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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I'm getting ready to purchase some of these for a 55 gal tank (48" x 12" ).

My plan is to get about 5 of these (the ones I'm looking at are too young to be properly sexed) and will be in a tank with RCS (not concerned with them eating baby shrimp) , and schools of Trigonostigma espei and Rasbora rubrodorsalis.

Based on experience, is 5 a good number? If they all turn out to be males will I have major problems? Do these (this species) do better as a harem, or as paried male/female?

Thanks,

Dave
 

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If those behave anything like German Blue Rams (another dwarf cichlid), I'd be worried about them eating the adult RCS as well. My rams chased and ate the adults before I moved most of them to another tank.
 

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People report mixed success with dwarf cichlids and RCS. My GBRs and Apisto LOVED RCS and cleared out the entire colony from my well-planted 90gal in less than a week. The Apisto was particularly vicious... would dart out from behind something, grab a shrimp, and shake it violently before dragging it back into its hideout to munch. Of course, this particular Apisto also later went on to terrorize full grown angelfish 10x its own size...

I haven't kept A. agassizi so I don't know how territorial or aggro they may be during breeding. I know some Apistos set up huge breeding territories, others are relatively small and will tolerate other pairs nearby... www.Apistogramma.com would be a good place to do some research.
 

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I've had the same experience with my Pisto's, they went to work on my shrimp like a hungry pack of wolves. At first it was almost fun to watch and I thought they would never wipe out the whole colony (heavy planted 125G), A few weeks later there wasn't a single RCS to be found...I only wish they did the same to RH snails...

Funny though, I also had Bolivian rams in that tank and as far as I know they never touched the shrimp...at least not enough to notice a loss.
 

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Apistos are my favorite fish. I currently am maintaining six distinct species in 12(+) assorted breeding/species tanks. (Along w/ 3 other SA dwarfs, & 4 African dwarf cichlids. )

I have had several years of trouble trying to keep the A. aggies. I have a display tank full of older widowed females 2+ and 3+ years old. They appear to be almost tougher than nails. Not so the males! Unless you can provide softer and warmer water to keep them in; you would do well to choose a less fussy species. After several failures I had to surrender and admit my water was just too hard. Because I couldn't give up my attachment to these guys, I did finally invest in the necessary R/O unit. (And more tanks, tank racking, sponge filters, live foods, etc., etc.) Now, I'm keeping them happy and actually succeeding w/ spawning them.

However, still can't convince these males to not predate on the fry. A. baenschi, A. borellii, and even A. cacatuoides have done great raising fry w/ both parents in the tank. Not so for the A. agassizii.:angryfire

If your water is hard, A. borellii and A. cacatuoides would be easier apistos to keep. Even A. trifasciata will do fine in moderately hard water.

Ditto what the other posters comment about the apistos and shrimp. Most will love to chomp them!

Additionally, the problem won't be if all turn out to be just males. It all depends on which mix of M/F you end up with.

Another good reference:
http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/index.php
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info and websites. Yeah, I probably should have left off the info about the shrimp (not very concerned about them), I'm mostly trying to grasp some knowledge on these Apistos.

How about the McMaster's Apisto?
 

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As far as water params to "keep" apistos, I believe saying that they need soft and acidic water is not correct. I had posed that question many times myself, and the verdict was that most fish (inc. apistos) can adapt to all manner of water conditions. My water is pH 7.5 and GH 10°, and my Aggies are thriving. I don't expect they will ever breed, but that wasn't why I bought them.

During my research I noticed that alot of people tend to spread this impression that you can't keep X fish in Y parameters, blah blah blah, and it is almost never true. There is a huge difference between "keeping" fish and breeding fish imo.

On the other hand, apistos do need their water to be stable and clean. But that goes without saying. What fish wouldn't like stable, clean water? :icon_wink
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As far as water params to "keep" apistos, I believe saying that they need soft and acidic water is not correct. I had posed that question many times myself, and the verdict was that most fish (inc. apistos) can adapt to all manner of water conditions. My water is pH 7.5 and GH 10°, and my Aggies are thriving. I don't expect they will ever breed, but that wasn't why I bought them.

During my research I noticed that alot of people tend to spread this impression that you can't keep X fish in Y parameters, blah blah blah, and it is almost never true. There is a huge difference between "keeping" fish and breeding fish imo.

On the other hand, apistos do need their water to be stable and clean. But that goes without saying. What fish wouldn't like stable, clean water? :icon_wink
I've seen this first-hand with Discus. Some of the most beautiful and healthy Dicus I've seen were in Houton Aquarium Wharehouse living in Houston's tap water (very hard water with high pH).

I'm not so interested in breeding Apistos as I am just keeping them. I just wanted a good number and a good male/female ratio to keep down potential agression between males (if that is a problem).
 

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I would just keep an eye on them pairing up and and possibly harrassing the less dominant/odd-one-out one. If you get the amazingly miraculous chance that you get like, 1-2 males and the rest females, I can't see this being a problem, as a lot of apistos form harem groups (1male, multiple females) in the wild. This is what I'm actually aiming for myself when I get my 90gl goin.
If you do notice you get that ratio, then that's awesome, but if you don't, just keep an eye and maybe once you notice one gets a bit more harassed, trade it in or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just to update, I got 5 Apistos from InvertzFactory.com as well as a school of Rasbora rubrodorsalis. The fish looked GREAT, in excellent health, and were already scouting out the aquarium after just 10 minutes from being out of the box.

THANKS!!
 

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That's great! i hope you'll post pics when you can. In that tank, I think it's doubtful that you'll be able to keep more than one male, so you should keep an eye out for aggression. Apistos are harem breeders, so 1 male and a few females is the best way to go. Enjoy the fish!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Finally got a chance to get a good pic. He or she is still just a wee baby (about 1" or something along that line).
 

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Nice pic.

Yes, he really is quite small as he's still not showing any fin elongation. Still, I'm quessing male. I've never really seen the blue spangles around the eye and outlining the lateral line near the head region on any of my females. Although, on tank breed supercolor varieties I have had some females express plenty of red on their fins.
 

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Most apisto females will show black along the leading rays of the ventral fins at a fairly young age. My guess would also be that the fish in the pic is a male.

Apistogramma are awesome fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The latest news is my Apistos are breeding and I am not so certain these are A. agassizi anymore. There are about 50 - 60 eggs (as opposed to 150 that A. agassizi lay) and the male's caudel fin does not have the typical spade-shape, rather it is pointed at the ends. Here are some quick shots:
Male


Female


"cave" made of a shallow dug-out and Anubias root

The pics are not great quality, but should be clear enough for an ID. Any thoughts?
-Dave
 

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Those look similar to cacatuoides...
Regardless they are looking great and healthy! Are you going to try to raise the young in a separate tank or just keep them there?
 

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Not sure what type of apisto but agree that it is not an agassizi. As you noted the caudal fin on a male agassizi is elongated and comes to a point in the center. Your pic looks more like a bitaeniata which has the lyre shaped caudal fin but I don't think it is a bitaeniata either. A bitaeniata would have two defined lateral stripes.
 

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Thats awesome. How many pairs do you have laying eggs now?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just talked with Niko and saw some pics from Nemsley, we're thinking these are in the caucatoides group. I don't think the eggs should be red though, rather should be a yellow color. Perhaps these are sterile eggs as the fish are still pretty young. I don't plan on taking the young out if they hatch...I really thought it would be a few months before I had to think about that! ;) I also had serious doubts about breeding since I use very hard tap water in this tank. Go figure.

I'm not sure how many pair I have. I bought 5 fish as babies and just hoped I'd get at least 1 male and 1 female. My opinion so far is that I have 4 males and 1 female, but like I said, they are all still very young. The male in the picture is still just over 1.25" in length.

-Dave
 
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