apisto tank

fishy fishy wishy

New Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
united states
i recently moved and had to give all my fish away and i'm ready to set my tank back up, its a 40 gallon breeder and i'm pretty set on apistogramma cacatuoides but just those arent going to gill up my tank, i dont really know what can go well with them but i'd like to know what possible tankmates i could put with them, like maybe a school of some tetra or top dwelling fish, a school of catfish (not cories, could even be a singular bottom dweller) possibly some shrimp. any suggestions welcome
 

Myraan

Fish Crazy
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
235
Reaction score
204
Location
UK (south Wales)
I reckon my male apisto died of stress because he couldn't cope with with the friendliness of the cories. So I'd be inclined to with just the apistos, maybe a harem, and then two shoals of something or other for mid and top, as big as a shoal as you have space for.

Maybe rummy nose and hatchetfish.

And maybe 5 or 6 otos when the tank is really old and dirty (in a good way)
 

Gypsum

Fishaholic
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
480
Reaction score
409
Location
Glasgow
I was told by people who knew what they were doing to add pencilfish as dithers. I think some breeders have had success with neons or cardinals, but pencils are the overwhelming favourite.
 

nik_n

Fish Crazy
Fish of the Month!
Joined
Jan 7, 2021
Messages
233
Reaction score
83
Location
Switzerland
You could try killifish or hatchet fish. If you are interested in breeding I suggest keep a colony of killifish, if you just want something unusual go with hatchetfish.
 

kribensis12

I know where you live
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,446
Reaction score
409
Location
Peoria, Illinois
I keep and breed A. Cacatouides and here are my thoughts after research & experience:

1. I would not recommend keeping any sort of bottom-dweller fish besides more apistos (we'll get to that) and perhaps a bristlenose pleco (my breeding pair are not bothered by the bristlenose at all). I have tossed some shrimp in before without any issues but I can't say that they wouldn't be attacked at some point (especially if they shrimp have babies)

2. Cockatoo's are not very aggressive beyond what is needed to protect their territory, when given proper space and decorations.. They can get stressed if you place them in a tank with fast moving, even moderately aggressive fish that are likely to invade their territory (like some tetras). I had some zebra danios in with my breeders before and they didn't mind each other - I think they actually encouraged the cockatoo's to come out more because they felt that it was "safe". If I had to recommend something more beautiful than the typical danio, I think that you'd find success with Cardinal Tetra's as their water/temp requirements are very similar.

3. If you are attempting to breed them, though they are protective of their spawn, dither fish (such as Cardinal's) can and will eat some of the fry. If you are wanting a high fry survival rate, I would recommend not having dither fish. An established pair will likely not need them.

4. Harem breeding. One of the most interesting things about cockatoo's in my opinion is that they are harem breeders. While you can definitely keep a singular pair with success (which is what I do), in such a large tank you could very easily have one large, dominant male and 4-5 females. A general rule of thumb is at least 1 apisto cave per female.

5. Decorations: Cockatoo's do not like large caves, or caves with large openings. They do not feel secure. In my opinion, they are a very skittish fish (especially the males). Apisto caves (like this ) are perfect as the female just fits in there (the male cannot access it). The male will benefit from plenty of driftwood, plants and general cave formations but will likely not utilize larger caves as he's always "patrolling" the perimeter of his territory.

Have you already found a supplier of cockatoos? If you are interested, I have some that are nearing the 1 inch mark for sale (located in IL, can ship).
 

Byron

Fish Guru
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
15,945
Reaction score
7,457
Location
CA
I agree with most of what other members have posted here. I would just mention though that if you do decide to have Corydoras, I would not include the "dwarf" species like C. pygmaeus but stay with the "medium" sized species. The reason I say this is that the cories will be in the same area as the dwarf cichlids, and thus more likely to encounter each other. Apistogramma can get very protective especially when protecting fry (and assuming you have a harem or a pair even, spawning is likely to occur) and the larger cories can easily deal with pushing and shoving, but this could be a death knell for C. pygmaeus. There is also the temperature issue with cories...none should be maintained in high temperatures (like those for discus and blue rams for example) but if you do not intend going that high, but staying around 78-79F/26-27C, Corydoras duplicareus, C. sterbai, and some others would be good choices. Most species in Corydoras prefer slightly cooler water.

Others have mentioned good "dither" fish. Avoid any that are prone to fin nip, avoid overly-active fish (danios and barbs in general). Hatchetfishes especially those in the genus Carnegiella, some pencilfish in Nannostomus (but not all, there are a coupe of feisty nippers among this genus), and peaceful tetras. The hatchetfishes and pencilfishes will tend to be better because they are generally upper level fish (hatchetfish obviously are, but some pencils like N. eques are surface fish too) and thus not in the face of the cichlids. If you like the cardinal idea, the false or green neon, Parachierodon simulans, may be the best of the three species for here, as it is smaller, loves warmth, and is a bit higher in the water column. The Ember Tetra Hyphessobrycon amandae is probably a good "tetra" characin.

You did say spawning was not the desire, so the above should work. Any cories will likely devour the eggs at night when the cichlids cannot protect them. And lower characins might have better luck than the upper fish at eating the eggs. But as this does not matter, you have the options.
 

Avel1896

Fish Herder
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
1,846
Reaction score
810
Location
Nice
You could try killifish or hatchet fish. If you are interested in breeding I suggest keep a colony of killifish, if you just want something unusual go with hatchetfish.
Hatchetfish I agree.
To be sure, what Killifish are you talking about ? They are territorial just as any Apistogrammas...
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

Fish Herder
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
1,166
Location
Cleator Moor, Cumbria
Gotta say that I have a pair of Redline Apistogramma and whilst the lady in particular does like a particular area of the tank, the shoal of Pygmy Corydoras do not seem troubled be her
 
OP
F

fishy fishy wishy

New Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
united states
i do have a supplier (my local fish store) and the apistos there are very small, but if i were to breed them i could just bring the babies to my fish store to share the apisto joy with others. what you guys are saying if i breed them if i'm correct is maybe 4-5 females, 1 male, a bristlenose pleco, and some pencils. could you specify which kind of pencilfish i should put in there if any? i would like to have fry survive since every other time i bred fish i use the fry as fish food.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

Fish Herder
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
1,166
Location
Cleator Moor, Cumbria
i do have a supplier (my local fish store) and the apistos there are very small, but if i were to breed them i could just bring the babies to my fish store to share the apisto joy with others. what you guys are saying if i breed them if i'm correct is maybe 4-5 females, 1 male, a bristlenose pleco, and some pencils. could you specify which kind of pencilfish i should put in there if any? i would like to have fry survive since every other time i bred fish i use the fry as fish food.
I like Golden Pencilfish.
They're active, not timid and have small mouths. ;)
 

Byron

Fish Guru
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
15,945
Reaction score
7,457
Location
CA
I like Golden Pencilfish.
They're active, not timid and have small mouths. ;)

This fish (Nannostomus beckfordi) is a known fin nipper, and it is a very feisty fish. It will attack anything approaching the surface, so you never want it in with hatchetfish. I had to remove my group of this pencilfish from a 5-foot tank because they attacked otos that got close to the surface. I have had a group of this fish for 20 or more years (different fish obviously, but this species) and always noted these behaviours. The species Nannostomus trifasciatus is similar.

One safe pencilfish (for the Apistogramma) is Nannostomus eques, as they remain at the surface and can be kept with hatchetfish, otos, etc.. N. marginatus (the dwarf pencilfish) is peaceful and will remain in the upper half of the water column. The closely related N. mortenhaleri and N. rubrocaudatus the same. N. espei is similar, though this is a very rare fish these days, I haven't had them since the 1980's. My N. digrammus were well behaved too.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

Fish Herder
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
1,166
Location
Cleator Moor, Cumbria
This fish (Nannostomus beckfordi) is a known fin nipper, and it is a very feisty fish. It will attack anything approaching the surface, so you never want it in with hatchetfish.
This fish (Nannostomus beckfordi) has been reported to be a fin nipper, and it has a reputation by some to be a very feisty fish. It may, according to some, attack anything approaching the surface, so you never want it in with hatchetfish.

All of my tetras, pygmy corys, bristlenose and Redline Apistos still have complete and un-nipped fins.
I spend a lot of my time watching these delightful fish and I am yet to see any aggression to any other fish in the tank.
 

Byron

Fish Guru
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
15,945
Reaction score
7,457
Location
CA
This fish (Nannostomus beckfordi) has been reported to be a fin nipper, and it has a reputation by some to be a very feisty fish. It may, according to some, attack anything approaching the surface, so you never want it in with hatchetfish.

All of my tetras, pygmy corys, bristlenose and Redline Apistos still have complete and un-nipped fins.
I spend a lot of my time watching these delightful fish and I am yet to see any aggression to any other fish in the tank.

Fair enough, but your experience may be the exception. The dozens of fish of this species I have had since the 1980's is a lot of fish to gage with. And I have had fry several times, but the males sometimes go after them too. I have this in my 40g at the present time.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top