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Tankmates for A. Agassizii

ApistoCommunity

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Ive got a 130l tank, currently housing, dwarf pencilfish and ember tetra, i want to add a pair or trio of Apistos leaning towards agassizii although im very open to other suggestions. Would the Agassizii get along with the other fish and what is the likelihood that they will breed in a community environment? i would definitely consider other apistogramma too but agassizii are more common in my area.
 

anewbie

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The embers won't be a problem; I've kept them with quite a few different species and haven't been an issue with them approaching frys or eggs. Pencilfish probably depends on species. The water condition (hardness) is probably a bigger issue when selecting species to breed as some prefer harder waters and others softer waters. For harem breeders in a tank that size; the number of females you can keep depends on how the tank is scaped/layed out; of course some species of apistogramma are more or less pair forming and then you would not want a trio once a pair forms as m/f of the pair will likely doubt-team the other female.
 

ApistoCommunity

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The embers won't be a problem; I've kept them with quite a few different species and haven't been an issue with them approaching frys or eggs. Pencilfish probably depends on species. The water condition (hardness) is probably a bigger issue when selecting species to breed as some prefer harder waters and others softer waters. For harem breeders in a tank that size; the number of females you can keep depends on how the tank is scaped/layed out; of course some species of apistogramma are more or less pair forming and then you would not want a trio once a pair forms as m/f of the pair will likely doubt-team the other female.
they are dwarf pencilfish (nannostomus marginatus), only get about an inch long and are also south american. the tank is heavily planted, with sticks and dragonstone that forms caves that i imagine the apistos would like. I cant find much info online about a.agassizii and whether they form pairs, would you recommend a pair or harem if i were to get them? the tank is setup as a sort of south american biotope so has the soft acidic water i believe most apistos prefer although i might be wrong.
 

MacZ

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Tetras, pencilfish and small loricarid catfish are always fine.
In that tank size I'd recommend not adding any females, though. It's too small for a bachelor group, a breeding female will possibly make it a stressful experience for all fish and humans involved every 2-3 weeks until she's burned out and dies. Get a single male specimen and add a good selection of tetras and pencils.

An example would be:
1m Apistogramma
10 Tetras
10 Pencils
Optionally in place of either pencils or tetras you could add small loricarid catfish or a small species of Corydoras

the tank is heavily planted, with sticks and dragonstone that forms caves that i imagine the apistos would like.
A picture tells more than a thousand words.
Dragonstone is rather not advisable if you add more than one Apisto. That stuff can be extremely abrasive if a fish hits it being chased.

What substrate is in the tank?
 

Mike Wise

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You ask if they will breed in such a community. They probably will, or at least try. The next question is do you want a breeding tank? If so, then your tank and fish should be OK. The next question is what do you do if it happens? Breeding tanks need at least 1 other even larger tank for grow-out.
 

ApistoCommunity

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Tetras, pencilfish and small loricarid catfish are always fine.
In that tank size I'd recommend not adding any females, though. It's too small for a bachelor group, a breeding female will possibly make it a stressful experience for all fish and humans involved every 2-3 weeks until she's burned out and dies. Get a single male specimen and add a good selection of tetras and pencils.

An example would be:
1m Apistogramma
10 Tetras
10 Pencils
Optionally in place of either pencils or tetras you could add small loricarid catfish or a small species of Corydoras


A picture tells more than a thousand words.
Dragonstone is rather not advisable if you add more than one Apisto. That stuff can be extremely abrasive if a fish hits it being chased.

What substrate is in the tank?
dragonstone was all sanded as it used to be in a betta tank, substrate is half sand, half black gravel 2-3mm
 

ApistoCommunity

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You ask if they will breed in such a community. They probably will, or at least try. The next question is do you want a breeding tank? If so, then your tank and fish should be OK. The next question is what do you do if it happens? Breeding tanks need at least 1 other even larger tank for grow-out.
I have a 20 gallon currently empty, aside from some shrimp and snails, that can be used as grow out and my lfs has expressed interest in taking some to sell
 

MacZ

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Is there any apisto that i could keep as a pair in this tank as i would ideally like more than one
In the 20? I'd always have another tank running to separate if necessary. Most commonly available species are not pair-forming but serial monogamist (meaning they form a pair for one spawn or season, then separate) or harem breeders (meaning the male is basically not involved in raising fry, thus not being tolerated by the female after spawning). In both cases if the female isn't receptive the male will try to chase her out of his territory. In a 20 that means out of the tank. Vice versa if the female has fry, then the male better run.
Only exception would be A. borellii, if you look at species regularly available in the trade.
 

MacZ

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Germany
Doesn't make a difference really and I quote Mike: Breeding tank of community/display. Make a decision. Breeding in a community is stress for all involved, fish and human alike.
 

ApistoCommunity

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It's not going to be a breeding tank, but nor is it strictly a display tank. I'm happy to scape in a way that prevents line of sight and I already have leaf litter alder cones ect. I'd like a pair of trio of fish that will act as a centrepiece for the tank
 

MacZ

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Germany
Whether you intend it or not, the fish will at one point at least try to breed and that's when things tend go downhill.
As I said, you will encounter social intra- and interspecies agression and experience stress yourself, whether the tank is perfectly structured or not.

Of course you can try. I won't recommend anything, though. In fact I can't recommend this at all.
 

anewbie

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882
I'm a bit loss; so i want to recap - you have an aquarium with dithers (ember tetra and dwarf pencil fishes and nothing else) and you want to add a pair or trio of agassizi. If this is correct I don't see the problem as long as it is decent dimension and properly scaped; though I think I would limit it to one female. Yes this is a breeding tank if you have m/f; though if the water is too hard the eggs won't hatch or if you don't feed the frys and there will be aggression between m/f (though you could reduce this if you went with another species of apistogramma) and if the dithers get too close the female (or male depending on species) might chase them away or even damage them. If i have misread something and you have other fishes int he aquarium such as cory or pleco (bottom dwellers) or other species of dithers that will actively hunt eggs/frys then there will be greater conflicts.
 

ApistoCommunity

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It's a 33 gallon/130litre, 85x37cm floor space. With dwarf pencilfish and ember tetras, no bottom dwellers although I have amano shrimp but they can be easily moved. Water is soft, it's a blackwater tank. What other species would work? as I said agassizii are easiest to get but my lfs specializes in dwarf cichlids and can get pretty much any species.
 
Last edited:

MacZ

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Germany
85x37cm floor space.
Which is pretty much the footprint of mine, in which I keep a single dwarf cichlid (Dicrossus filamentosus) with Nannostomus eques and Hemigrammus filamentosus. Has shown to be a combination that works great. Started out with 5 juveniles to grow out, ended up all male, had to remove 3 after losing one to fratricide. Having only a single cichlid in a tank that size is for sure not a problem and in my opinion a rather low stocking density makes for a good overall impression and for relaxed displays of foraging behaviour.
Only species I've ruled out is cacatuoides, I don't really like the look of them
All with you there!
Water is soft, it's a blackwater tank.
Now that is interesting because it has a big influence. What are the readings for TDS/EC and pH?
 

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