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keeping apistos alive


New Member
I've had some bad luck with some recently purchased 4 apistogramma cacatuids orange flash , they all died within the week. The tank is 75 galleons has only 4 Otto's in it . This is the second batch I've lost and the last unless i can figure out what I'm doing wrong. The fish where all bought online from reputable people. The PH is 6.8 , KH 40ppm, GH 25ppm, nitrite o, nitrate 20ppm and temperature 81 degrees. I do 20 % weekly water changes have a hard time keeping nitrate below 20ppm . Thanks for any recommendations.


Well-Known Member
It's hard to impossible to determine the cause of death in hindsight.

The only two things I can recommend: Up the waterchanges to 50% a week (also sounds like you might have nitrates in your tap) and make sure you acclimate properly.

Otherwise there are no certainties going by the info you give.


Active Member
If the tank only has 4 otto in it -i wonder if it is cycled. The ammonia and nitrite will be 0 if there is almost no biological activity but when you add new fishes they will produce ammonia and if the tank is not cycled that ammonia will quickly become toxic.


New Member
Tested for ammonia came out 0 ppm, tank has been running over a year with various numbers of fish it also 75 galleons and heavily planted with vallisneria, crypts and pogostenon. Its also has overly filtered with sponge, cannister and HOB filters. 4 apistos shouldn't put that much of a bio- load on my water. I just cant seam to get nitrates below 10ppm.

Im thinking maybe apistos aren't meant to be for me , I have very hard water and have to use majority R/O water to supplement it , a 50 percent water change per week in a 75 g tank would be a hard commitment . I also have other tanks that to take care off.

Thank you for your comments, I appreciate them.

Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Domestic strains of A. cacatuoides should handle your water conditions without a problem. To me this indicates either poor quality/sick fish from the supplier or poor shipping (or both). This is why I always recommend having a proper quarantine tank for any fish that you buy before adding them to their permanent home.

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