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Request for stocking advice for 4ftx4ft aquarium

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
735
I think I've mentioned this before but i'm setting up a 4ftx4ft low ph aquarium and i'd like a species that is not too violent and i can keep multiple members given the tank size. I'm debating on keeping two species but can handle one that have some tranqulity. These are the species i'm considering along with my notes:
a. bitaeniata (suppose to be able to form harem or at least have multiple groups in large enough area)
a. piaroa (less interested in this one but also suppose to be relative peaceful)
a. barlowi (mouth brooder; not sure of aggression level)
a. sp abacaixis (I think these are suppose to be able to tolerate each other in large enough area)
a. ortegai (not sure about these - but vaguely i think they are a bit violent)
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would two of these species be able to co-exist with breeding or is the space too small - if two species which one do you thinik would have success without much violence.
Other fishes i'm considering are
n. beckfordi (12 to 15) or one of the more expensive red species.
taeniacara candidi (probably can't keep these with the apisto); but might try them in a 20 long
6 Dicrossus filamentosus (probably won't be available initially so might be a late addition but might find some tank raised ones)
maybe a grouami specie - cherry chocolate - might be too much with the apisto not sure.
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I might toss in some pygmy cory for temporary as an experiment to see if they can establish the same harmony with the apisto as they did with kribs but after a while if that doesn't happen remove them (if i can).
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My plans are to make the back 2 ft heavy wooded with the last 4 inche or so above the water level for crypts/anubias hopefully in emersed form (tank will be 20 inches high and have 14 to 16 inches of water); top will have usual floating plants like hornworth and frogbits - the front 2 ft will be less crowded with wood and might have a few stones and branches for small cave like structure and open area in the very front. Filttration will be corner mattern filters on both side - 4 inch. Target ph is hopefully below 6 with tds below 5. I'll probably plant a few species of sword plants but not sure if they can handle the soft water as well as a bit of val again with low expectations. PSO will probably lined the back with the opportunity to break the water surface where it tends to do better in emersed form.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
735
You probably know my opinion by now.:)
Well I think in general you would recommend one species and just the pencil for breeding; but my question is with the increase in space if there is room for two of the above species to co-exist or if I am over-estimating the space and should stick with just one.
 

Mike Wise

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Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
If I had such an aquarium my first question would be, "Do I want a community tank or a tank to breed apistos?". If the former, I'd have males of multiple species. The number would depend on the lay-out of the aquarium which determines the number of suitable territories. If the latter, I would decide on one species that I want to breed and, depending on tank lay-out, have a 1 to 4 (M/F) ratio of specimens. I'd also look for a different pencilfish because N. beckfordi has a reputation for picking off apisto fry.

Can you mix 2 species together? Sure. You can even do this in smaller tanks but I don't think it's a good idea for a couple of reasons: 1) interspecies aggression, although less severe than intraspecies aggression, where there are insufficient territories, and 2) inability to separate juveniles of different species unless allowed to fully mature. An example of this is when I received some juvenile A. inornata from a well-respected apisto breeder. It turned out one of the "inornata" (a pertensis-like species) was actually A. borellii - very different as adults, but very similar as juveniles.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
735
If I had such an aquarium my first question would be, "Do I want a community tank or a tank to breed apistos?". If the former, I'd have males of multiple species. The number would depend on the lay-out of the aquarium which determines the number of suitable territories. If the latter, I would decide on one species that I want to breed and, depending on tank lay-out, have a 1 to 4 (M/F) ratio of specimens. I'd also look for a different pencilfish because N. beckfordi has a reputation for picking off apisto fry.

Can you mix 2 species together? Sure. You can even do this in smaller tanks but I don't think it's a good idea for a couple of reasons: 1) interspecies aggression, although less severe than intraspecies aggression, where there are insufficient territories, and 2) inability to separate juveniles of different species unless allowed to fully mature. An example of this is when I received some juvenile A. inornata from a well-respected apisto breeder. It turned out one of the "inornata" (a pertensis-like species) was actually A. borellii - very different as adults, but very similar as juveniles.
So maybe a group of abacaixis with 2 males and 4 or 5 females and if not available bitaeniata with a similar configuration. My understanding is both species can tolerate multiple group in a 'large enough area' but 'large enough' is rarely defined. Can Dicrossus filamentosus coexist with the apisto without aggression issues? Also which species of pencil are safe - my first choice would be Nannostomus mortenthaleri if i can find them at a decent price but frequently i see excessively high prices on them.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
10,817
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
For a breeding tank of that size I'd recommend an odd number of males. With proper lay-out 3, possibly more, should work. I personally wouldn't recommend mixing D. filamentosus with polygamous apistos, which tend to be more territorial. The best pencilfish to keep with breeding apistos is N. marginatus. The 2 'red pencils' should be safe with fry, as Mazan wrote. Males of both species are extremely aggressive to other males however.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
735
Ok. Well it will be an experiment and in the worse case I can always punt at a later date and turn it into a display aquarium for guppies.
 

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Prontodelivery wrote on Apistoguy52's profile.
Do you still have the F1 Ivanacara adoketa “red” from the Rio Icana, interested in getting 2 Pairs.
mikishuhoo wrote on Apistoguy52's profile.
Hi,

Do you still have Apistogramma diplotaenia pairs available to sell? Please advise. Thanks.

Kenny
I'm clueless. If I say something you can safely ignore it.
Apistomaster wrote on anewbie's profile.
I see that The Wet Spot Tropical Fish currently has the fire red A. agassizi you are looking for. Here is the link:
I've always had good experiences buying from them on line.
Hallo,
I am Hanzle from Holland and keep apistoos for 40 years. Had my own aquarium shop from 1984 till 1988. Always s great fan from apistoos and hyphessobrycon which is s great combination in a Community Aquarium. Perhaps.....in the near future I start breeding apistoos again. Have a 400 liters Community aquarium for hyphessobrycon wadai and apistogramma biteaniata.
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