• 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!

Thinking about dimensions for a new tank

Andrew H

Member
Messages
63
Hi all, I’m looking at a 35” x 11.5” x 11.5” aquarium, which a very long 21 gallon. My plan was to put 3 or 4 borellii females I have growing out in my large tank (prevent any more spawning) plus a few dithers, lots of plants etc. I’d like to have it be open top with some emersed wood and plants, but if fish jumping to their death is likely I will not. Just wanted to get some feedback on the dimensions given it’s more stretched than a standard 20 gallon long.
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
314
Hi all, I’m looking at a 35” x 11.5” x 11.5” aquarium, which a very long 21 gallon. My plan was to put 3 or 4 borellii females I have growing out in my large tank (prevent any more spawning) plus a few dithers, lots of plants etc. I’d like to have it be open top with some emersed wood and plants, but if fish jumping to their death is likely I will not. Just wanted to get some feedback on the dimensions given it’s more stretched than a standard 20 gallon long.
I like it. Very similar to my 30 longs that only get filled up 75% (36x12.5x12.5h effective). Only time I’ve ever had apistogramma jumpers was in conjunction with a very shallow tank and a matten/jet lifter
 

Andrew H

Member
Messages
63
I like it. Very similar to my 30 longs that only get filled up 75% (36x12.5x12.5h effective). Only time I’ve ever had apistogramma jumpers was in conjunction with a very shallow tank and a matten/jet lifter
Great to hear. One more Q - I know sand is the preferred substrate and I also hear that darker substrate is a better canvas for apistos. What do people use here? I’ve been using pool filter sand but it’s very light beige.
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
314
Great to hear. One more Q - I know sand is the preferred substrate and I also hear that darker substrate is a better canvas for apistos. What do people use here? I’ve been using pool filter sand but it’s very light beige.
Pool filter sand for me too.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
589
Location
San Francisco
Hey Andrew, I've used black sand before, but have since stopped using it. The one that used to be sold by Caribsea was discontinued due to toxicity, and I haven't been able to find a commercially available one that isn't suboptimal for one reason or another.

That said, I wouldn't worry too much about light coloring on the sand. In natural settings, the sand is white or beige.
  1. As noted above, if the entire substrate is covered by leaf litter (which is typical and recommended) the bottom of the tank will appear dark.
  2. Black sand didn't significantly change the coloration in my experience. First of all, a lot of the footprint of the tank was taken up by structure. But also, if a fish tries to blend with a black background, it will darken (not brighten). It will be more like the tone of the substrate in either case. I've seen video of bolivian rams who showed a lot more color on black substrate, but I didn't see that in my apistos.
I now use Caribsea sand, because they sell varieties that are 0.25 - 1mm grain size. Pool filter sand is supposed to be that fine, but when I bought it (HTH brand) the grain size was a lot bigger than that.

Re: jumping
Haven't had apistos jump (since they're bottom dwellers) but it could happen if you have chasing. If you have floating plants and bring the water level down a few inches (which would look attractive with parts of your scape jutting up) it shouldn't be a problem.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,479
Hey Andrew, I've used black sand before, but have since stopped using it. The one that used to be sold by Caribsea was discontinued due to toxicity, and I haven't been able to find a commercially available one that isn't suboptimal for one reason or another.

That said, I wouldn't worry too much about light coloring on the sand. In natural settings, the sand is white or beige.
  1. As noted above, if the entire substrate is covered by leaf litter (which is typical and recommended) the bottom of the tank will appear dark.
  2. Black sand didn't significantly change the coloration in my experience. First of all, a lot of the footprint of the tank was taken up by structure. But also, if a fish tries to blend with a black background, it will darken (not brighten). It will be more like the tone of the substrate in either case. I've seen video of bolivian rams who showed a lot more color on black substrate, but I didn't see that in my apistos.
I now use Caribsea sand, because they sell varieties that are 0.25 - 1mm grain size. Pool filter sand is supposed to be that fine, but when I bought it (HTH brand) the grain size was a lot bigger than that.

Re: jumping
Haven't had apistos jump (since they're bottom dwellers) but it could happen if you have chasing. If you have floating plants and bring the water level down a few inches (which would look attractive with parts of your scape jutting up) it shouldn't be a problem.
The black sand i use is estes stoney river - perhaps @Ben Rhau found a negative with it but i haven't noticed any issues yet. I use it with my loach aquarium. I hope it isn't toxic because it would be a pia to remove (10ftx4ft); i've used this stuff for about 5 years and haven't noticed any real negaitves. Unlike caribsea it doesn't seem to generate anerobic pockets when deep (doesn't seem to pack tight) and it is fairly fine and plants grow well in it (this is my 10 gallon not the 550):
nn1.jpg



For tan i use hth pool filter sand; for white i havent' found anything fine that i would recommend. moonlight (caribsea) packs very easily and generates anerobic pockets if deeper than an inch; torpedo beach and crystal river are a bit less fine and usable but if you want that ultra fine hth pool filter doesnt' seem to pack yet (but only used it for 4 months).

I will never use that moonlight stuff again - i had a tank go bad after 3 months with 2 inch deep substrate while the black stoney river i've gone 4 years without any known issues. Maybe it is stoxic and i just don't know it yet :(
 

Andrew H

Member
Messages
63
Hey Andrew, I've used black sand before, but have since stopped using it. The one that used to be sold by Caribsea was discontinued due to toxicity, and I haven't been able to find a commercially available one that isn't suboptimal for one reason or another.

That said, I wouldn't worry too much about light coloring on the sand. In natural settings, the sand is white or beige.
  1. As noted above, if the entire substrate is covered by leaf litter (which is typical and recommended) the bottom of the tank will appear dark.
  2. Black sand didn't significantly change the coloration in my experience. First of all, a lot of the footprint of the tank was taken up by structure. But also, if a fish tries to blend with a black background, it will darken (not brighten). It will be more like the tone of the substrate in either case. I've seen video of bolivian rams who showed a lot more color on black substrate, but I didn't see that in my apistos.
I now use Caribsea sand, because they sell varieties that are 0.25 - 1mm grain size. Pool filter sand is supposed to be that fine, but when I bought it (HTH brand) the grain size was a lot bigger than that.

Re: jumping
Haven't had apistos jump (since they're bottom dwellers) but it could happen if you have chasing. If you have floating plants and bring the water level down a few inches (which would look attractive with parts of your scape jutting up) it shouldn't be a problem.
Nice, thanks ben. Maybe I’ll get some premium sand given it’s a smaller tank. Is there any advantage to the finer grain size though?
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
589
Location
San Francisco
Check out these posts:


The sand doesn't need to be deep at all, so I just do a couple cm and don't worry about anaerobic pockets at all.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,479
Check out these posts:


The sand doesn't need to be deep at all, so I just do a couple cm and don't worry about anaerobic pockets at all.

Depends; while not consistent with a pure biotope i tend to prefer dense planting and that requires a deeper substrate for the roots to take hold. Most pictures i've seen have lots of plants on the side but not actually in the area where the fishes are found - so i guess it sort of depends what you want...
 

Andrew H

Member
Messages
63
Depends; while not consistent with a pure biotope i tend to prefer dense planting and that requires a deeper substrate for the roots to take hold. Most pictures i've seen have lots of plants on the side but not actually in the area where the fishes are found - so i guess it sort of depends what you want...
Agree - my plants don’t do well if the sand is too shallow.
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
18,066
Messages
117,556
Members
13,148
Latest member
nannostomuseques

Latest profile posts

jloponte wrote on hongyj's profile.
Please send me info regarding cuipeua. Thx, Joe.
jloponte wrote on hongyj's profile.
Where are you located?
Josh wrote on anewbie's profile.
Testing
EDO
Longtime fish enthusiast for over 70years......keen on Apistos now. How do I post videos?
Looking for some help with fighting electric blue rams :(
Top