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Need help deciding on Apistos in a community tank

Ashnu

New Member
Messages
2
Good evening guys,

first of all, please excuse any obvious written mistakes. English isn't my first language.

I need help planning a community tank. After looking in Apistogrammas I've gotten quite confused about conflicting information, especially from my fish wholesaler.
I inherited a 450l tank with following dimensions: 150x50x60h
I want to achieve an one-sided island style aquascape like in this video. So one side will be heavily planted surounded by stones and additional leaf litter. The planted area will cover around 30-40% of the ground area on one side. I hope you can understand what I mean.
The center piece fish would have been a group of five Geophagus sp. 'Pindaré' but unfortunately I can't find them anywhere in Germany. So instead I'll get a group of Geophagus tapajos 'red head'. Addionally there will be a large number of Otocinclus affinis, Hyphessobrycon pulchiprinnis and about 10 Mikrogeophagus altispinosus.

At first I wanted to add a pair of Apistogramma borelli and a pair of A. hongsloi but after researching neither does make sense at all. A. borelli seems to like it colder than the information from my wholesaler and having two different species of Apistos are too much anyway. So I thought about adding two pair of A. hongsloi but it didn't seem like a good idea either. I don't care much about fry but the breeding behaviour in itself would be interesting to see. Then again I don't want to stress out any breeding female in a tanke with larger fish like the Eartheaters.

My problems is, I can't get any single males in my close region either.

So my question is, would a pair or two of A. hongsloi be okay in such a community tank? Alternatively I could get a pair or trio (1m 2f) of A. macmasteri. Essentially I like the looks of any Apistogrammas. They are all nice looking fish. Any other recommendations for a bit of warmer community tank? I can get some of the more common Apistogrammas in pairs like A. pandurini, A. agassizis, A. trifasciata, A. cacatuoides and A. nijsseni or should I look into other dwarf cichlids like Nannacara anomala and Dicrossus filamentosa?

Thanks in advance.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,877
Location
Germany
I want to achieve an one-sided island style aquascape like in this video.
I'll be frank: Please do not try typical aquascaping structures in a tank with dwarf cichlids. For Apistogramma structure is key, otherwise even a tank the size of your's will end up being too small. Open areas without blocked lines of sight will be claimed by the most dominant fish and everybody else is not going to get a share of this. "Traditional" aquascapes and territorial fish don't mix well and usually end in dead fish.

The center piece fish would have been a group of five Geophagus sp. 'Pindaré' but unfortunately I can't find them anywhere in Germany. So instead I'll get a group of Geophagus tapajos 'red head'. Addionally there will be a large number of Otocinclus affinis, Hyphessobrycon pulchiprinnis and about 10 Mikrogeophagus altispinosus.
So wait, those species are already fixed?
- Otocinclus should only be added to a well seasoned tank at least running for 6 months, otherwise they end up starving. They also fit the bill for "If it fits in the mouth, it will be eaten." Geophagus are not fish eaters but Otos will be gone quickly I'm quite certain. Same can go for the other smaller fish, depending on the size you get them at. A juvenile dwarf is also eaten pretty quickly by a fully grown Geophagus.
- 10 Mikrogeophagus altispinosus? Then the spot of a dwarf cichlid is taken. No way you can add any other dwarfs then. And 10 of those might be a problem as well. Just because they are said to be the most peaceful among the dwarfs, doesn't mean they are not able to get into serious troubles among each other.

Biggest problem I see, though: Geophagus need open space, dwarf cichlids need structure. That's almost impossible to compromise. Think about what you really want. Either big cichlids or dwarf cichlids, not both. If you can't decide between Geophagus and dwarf cichlids, get a second, smaller tank specially designed for dwarfs and get bigger fish for the Geophagus to cohabitate with.

Essentially I like the looks of any Apistogrammas. They are all nice looking fish.
So this is your approach? I'd overtthink this and get deeper into the matter. Especially concerning behaviour and structure. I can't recommend going through with your plan as you lay it out here with a clear conscience as I am certain some of the fish will get the short end of the stick. :(
 

Ashnu

New Member
Messages
2
I'll be frank: Please do not try typical aquascaping structures in a tank with dwarf cichlids. For Apistogramma structure is key, otherwise even a tank the size of your's will end up being too small. Open areas without blocked lines of sight will be claimed by the most dominant fish and everybody else is not going to get a share of this. "Traditional" aquascapes and territorial fish don't mix well and usually end in dead fish.

First of all, thank you for your reply. I realised that it can't be a traditional aquascape, so enough structure would be added to accomodate the behavioral needs of territory claiming fish.

So wait, those species are already fixed?
- Otocinclus should only be added to a well seasoned tank at least running for 6 months, otherwise they end up starving. They also fit the bill for "If it fits in the mouth, it will be eaten." Geophagus are not fish eaters but Otos will be gone quickly I'm quite certain. Same can go for the other smaller fish, depending on the size you get them at. A juvenile dwarf is also eaten pretty quickly by a fully grown Geophagus.

I know about Otocinclus. I've kept them succesfully for quite a while. That being said, the Geophagus that will be added will be around the 5cm mark and they will probably be the last fish added.

- 10 Mikrogeophagus altispinosus? Then the spot of a dwarf cichlid is taken. No way you can add any other dwarfs then. And 10 of those might be a problem as well. Just because they are said to be the most peaceful among the dwarfs, doesn't mean they are not able to get into serious troubles among each other.

Good to know. I've seen pictures and reports of Geophagus, Mikrogeophagus and Apistogrammas kept successfully in tanks in older german community threads, but unfortunately I'm not able to contact them anymore. So hence I asked.
I'll give it a better thought. The 10 Mikrogephagus will be sorted out after some bonded up. At the age I'm getting them, they are quite hard to correctly sex so getting a bigger group is recommended to start.

Biggest problem I see, though: Geophagus need open space, dwarf cichlids need structure. That's almost impossible to compromise. Think about what you really want. Either big cichlids or dwarf cichlids, not both. If you can't decide between Geophagus and dwarf cichlids, get a second, smaller tank specially designed for dwarfs and get bigger fish for the Geophagus to cohabitate with.

Thank you for your input. Actually I've seen the smaller and more peaceful Geophagus recommended quite often with dwarf cichlids, hence why I'm asking and trying to get information.

So this is your approach? I'd overtthink this and get deeper into the matter. Especially concerning behaviour and structure. I can't recommend going through with your plan as you lay it out here with a clear conscience as I am certain some of the fish will get the short end of the stick. :(

You probably missunderstood, what I meant with saying "I like the looks of all Apistogrammas".
Again, thanks for your input. I'll think about the structure and will see, if it makes sense.


€dit: After thinking about it, I'll do it entirely differently. This thread can be ignored.
 
Last edited:

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,877
Location
Germany
I realised that it can't be a traditional aquascape, so enough structure would be added to accomodate the behavioral needs of territory claiming fish.
As I said, I doubt this is generally possible as the species in question all require hardly compromisable conditions.
That being said, the Geophagus that will be added will be around the 5cm mark and they will probably be the last fish added.
Good call.
Actually I've seen the smaller and more peaceful Geophagus recommended quite often with dwarf cichlids, hence why I'm asking and trying to get information.
G. sp. "Tapajos" get up to 25cm, so I wouldn't call them smaller. If any Biotodoma or Crenicara might be the right size for a safe combination.
I've seen pictures and reports of Geophagus, Mikrogeophagus and Apistogrammas kept successfully in tanks in older german community threads
I don't doubt you've seen that, I sincerely doubt the owner was completely honest about how and whether it really worked out.
The 10 Mikrogephagus will be sorted out after some bonded up. At the age I'm getting them, they are quite hard to correctly sex so getting a bigger group is recommended to start.
There's just one problem: Mikrogeophagus don't form bonded pairs. Most of the fish we're talking about here in this forum don't. At best you get serial monogamy, meaning they stick together for a single spawn or a breeding season and then look for other partners.

€dit: After thinking about it, I'll do it entirely differently. This thread can be ignored.
Good luck then! :)
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,325
There is a fellow in uk that has a. lineata with a geo like fish - i forget the species maybe cupid maybe something larger and they have successfully bred in his community tank but the tank has a good division between dense scape and open area. Also his tank was fairly large 400L so maybe smaller than his - his geo were Biotodoma wavrini which i think are related to cupid. These are a lot smaller than the geo you had listed...
 

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