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Smallest tank size

Discussion in 'Husbandry / Breeding' started by Fishez, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Fishez

    Fishez New Member

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    I have some general questions that I have searched for answers but have not found any clear answers. I have some 5.5 Gallon tanks (about 20L) that I'd like to make use of. Can this size house a pair of Apistogramma cichlids? Would they breed in this size. If not, why not? What can be put in a 5.5 Gallon sized tank? or even better, what are your thoughts about the smallest tank size possible for a pair of dwarf cichlids?
  2. Happyfins

    Happyfins Member

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    I would say no. Only a single cichlid in this size for a short time. Why? Because it is too small for any fish that may display aggression and the other fish can't get away. Minimum size for adults IMO 50 litres. Have they been bred in 20l? Probably. Is it going to be easy? Probably not. Killis, bettas, miniature tetras or boraras or cories are better suited. Fry do well in a smaller tank because you can do targeted feeding and daily water changes.
  3. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I, like Happyfins, don't recommend breeding apistos in a 5.5. It's just too small for most territorial cichlids like apistos. Having said that, does anyone remember Fontaine Weyman from Atlanta? If you do you must have collected pterodactyl eggs for breakfast like me! Anyway Fontaine supplied most of the domestic raised apistos back in the 60s & 70s. He had some of the ugliest A. borellii (then A. reitzigi) and A. cacatuoides (then thought to be A. borellii), pale & almost no color, but that's what was available. Anyway Fontaine did most of his breeding in 5.5 gallon tanks. Of course he removed the males once the females had fry. Still, he lost fish regularly to territorial aggression and was continually looking to hobbyists to whom he sold his fish to return them to resupply his stock. About the only apisto I would recommend for a 5.5 is A. wapisana, a behaviorally different, small (1½"/3.5cm) - and not particularly pretty - apisto.
    boofeng and Fishez like this.
  4. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    There's a guy on Facebook that swears he uses almost nothing by 5 gallon tanks for his pairs and doesn't ever remove the fish, but I have found that it is much safer and better to use at least 10 gallons for the easier species, and more if you don't want to worry about aggression. I have a pair in a ten gallon that get along great, but chances are if I had two other individuals, then maybe their individual natures would clash during the time when they are not breeding, and things would go south.
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  5. Fishez

    Fishez New Member

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    Thanks all for the very informative points made. I was curious about this and am glad that I had a chance to learn the reasons. I would imagine that a 5.5 gallon tank might be more useful for holding a Betta or growing some plants or something like that. I appreciate very much the responses.
  6. Lagges

    Lagges New Member

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    20L are to small to keep Apistos in it. I think its possible to breed Apistogramma in a 40*20 cm tank but i would recommend removing the male when he is not needed anymore. The little ones won't grow well if the tank is to small, so, for me, there is no reason to use such a small tank for Apistos.
  7. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes I remember Fontaine. Only source of Apistos when I started out. Even though it is not a perfect size, I have used 5.5 gal aquariums for several different apistos and they successfully spawned. A little crowding seems to spread out the aggression.
  8. Fishez

    Fishez New Member

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    Thanks @Ttw Those are some interesting thoughts but in general, I think to avoid the issues, a 10 Gallon tank would be minimum. At least, that's what I'm realizing.
  9. Fishez

    Fishez New Member

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    Thanks @Ttw Those are some interesting thoughts but in general, I think to avoid the issues, a 10 Gallon tank would be minimum. At least, that's what I'm realizing.

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