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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I had never heard of this fish until today and I was wondering if anyone has any experience with them that you would like to share?

I love Rams and have a few Bolivian Rams right now, but I would love to get a male Apistogramma if they're not too touchy, since they're pretty pricey.

Thanks for any information.
D
 

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Apistogrammas is a genus with over 100 species. They range from strictly blackwater to robust clear water fishes. They vary in temp requirement and delicacy as well as behavior (clam to aggressive); mating behavior (some are harem breeders others are mouth breeders others ....)...
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Given the broad range in behavior and requirement it would probably help if you narrow to a single species ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Apistogrammas is a genus with over 100 species. They range from stickly blackwater to robust clear water fishes. They vary in temp requirement and delicacy as well as behavior (clam to aggressive); mating behavior (some are harem breeders others are mouth breeders others ....)...
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Given the broad range in behavior and requirement it would probably help if you narrow to a single species ?
I was looking at Caucatuides? I feel like I've been living under a rock not knowing about these fish!
 

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Caucatuides are mostly passive but will chase nearby fishes when laying eggs. They are fairly easy to keep. They prefer water that is not too hard (my water is gh 7 kh 3 ph 7.1 tds 120 or 130). I think there are better fishes out there (I have a special liking for nannacara but they are not as colourful.

Anyway caucatuides (sometime called cockatoo) are not a bad beginner fish and pretty hardy.
 

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I was looking at Caucatuides?
I am starting up a new tank for these myself. I've had them on my radar for awhile now, but I can't get them locally. I have to drive 2 hours one way to pick some up, but at least I have a source now. From what I know watching Rachel O'Leary's YouTubes is that they should be easy to keep, can be territorial and need a cave type shelter when spawning. They also like cooler water than most dwarf cichlids. I plan to put a pair in a 29g by themselves. I'm just waiting on plants to get the scape done.
 

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Cockatoos are the perfect intro to apistos. I've bred and raised agassizii and have kept a couple cockatoo in my lifetime. They are wonderful little cichlids. You don't even need a heater with them and they can be easily locally sourced (usually). I highly recommend getting a male and 2 females for the cockatoo, along with a few dither fish. They'll keep you amused for hours!! From my experience with them they can be easily acclimated to any relatively neutral parameters and as long as you drip acclimate you shouldn't have a problem. Cockatoo are the hardiest of apistos and are pretty forgiving of beginner mistakes. Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't understand why I have not heard of these fish before. I would probably have to get them from Ebay, or my other option would be to have my LFS order them for me. I have bought German Blue Rams from Ebay in the past and had pretty good luck with the vendors on there.
 

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You won't be disappointed. I had just started breeding cichlids when they'd first showed up in my area about 10 years ago so I jumped right to them. You will want to have a couple caves for them to spawn in right off the bat- I've noticed that the minute they settle in they breed, as long as your parameters are stable. I used clay pots for breeding caves. Lol I'm still using the clay pots in my tank to this day, though I'm now retired from everything. Would love to see pics when you get all set up... I can't fall prey to MTS anymore so I have to live vicariously through other people's tanks- and I've got a soft spot for apistos 😉
 

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Second hand information from a 'friend'; ortegai are more sensitive (not sure if they actually require blackwater but they kept them in a blackwater tank) and they are more aggressive.

If you want an alternative to cockatoo i would go with borelli, hongsoli, trifasciata or agassizii if you stick with apistogramma. If you consider other dwarf cichlid there are many candidates.

german blue ram are significantly more fragile and demanding than the mentioned apistogramma. So if you are able to keep german blue rams for a couple of years without issues then you should be fine with most apistogramma that do well in clearwater.

Btw as i mentioned before some apisto are harem breeders (like cockatoo) and some bind in pairs like nijennsi . It is important that you understand which type you are buying if you intend to get females.

Any comment on the Ortegai Pabas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Second hand information from a 'friend'; ortegai are more sensitive (not sure if they actually require blackwater but they kept them in a blackwater tank) and they are more aggressive.

If you want an alternative to cockatoo i would go with borelli, hongsoli, trifasciata or agassizii if you stick with apistogramma. If you consider other dwarf cichlid there are many candidates.

german blue ram are significantly more fragile and demanding than the mentioned apistogramma. So if you are able to keep german blue rams for a couple of years without issues then you should be fine with most apistogramma that do well in clearwater.

Btw as i mentioned before some apisto are harem breeders (like cockatoo) and some bind in pairs like nijennsi . It is important that you understand which type you are buying if you intend to get females.
Actually the oldest fish in my tank was a GBR. I had him for about 5 years before he finally died. I'm not really interested in breeding to be honest, I just wanted them because they look awesome! They're pretty expensive on Ebay..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You won't be disappointed. I had just started breeding cichlids when they'd first showed up in my area about 10 years ago so I jumped right to them. You will want to have a couple caves for them to spawn in right off the bat- I've noticed that the minute they settle in they breed, as long as your parameters are stable. I used clay pots for breeding caves. Lol I'm still using the clay pots in my tank to this day, though I'm now retired from everything. Would love to see pics when you get all set up... I can't fall prey to MTS anymore so I have to live vicariously through other people's tanks- and I've got a soft spot for apistos 😉
I will post some pictures, but they will probably be a lone male or two. I don't think I'll set up a nursery. Yet. :)
 

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I would add a plus 1 for Borellii. Try A. Borrellii "Opal"...really different looking colors.
Panduro/Cockatoo are also really cool.

When you get the itch to breed, litter a 20 gallon with fallen oak or ash leaves in the fall, add a bubbler heater and add some rain water.

You cannot go wrong with most any Apistogramma. I have found only Apistogramma Viejita to be really combative with each other. (tough to find usually)
 

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My only reason for mentioning setting up a harem with cockatoos is, from my personal experience, their true personalities don't really come out unless they are kept this way. Though keeping a couple males might bring them out to squabble over territory lines. When I kept them solo they did more hiding then anything else. If you do go with 2 males make sure there's a couple good territories with a line of sight break in the middle to avoid excessive stress. I'm so excited for you lol!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My only reason for mentioning setting up a harem with cockatoos is, from my personal experience, their true personalities don't really come out unless they are kept this way. Though keeping a couple males might bring them out to squabble over territory lines. When I kept them solo they did more hiding then anything else. If you do go with 2 males make sure there's a couple good territories with a line of sight break in the middle to avoid excessive stress. I'm so excited for you lol!!
Do you think there will be any problems with them and the Bolivian Rams I currently have? Also, if you have any idea where to get them other than Ebay, please let me know.

You guys are great on this forum; you've been so helpful and I really appreciate your time and responses!
 

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There's always the possibility of aggression between cichlids but from personal experience with cockatoos it's mostly show and shouldn't be too much of a problem provided you have enough territory space for all of them. Usually they'll just flair and chase off competitors. If your rams have already set up their territory usually the newly introduced species will fall in line and take up unoccupied spaces, though this is not set in stone.


I know there used to be an apistos breeder that called himself apisto dave who sold for very reasonable prices but he's a very eccentric and colorful character that requires very frequent and to the point, but friendly, communication. I have not personally ordered from him, but the agassizii I bred were reportedly from his stock and they were phenomenal. You can do a google search on him, it should turn up something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks very much for the information! I will see if I can track him down.
That's all the rams do, get all puffed up, charge at each other and then go about their business. At one point I had a very large African Cichlid tank. Now, there were some aggressive fish!
 

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Lol that's where the overstocking and oversized filtration comes in.... I've done quite a few rift lake cichlid displays and you're right. The concept is similar in adding a few schools of dither fish with CA/ SA cichlids, give them a common enemy 😂 since you have experience with aggressive african cichlids this will be a walk in the park because, yes, CA/SA dwarves are mostly just show, the larger ones are the ones that kill each other.

A side note on apisto dave- reaching him by email is supposedly the easiest way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For some reason, I can't see the comment about Nanacarras on here from Jake, but can see a partial section of the message on my email. These look very interesting as well! I have been limiting myself to the fish normally found at the LFS. I am open to any suggestions that you all have. If I could catch the YoYos in my tank, I would rehome them and get more dwarf cichlids. I can't catch them, I've tried.
 
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