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Hey all,

My LFS just recently got in some Apistogramma Panduro, which I have never seen or heard of in Australia. Since I've been trying to make my mind up on a dwarf cichlid for my 100L and they looked incredible I ended up getting a male and three females.

I've never had Apistos before, and I was always under the impression that they did better in harems (like I bought) rather than a couple (ie. rams), but since I got them only two days ago, I have already noticed that the male seems to spend his time with one female, and the other two females stick to the opposite side of the tank. My intention is not really to breed them right now (maybe in the future but I don't have the time or resources to look after fry) but I'm worried that if two have paired off the other two will get bullied - or worse. :(

So far at least, there isn't any concerning levels of aggression other than some mouth-opening and rather apathetic chasing.

Should I take the other two females out to be safe? The LFS wouldn't mind - they're more like a fish-swap hub anyway. lol
 

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If you're looking to breed fish its always wise to start with more females than males and let the fish pair off to their choosing. Whether or not they are monogamists (as rams are theorized to be.....but seems like thoughts there might be changing) doesn't change the fact that if they are going to spawn, 2 fish of the opposite sex need to pair off at least for a little while! If you're not planning to breed though then maybe its not a wise idea to start with multiple females and a single male. Nature often has a way of taking over and making sure things keep working!

Like most cichlids if/when they spawn their aggression will increase. So if all seems well now, it might not stay that way forever. I've got apisto cacatauoides in a species only tank. Think I started with 3 females and 2 males; a pair formed and spawned and slowly but surely all I have left is the 1 male and 1 female as the rest got bullied to death while the pair protected their spawn. I think the tiny female is actually the one who took out the larger males!
 

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I just got an apisto agassizii pair. One male one female. I was under the impression that whatever female you put in with the male, they will become mates. An apisto will not have multiple mates, so having the other females will not benefit you other than they are pretty to look at!
 

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Apistos in the nijsseni group (which includes A. panduro ) are supposed to be monogamous & very choosy picking out mates. That said, I have a trio & the male mates with both females, which have territories on opposite sides of the tank. The females spar now & then, especially if one is guarding eggs or fry, but overall the aggression is very mild. Just make sure that every female has its own cave & sight lines are blocked by plants or driftwood.
 
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