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My joy on finding Apistogramma's

Carol Waterhouse

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Carol Waterhouse
Perth, Western Australia

I have only recently came back to keeping fish after and almost 19 year hiatus. My hobby quickly blew out from the keeping of 13 different types of shrimp and jumped back into fish, to cut a long story short I fell into Apistogramma's as a good mate of mine recommended them as they are awesome fun and I really wasn't keen on the larger species of cichilids.
I already had at this stage a breeding pair of Archocentrus spilurum which had had 57 fry and also two pair of Pelvicachromis Pulcher that had two batches of fry each totaling more than 300 babies. With the success of this he urged me to buy a pair of Cacuotoides, not a first Apistogramma I would actually recommend (on hindsight). They proceeded to devastate all other tank mates when it came time to settling down to it. I lost over 400.00 worth of pleco's. We then lost this pair to fin rot as it wasn't caught quickly enough. I was devastated to say the least. Not one to be put off, I purchased a breeding rack that came up for a special price at a closing down sale and prepared to set it up. The rack was useless so hubby and I bought some dexcion from Bunnings, then it was a flurry of purchases which isn't cheap. Soil, plants, heaters. You know the drill. Just a lot more expense when dealing with 5 tanks as opposed to one. I have since added 12 other types of Apisto's to my collection and have a total of over 40 tanks. Within the last 2 months had fry from my Apistogramma hongloi, quad red cacuotoides and also from my panduro pair. I have seperated the fry from the hongsloi pair about 2 weeks ago and it looks like the parents are going to reproduce again. I have had a few hiccups along the way though but these have ironed themselves out. It has been a wonderful journey so far. I ordered a lot of my Apistogramma through local fish shops that order through Aquarium Industries. I have had a couple of mix ups with my fish being the wrong species and out of the two pair of hongloi I ended up with three females and only one male. Once they coloured up the mistake was apparent and I had to wait close to three months for a new male to be shipped. The other colossal mistake was I had ordered two pair of A. agissizii rio tefe and ended up with agissizii females and unknown males. Which have since been identified as A. geisleri. More waiting for my rio tefe males to arrive. Paul at Morley Aquariums has been a rock. He has diligently found me my missing stock and replaced it all at the expense of his time and much patience. I have done very well with all of them and am happy to say that it has been a wonderful if not exasperating time. I now have two extra batches of rio tefe babies and also a batch o trifasciata fry. I also have a love of sand dwellers and sifters and have a beautiful batch of Lamprogolus occelatus and Neolamprologus hecqui around 400 odd fry. The Pulcher has since had more fry and also a pair of Pelvicachromis Sacrimontis. My hubby has decided its time to add in another rack just to keep up with the breeding. lol
 

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