1. Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Stocking issues???

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by damoUK, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. damoUK

    damoUK New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hi there, we've previously posted about a problem with A. Agassizi wasting away and now having camullanus worms which we're about to treat for.

    I'm sure this question has been asked loads of times, but there seems to be no general rule or consistent answer that I could find, so I thought I'd ask again...

    We're beginning to wonder whether we've overstocked our tank, we have a 125l (33gal) Fluval Edge tank, with lots of pots, caves, plants and hiding areas. Line of sight is fairly well broken between most of the hiding areas.
    We currently have a handful of community fish, mainly variants of tetra's and a couple of Cory's, plus Apisto's: 1 male, 1 female and 1 probably female, all A. Agassizi in this tank.
    We also have a male and female double-red Agassizi in a QT, but not introduced yet.

    So we're basically wondering if we have a stocking issue with the Apisto's (not bothered about the other fish in the same way!). We were led to believe that Apisto's were Harem spawners and a couple of males and females in this tank would work fine.

    Our water levels are
    pH 6.5
    GH (not 100% sure, just run out of test kit, but it's usually around 8-10D)
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 40

    We do (usually) weekly 25% water changes or at the very longest, fortnightly. Using mainly RO (our tap water has 8.2pH and is very hard water).

    We're planning to move house in the next 3-6 months and plan to have a dedicated tank area, with several large tanks, but for the moment are limited by the space we have available to this tank and a couple of 20l (5gal) tanks.

    So what do you think? Do we risk a bloodbath? What is the general rule of thumb around stocking these types of fish?

    Thanks for your advice...
  2. MonteSS

    MonteSS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    18
    What are the dimensions of the tank?

    I am not an Apisto expert but was recomended to have different body types when mixing.

    For examle the Aggies a are long and slender and Cacs are fatter and more rounded.

    Get that nitrate down. with more or bigger water changes.

    Tank raised fish should aclimate to any PH. Not sure you need to lower it unless they are wild caught.

    GL....Bill
  3. damoUK

    damoUK New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Tank is 80cm(W)x45cm(H)x35cm(D).

    The Nitrate moves between 0ppm and 40ppm (it's actually currently about 10ppm after a water change 7 days ago), depending on frequency of water changes. We put worst case scenario in the original question, but it's rarely that high. However Ammonia and Nitrite are ALWAYS 0ppm, so this is just the normal cycle affecting the Nitrate.

    We've been recommended to keep the pH below 7 for the apisto's to thrive and having lost quite a few, we'll do anything to try to help them.

    We looked at mixing types, but were recommended not to, due to different aggression levels, which is why we've stuck to the same species.
  4. bseitz234

    bseitz234 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Are those live plants in there? I ask only because since I started keeping my tanks with more live plants, I've never had measurable nitrates... plants just suck them up right away. I agree that you should probably be changing your water more often... start with 25% twice a week and do more as needed.

    Without seeing pictures of your tank, I'd say that sounds like a very full load of Apistos for a tank of those dimensions. Not impossible- but the bottom of the tank should be very densely decorated and broken up. Are you risking a bloodbath? My guess would be at most, 1 or 2 fish would get chased out and hang out at the top of the tank, giving you a chance to scoop them up and give them their own home, as long as you're attentive.
  5. damoUK

    damoUK New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Yes lots of live plants - not enough to class it as a "Planted tank", but quite a lot! I'm honestly not too worried about the Nitrate, it generally falls well within "normal" levels, and we do frequent water changes.

    HOWEVER...

    Wee dosed with Harka-verm Levamisole on Friday, then cleaned out 90% of the water and vacuumed the gravel thoroughly after 24 hours on Saturday, everything seemed to be absolutely fine but we could still see worms coming from a couple of the fish, though others had totally cleared.

    We re-dosed again today, believing that you "can't really overdose" from some of the conversations we've seen about this product and as we'd done nearly a complete water change and put the carbon back in, we figured to give it another go to get rid of the last few worms. We dosed virtually identically to the 1st time, rounding up to 30ml in the dosing of our 125l tank rather than 25ml the first time.

    About 20 minutes later, we noticed that there was a dead fish in the tank!! Turning the lights back on, we found that we'd lost 7 in total, mainly Tetra's and the rest were definitely dying. To try to save the remainder we did a VERY quick 40% water change and the survivors all perked up immediately. They, including the Apisto's, seem to be doing OK now.

    One thing we did do, was make up a jug of levamisole/water and then throw a frozen block of Dalphina into the jug before pouring the whole lot into the tank in one go (seemed like a good idea to let melt the frozen block in the warm water in the jug!!). In hindsight, I think that may have been the cause, rather than overdosing the water itself.

    So I'm not sure what the learnings are here, but if you're going to use this product, be very careful - it seems to work, but may take several goes and make sure you:
    A. Dose the right amount.
    B. Wait several days (I've seen 5 days mentioned) before re-dosing.
    C. Don't feed at the same time (definitely don't throw the food in with the Levamisole before dosing)

    A sad evening! Fortunately, our treasured Apisto's are, so far, OK!
  6. MonteSS

    MonteSS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Sorry to hear. Hope things improve.

    ....Bill