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New to apistos

Messages
50
Hi everyone . Hope all is well! Will be taking a shot at keeping an apistogramma pair . I was unsuccessful my first go around , but have done more research this go around . I am in an apartment and can only keep a 10 gallon tank. I’ve read mixed reviews about keeping a pair of apistos in a 10 gallon tank. Just wanted to get some peoples opinions . In addition, any aqua scape specifics that will help the fish thrive and give them a feel like their natural environment . Thank you so much in advance
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
346
Location
San Francisco
Hi, I took a look at some of your previous posts. It sounds like you plan to breed them? A 10 gallon tank can work as a breeder, but people who do this typically have other tanks for the times when fish need to be separated. Either to address aggression problems, or in order to stop breeding once there are fry. You would also need a growout tank eventually, 20 gallons or larger. It takes a lot of work feeding and changing water to raise them up.

If you have all that stuff (and a quarantine tank) there's a lot of good basic advice here: http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/index.php

If you can only have the one 10 gallon tank and you want to breed, I might suggest fish that require less real estate. For example, you could do a permanent setup of many types of nonannual killifish and create a sustaining colony that won't outgrow the tank too quickly.

If you don't want to breed, don't keep a pair. You could keep a single male and make a small community tank.

Cheers
 
Messages
50
Hi, I took a look at some of your previous posts. It sounds like you plan to breed them? A 10 gallon tank can work as a breeder, but people who do this typically have other tanks for the times when fish need to be separated. Either to address aggression problems, or in order to stop breeding once there are fry. You would also need a growout tank eventually, 20 gallons or larger. It takes a lot of work feeding and changing water to raise them up.

If you have all that stuff (and a quarantine tank) there's a lot of good basic advice here: http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/index.php

If you can only have the one 10 gallon tank and you want to breed, I might suggest fish that require less real estate. For example, you could do a permanent setup of many types of nonannual killifish and create a sustaining colony that won't outgrow the tank too quickly.

If you don't want to breed, don't keep a pair. You could keep a single male and make a small community tank.

Cheers
That was my first go around , I do not plan to breed them but if they breed I will get a separate tank for the babies
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
346
Location
San Francisco
In that case, i don't recommend keeping a pair, and definitely not in a 10 gallon. They will either breed, kill each other, or both. It's a fine size for a single male and a few community fish, though.

Given the correct conditions, they will breed. With a pair, you have to be prepared for that outcome.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
346
Location
San Francisco
In terms of size, 10 gallons is plenty big for a single male of any apisto species. (Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.) Some apistos have large mouths, though, so if you keep one of those, don't keep it with small fish that can fit in its mouth. Example: cacatuoides have been known to get pygmy corys stuck in their mouths.

There are two main factors that determine difficulty:
  1. Aggression
  2. Water parameters
Aggression is usually toward its own species, and often regarding a desire to breed (or competition for breeding partners). If keeping a single male, that eliminates most sources of conflict. I've had apistos that were an absolute terror in the breeding tank and completely chill in the solo tank.

For water parameters, some species require very soft, acidic water. If you can't provide that, stay away from those. They might survive in hard water, but would be living under continuous stress. Most of the domestic aquarium strains aren't very picky about water parameters (e.g. cacatuoides, macmasteri, borellii...) and therefore might be considered "easy." On the flip side, those can be heavily inbred and sometimes of poor quality. Similarly, a lot of wild type species (including those same species in the wild form) that come from whitewater and clearwater habitats also tolerate a wide range of water parameters. Basically, you don't want pick a species that comes from a blackwater environment unless you can provide that.

Note: I saw a previous thread where you were concerned about the pH dropping. I believe all fish in this genus will do perfectly fine in soft, acidic water, so that shouldn't be a concern. The additional benefit of a low pH is that any ammonia will be in the protonated ammonium form, which isn't toxic to the fish.
 
Messages
50
In terms of size, 10 gallons is plenty big for a single male of any apisto species. (Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.) Some apistos have large mouths, though, so if you keep one of those, don't keep it with small fish that can fit in its mouth. Example: cacatuoides have been known to get pygmy corys stuck in their mouths.

There are two main factors that determine difficulty:
  1. Aggression
  2. Water parameters
Aggression is usually toward its own species, and often regarding a desire to breed (or competition for breeding partners). If keeping a single male, that eliminates most sources of conflict. I've had apistos that were an absolute terror in the breeding tank and completely chill in the solo tank.

For water parameters, some species require very soft, acidic water. If you can't provide that, stay away from those. They might survive in hard water, but would be living under continuous stress. Most of the domestic aquarium strains aren't very picky about water parameters (e.g. cacatuoides, macmasteri, borellii...) and therefore might be considered "easy." On the flip side, those can be heavily inbred and sometimes of poor quality. Similarly, a lot of wild type species (including those same species in the wild form) that come from whitewater and clearwater habitats also tolerate a wide range of water parameters. Basically, you don't want pick a species that comes from a blackwater environment unless you can provide that.

Note: I saw a previous thread where you were concerned about the pH dropping. I believe all fish in this genus will do perfectly fine in soft, acidic water, so that shouldn't be a concern. The additional benefit of a low pH is that any ammonia will be in the protonated ammonium form, which isn't toxic to the fish.
Thank you so much for all that info ! I’ll probably keep 1 male and some small schooling fish like 4-6 of them. Do you have recommendations on a reputable person to purchase them from? I’m fine with getting him shipped if need be
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
346
Location
San Francisco
Thank you so much for all that info ! I’ll probably keep 1 male and some small schooling fish like 4-6 of them. Do you have recommendations on a reputable person to purchase them from? I’m fine with getting him shipped if need be
Sure, there's lots of them! What you need, though, is someone who will sell you a male. Many of the big shops either sell unsexed or pairs. A lot of times, though, individual breeders will have an excess of one or other other, or are simply willing to split them up. Check out this group on Band: https://band.us/band/78632746?invitation_url_id=a1ad62t6KcPfS

There are lots of good sellers there. I recommend Ethan Condry and JD Aquatics. Alex Ayala is in Queens.

On this forum, @Hellfishguy is in Brooklyn, he might have something. I don't know him, but his posts here and elsewhere are on point.

Also do you recommend driftwood ?
For sure, I'm a big fan of driftwood both for tannins and structure.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
I'd recommend one of the smaller gentler species like borelli where you could either keep a single male or male/female in a 10 gallon. They are not only a bit less aggressive but are also a bit smaller than many other commonly available species (like mentioned cockatoo).
 

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