) they are maintained and shipped properly. Wild specimens will be more likely to be pure, non-hybridized specimens - IF (and a BIG if) they were all collected at the same locality. This may seem counter-intuitive to many, but most health problems of wild fish occur from being held densely packed in holding tanks and and shipping bags. Of the several hundred apistos that I've collected in the wild and shipped home, I can count the number of sick fish I got back home on the fingers of one hand. Wild specimens - IF collected at one location - and not contaminated by human mixing - should represent only one species. In the wild fish have their choice of breeding partners, so will almost always breed only with their own kind. In an aquarium, where breeding pairs are restricted to what the human breeder has at hand (too often something of a close, but different, species), well you get hybrids ("any port in a storm/close enough for government work" syndrome). I've seen lots of these fish over the years. Domestic fish from quality breeders (more often than not, knowledgeable hobbyist breeders) should be just as healthy as well maintained/shipped wild fish.

2. The best way to breed an apisto - it doesn't matter if wild or F20 domestics - is to use conditions similar to their habitat (water values and biotope). Of course domestic fish are often easier to breed because the strain has adapted to breeding in less-than-optimal conditions. Other than that, just quality food (mostly live and frozen; occasionally dry, if they eat it) and quality water maintenance in a properly decorated aquarium.

3. Water values? See comment above. For ortegai-like species, whose males aren't highly polygamous, all you need is 1 or 2 females. That being said, males can be rough on females not ready to breed and females are extremely aggressive toward other females. Make sure you have a large enough tank.

4. Tank size for a pair: 15 gallon long (24x12" bottom) minimum; considering the aggression of these species a 20L (30x12" bottom) would be much better. For 2+3 fish, I personally wouldn't keep them in anything less than a 55 gallon (48x13" bottom) or 40Breeder (36x18" bottom). This also assumes that the tank is properly decorated.
 
Hi and thanks for the nice reply.

As for now I got some fish that is supposed to be "A. Ortegai" 87 and 89... They also said it was a "blue" and a "purple" variety.
I got myself 3 pairs, 2 purple, one blue. One showed to be super alpha and he was picking fights in my community tank until he and a female got a 60x30cm tank for themselves.
Now the females in the store looked very different from each other and both me and my partner think there might have been a mix up even before they got to the store. One pair proved to be 2 males that we got and the owners didnt seem to be able to tell their own fish apart.. Also got a "pair" of 2 male electric blue ram so this store has some compensation time ahead.
I will wait some time before uploading pictures until they have "full" color.
 
I got fry now. In my planted 375l tank. Got 2 females, 2 males, and 4 pearlgourami in there and a small ancistrus.

The fry is free swimmng. Eating peeled artemia eggs, ( is this enough until they can eat say blood worm? The mother is guarding the fry like a champ.

Is there anything I should do or not do at this point?

Will post a pic when I get a good one...
 

MickeM

Active Member
5 Year Member
Hi Gabriel ..+all..
As long as you still can see that the fry having their stomachs well fed, you can let their parents keep doing their "job" for yet some time..
My experience is this.... when the parents are ready for a new spawn, they often starts to "argue"(preparing by courting) or stop guarding the fry/youngsters the same/normal way..
But you may also kickstart new spawning by a large waterchange.. so if you want to avoid this, I would advise you to only change/add small amounts of water..
In small tanks they may start acting aggressively toward the youngsters..(not all species/pairs do this!!) But I guess that this should not be a problem in your tank!!
But if you find any fish sucessfully eating fry, you may want to "save" some of them by arranging an extra tank (using water from the large tank!) and remove the fry or the predators.( Nearly all fishes are opportunistic by nature!!.. if the prey is fitting the size of their mouth...)
Often the amount of fry (in a community-tank) drops "one by one" until only a few are still alive..
You may increase the survival-statistics by having lots of small caves/hiding-places (oakleaf, roots or plants..)!!??

BTW.. where are you located?? I often visit Södermalms Akvarieaffär in Stockholm.. They/he keep a lot of small/nice fish-species..

/Micke
 
Hi

Thx for a great reply. Currently I have 2 mothers with fry(just noticed) in each corner of the 375l tank. All fish is removed xcept for the ancistrus and ortegai. Getting live BBS started and now I have to find people who want the fish in the next 2-3 months.

Will post pics when they get big enough to capture on the camera :) !

PS I live in Gothenburg ;) west coast.
 

MickeM

Active Member
5 Year Member
I didn`t test my pH when I bred them, but I guess it must have been approx. 6,5...!! (Temp- 24-26C ! )
 

Hudson Ensz

Member
5 Year Member
I am resurrecting this thread because A. sp. pebas is available from wetspot. Am I correct in understanding that this species is really the result of transplanting nonnative fish through human action?
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Not quite. The species A. ortegai was described using 2 different species (verified by DNA results) that were collected together: A. sp. Papagei/sp. Galaxis/sp. Algodon I/sp. Algunas/sp. Nanay (Römer)/sp. Frank/sp. Larinus II/sp. Larrini and probably other names I've missed and A. sp. Pebas/sp. Ampiyacu/sp. Dolly/sp Big-foot/sp. Morado/sp. Naronha and probably other name I've forgotten. The type specimen of A. ortegai is the Papagei form. A. sp. Pebas is among the paratypes. It is possibly an undescribed species, but there is a good chance that it is the same species as A. amoena (the only specimen was recently re-disccovered). Because of this I now list A. sp. Pebas as A. cf. ortegai (Pebas).

Although the type locality for A. ortegai is near the town of Pebas, Peru, where A. cf. ortegai (Pebas) is found naturally, its natural distribution occurs in the middle Rio Ampiyacu (Quebrada. Paucaryacu) far from the town of Pebas. It appears that the A. ortegai specimens used in the description were transplanted into areas near Pebas by native collectors because it took less effort to collect closer to Pebas - and safer than from the natural area that was controlled by cocaine producers. I fear that there has been a lot of crossing in the species now commercially available in the hobby. So, A. ortegai was the species that was transplanted, not A. cf. ortegai (Pebas).
 

Hudson Ensz

Member
5 Year Member
The above is the picture associated with the fish, and it is tank raised with the name A. Sp. Cf. Pebas I believe. So it's likely A. Amoena?
Thanks! Considering getting a pair.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I would call it A. cf. ortegai (Pebas). It looks like the Pebas paratypes among the type specimens of A. ortegai. I definitely would not call it A. amoena until/unless scientifically verified - which it has not yet.
 
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