• Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Male or Female Apistogramma Macmasterii?

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Hello,

We recently purchased what we believed to be a mated pair of Macmasterii from an LFS, but now aren’t so sure. They look much darker than what we’ve seen in our online research, but could that be stress from moving from the store to home?

Also, we’re not fully sure we have a male and a female! Their colors look similar. Did we get a pair of males? Or a pair of females?

They’re currently in a 29 gallon high with a pair of pregnant guppies and a Siamese algae eater (and we checked, it’s a Siamese and not Chinese or a flying fox :) ).

The two don’t seem to fight much, though have claimed different sides of the tank. If they’re a pair of males, does anyone know of a reputable online seller where we can get them some ladies or, if female, where we can get a gentleman to build a harem?

Thanks!

For size reference, the first one is in front of a 2” clay pot, and we thought he was the male. The second is slightly smaller.
 

Attachments

  • 1EAA13C2-946F-4E40-97D4-599FE73FBD60.jpeg
    1EAA13C2-946F-4E40-97D4-599FE73FBD60.jpeg
    3.2 MB · Views: 158
  • EA7A7293-09A2-467F-BA2F-F0BE2D91494C.jpeg
    EA7A7293-09A2-467F-BA2F-F0BE2D91494C.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 167

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Hello,

I posted earlier in the Apistogramma forum before realizing that I should have posted my question here. Apologies for any potential spamming...

We recently purchased what we believed to be a mated pair of Macmasterii from an LFS, but now aren’t so sure. They look much darker than what we’ve seen in our online research, but could that be stress from moving from the store to home?

Also, we’re not fully sure we have a male and a female! Their colors look similar. Did we get a pair of males? Or a pair of females?

They’re currently in a 29 gallon high with a pair of pregnant guppies and a Siamese algae eater (and we checked, it’s a Siamese and not Chinese or a flying fox :) ).

The two don’t seem to fight much, though have claimed different sides of the tank. If they’re a pair of males, does anyone know of a reputable online seller where we can get them some ladies or, if female, where we can get a gentleman to build a harem?

Thanks!

For size reference, the first one is in front of a 2” clay pot, and we thought he was the male. The second is slightly smaller.
 

Attachments

  • mcmaster_apisto1.jpeg
    mcmaster_apisto1.jpeg
    3.2 MB · Views: 84
  • mcmaster_apisto2.jpeg
    mcmaster_apisto2.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 96

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
832
Location
Germany
It looks like you have A. macmasteri there, allright. The first picture shows what I think is a male fin colouration, form and size point there. The second could be aswell, at least the fins being elongated say so, but I wouldn't really bet on it. Are both the same size?

The colours are a bit dimm, likely due to bright lighting and dark substrate.

The tankmates are all but fitting, though. SAEs zip around the tank often, ignoring all and any territorial lines and guppies might end up as food.

Can you show a picture of the whole tank?
 

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Thanks! We kinda fell into apistos, started with GBRs and branched out from there. We just had a guppy birth, and bar some of normal natural selection, our new batch of fry seem to be doing well and will eventually be moved to a gen pop tank. We’ve been watching the SAE and he doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone/no one seems bothered, however that might be because we might have two same sex apistos and the spawning aggression is n/a currently.

Below is a picture of the tank, though it wasn’t originally set up for apistogrammas. Any suggestions would be appreciated. As for the colorations of the two fish, we think that outside of size, the markings look the same. The larger of the two is about 2.5-3”, and the smaller about 2”. I’ve included another picture of the smaller one.

F91E18BA-5238-4A09-BA71-DFE2A3E29795.jpeg
BAEB4223-C28D-4262-B3A6-69BB2168BA7C.jpeg
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
832
Location
Germany
Yeah, the dorsal and the anal fin look very much like a male.
You are mostly correct why the SAE isn't causing trouble right now. Both males simply don't have set up territories yet and no females present. I'm pretty sure as soon as this is established it will cross the lines again and again. I mean, how should it know better. This might lead to it being chased all the time while also stressing the apistos.

Otherwise the tank will need restructuring if you want to keep Apistogramma. Mine is all but optimal, but the only one I can show you without infringing copyright:
photo_2020-10-24_18-48-57.jpg

Right now I only have one Apistogramma in there, but note the structure blocking the view inside the tank from left to right. I facilitated a lot of leaves, seedpods and driftwood.
 

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Thanks for the advice about the SAE as well as the visual of the apisto setup. So I assume the suggestion is for a lighter substrate then, and from our research, a lot of leaf scatter on the bottom? Obviously, in addition to the central structure.

Then to find some ladies for these guys... Could you recommend any reputable online seller? Don't trust this LFS anymore as there's been an earlier issue with fish from them as well, and none of the others nearby have apistos at all.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
832
Location
Germany
Oh, the substrate can stay. The colour of your substrate is just a problem for the colouration in combination with bright lights. It's more about the layout of structures. And yes, leaf litter is a very big plus. Aswell as floating plants. If you take a look at the results of a quick search for "Apistogramma biotope tank" you will find a lot of inspiration.

I'm not sure about macmasteri (somebody correct me) but I think one of the guys has to go in favour of a female. I wouldn't be too harsh on the store for this. I have come to learn that there are so many different species of Apistogramma available in some places unless the employees are not interested in them especially many go by the signs on the tanks. I know some store workers that know a lot about certain groups but almost nothing about others.
Also unless you live in the EU I can't help you with online sellers.
 

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Not yet, but hopefully someday. Spain is ultimately where we would like to end up. But, that will have to wait, until we are allowed back in the pool again.
 

kappaalby

New Member
Messages
13
Hi,

dark color is symptom of stress (together with fast breathing and lethargy), is it going better now?

the one in the first picture is definitively a male to me (also note the pointed dorsal and anal fins), the second one probably

Do you have enough hiding spot in the tank? this will help each one of them being comfortable and then show better color

For reliable online source, I know one but here in france, not sure where do you live

cheers
Alberto
 

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Hi Alberto,

We spoke with the LFS who will exchange the smaller male with a female when they get their shipment in tomorrow. Once we pulled him out the larger started showing more color, especially on his dorsal and tail fins.

We're rearranging the tank as well, building a rock cave in the center for more hiding-spots; we've attached a picture of the new setup in progress.

We're in the States, west coast. Portland OR is our nearest metro area. We have family living in southern France and Spain, though!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1361.jpeg
    IMG_1361.jpeg
    2.1 MB · Views: 88

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Hey, you were right! Spoke with the LFS, said they'll take the smaller of the two males back in exchange for a female once they get their shipment in tomorrow. Once we got the small guy out the big guy's colors started to lighten. Also rearranging the tank per your suggestion, getting a rock cave built up in the middle for some hiding spots. We've attached a picture of the work in progress. Thanks!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1361.jpeg
    IMG_1361.jpeg
    2.1 MB · Views: 96

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
832
Location
Germany
I hate to be a buzzkill, the rocks look great, but they will raise hardness and pH. But better see and say it now, when there is still a chance for fine tuning. :)

Otherwise the tank looks great now in comparison! Good job! When you update the structure, don't be afraid to build as close to the front and back as possible and as high up as reasonable. More driftwood will be helpful, as it's lighter even when waterlogged.

Thought about the tankmates? Guppies are no longterm tankmates for Apistogramma unless you keep the hardness on a level uncomfortable for the cichlids.
 

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
Thanks! They’re seiryu rocks. We did see a mild ph increase when we added the rocks, and we’re watching it to make sure nothing spikes. Current ph is around 7. You suggested more driftwood, and we know that lowers ph, so we’re hoping between the rocks and the wood we can find a happy equilibrium when needed.

As for tank mates, eventually we’ll be swapping out for some tetras. However, so far the guppy fry seem to be doing fine (and waiting for them to get a little bigger for ease of catching later on!).
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
832
Location
Germany
Thanks! They’re seiryu rocks. We did see a mild ph increase when we added the rocks, and we’re watching it to make sure nothing spikes. Current ph is around 7. You suggested more driftwood, and we know that lowers ph, so we’re hoping between the rocks and the wood we can find a happy equilibrium when needed.

As for tank mates, eventually we’ll be swapping out for some tetras. However, so far the guppy fry seem to be doing fine (and waiting for them to get a little bigger for ease of catching later on!).

Actual Seiryu? I was thinking that, but not sure. That is a kind of limestone, sadly. :(

If you are planning to replace the guppies with tetras, you don't have to find the equilibrium between rocks and driftwood. Besides, with that amount of rocks you might have to add so much wood and botanicals it's not worth trying. With neither an actual dose can be predicted and while the rocks raise pH pretty much directly, wood and plantmatter need weeks to lower pH measurably.It took me two months with a KH of pretty much zero to lower the pH from 7.0 to 6.4 with botanicals.
 

arquero0125

New Member
Messages
19
As for the rocks, they came from a LFS's Imagitarium Seiryu Rock Aquascaping Kit, for what it's worth. But thanks for the advice, sounds like we will be keeping an even keener eye on the parameters.
 

JoseF

New Member
Messages
27
They both look like males to me. The dominant male will color up and the other will be a sleeper. At least that happened in my tank with two males and a female. Good luck with Spain. Visiting Northern Spain is on my bucket list.
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
16,810
Messages
105,919
Members
12,288
Latest member
NotInverse

Latest profile posts

I want to get a 55 gallon slightly planted tank with many caves and I am thinking of getting 2 electric blue acaras, 3 blue rams, a apistogramma, 3 angelfish, and some corrydoras. Will that work if I keep the temperature at about and 80 or less?
I have kept fish for quite a long time but never cichlids. I want to find out more about them.
Hi
my Hongsloi, keep eating their eggs, any help greatly appreciated
CRM is the most practical solution Used for Companies
To build a reputed image in the market by forming strong bonds with their
clients. The CRM software in New Zealand has been in maximum usage because of the
high increase in customer retention and satisfaction rate.
The Shrimp Pimp wrote on fredmir1's profile.
Hi Fred, do you have any apistos for sale? I'm looking for Apistogramma trifasciata. I'm about an hour and a half from Mtl.
Top