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jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
This my first post on this forum so I hope this is on the right thread. For reference the panduro in question are my first Apistogramma but I have had other tropical community fish for a while.

I have currently have a pair of panduro in a 10 gallon. They were purchased online about 4 months ago. The 10 gallon is not their long term home because my community tank is getting a small upgrade from a 20H to a 25 gallon, and the panduro will be moving in to the 20.

I know that nannostomus are the most commonly recommended option and I actually already have some of these. I have tried n. beckfordi with the panduro in the 10 gallon and the panduro killed 2 of them before I removed them. The panduro have also killed endlers and even attacked honey gourami when they were in the other tank. I think the female is the really aggressive one. The male chases the female, so the female kills everyone else.

Currently, the South American fish I have in my tanks that I could try with them are
- 10x Green neons
- 4x Beckford's pencilfish
-3x Copella arnoldi splash tetra (which already live with the panduro)
The copella are the only thing the panduro have let live (apart from a nerita), and they seem to leave each other alone now.

I have a couple of questions
1. Will the panduro be more likely to leave the pencilfish alone in the larger tank?
2. What other tank mates could I have? (Hatchets, phantom/von rio/emperor tetra, some kind of headstander, some kind of SA killifish, other copella/copeina?). I would like to set this up with all SA fish, but not necessarily a perfect biotope because even c. arnoldi and a. panduro aren't found together in nature.
3. What is this forums opinion on Apistogramma in a paludarium/riparium for the splash tetra?

Thanks!
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
Well, never forget, dwarf cichlids are territorial fish. And it's typical that females of the A. nijsseni group are more aggressive than females of other species. Though once breeding this is irrelevant, they all become wasps. a reason iI advise to only keep a single male in smaller display tanks and forego on getting a female.
Now important question: Did the Apistogramma definitely kill the other fish or did you just find the corpses? While I would say the cichlids aren't above killing other fish it is really rare and if the other fish were newly purchased... Nannostomus and Endlers are known to be prone to losses early on. If you can rule this out it was the small tank size.

A 60x30x50cm tank is on the small side for these fish and are usually used as breeding tanks. As a display tank this is a bit small, especially due to the dimensions. For dwarfs the footprint is decisive.
In a sufficiently sized tank (80-100cm long) many different characins will work.

About your questions:
1. Yes, mostly. Exceptions: When the cichlids are breeding or the Nannostomus get too close to the preferred feeding place. (Usually simply when they get too low in the the water column.)
2. Stick to smaller, rather surface oriented characins. Too quick and boisterous tetras may cause food scarcity in the lower levels don't forget dwarf cichlids feed 90% close to or from the ground. So species like emperor tetras or phoenix tetras are out. Also stay away from killifish or any bottomdwellers that might compete with the cichlids in any way.
3. Any questions?
Current stocking: Dicrossus filamentosus, Hemigrammus filamentosus (big mistake, letting them go extinct), Nannostomus eques. Dimensions 80x35x40cm
IMG_20240309_112324_628.jpg
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Well, never forget, dwarf cichlids are territorial fish. And it's typical that females of the A. nijsseni group are more aggressive than females of other species. Though once breeding this is irrelevant, they all become wasps.
The female is already very bright yellow
a reason iI advise to only keep a single male in smaller display tanks and forego on getting a female.
Now important question: Did the Apistogramma definitely kill the other fish or did you just find the corpses? While I would say the cichlids aren't above killing other fish it is really rare and if the other fish were newly purchased... Nannostomus and Endlers are known to be prone to losses early on. If you can rule this out it was the small tank size.
1. The Nannostomus had been in my other community tank for about 3 months with no issues. I added them in to the 10 gallon and a couple hours later they were all in the corner except for the 2 that had weren't doing well which were sitting on the bottom. The reason I suspect it was the apistos is because I watched the female rip the top half of the caudal fin clean off of one before it was all the way dead.
2. I am 100% certain they killed the endlers. The endlers were the original inhabitants of the 10 gallon, which was set up in October last year. Prior to living in the 10 gallon, the original group of male endlers had been in my community since 2022, with almost no losses. After the panduro had settled in, I watched one chase an endler into a crevice in the wood so it was trapped and then tear most of its caudal fin off.
A 60x30x50cm tank is on the small side for these fish and are usually used as breeding tanks. As a display tank this is a bit small, especially due to the dimensions. For dwarfs the footprint is decisive.
In a sufficiently sized tank (80-100cm long) many different characins will work.
Unfortunately, this tank (20H) will have to work for now. I was going by the seriously fish guidelines. I'm limited on space, but at some point I could possibly replace the 20H with a 29 as the 29 would fit on the same stand.
About your questions:
1. Yes, mostly. Exceptions: When the cichlids are breeding or the Nannostomus get too close to the preferred feeding place. (Usually simply when they get too low in the the water column.)
My Nannostomus seem to hang out midwater for some reason, although this is likely because I don't have much near the in their current tank.
2. Stick to smaller, rather surface oriented characins. Too quick and boisterous tetras may cause food scarcity in the lower levels don't forget dwarf cichlids feed 90% close to or from the ground. So species like emperor tetras or phoenix tetras are out. Also stay away from killifish or any bottomdwellers that might compete with the cichlids in any way.
I think I will go with hatchets, the splash tetras, maybe phantom tetra and maybe try to do pencilfish again. My panduro do swim up to the top sometimes to get pellets, but this is probably because the 10 gallon is not very deep.
3. Any questions?
Current stocking: Dicrossus filamentosus, Hemigrammus filamentosus (big mistake, letting them go extinct), Nannostomus eques. Dimensions 80x35x40cm
View attachment 14501
What are you using to keep the plants above the water line?
I can never get floaters to do well. Duck weed died, and water lettuce has been slowly wilting away for 2 years. How much flow do you have in your tank?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
What are you using to keep the plants above the water line?
What do you mean? The only fully aquatic plants are floaters and Nymphaea sp., the rest is terrestial plants.
How much flow do you have in your tank?
Spraybar on an oversized canister filter. There is some current but still the Nymphaea grows in it.


Unfortunately, this tank (20H) will have to work for now. I was going by the seriously fish guidelines. I'm limited on space, but at some point I could possibly replace the 20H with a 29 as the 29 would fit on the same stand.
Then keep it at the Apistogramma and one other species until you can upgrade. Otherwise your previous experiences might repeat. Although it's very likely the Carnegiella and Copella might jump if disturbed from below. My best experience of an Apistogramma with other fish in the 80 Liter high was a single A. hongsloi with about a dozen of N. eques.

My Nannostomus seem to hang out midwater for some reason, although this is likely because I don't have much near the in their current tank.
Of course. They are N. beckfordi. Only N. eques and N. unifasciatus are true surface dwellers.

And I'm very sure your losses were due to cramped spaces in the 50 Liter tank.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
What do you mean? The only fully aquatic plants are floaters and Nymphaea sp., the rest is terrestial plants.
Sorry, I was wondering how you keep the terrestrial plants from just falling into the water. I have some pothos and lysimachia I would like to try. Do you just have them pinned on some wood?
Spraybar on an oversized canister filter. There is some current but still the Nymphaea grows in it.
I have a canister filter but my water lettuce and even duckweed can't seem to survive. Maybe there is not enough nutrients.
And I'm very sure your losses were due to cramped spaces in the 50 Liter tank.
I think so too.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
Sorry, I was wondering how you keep the terrestrial plants from just falling into the water. I have some pothos and lysimachia I would like to try. Do you just have them pinned on some wood?
Ahhh! I use flower wire at about 0.5cm thickness, also the pothos grow on the wall.
I have a canister filter but my water lettuce and even duckweed can't seem to survive. Maybe there is not enough nutrients.
I have neither. Pistia is illegal in Europe and duckweed never took hold in any of my tanks. In your case I think an in depth look might be helpful.
I think so too.
Agreed
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,261
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I have a couple of questions
Before I try to answer your questions I want to say that female A. panduro will not accept just any male. That your "pair" haven't physically damaged each other is a good sign. I have, however, seen "pairs" like this tolerate each other but not consider each other as breeding partners.
1. Will the panduro be more likely to leave the pencilfish alone in the larger tank?
No, but the pencils will have a much better chance of avoiding territorial aggression in a larger tank.
2. What other tank mates could I have? (Hatchets, phantom/von rio/emperor tetra, some kind of headstander, some kind of SA killifish, other copella/copeina?). I would like to set this up with all SA fish, but not necessarily a perfect biotope because even c. arnoldi and a. panduro aren't found together in nature.
Me? I consider dither fish unnecessary in a breeding tank except for more shy apisto species - and A. panduro are not shy fish!
3. What is this forums opinion on Apistogramma in a paludarium/riparium for the splash tetra?
For many species this is more similar to their natural biotope. Most prefer slow flowing water with some surface cover, whether floating or overhanging plants.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
573
Location
San Francisco
You may have already concluded this yourself, but I would personally not add any fish until you can get the pair into a larger tank, preferably the 29.

I'm not surprised at the aggression against the pencil fish given the small footprint, low waterline, and a female ready to spawn. The pencil fish have nowhere to go. In my experience moving pairs from a 10 gallon quarantine tank to a 20 long, the size and structure of the larger tank makes a huge difference. Pairs that I needed to separate with a divider in the 10 did fine in the 20 long. I've not had experience keeping pairs in a 15/20-high long term, but it seems small to me.

For floating plants, I've also not had great luck with water lettuce. I can grow it, but it grows small for me, which makes it hard to remove the dead ones (everything sticks to your hand). Duckweed doesn't like soft, acidic water, and is also very hard to clean/thin out. The one genus that has done very well for me in all water conditions (including blackwater) is Salvinia. It's very robust and easy to manage. Salvinia minima is the easiest to get for me, but for larger tanks I really like S. natans as well. S. cuculatta was a bit more finicky.

Good luck
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Not even sure if I even have space for this, but would a 25 gallon cube (18*18*18/45*45*45) be better than a 20H (24*12*16/60*30*40)?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,119
Location
Germany
Not really. Get away from thinking volume. Footprint is key. Rather 100x30x30 than 60x30x50. I hope you get my drift. The further away the fish can be from each other if they want to, the better. In nature it seems most Apistogramma prefer territories of roughly 60cm in diameter for males, 30cm for females. So if the footprint is less than one of these it takes real talent for scaping to corrctly structure the tank so the fish can evade each other without the line of sight breaks taking too much area themselves.
That way a comparatively shallow but long and wide tank with a relatively small volume is suited better than the high one. If you really have to go high... I'd overthink keeping a male and female and rehome one of the two.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
18*18 is technically a slightly larger footprint than 24*12 (324 vs 288 sq. in.), but I get your point. I think that length might be more important than width and especially height.
 

jmacaddy36

New Member
Messages
15
Update — The A. panduro and the C. arnoldi have been out of the 10 gallon for about 1 week and are now in the 25 gallon cube. I decided to move them into this tank instead of the 20h since the kuhli loaches would have been a pain to catch. The panduro have become much less agressive and have even tolerated a new tank mate — harlequin rasbora which I moved over from my other tank. I think the height of this tank helps since the panduro rarely ever go midwater/topwater where the other fish hang out. I am still hoping to get a 30 inch long 37 gallon for them in the future but for now this seems to have resolved the agression issue.
IMG_3277.jpeg
 

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