Apistos! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Apistos!

Hello All,

I ill be starting a new tank in the future (4' 65 Gallon) and am looking for some advice on some Apistos. I have never kept them since I normally go with Bolivian Rams but I would like to change things up. I am pretty overwhelmed with how any different kinds there are and dont know how to pick. Are all apistos pretty much the same? Are some more hardy then others? Is it okay to mix and match or should I stick to getting just 1 type? At the moment I am thinking about getting 4. Is this a good number for the tank size? should I get more? (will be a heavily planted tank) should I do 2m/2f? 4m? 1m/3f? What are your favorite kinds? I would like this tank to be easy to maintain and dont want to bother with any of the rare expensive types that are hard to find.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 04:49 PM
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Rule of life, there is no such thing as a bad Apisto. There are a ton of different kind out there and they are generally similar but not the same. Some are easier than others and some are more aggressive than others. Do you want to breed them? With the more difficult one that is usually where the difficulty comes in. Some easier ones are cacatuoides, Borelli, and agassizii and they tend to be the most common. Some of it will depend on your tank setup, for example Borelli don't need as warm of temperatures so if you keep the tank cooler then they would be a good choice. Most are harem breeders so you can keep 1 male and multiple females but not apistos are that way. Unfortunately they can also be tough to sex, especially if you are unfamiliar with them. Mixing different kinds is typically a bad idea, but since you are putting them in a large tank it might work though I wouldn't try it especially being new to them. I think the best way to start is to let us know what apistos are actually available to you and we can help you based on that.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Robo03 View Post
Hello All,

I ill be starting a new tank in the future (4' 65 Gallon) and am looking for some advice on some Apistos. I have never kept them since I normally go with Bolivian Rams but I would like to change things up. I am pretty overwhelmed with how any different kinds there are and dont know how to pick. Are all apistos pretty much the same? Are some more hardy then others? Is it okay to mix and match or should I stick to getting just 1 type? At the moment I am thinking about getting 4. Is this a good number for the tank size? should I get more? (will be a heavily planted tank) should I do 2m/2f? 4m? 1m/3f? What are your favorite kinds? I would like this tank to be easy to maintain and dont want to bother with any of the rare expensive types that are hard to find.
All Apistogramma are not the same in their size, temperament or temperature tolerance. Perhaps the best species group is Apisto. caucatoides in it's various selections of color forms: wild, blue, double & triple red (various red ocelli in finnage), gold (xanthistic) & the "orange flash" form (solid orange finnage). It is usually the most forgiving species of a wide range of water conditions, but note that there are no Apistogramma which are tolerant of poor water conditions and they are intolerant of nitrogenous compounds. Preferred temperature in the 70's to low 80's. Size is about 3' for males.

Apisto. agassizii is also available in various red fin & xanthistic varieties. Finnage in males is variable from blue through orange & yellow - a variety of male colors can occur in the same brood in some populations. Some forms will ultimately be described as distinct species in this wide-ranging species group. They are a bit less tolerant than caucatoides of water parameters, but usually do o.k. as long as they get frequent water changes and aren't constantly stressed. Same temperature as above. Size is about 3" for males.

Apisto. bitaeniata - A quite large species (upwards of 4" in adult males). It is a shy species in most situations, but males sport spectacular dorsal extensions and a semi-lyrate tail. Dorsal & body bands of orange or purple are quite striking. Same temperature as above.

Apisto. borellii (previously known as reitzigi) is a smaller, peaceful and beautiful species. Several varieties & populations exist (yellow head, opal, etc). All have strong blue pigmentation, beautiful extended finnage & are more tolerant of lower temperatures, being a more Southern species (from So. Brasil to Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina). Size is up to a bit under 3" for males.

In your 4' tank, it may be possible to have several pairs or pairs of several species. The most likely to succeed without bloodshed in my experience is bitaeniata and borellii. I once had a breeding colony of 3 male & about 8 female bitaeniata (with emperor tetras as dithers) which displayed constantly and bred well in a 55 gallon. I've had large groups of mixed sex borellii in 20 longs and 30's without anything but a few nipped fins occasionally. Ensure that you cycle your tank prior to adding Apistos...they won't tolerate ammonia spikes.

One thing to keep in mind is that these guys need tank decorations which act as vision-breaks & territorial boundaries between potential rivals (male or female, the girls can be pretty pushy too). Slate, rock caves, coconut shell halves, etc. are suitable. Fishes which are useful to give the cichlids confidence in Apistogramma tanks are various pencil fish (Nannostomus) Copeina, Copella & small Hemigrammus & Hyphessobrycon tetras. My favorite for such a display is a group of red phantom tetras which really glow in a landscaped soft water tank.

Mike Wilson
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 09:09 PM
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All Apistogramma species are cave spawners, so a pair of open spawning dwarfs, such as Laetacara (curviceps, dorsigera or araguaiae) or Anomalochromis thomasi wouldn't be competing with the apistos for breeding territories. I have a few pairs of African Butterfly cichlids sharing a tank with a group of A, paulmuelleri. Both species barely notice each other, even when guarding eggs or fry. I've been using pristellas & Emperor tetras as dithers.



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.

It will be few months before I get the tank and probably few months after that before i start looking for the apistos i want. You guys gave me alot to think about, i need to check the types mentioned and narrow down a ranking of the ones id want and choose based on what i can find at my LFS. I have never ordered fish online and i am not sure if i want to start...

To limit my tank load i am thinking of going for a 2m/3f or 2m/4f and only keeping one type. I kinda enjoy seeing the same species of fish interact makes things look more natural. Thoughts?


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