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Water Hardness for Breeding Apisto?

Soonie

New Member
Messages
9
So like the title suggests, what water parameters have people succesfully bred apistos in? I'm interested in breeding my current pairs which are macmasteri "super reds", cacatuiodes "super red", trifasciata, and agasizii "tefe red back". I've done quite a bit of reading and people keep suggesting "soft" & "acidic" water with no specific numbers to go with the range, so if I could get help interpreting my water parameters and if they're suitable for breeding with the water I have.

My water parameters are as follow:
pH - 7
Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate - 0ppm
TDS - 120ppm
kH - 6
gH - 0-1

Is this considered hard water or no? People say that TDS above 100ppm could indicate hard water, but TDS measures all other ions in the water. Then I have a reading of 0-1 for gH from my test kit, with kH of about 6. I also have white sedimentations on my filter which I would assume are calcium deposits, maybe indicative of hard water (not sure)? To go along with this, I have seiryu stone in my tank which are said to increase water hardness. I don't want to remove them as they provide cover for my fish, but if my water is too hard currently, I guess I can take them out to get better water parameters for breeding.
I also have driftwood and cholla wood and pressurized co2 which helps lower my pH. I also have peat moss, not currently in the tank, but I can throw them in if needed.
My tap water on the other hand has a TDS of 48ppm. I have yet to test gH and kH though.

To sum everything up. I am just wondering if my current water parameters are good enough for breeding or not. And if not, which of the parameters are not good and how would I fix that.
 

yukondog

Active Member
Messages
654
Location
N.W. Fl.
Your water is almost the same as mine, mine being a little lower. I breed the Mac's, Cac's and the Aggii's in mine with no problem. But on your water you say 0 on nitrates, how long has the tank been running?
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
10,655
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I have to agree with the above, 0 ppm NO3 is concerning. I do not believe a well established aquarium can actually have no NO3 unless there is no biological activity. Also, agasizii "tefe red back" is commonly a commercial name for a color morph of A. sp. Tefe, which is a blackwater species that requires lower (~ph 5.5) and softer (35 µS/70 ppm TDS) for successful reproduction.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
530
Not really relevant - but i had a heavily populated 20 long that read 0 nitrate for over 8 months; i finally got a more sensitive test kit and it was around 1 or 2 ppm nitrate. The theory after a lot of questing et all was that the substrate I used (an extrmely fine sand) quickly develop anerobic bacteria and was eating all the nitrate - this was partly supported by nitrogen (gas) release and small spots of cyanobacteria growing where the nitrogen was released - I was able to solve the cyanobacteria problem by using a very soft current that remove the nitrogen before it could grow.
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Now is this what actually happened - i'm not soph. enough to prove it BUT i am sure the nitrate was consistently well below 5 despite being one of my heaviest stocked tank. It also didn't get a lot of water changes because it sat on the floor and siphoning water from it was difficult - i did eventually get a pump to pump water out to do water changes.
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in case people are wondering - this tank mostly had guppies and a pair of nannacara a.
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I became very concern after the first week since most of my tanks (it was my 4th) ran around 20ppm nitrate (i did tests in parallel so i'm sure they were done correctly since the other tanks had an expected level of nitrate).
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Anyway probably not related to the op situation but just pointing out that sometimes weird things happen.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,526
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
i finally got a more sensitive test kit and it was around 1 or 2 ppm nitrate.
I'd guess even "sensitive" wasn't sensitive enough to get an accurate value. An <"Ion Selective Electrode"> is your best bet for low nitrate (NO3) levels and even then they aren't perfect.

One problem is the solubility of NO3-, meaning that you have to reduce it to nitrite (NO2-) before you can use colorimetric methods to estimate its concentration.

Traditionally cadmium (Cd) reduction was used, but now it is normally vanadium (V) reduction.

It was actually the problems inherent in testing for NO3 that led, directly, to the <"Duckweed Index">.

cheers Darrel
 

Soonie

New Member
Messages
9
pH - 7
Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate - 0ppm
TDS - 120ppm
kH - 6
gH - 0-1
Okay, mistake on my part, readings were actually 7gH and 7kH (misread the instructions for the test). Seems like I actually have hard water. I assume it is all coming from the seiryu stones (60lbs in a 55 gallons). Tested my tap water and they are: 3gH, 4kH, 45-50ppm TDS. I'm guessing my best bet now is to remove all my stones to stop hardness from rising and slowly water change into tap water? I am also running peat moss now to potentially help, alongside drift wood and cholla wood.
 

Soonie

New Member
Messages
9
Your water is almost the same as mine, mine being a little lower. I breed the Mac's, Cac's and the Aggii's in mine with no problem. But on your water you say 0 on nitrates, how long has the tank been running?
I did a restart so the tank has been up for only about a month, but all the substrate and filter media were cycled from a spare tank I had running.
 

Soonie

New Member
Messages
9
I have to agree with the above, 0 ppm NO3 is concerning. I do not believe a well established aquarium can actually have no NO3 unless there is no biological activity.
I might have to check it again then, could be a mistake on my end. Or the test kits aren't specific enough becuase the API test kits only test in increments of 20ppm.
Also, agasizii "tefe red back" is commonly a commercial name for a color morph of A. sp. Tefe, which is a blackwater species that requires lower (~ph 5.5) and softer (35 µS/70 ppm TDS) for successful reproduction.
Thank you for the insight! That is definitely good to know moving forward. I think it might be acheivable as long as I remove my seiryu stones, and I also have cholla wood along with peat moss I could add to the tank. On this note, would other species like cacatuoides appreciate softer water too? or would it be bad?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,297
Location
Germany
I assume it is all coming from the seiryu stones (60lbs in a 55 gallons).
Yep, no question. The stuff is known for that.

I'm guessing my best bet now is to remove all my stones to stop hardness from rising and slowly water change into tap water?
You keep A. macmasteri, especially a domestic strain... They don't necessarily need softer water. Get the Seiryu out and with every waterchange afterwards ou get to tap-levels nothing else needed.

I am also running peat moss now to potentially help, alongside drift wood and cholla wood.
Important: Peat moss (Sphagnum moss, the stuff from which actual peat develops in peat bogs) itself doesn't do anything, it has to be peat, the brown stuff you can also get as pellets. If any of these, peat will have impact as soon as your KH is down to below 5°. Before that it won't have significant impact on your parameters. The wood will only have significant impact at a KH below 2°.

I did a restart so the tank has been up for only about a month, but all the substrate and filter media were cycled from a spare tank I had running.
Well, cycling media in another tank only works if the second tank has the same water parameters. The composition of species of bacteria, archaea and fungi in a filter is dependend on the water parameters. So if the parameters in the tank the stuff is in now are significantly different from the cycling tank the microbiome is in adjustment right now, with species dying off and others building new colonies. Bottom line: You are probably cycling it again right now.

On this note, would other species like cacatuoides appreciate softer water too? or would it be bad?
The A. agassizii will appreciate softer water, the others... they are domestic strains of clear/whitewater species. This is like asking whether a very domesticated dog like a pug needs to hunt live food. So they will do with your tap without problems but will also be happy in 50mg/l TDS.
 

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Apistomaster wrote on anewbie's profile.
I see that The Wet Spot Tropical Fish currently has the fire red A. agassizi you are looking for. Here is the link:
I've always had good experiences buying from them on line.
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