Apisto folks - how many in 55G?
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Apisto folks - how many in 55G?


I've had some LFS, run of the mill, Bolivian rams for a few years now and have always wanted to set up a Apisto tank. The poor Rams are now elderly and have cataracts. They hide most of the time but I make sure they have enough food.

It is a 55g tank, planted with an assortment of red/pink swords, 2 Eheim 2217 and soon to been pressurized Co2, 50% WC every 5 -7 days.

I have about 15 albino and standard whiteclouds, 1 sm misc rainbow (been there forever), 1 banded rainbow, corys and female BN plecos.

How many apisto can I add to this tank, assuming that I don't want to breed them. I'm considering cacatuoides triple red, Apistogramma agassizi or Apistogramma trifasciata. Can I mix them?

Do I have to have a sand substrate? I've got Eco-complete and don't want to change it.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:24 AM   #2
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Eco complete should be fine for them. I keep A. Agasizzii Double Reds and they are awesome. The Cacatuoides Triple Reds will be amazing too.
In a 55 you should be able two or three pairs. Just be sure to provide lots of structure and hardscape to break up sight-lines.
Also, if you wanted more, you could put maybe two males and like, four or five females (someone correct me if that is too many females) to create the harem colonies that alot of apistos are found in. This will also help disperse agression between the two males (less competition for females), and it will also suppress agression towards any one female as there are more for the male to pick from.

Generally speaking though, Apistos are not hard to keep, but they do like good water qualities.

Keep us filled in on how it goes.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:22 PM   #3
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Eco complete should be fine for them. I keep A. Agasizzii Double Reds and they are awesome. The Cacatuoides Triple Reds will be amazing too.
In a 55 you should be able two or three pairs. Just be sure to provide lots of structure and hardscape to break up sight-lines.
Also, if you wanted more, you could put maybe two males and like, four or five females (someone correct me if that is too many females) to create the harem colonies that alot of apistos are found in. This will also help disperse agression between the two males (less competition for females), and it will also suppress agression towards any one female as there are more for the male to pick from.

Generally speaking though, Apistos are not hard to keep, but they do like good water qualities.

Keep us filled in on how it goes.
Thanks for your reply. I knew there were apisto people out there! Thinking of getting a trio of A. Agasizzii Double Red and Cacatuoides Triple Reds.

Toying with the idea of adding some black sand to the Eco-complete. It seems the majority of apisto keepers are into a sand substrate.

Got any pics of your fish?
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:45 PM   #4
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I was going to say the same thing, 2 or 3 pairs or harems with a 1 to 3 m/f ratio, or even more females. The 55 doesn't really have the best footprint for too many rival males divying up sections, still better than a 30 though.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:24 PM   #5
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Part of the reason it is hard to answer this question is because there is NOT one easy answer. It really can vary.


Sometimes it will vary between individual males how much they are willing to share the aquarium. If you want both females and males I would not try more than two males w/ respective females.

Then besides the individual temperament of the males, there is the whole question of where the females will decide to put their nests. For instance, my male Pelvicachromis taeniatus "Moliwe" wants the nest under the Java fern that's at the far end of the tank. He even dug it out better for her. But MAMA refuses and always wants the clay pot next to the driftwood that's just slightly right of dead center. This causes Papa to boastfully patrol the whole tank. If Papa doesn't do a good enough job patrolling he gets a few stern reminders from MAMA! Junior can't "set up shop" w/ his girl because Papa is always keeping him tightly in the corner. . . . and so the story goes! This is a dwarf that mostly spawns as a dedicated pair.

Among my harem spawning Apistogrammas I've had an expert male that successfully kept the females in their safe separate ends of the tanks. Then I've also had females that have chosen to spawn within inches of each other and resultant fry stealing and lip-locking brawls. I've also witnessed both a male and female together gang up on attacking an unwanted female. I've also had a rare case where a male has attacked the brooding female and assumed the parental role.

Although smaller, always remember, even the dwarfs are never the less cichlids! Think. . . could I/would I house two mating pairs of Angelfish in a 55 gallon? If the answer is no; then the safest, surest plan would be to only put one trio. If you're willing to assume some risk then you could try out two trios, as long as you take some extra care to create a very dynamic environment. Actually w/ a larger fish like the Angelfish it's a lot easier to see if problems are arising. I've had smaller dwarfs be injured and not immediately know because they hide so well in a densely planted tank.

Personally, I think keeping only one species would be better than mixing them. My own older male A. cacatuoides is all of 4" long w/ a very big mouth! If he's in a mood not a single one of my A. trifasciata or tank strain A. agassizii Double Red could stand up to him. (They are safely in their own tanks!) If you really like a larger group I'd select one of the smaller more congenial Apistogrammas. IE., A. borelli and also A. trifasciata.




One other point. What are your water parameters? If higher Kh & Gh, I'd recommend staying away from the A. agassizii. They've been one of the species to give me the most trouble.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Hay View Post
Part of the reason it is hard to answer this question is because there is NOT one easy answer. It really can vary.


Sometimes it will vary between individual males how much they are willing to share the aquarium. If you want both females and males I would not try more than two males w/ respective females.

Then besides the individual temperament of the males, there is the whole question of where the females will decide to put their nests. For instance, my male Pelvicachromis taeniatus "Moliwe" wants the nest under the Java fern that's at the far end of the tank. He even dug it out better for her. But MAMA refuses and always wants the clay pot next to the driftwood that's just slightly right of dead center. This causes Papa to boastfully patrol the whole tank. If Papa doesn't do a good enough job patrolling he gets a few stern reminders from MAMA! Junior can't "set up shop" w/ his girl because Papa is always keeping him tightly in the corner. . . . and so the story goes! This is a dwarf that mostly spawns as a dedicated pair.

Among my harem spawning Apistogrammas I've had an expert male that successfully kept the females in their safe separate ends of the tanks. Then I've also had females that have chosen to spawn within inches of each other and resultant fry stealing and lip-locking brawls. I've also witnessed both a male and female together gang up on attacking an unwanted female. I've also had a rare case where a male has attacked the brooding female and assumed the parental role.

Although smaller, always remember, even the dwarfs are never the less cichlids! Think. . . could I/would I house two mating pairs of Angelfish in a 55 gallon? If the answer is no; then the safest, surest plan would be to only put one trio. If you're willing to assume some risk then you could try out two trios, as long as you take some extra care to create a very dynamic environment. Actually w/ a larger fish like the Angelfish it's a lot easier to see if problems are arising. I've had smaller dwarfs be injured and not immediately know because they hide so well in a densely planted tank.

Personally, I think keeping only one species would be better than mixing them. My own older male A. cacatuoides is all of 4" long w/ a very big mouth! If he's in a mood not a single one of my A. trifasciata or tank strain A. agassizii Double Red could stand up to him. (They are safely in their own tanks!) If you really like a larger group I'd select one of the smaller more congenial Apistogrammas. IE., A. borelli and also A. trifasciata.




One other point. What are your water parameters? If higher Kh & Gh, I'd recommend staying away from the A. agassizii. They've been one of the species to give me the most trouble.

Agreed.

I have had a 50 gallon (same footprint just a lil shorter) with a trio of Apisto. cacatouides and a pair of A. sp. Inka 50. The male A. cacatouides beat the hell out of the male and female Apisto. Inka. So if your going to to go with apistos, its best to stay with one species. If you really get into them you can start setting up a few other tanks to accomodate them.

As far as species goes....I would go with Apisto. cacatouides or Apisto. borelli. They can accept a wide array of water parameters and they are a very beautiful compatible fish.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:11 AM   #7
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I should have mentioned this in my earlier post, but as the other posters have staed, I would stick to only one species per tank. The harem idea should still be alright, but you never know. If you were to do harems, place multiple flowerpots/caves all over so they do have choices, and I would only keep probs 2 males with however many femles.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:39 AM   #8
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Hola amigos,

I'm also interested in some apistos for my 60g tank. Where is a good place to look information and buy some online. How do they do in a community tank? With small Ember tetras and RCS shrimp?

Thanks guys!
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:42 AM   #9
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I got apisto Trifasciatus, they breed like rabbits.

though, I wouldnt have more than one species of apisto in one tank as far as number per species I dont think that matters much, just try to keep more female than males
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:51 AM   #10
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Apistos will probs eat your rcs, and the Embers should be fine. They'll act as dither fish probably.
Aquabid is good. Apisto Dave is good, and so is www.canadianaquatics.com- though I'm not sure if they ship to the states.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:53 AM   #11
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Thanks!!!
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lopez_316us View Post
Hola amigos,

I'm also interested in some apistos for my 60g tank. Where is a good place to look information and buy some online. How do they do in a community tank? With small Ember tetras and RCS shrimp?

Thanks guys!
I usually get my apistos from Atlantis cichlids in upstate NY, approximately 2 hrs from here.
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:34 AM   #13
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I'm not going to quote everyone in my reply but one must start somewhere. I wasn't looking for the definitive answer just input from people with experience keeping them. Everything is relative of course, that's a given.

I'm leaning to Apistogramma Barlowi F1. They're mouth brooders. Looks really interesting. They are said to like white sand bottoms with a fast current. I have Eco-complete, can't get more opposite than that! But, I do have a pretty good current with 2 Eheim 2217's. Just sent an email to the seller about the substrate issue. I'd feel really bad if I got the fish, and then find out they're totally miserable. If that's the case then I might go with the Borelli - Red Cheek, wish I could find a picture of one.

The water in NYC is pretty soft, usually around 6.8 - 7. A friend of mine suggested the Apisto's since my water supply is well suited for them. Why fight it, just use what you have.

Keep' um coming folks, would love to hear about your experiences keeping apistos!!

Thanks ..................
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:23 PM   #14
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I'm leaning to Apistogramma Barlowi F1. They're mouth brooders. Looks really interesting.

If that's the case then I might go with the Borelli - Red Cheek, wish I could find a picture of one.
Quite interesting choice on the A. barlowi!! Not easy to source either.

I think most often A. borellii w/ red cheeks are called the "Opal" strain. You could try googling this for more available images. Although "Opal" most often have the blue body coloring w/ red cheeks. Not sure if just "Red Cheeks" may mean that the body coloring is different. I'd be sure to ask the seller.

I really like my A. borellii "Opal"s. I love fish w/ blue coloring, it just seems magical. Like finding true blue flowers in the garden - it's just rare. I think that's why neon and cardinal tetras remain so popular. A. borellii are a tamer, smaller species that could be stocked in higher densities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lopez_316us View Post
Hola amigos,

Where is a good place to look information and buy some on-line.
Thanks guys!
Most of the Apistogrammas I have in my 'fish-room(s)' have come from mail order. I've had some very good experiences, and some not so good.

My best experiences have been w/ Ryan @ Twofishguys: http://www.twofishguyz.com/comersus/...ersus_home.asp
He does have a higher shipping minimum on the website. However, sometimes he post fish on Aquabid and you can grab some real steals. His packing and shipping is excellent! I've ordered from Ryan three times and always been happy.

Also great quality, shipping and good prices from Chris Moscarell. You can find him over at the Apistogramma Forum: http://forum.apistogramma.com/showth...?t=7819&page=3
Definitely would/will not hesitate to order from Chris again.

Unfortunately, my own personal experience w/ Apisto Dave was quite poor. The packing left a lot to be desired. I did not get accurate m/f ratios or even all the correct species ordered. Now, I do know he is a icon in the fish world for his work w/ apistos and some of his fish are gorgeous. Yet, perhaps business-wise, sometimes a little careless?!?!? Unfortunately, if something is wrong w/ your order, you are the one responsible to repay any additional shipping charges. And shipping can be as much as - or more than - the cost of the fish. I was charged $70.00 to ship in just one box of just eight fish from Apisto dave! That was the first time and will be the only time.


Some additional tips on shipping fish.

I personally would never use Priority Mail in the winter or during heat waves in summertime. If you're willing to pay guaranteed overnight freight, and the shipper uses styro and a heatpack, winter is just fine.

Plan to be home all day, the day your fish should arrive. YOU - not your wife, mother, brother, sister, cousins, roommate. . . etc., etc. It is important to provide immediate care. If there is anything wrong w/ the fish it also must be reported immediately. Have your plan of action ready and in place. QT tank(s) up and running. I like to ask the seller beforehand what water parameters - KH, GH, pH, temps - the fish are being held/raised in. This is where having a QT tank really helps, because you can set your water close to this. Then gradually move closer to your regular water. Also you are not dumping a fish straight from shipping stress into the stress of a CO2 injected tank.

Drip acclimating fish shipped overnight - let alone two days - is a NO-NO. Slice the bag w/ scissors, pour out thru a net, immediately into the tank ready w/ clean, fresh H20. It's important to remove the fish from the dirty water A.S.A.P.


With even the best shipper you will probably have one or two losses. Expect this. With schooling fish, don't order six if you want six. Order eight or nine. Probably eight will live . . .and besides eight will look better than six anyway. If ordering pairs or trios. Well, on a trio it's most often the male that ends up dying and leaving you then w/ two girls. Ugh! With just a pair, it doesn't matter if the male or female dies, both ways you're now S.O.L. I've learned the hard way. If D.O.A., the supplier will send you another fish - but you will have to repay the shipping. It is often a lot cheaper to order an extra pair and give them away to a friend, or auction at fish club, then pay that shipping fee again. Its fun to be generous too!

But keep those extra fish for a few weeks before you let them go. Especially if you really want a particular species. Make sure your chosen pair(s) are out of QT; settled-in; disease free; happy with your H2O and their new digs; also pleased w/ each other. If you do want to breed, get your first successful spawn before giving up the extras. (Unless your buddy is better at this then you are.)

If you have my luck, the male/female you'll end up losing, will die a week to ten days later. Now you have to pay for another pair and the shipping fee. If you order two or three different species, the one male you loose WILL be the species you particularly want the most!!!!! Trust me on this.

One last point, when shipping Apistogrammas, keep a close eye out for fin rot on their fancy tails. I've had this happen on multiple occasions. Something about the shipping seems to bring this on. It's not a fungus but bacterial. And don't bother w/ those natural remedies - Pimafix or Melafix. Get some real drugs - E.M.: Erythromycin, works great and turns this around fast.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:09 PM   #15
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hey lnb

Apistos are the best !! But thats because I am biased . Here are some comments based on my experience.

1. Eco complete is great. I have it on all my tanks. I am not sure it brings out the best colors, but the fish like it.

2. The choice of species will depend on whether you want to breed them or not. Apistos come from soft acidic waters in SA, and some species will require really soft acidic water to breed (pH under 6, TDS < 70). Having said that, A.cacatuoides, A Borelli, A. Trifasciata are probably the easiest to breed in harder and more alkaline water. Your water parameters will dictate what species you can breed. Keeping most other apistos in pH > 7.0 is fine, you just wont get any fry .

3. Choice of species also depends on whether the apisto you keep are harem breeders or pair breeders. A.nijsseni for example may kill any excess females. Might be good to do your research on the breeding nature (polygamous or monogamous) before you pick your species.

3. Barlowi is a great apisto too. Getting them might be tough, I usually get mine from fellow hobbyists at forum.apistogramma.com

For getting more information from 'the real apisto freaks', go over to forum.apistogramma.com

Good luck!
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