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Sexing Nijsseni

Linds6292

New Member
I bought what I was told was a male a. Nijsseni months ago to try out another species. Another shop that deals in lots of apistogramma had some so I asked for a female and I bought it. I put it in a tank with the male and a male Agassizii (who had their own territories set up) but I wasn't convinced she was a female. She was about half the size of the male and she instantly hid. I didn't see her for days but eventually, she came out but was always chased away by both males. My intention was to transfer both of them to a new tank to try breeding them, but so far I haven't. The new fish has gotten larger and now "she" chases the Agassizii male around. The two Nijsseni are mildly aggressive to one another now, but get on ok. I think they are both males, but I'm not sure. I have since seen some more in yet another shop and the male there is very blue and a lot darker than mone. There is another in the tank with him that looks like mine (more yellow). So I wondered if mine might both be female. I've read that females shouldn't have blue. Does that mean none at all? Neither has been as dark as the blue one I saw. I thought from reading that two makes would kill one another.

The first, more colourful image is the older and the other 3 are of the one I bought as a female.

Thanks
 

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Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
The first is a male, the second is a female, but I not sure either is the true nijsseni. Also note that A. nijsseni is very choosy about breeding partners.
 

Linds6292

New Member
The first is a male, the second is a female, but I not sure either is the true nijsseni. Also note that A. nijsseni is very choosy about breeding partners.
Thanks a lot. The female doesn't look like any of the photos or pictures I've seen (except maybe the head shape). I was expecting obvious spots.

They are getting along pretty well and the water is probably not ideal for them to breed. I have a black water tank set up that should have a lower pH than this one. Is it worth moving them, or should I get rid of them (because they don't look right)?
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
The fish look small/young so they may develop more mature dress in the future. Whether or not to keep them is entirely up to you.
 

Linds6292

New Member
Some great news. I decided to take them back to a shop I frequent to trade them in. Lo and behold they had some Nijsseni for sale with some unmistakably female specimens, and the rest looking along the lines of my two. So I decided to keep my larger male and exchange the smaller of the two for a female.

I put them in a new tank I had prepared for a pair and they got along well from the start. I had an issue with what I think was ammonia (from leaves I added to the water change water for and one of my Macmasteri nearly died. His mate bullied him while he was sick so when I saw the male hiding in a corner of the tank I thought he had suffered the same. Turns out they had spawned and he was just being banished.

20210224_192212.jpg


She is caring for the wrigglers, and I think they will swim tomorrow. He is gradually allowed back out, so I'll leave him in there if only because he will be aggressive putting him anywhere else.

20210228_184207.jpg
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
I had an issue with what I think was ammonia (from leaves I added to the water change water for and one of my Macmasteri nearly died.

I guess you have low pH, so ammonia was likely not the problem, but too much botanical material at once can deplete the oxygen quite quickly. That's why water pretreated with leaves should be aerated well.

I had similar problems of the male being beaten into a corner by the brooding female with my A. hongsloi. Any such problems with the nijsseni?
 

Frank Hättich

Active Member
5 Year Member
Some great news. I decided to take them back to a shop I frequent to trade them in. Lo and behold they had some Nijsseni for sale with some unmistakably female specimens, and the rest looking along the lines of my two.
From what I can see in your photos, your female looks more like A. panduro rather than A. nijsseni to me.
 

Linds6292

New Member
I guess you have low pH, so ammonia was likely not the problem, but too much botanical material at once can deplete the oxygen quite quickly. That's why water pretreated with leaves should be aerated well.

I had similar problems of the male being beaten into a corner by the brooding female with my A. hongsloi. Any such problems with the nijsseni?
Yeah, I was actually going to do some research on testing ammonia in tannin-stained water. I freaked out a bit when water that had only been put in a bucket with leaves the day before was testing at 1-2ppm Ammonia. My water is extremely soft out of the tap, but my pH is never very low. That's one of the things I'm working on.

The male was well and truly bullied when they first spawned (I assume, because I didn't see the eggs). Gradually she seems to have allowed him back out. I saw him go quite close to a fry. Today, the fry started swimming and when I fed them and the parents some bloodworms sank very close to the fry and he went in without touching them and grabbed them. So I think they will eventually coexist with the fry well.
 

Linds6292

New Member
From what I can see in your photos, your female looks more like A. panduro rather than A. nijsseni to me.
I really have no idea. I have to go on what other people say.

I have heard a lot that nijsseni are fussy with partners. These two took to one another instantly and have bred in a matter of weeks. Would that happen interspecies?

I'll try and get a better photo.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I was actually going to do some research on testing ammonia in tannin-stained water. I freaked out a bit when water that had only been put in a bucket with leaves the day before was testing at 1-2ppm Ammonia. My water is extremely soft out of the tap, but my pH is never very low. That's one of the things I'm working on.
In an environment below 6.8 pH Ammonia is present in the non-toxic (well, not acutely at least) form of Ammonium. That's very much the reason blackwater works in the first place. I guess my - very stained and crammed with botanicals - tank would not work at all had I got a pH over 7.

The male was well and truly bullied when they first spawned (I assume, because I didn't see the eggs). Gradually she seems to have allowed him back out. I saw him go quite close to a fry. Today, the fry started swimming and when I fed them and the parents some bloodworms sank very close to the fry and he went in without touching them and grabbed them. So I think they will eventually coexist with the fry well.
That's great to hear. The tank pictured above looks a bit sparsely decorated so I assumed it may have too few hiding spots.
 
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