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kgazos

Member
Messages
31
Hello it’s my first time keeping apistos and WC fish. I am thinking of buying a trio of atahualpas because their gender cannot be identified yet due to them not being adults. My LFS is very specialized in wild caught fish and very helpful so they gave me a lot of information about this amazing fish. My question is: is it better to keep them in 12 gallon species only (if I get 2m and 1f I plan on rehoming the one male to one of my other South America tanks) Or in a 40 gal with 13 cardinal tetras and a breeding pair of albino bristlenose plecos? Thank you in advance. Any interesting tip from anyone who owns this fish would be greatly appreciated.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,587
Location
Germany
Definitely not the 12 gallon, but also not with the BN plecos.
A 12 is if any ok as a breeding tank for a pair when there is the option to remove a male. Depending on the age maybe still ok as a growout tank for a month or two.
The 40 sounds great for them, but the BN plecos are active at night, when Apistos are usually sleeping. It can be detrimental to their health. Also plecos and Apistos are in competition for caves.
 

kgazos

Member
Messages
31
Definitely not the 12 gallon, but also not with the BN plecos.
A 12 is if any ok as a breeding tank for a pair when there is the option to remove a male. Depending on the age maybe still ok as a growout tank for a month or two.
The 40 sounds great for them, but the BN plecos are active at night, when Apistos are usually sleeping. It can be detrimental to their health. Also plecos and Apistos are in competition for caves.
Thank you! So I will use the 12 as a grow out for ~2 months (LFS said that if there are a lot of water changes fish could breed as soon as in 2 months) and afterwards when I see their genders I will decide what is better. Their recommended water change schedule was 20% every 3-4 days. Is that enough for the 12 gal?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,587
Location
Germany
Thank you! So I will use the 12 as a grow out for ~2 months (LFS said that if there are a lot of water changes fish could breed as soon as in 2 months) and afterwards when I see their genders I will decide what is better. Their recommended water change schedule was 20% every 3-4 days. Is that enough for the 12 gal?

Depending on how much and what you feed: 2x 50% a week. Any waterchange under 50% is not helping much to dilute waste products. Between two 20% waterchanges there is new buildup and the smaller the tank the more important that the waterchanges count.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,069
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
A. atahualpa is the species that Dr. Uwe Römer called (jokingly) "Apistogramma Man-eater" because they always attacked his hands when he put them in their tank. This is a rather aggressive species, for an apisto. I personally would not put a non-breeding pair in anything smaller than a 30 gal long tank. Better to be over-cautious than lose fish to aggression. Once a breeding pair appears, only then would I consider anything smaller, at least a 20 gal long tank. Truth be told, this is not an apisto for average beginners.
 

kgazos

Member
Messages
31
A. atahualpa is the species that Dr. Uwe Römer called (jokingly) "Apistogramma Man-eater" because they always attacked his hands when he put them in their tank. This is a rather aggressive species, for an apisto. I personally would not put a non-breeding pair in anything smaller than a 30 gal long tank. Better to be over-cautious than lose fish to aggression. Once a breeding pair appears, only then would I consider anything smaller, at least a 20 gal long tank. Truth be told, this is not an apisto for average beginners.
Thank you for your answer. So I will keep them in the 30 gal and move the BNs to another tank. Any other useful tips I might need?
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,069
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
A. atahualpa is a blackwater species, so successful reproduction needs soft (<2° dKH/40 µS/cm) and acid (<pH 6.0) water. BTW cardinal tetras are expert fry predators, so expect losses of some or all fry.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,587
Location
Germany
BTW cardinal tetras are expert fry predators, so expect losses of some or all fry.

Cardinals are really little piranha at times. When choosing dithers or tankmates, aiming for pencilfish Nannostomus marginatus seems are also better suited than N. eques. I lately got a group of N. eques and since I saw how they hunted down live mosquito larvae I would presume they would also go for fry.
 

kgazos

Member
Messages
31
Thank you both very much for your valuable info! I will update you with photos as soon as I get them acclimated. I look forward to keeping them well and thriving.
 

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