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New to Apistos

Torison

New Member
Messages
4
Hi everyone!
A few months ago I "inherited" a pair of apisto cacatuoides along with a secondhand tank I bought.
I was only really after a starter tank for my first tropical fish since childhood so a 12 gallon "Aquaone nano 40" seemed a good option with its built in multistage filter.

I had never really considered apistos as was just looking at starter fish but I'm really happy with the way things have worked out.

I was told they were quite young, but over the last couple of months they have really come on.

The male is quite dominant towards the female, and will chase her away regularly, or she will "submit" by angling onto her side.

Is this related to mating behaviour?

She goes quite yellow/golden in colour, but doesn't really seem to have a prefered "cave" despite a few options.

Since picking them up I've added 4 peaceful otocinclus for algae control. After a couple of days the apistos settled to there new tank mates well, only occasionally giving chase.

Just today I've added 8 neon tetras. To try and stop the male being so aggressive with the female, and distract him a little. Seems to be going well, a little chasing but nothing major. I've noticed both male and female looking brighter and "showing off" a little more to which is positive.

I've attached some photos to see what you think of them. The male in particular looks incredible. I had never heard of these incredible little fish and I'm so pleased that I accidentally discovered them!

Torison
 

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Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
10,655
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I am happy that you like your apistos. What you see (angling to her side) can be both a submission gesture and an invitation to breeding. Your community seems nice for now, but things could change quickly if your apistos breed:

Females become highly aggressive and protective of their brood territory - male included
.
Neon tetras are infamous fry predators, not a problem if you do not want offspring, but the female on lucky (unlucky for neon) occasions might damage one while trying to guard fry.

If the male becomes interested in breeding but the female is not, the male often tries to drive the female out of his territory. In a small tank, like yours, this means the entire tank. If she cannot avoid the male she might be injured or killed.

So, enjoy your community tank but be prepared to intervene if needed.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,300
Location
Germany
Also to add: Both fish seem quite old, might be one of the last breeding attempts for them.
 

Torison

New Member
Messages
4
Thanks for the reply Mike, that's good to know.

While she is a nice golden yellow, I do have the feeling it's more submissive than an invitation for breeding (not that I know anything).

I can't say I am interested in breeding (mainly due to the lack of space, I wouldn't know what to do with the fry short or long term).

But if it happens I will obviously do what is best for the fish, contacting yourselves or my lfs for advice.

I am surprised you said they were older as the chap I got them off said they were young, I believe he reared the male himself. But again, I have such little experience with the species bar what I have read on the Internet.

The male does seem to be a bit of a bully towards her, but chasing more than nipping, and he relents when she does her submitting pose. While I'm sure it could be stressful for her there is certainly no physical damage to her currently.

With it being such a small tank I have ensured that there are many hiding places (hopefully you can see from my last picture of the full tank) since the photo I have also added some java fern to increase the cover for the tetras (and female). If anything it's almost a jungle. But personally I like that, and I hope the fish will too.

I was considering picking up about 4 kuhli loach in a few weeks once the tetras have settled, to help with the cleaning of the tank, picking up any loose morsels etc.

I'm more than happy with any advice that can be provided with regard to keeping these fish.

Kind regards
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
369
Location
San Francisco
I was considering picking up about 4 kuhli loach in a few weeks once the tetras have settled, to help with the cleaning of the tank, picking up any loose morsels etc.
As bottom dwellers, kuhli loaches would be directly in the line of fire of the breeding pair, and that will increase stress for everyone involved. Your tank is pretty heavily stocked; I wouldn't advise adding any more fish of any kind.

As for eating leftover food, apistos are sand sifters and will play this role. Just don't let that be an excuse to overfeed.

Cheers
 

Torison

New Member
Messages
4
As bottom dwellers, kuhli loaches would be directly in the line of fire of the breeding pair, and that will increase stress for everyone involved. Your tank is pretty heavily stocked; I wouldn't advise adding any more fish of any kind.

As for eating leftover food, apistos are sand sifters and will play this role. Just don't let that be an excuse to overfeed.

Cheers
Thanks Ben, I'll take that advice on board and leave it.

Speaking of feeding currently my sinking microgranules are failing to get past my cloud of hungry tetras, the frozen bloodworm is fine (to big for the tetras currently). Any advice on ensuring the apistos are eating well, without increasing the food volume and overfeeding the tetras?

Cheers
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
369
Location
San Francisco
Speaking of feeding currently my sinking microgranules are failing to get past my cloud of hungry tetras, the frozen bloodworm is fine (to big for the tetras currently). Any advice on ensuring the apistos are eating well, without increasing the food volume and overfeeding the tetras?
Use a 5ml medicine dropper or 3ml pipette to target feed the apistos.

You can also feed the fish on different sides of the aquarium. This is how make sure both apistos are eating. It takes some timing and practice.
 

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