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Most Peaceful Apistogramma?

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,187
Location
Germany
Really? I worry about bioload and starvation even though it's 90 gallon tank. I thought more than 6 Corydoras might not get enough food even with sinking pellets. Same for Cardinals, the bigger the group some might miss out on food.
We're talking a 360 Liter tank. Depending on the length of the tank I wouldn't keep Melanotaenia boesemanni in it because in my opinion the tank doesn't offer the space they need. But if we go by bioload I would easily fit in 30-40 P. axelrodi and 15-20 Corydoras. Gregarious fish like these will always get enough food if fed correctly. Due to tetras and rainbowfish being quite aggressive feeders I would only worry about bottomdwellers. The food has to reach them, that is all you have to be aware of.

I have been at this nearly two years so I am new and still learning. I am very cautious about everything.
Up until there I'm with you.

They are living things I treat them like I would a dog.
But there you might want to reconsider. Most of the fish we keep are small feeder fish in nature. They are many, they are the ones other species live off. They are hardier than you think if kept in the right conditions, which includes numbers. I do promote responsible, but also species appropriate fishkeeping. The numbers you are keeping are quite low and what I would mostly deem just about enough so the group sizes are not too small.
But before I tell you to go and get more, how about you show us the tank, because a picture says more than a whole novel.

Even with Ultimate Conditioner or Prime it still only goes down to about 350 ppm so about 18 dh.
The only way to lower hardness is using soft source water. The stuff you add is just dechlorinator which detoxifies chlorine so fish won't die within minutes. 1 degree hardness is 17.8 mg/l (or ppm if you will), so you're actually at 19° hardness. One question is though, how much of it is GH and how much of it is KH.
In your case if you wanted to lower this, you'd have to use an RO unit. Which I do not recommend, because of the overall volume of your tank, the fact you would have to replace the membrane in the unit at least once a year and that you have rainbow fish, which are actually hard water fish.

While softwater fish (like P. axelrodi, like Corydoras, like most dwarf cichlids) can live in it for quite some time, the conditions in hard water are excellent for opportunistic bacteria and these fish are very prone to bacterial infections because in their natural habitats the water is so soft, bacteria have a hard time surviving there. If a fish gets stressed too much the bacteria strike, cutting life-expectancy down by a bit. So if somebody is willing to keep these fish in such hard water, hygiene in terms of water changes (not cleaning, you can easily overclean a tank!) and water quality (nitrogen compounds and other waste products) is key. A well balanced combination of a high performance filter and lots of plants (including emersed plants rooting in the water) would be the minimum, a UVC sterilizer would be a nice-to-have additionally.
 

Garavar

New Member
Messages
13
We're talking a 360 Liter tank. Depending on the length of the tank I wouldn't keep Melanotaenia boesemanni in it because in my opinion the tank doesn't offer the space they need. But if we go by bioload I would easily fit in 30-40 P. axelrodi and 15-20 Corydoras. Gregarious fish like these will always get enough food if fed correctly. Due to tetras and rainbowfish being quite aggressive feeders I would only worry about bottomdwellers. The food has to reach them, that is all you have to be aware of.


Up until there I'm with you.


But there you might want to reconsider. Most of the fish we keep are small feeder fish in nature. They are many, they are the ones other species live off. They are hardier than you think if kept in the right conditions, which includes numbers. I do promote responsible, but also species appropriate fishkeeping. The numbers you are keeping are quite low and what I would mostly deem just about enough so the group sizes are not too small.
But before I tell you to go and get more, how about you show us the tank, because a picture says more than a whole novel.


The only way to lower hardness is using soft source water. The stuff you add is just dechlorinator which detoxifies chlorine so fish won't die within minutes. 1 degree hardness is 17.8 mg/l (or ppm if you will), so you're actually at 19° hardness. One question is though, how much of it is GH and how much of it is KH.
In your case if you wanted to lower this, you'd have to use an RO unit. Which I do not recommend, because of the overall volume of your tank, the fact you would have to replace the membrane in the unit at least once a year and that you have rainbow fish, which are actually hard water fish.

While softwater fish (like P. axelrodi, like Corydoras, like most dwarf cichlids) can live in it for quite some time, the conditions in hard water are excellent for opportunistic bacteria and these fish are very prone to bacterial infections because in their natural habitats the water is so soft, bacteria have a hard time surviving there. If a fish gets stressed too much the bacteria strike, cutting life-expectancy down by a bit. So if somebody is willing to keep these fish in such hard water, hygiene in terms of water changes (not cleaning, you can easily overclean a tank!) and water quality (nitrogen compounds and other waste products) is key. A well balanced combination of a high performance filter and lots of plants (including emersed plants rooting in the water) would be the minimum, a UVC sterilizer would be a nice-to-have additionally.
Very informative thank you.

I use these test strips, all my readings are always on far left. Except top one hardness is always over 300.

For filtration I have Oase 850 Cannister Filter. Supposedly for tanks up to 225 gallons.

I do 20-30% water changes twice a month, weekly felt obsessive since the values never change.

I'll have take some photos of tank later, fishies are sleeping now.
 

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MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,187
Location
Germany
Test strips are only answering two questions: Is a certain thing present and if so is it a lot or a little. So by design they are used to show short term changes from known values. If you don't have an idea what parameters your water actually has they are useless. Also they are prone to unintentional user error. So look up the water analysis on the website of your municipal provider and compare.

For any tank, even lightly stocked like yours, 50% waterchange a week are a good practice in the first 12 months of its lifetime. After that the biology of the tank has somewhat balanced out, it can take up to 18 months to really be seasoned, though.

What's the plant situation in your tank?
 

Garavar

New Member
Messages
13
Test strips are only answering two questions: Is a certain thing present and if so is it a lot or a little. So by design they are used to show short term changes from known values. If you don't have an idea what parameters your water actually has they are useless. Also they are prone to unintentional user error. So look up the water analysis on the website of your municipal provider and compare.

For any tank, even lightly stocked like yours, 50% waterchange a week are a good practice in the first 12 months of its lifetime. After that the biology of the tank has somewhat balanced out, it can take up to 18 months to really be seasoned, though.

What's the plant situation in your tank?
All fake plants. Haven't started planting still a beginner.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,187
Location
Germany
I know the industry and stores in the US tell people they need who knows what in equipment and soil and lights and fertilizers to have plants in their tanks and so people think it's something for intermediates and pros. Frankly, that's BS. Get some Hydrocotyle leucocephala (pennywort) and/or Ceratophyllum (hornwort) and some floating plants like Limnobium (frogbit) or Pistia (water lettuce) and let them all just float, also some cuttlings of Epipremnum (pothos) and fix those somewhere to the rim near the surface (feet/roots in the water).

This will definitely be helpful longterm and in a sustainable way. Before the tank isn't properly seasoned you wouldn't have much fun with an Apistogramma. At least not for a long time.
 

Garavar

New Member
Messages
13
I know the industry and stores in the US tell people they need who knows what in equipment and soil and lights and fertilizers to have plants in their tanks and so people think it's something for intermediates and pros. Frankly, that's BS. Get some Hydrocotyle leucocephala (pennywort) and/or Ceratophyllum (hornwort) and some floating plants like Limnobium (frogbit) or Pistia (water lettuce) and let them all just float, also some cuttlings of Epipremnum (pothos) and fix those somewhere to the rim near the surface (feet/roots in the water).

This will definitely be helpful longterm and in a sustainable way. Before the tank isn't properly seasoned you wouldn't have much fun with an Apistogramma. At least not for a long time.
I only have a Fluval Aquasky. Will that be sufficient for these plants?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,187
Location
Germany
Absolutely. I also have one of these on my tank and as you can see here


They're doing great.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,791
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
All fake plants. Haven't started planting still a beginner.
It is what @MacZ says and I'm not trying to be funny, or disparaging at all, but you need real plants. Plants aren't a decoration they are really, really important for maintaining water quality.

Have a look at the <"Duckweed Index">.

cheers Darrel
 

Apistomaster

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
736
Location
Clarkston, WA
Another good, as utilitarian, plant commonly known as Guppy Grass, Najas guadalupensis. It grows free float or rooted although it doesn't have a strong root structure.
You want some plant which is very undemanding and a quick grower. These act as nitrate sponges and removing excess growth is removing nitrates from the system.
I think there are no experienced Apistogramma fans who will give you positive reinforcement in the use of imitation artificial plants with the rare exception of using them in a quarantine or treatment tank where medications tend to kill living plants.
 

Garavar

New Member
Messages
13
I like these options, really Hornwort the most.

Any good plants that are low like grass that can be planted in gravel? Java Moss maybe? Again beginner.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,187
Location
Germany
Any good plants that are low like grass that can be planted in gravel? Java Moss maybe? Again beginner.
Pass, I exclusively use sand (which is good fpr Corydoras and Apistogramma) and plants that are close to the surface.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,791
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
really Hornwort the most.
Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is a good subsurface floater. I use it with Indian Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) a lot <"https://apistogramma.com/forum/thre...e-dying-parts-of-anacharis.23496/#post-109467">.
Any good plants that are low like grass that can be planted in gravel? Java Moss maybe?
Java moss (<"Taxiphyllum barberi">) is another good one and will spread across hard surfaces, but isn't a "planted" plant.

You could try <"Cryptocoryne x willisii">, <"Lilaeopsis brasiliensis">, <"Sagittaria subulata"> or <"Helanthium (Echindorus) tenellum">.
I exclusively use sand (which is good fpr Corydoras and Apistogramma)
I'm a sand user as well, and the bottoms of my tanks are <"dark and gloomy places"> fairly full of structural leaf litter etc.

cheers Darrel
 

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