75g Planted Apisto/Ram Community Tank - Update 5/24/20 - Progress! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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75g Planted Apisto/Ram Community Tank - Update 5/24/20 - Progress!

The bug has bitten me again and I'm looking to start another tank (don't tell the wife!). I have a 200g mixed reef system and a 75g planted rainbowfish tank, but still need one more, and I've always loved the apistogramma sp. and German rams, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I'm looking for inspiration, as well as advice/thoughts/opinions on my design ideas. I'm hoping to have a pair of rams, a pair or two of apistos, and then a community of dither fish. Additionally, I'd like the rams/apistos to have a slight chance at raising their fry - which I realize will also limit the other community fish I can have. Pencilfish, cories and guppies come to mind, but open to other suggestions.

As for the build, I plan to use the following:

75g glass tank - 48"
20L sump
CO2 reactor with 10# bottle and regulator
CO2 controller
4 bulb HO - 48"

I plan to drill the tank and install a modular marine overflow, and will drill two additional holes in the back for the return lines. Initial thought is to install diy PVC spray bars painted black connected by bulkhead adapter to these holes.

This tank will be high-tech, and I do have some extra module space on my Apex controller that I can use to monitor pH/temp if necessary.

Hardscape:

Mix of hardwood and stone - caves for spawning. Stone suggestions?

Substrate - Plant-friendly... Again, suggestions?

Fish Must Haves:

Apistos 1-2 pair - any species suggestions?

German Blue Ram - 1 pair

Dither/Community Fish:

Cories
Pencilfish
Suggestions?

Plants:

Crypts/Anubias/maybe a few stem plants for color.

As mentioned previously - I'm in the planning stages and would love feedback on potential livestock and hardscape inclusions, as well as any pitfalls that I may have overlooked thus far.

Thanks!!!

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Last edited by ProndFarms; 05-25-2020 at 12:33 AM. Reason: Update
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 08:50 AM
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My understanding is that Rams require some unique breeding conditions by way of hardscape. I would definitely look into that before setting up the tank. Since temperatures are going to be in the lower 80s I would consider plants from tropical regions.

Plant friendly substrates are typically either coarse sand or fine gravel. 1-3mm granular size is ideal. Aquasoil is also helpful. You can cap it with sand or gravel and only use it in areas that will be planted to save on the expense.

I don't know if stones that leech will affect breeding. I would be hesitant to use them for concern about that issue though. So anything that doesn't leech 😉 check your local fish store or better yet, local landscape supplier.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 10:28 AM
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Check out this thread, it's a small article I did for the TFH Forum: TFH Magazine Forum - Dwarf Cichlid Primer 101

Loads of good information on Apistos, my second favorite fish of all time.

You'll be using a lot of wood and leaf litter in that tank. One thing: Apistos need floorspace, complex environment and broken lines of sight.

A Male will have a super territory and within that super territory will be two or three females. He will patrol that area. Once the Females have eggs/fry, the Male is on the target list. Fascinating behavior for such a small fish.

Which species of Apisto you considering?

Gary


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crazygar View Post
Check out this thread, it's a small article I did for the TFH Forum: TFH Magazine Forum - Dwarf Cichlid Primer 101



Loads of good information on Apistos, my second favorite fish of all time.



You'll be using a lot of wood and leaf litter in that tank. One thing: Apistos need floorspace, complex environment and broken lines of sight.



A Male will have a super territory and within that super territory will be two or three females. He will patrol that area. Once the Females have eggs/fry, the Male is on the target list. Fascinating behavior for such a small fish.



Which species of Apisto you considering?



Gary
Gary,

I'm sorry for the delayed response, I didn't get a notification for some reason.

Thank you for the article - very informative! I'll definitely take the info there to heart when designing this tank. I really would love to do a 240g, but space permitting is only 4', so I'm stuck with a 75g (I don't see much gain from a 90g as footprint is more important than vertical volume imo).

As for the species, I am looking at A. baenschi and/or A. mcmasteri. How likely is it to be able to combine two species in a 48" 75g tank? It'll be heavily planted with Driftwood and stone.

Appreciate the input.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 01:05 AM
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You can keep both in the tank, as they are from different complexes (A.baenschi from the Nijsseni Complex/Group, A.macmasteri from the Regani Complex/Group). But I always recommend keep one type (to avoid possible hybrids) in your tank. You'll see more of their behavior when there is a group of only the one species.

Apistogramma are little fish with a big fish personality.

Rocks, branches, wood, caves, plants are all welcomed and broken lines of sight are a must. Keep it interesting for them and they will be out more and exhibit more natural behaviors.

I kept a "lonely hearts club" (Males only) in a custom 50GAL (36 X 18 X 18) and things were fine as it was densely planted with loads of hiding spaces. Floorspace is always the key to Apistos. Height they don't concern themselves with.

Gary


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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You can keep both in the tank, as they are from different complexes (A.baenschi from the Nijsseni Complex/Group, A.macmasteri from the Regani Complex/Group). But I always recommend keep one type (to avoid possible hybrids) in your tank. You'll see more of their behavior when there is a group of only the one species.



Apistogramma are little fish with a big fish personality.



Rocks, branches, wood, caves, plants are all welcomed and broken lines of sight are a must. Keep it interesting for them and they will be out more and exhibit more natural behaviors.



I kept a "lonely hearts club" (Males only) in a custom 50GAL (36 X 18 X 18) and things were fine as it was densely planted with loads of hiding spaces. Floorspace is always the key to Apistos. Height they don't concern themselves with.



Gary
Great - so I assume with a densely planted/wood setup, I could keep two "sets" of trios? (Of the same species of course).

Also - any recommendations for plants? I typically keep high-tech, high-light, but this tank assumedly should be low-light, low-tech. I'm guessing swords, Java fern, Anubias, etc?

Lastly - happen to have any good sources for these fish? And how do you manage to end up with just a trio? What about the ones that don't quite 'pair off'?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 01:42 AM
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1) Yes, provide all sorts of structures (plants, rocks, wood, branches, caves) and totally feasible to keep a set of trios. My suggestion is research their breeding habits, but I believe both species you are interested in are Cave Spawners.

2) Any plant is ok. Low/Med tech setup are the best if you are out for breeding these fish. Apistos are not fussy about the plants, just the cover they provide.

3) Not sure about the Toledo area, the only time I'm down your way is concerts at the Huntington Center. A quick Google search might be in order. I know that Anchor Bay in New Baltimore, MI always have some sort of Apistos but I rarely see Male/Female combos at LFS's. I usually ask around at Aquarium Societies or check out Aquabid (which is a good place to start).

Gary


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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1) Yes, provide all sorts of structures (plants, rocks, wood, branches, caves) and totally feasible to keep a set of trios. My suggestion is research their breeding habits, but I believe both species you are interested in are Cave Spawners.



2) Any plant is ok. Low/Med tech setup are the best if you are out for breeding these fish. Apistos are not fussy about the plants, just the cover they provide.



3) Not sure about the Toledo area, the only time I'm down your way is concerts at the Huntington Center. A quick Google search might be in order. I know that Anchor Bay in New Baltimore, MI always have some sort of Apistos but I rarely see Male/Female combos at LFS's. I usually ask around at Aquarium Societies or check out Aquabid (which is a good place to start).



Gary
Yes, both species are cave spawners, at least as far as I can tell in my research thus far.

I've checked out Aquabid, and I do have a good LFS that's fairly close to me in Bryan (LaBo's Aqutics) - I can check with them about special ordering some.

Appreciate the help and info thus far. Once I get air under the wings, I'll probably make a build page to document the journey.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 11:02 AM
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No problem and awesome! Would love to watch a dedicated Apisto tank come together!

Gary


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 03:42 PM
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For what its worth, I have had nothing but good luck on Aquabid.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 05:42 PM
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Lastly - happen to have any good sources for these fish? And how do you manage to end up with just a trio? What about the ones that don't quite 'pair off'?

There is a husband/wife team who post on the Chicago Cichlid Association classifieds and attend the swap meets that I believe are out of the greater Detroit area. I've purchased dwarf South American's off them a few times (D. Filamentosus, Apisto Agassizi) but don't see any ads listed right now. His name is Pete Durkin, I think his wife is Cathy. The e-mail address I have is PlecoPete at gmail.

75g that has rolled through various incarnations over the years...
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:52 PM
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I have a 40 breeder blackwater apisto tank. You can see the whole build (from 29 gallon to 40 gallon) in the link in my signature. Tank is still running today.



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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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There is a husband/wife team who post on the Chicago Cichlid Association classifieds and attend the swap meets that I believe are out of the greater Detroit area. I've purchased dwarf South American's off them a few times (D. Filamentosus, Apisto Agassizi) but don't see any ads listed right now. His name is Pete Durkin, I think his wife is Cathy. The e-mail address I have is PlecoPete at gmail.
Great - thank you!

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I have a 40 breeder blackwater apisto tank. You can see the whole build (from 29 gallon to 40 gallon) in the link in my signature. Tank is still running today.
Awesome! I was just about to ask if anyone had any pics of setups to share!

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-08-2020 at 06:32 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 12:33 AM
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Hey @ProndFarms where you been??

How are the Rainbows doing??

Good to see you back and look forward to seeing what you come up with for the new tank.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hey @ProndFarms where you been??



How are the Rainbows doing??



Good to see you back and look forward to seeing what you come up with for the new tank.
Hey Greggz, good to see you! I've been MIA from the forums for a bit, mostly just due to busy work and family life. Rainbows are doing great - still going strong! As you can see, I figured I'd add another tank to the mix just to make sure I have absolutely zero free time lol.

I hope all is well!

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