New Apisto acquisition. Bitaeniata

kribensis12

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I've got eggs in this tank again, and the female is in her bright yellow kill bill outfit attacking anything that comes near. Once more I'm not sure if the male has done his job as he is currently hiding behind the filter, seemingly in an attempt to escape the wrath of the female.

Once again I'll hope for the best but expect a failed attempt.

Congrats! I would not be so certain that the male didn't do his job.

Observing my a. cacatouides for several spawns, watching youtube videos of their natural habitat and doing a lot of research this is what I've learned:

1. It seems most apistos, while they can breed as a pair, do better as a harem.

2. The reason for this is that the female is 90% responsible for fry care. The female will have little use for the male while she is raising the fry beyond perimeter defense and the occasional "watch the fry while I go get milk" duty.

3. The female will care for the fry for a very long time if the male is not present - like 2-3 months in some cases.

4. While the female is protecting the eggs and wrigglers, she likely will not eat much.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Will keep fingers crossed that the male did do his job! From what @kribensis12 just said above, I wouldn't give up hope yet!

For you guys who keep apistogramma, what would you suggest as a miniumum tank size for them? I know suggestions vary online, just wanted to get the opinions of people who actually keep these fish. I haven't seen enough in person to accurately guage their adult size even, let alone how much space they prefer to take over. I'd imagine the larger the better (within reason), for a territorial species. I saw a ten gallon recommended somewhere the other day, and sounds way too small to me. Even my pygmy cories use the whole of a 15.5 gallon.
I do my best to avoid live bearers for the exact reason you mention, I've really not got the patience for all those babies. I envy those that do, it's just never going to be me. I do keep some male guppies, platies and mollies though... they were given to me.
It's fun to have all those fry for the first year or so, when you're new to fish breeding, have spare tanks for overflow, and a reliable LFS willing to take them when they're big enough. But even with all that, it wears on you after a while!
 

kribensis12

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Will keep fingers crossed that the male did do his job! From what @kribensis12 just said above, I wouldn't give up hope yet!

For you guys who keep apistogramma, what would you suggest as a miniumum tank size for them? I know suggestions vary online, just wanted to get the opinions of people who actually keep these fish. I haven't seen enough in person to accurately guage their adult size even, let alone how much space they prefer to take over. I'd imagine the larger the better (within reason), for a territorial species. I saw a ten gallon recommended somewhere the other day, and sounds way too small to me. Even my pygmy cories use the whole of a 15.5 gallon.

It's fun to have all those fry for the first year or so, when you're new to fish breeding, have spare tanks for overflow, and a reliable LFS willing to take them when they're big enough. But even with all that, it wears on you after a while!

Hey! It goes without saying that bigger is always better from the perspective of "the more water, the more stable your parameters".

I keep and breed my a. cacatouides in 10g tanks. In the wild, they can be found in densities of 400 apistos per square meter when the floodplains are low. Obviously when there is more rain they spread out again. In the wild they will typically make homes that are actually on top of one another - by that I mean leaflitter makes hollow cavities as do pieces of wood etc.

Due to their diminutive size, I think as a species only breeding tank 10g is perfectly acceptable -- but if you are keeping them with others or have a larger tank available, go for it. It's all about length of aquarium verses the amount of gallons. My apistos occupy the bottom to mid level - so getting a 20H tank would not be beneficial.
 
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Cydeth

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@kribensis12 @AdoraBelle Dearheart

Im not completely writing off these eggs, I'm just trying to not get my hopes up too much. They are still quite new to the tank and while they are bonded quite strongly I'm not sure they've really worked out what to do yet.

I'm not actively trying to breed them if I'm honest, I'm just letting them do their thing and if I get some babies then that's great too. So for now I'm hoping for the best but expecting nothing, which has always been the best policy for me really.

With the size of tanks it depends on the species of apisto as well, some are far bigger than others and will need a bigger tank and group. It also makes a difference how it is set up for them as they are often quite shy fish. They love plant cover and hiding spots, so the more they can hide the less they seem to do so.

The two apistos I've got threads for on here are currently kept in a 28 gallon for the bitaeniata and a 17 gallon for the macmasteri. They seem happy enough in those tanks.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I keep and breed my a. cacatouides in 10g tanks. In the wild, they can be found in densities of 400 apistos per square meter when the floodplains are low. Obviously when there is more rain they spread out again. In the wild they will typically make homes that are actually on top of one another - by that I mean leaflitter makes hollow cavities as do pieces of wood etc.

Due to their diminutive size, I think as a species only breeding tank 10g is perfectly acceptable -- but if you are keeping them with others or have a larger tank available, go for it. It's all about length of aquarium verses the amount of gallons. My apistos occupy the bottom to mid level - so getting a 20H tank would not be beneficial.
This is great to know, thank you! I'm not planning to get any in the immediate future, and would do a lot more research before going for it of course, I was just wondering whether one of my 15.5 G tanks might be suitable for a pair and some suitable small, top to mid-level dither fish, if they are, then I might hang onto both tanks rather than getting rid of one.
@kribensis12 @AdoraBelle Dearheart

Im not completely writing off these eggs, I'm just trying to not get my hopes up too much. They are still quite new to the tank and while they are bonded quite strongly I'm not sure they've really worked out what to do yet.

I'm not actively trying to breed them if I'm honest, I'm just letting them do their thing and if I get some babies then that's great too. So for now I'm hoping for the best but expecting nothing, which has always been the best policy for me really.

With the size of tanks it depends on the species of apisto as well, some are far bigger than others and will need a bigger tank and group. It also makes a difference how it is set up for them as they are often quite shy fish. They love plant cover and hiding spots, so the more they can hide the less they seem to do so.

The two apistos I've got threads for on here are currently kept in a 28 gallon for the bitaeniata and a 17 gallon for the macmasteri. They seem happy enough in those tanks.
Definitely understand not wanting to get your hopes up! Cautious optimism when it comes to fish-keeping :D

Thank you both for the info from experienced keepers! I love planted tanks, and adding little hidey spots with wood, caves, leaves etc, so that's one reason apistos appealed to me. I'm thinking something like the tank in my profile pic, only with more ground cover bits and pieces. Or like my pygmy cory tank.

I really like the Apistogramma agassizii “tefe”, the blue variety, and the Apistogramma agassizii "Fire Red". But obviously, nothing set in stone yet. :)
 

kribensis12

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This is great to know, thank you! I'm not planning to get any in the immediate future, and would do a lot more research before going for it of course, I was just wondering whether one of my 15.5 G tanks might be suitable for a pair and some suitable small, top to mid-level dither fish, if they are, then I might hang onto both tanks rather than getting rid of one.

Definitely understand not wanting to get your hopes up! Cautious optimism when it comes to fish-keeping :D

Thank you both for the info from experienced keepers! I love planted tanks, and adding little hidey spots with wood, caves, leaves etc, so that's one reason apistos appealed to me. I'm thinking something like the tank in my profile pic, only with more ground cover bits and pieces. Or like my pygmy cory tank.

I really like the Apistogramma agassizii “tefe”, the blue variety, and the Apistogramma agassizii "Fire Red". But obviously, nothing set in stone yet. :)

Happy to help! At 15g with dithers would be perfect for a pair of either of those - both are beautiful color morphs.

If you don't already, you will need very soft water for these fish. My pH is 8.4 with a TDS reading of over 650ppm straight out of the tap (see: concrete). I have to use straight R/O water and remineralize it for the apistos I keep.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Happy to help! At 15g with dithers would be perfect for a pair of either of those - both are beautiful color morphs.

If you don't already, you will need very soft water for these fish. My pH is 8.4 with a TDS reading of over 650ppm straight out of the tap (see: concrete). I have to use straight R/O water and remineralize it for the apistos I keep.
Aaahh, I'm in a similar boat! My tapwater has a GH of 253ppm... great for livebearers, not so much all the other excited species most of us want to keep!

Right now I have one tank that I keep for softer water, has my otocinclus and pygmy cories in, and I use a mix of my tapwater and rainwater to bring to to an acceptable range for them. But my LFS also delivers RO water should I need it.

For dithers, I'm really drawn to rasbora kubotai.
On the other hand, I've also been checking out the different Pseudomugil species, or threadfin rainbows, since it would be easier to manage the water hardness and less hassle!

I'm so jealous of the people in softwater areas!
 

kribensis12

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Aaahh, I'm in a similar boat! My tapwater has a GH of 253ppm... great for livebearers, not so much all the other excited species most of us want to keep!

Right now I have one tank that I keep for softer water, has my otocinclus and pygmy cories in, and I use a mix of my tapwater and rainwater to bring to to an acceptable range for them. But my LFS also delivers RO water should I need it.

For dithers, I'm really drawn to rasbora kubotai.
On the other hand, I've also been checking out the different Pseudomugil species, or threadfin rainbows, since it would be easier to manage the water hardness and less hassle!

I'm so jealous of the people in softwater areas!

Same. I could keep African Cichlids w/o trying. I have - they love this type of water.

The green neons are pretty! Never kept them, but they are very pretty. I usually choose a cheap, hardy dither like zebra danios or leopard danios.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I probably shouldn't mention that my water from the tap is neutral ph and a hardness at about 25ppm then.

Give me alllll the soft water fish. Haha
Just when I was starting to like you as well... *shrug* we must become mortal enemies. I'm sorry, it's just how it has to be.
 

Lajos_Detari

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Aaahh, I'm in a similar boat! My tapwater has a GH of 253ppm... great for livebearers, not so much all the other excited species most of us want to keep!

Right now I have one tank that I keep for softer water, has my otocinclus and pygmy cories in, and I use a mix of my tapwater and rainwater to bring to to an acceptable range for them. But my LFS also delivers RO water should I need it.

For dithers, I'm really drawn to rasbora kubotai.
On the other hand, I've also been checking out the different Pseudomugil species, or threadfin rainbows, since it would be easier to manage the water hardness and less hassle!

I'm so jealous of the people in softwater areas!

I have soft water in my country....LOL
Even my Discus managed to breed...

Anyway, just to share something though I'm not an expert in breeding of Apistogrammas.
I will be starting an Apistogrammas tank soon with my 25 gallons tank or I may switch to my 30 gallons tank if require.

Your 15.5 gallon tank is suitable for a pair of Apistogramma.
If you are planning to breed them, don't keep them with Tetras fish.
They are like Piranhas as they will eat the fry.
Even Cardinal and Neon Tetras are fry eaters.
Usually the recommended tank mates are like Pencil fish and Threadfin rainbows as they have very small mouth.

As for Rasbora Kubotai, most of them are wild caught.
If they are wild caught, you will need to deworm and get ready some parasite medications on hand as most wild caught fish will have internal worms/parasites and even external parasites(eg. gill fluke).
I have my Wormer plus (Flubendazole) ready now as I might purchase some Wild Cardinal Tetras.
Let me know if you need info about this medication.

Also, take note that the female Apistogramma can become very aggressive after breeding as it need to protect its fry.
I heard of cases where the female will even beat up the male for some species of Apistogramma.
Apistogramma Cacatuoides is the most common and easily available and the easiest to breed..
The most peaceful Apistogramma is the Borelli which I am considering of getting them.

You can find out more from the Apistogramma fish forum though I can't post the link here.
They have an Apistogramma expert there, whose name is Mike Wise.

Lastly, I leave some links, videos for more information about Apistogrammas and other fish here which you can consider for your future tanks.
Currently, I'm seriously considering the following interesting fish:
1)Apistogramma Borelli
2)Biotoecus Opercularis
3)Dicrossus-filamentosus (more difficult to find)

Actually, why don't you consider the shell dweller since you have hard water for your 15 gallons tank?
For your bigger tanks, you can consider some Lake Tanganyikan fish that are less aggressive and not too large.

Let me know if you need some recommendations.

A very good website about Apistogrammas:







 
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Cydeth

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I finally have news about this tank, some good and some not so good.

First of all, the original female died. They were a wild caught pair of fish of unknown age so I'm not sure if age or something else was a factor. The water tests continually right where I need it to be for the species so that is about all I can rule out as a possible cause.

I had some nannostomus beckfordi in the tank but they were just too boisterous to act as the dither so I moved them to another tank and introduced a dozen espei raspbora who are working out far better.

The original female produced eggs quite a few times but always seemed to eat them within 1 or 2 days, never really giving the male a chance to do his job.

It took quite some time to source another healthy female, I found them in 3 shops but one tank was full of disease and defects, the second place only had a single female in with about 12 males and the third refused to sell to me. They had a single female in stock but the dumbass in the shop refused to sell it to me because it was "bonded" with the other fish in the tank, which was a checkerboard cichlid. It took me a couple of weeks to finally get hold of the manager of the place, but finally got the fish.

My male took tor her right away and was dancing and flaring for her while the bag was still floating.

Fast forward a few weeks and I had to leave town for about two weeks, and as that tank is full of fast growing plants it was like a jungle when I returned. I was part way through a deep substrate vac and plant trim when I saw the cloud of babies near her chosen hide. I can't give a real estimate on numbers, they are far too small to even guess, plus a lot were still in the hide or hidden behind it.

Short video attached

 

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A. biteniata is a blackwater fish, and that makes their eggs really different from a generalist like cacatuoides. The battle with blackwater Apistos is infertility in hard water. Their definition of a high mineral content is way narrower than ours!
Mine bred like clockwork. With the closely related aggassizzi, I had wilds that only gave fry on the 17ths spawning, as I reduced hardness each time until I got to the magic almost no hardness. You get domestic biteniata from the Czech Republic sometimes, and a lot of wilds as they are easy to catch very close to the export centres in Brazil.

Apistogramma breeding taught me that eggs are as alive as fish, and that they can have their own adaptations. I have been told (but have not seen research) the theory that since they come from really low mineral waters, and need them, the eggs pull in everything they can get. That mechanism in medium hard water means the shells hardens really fast, and the eggs die (or sperm can't function). The male is probably good. However, the females don't like useless men, and will seem to blame the male and beat him up sometimes. A male who's an egg eater will often die very quickly.

Here's hoping your water is what they need..
 
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Cydeth

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A. biteniata is a blackwater fish, and that makes their eggs really different from a generalist like cacatuoides. The battle with blackwater Apistos is infertility in hard water. Their definition of a high mineral content is way narrower than ours!
Mine bred like clockwork. With the closely related aggassizzi, I had wilds that only gave fry on the 17ths spawning, as I reduced hardness each time until I got to the magic almost no hardness. You get domestic biteniata from the Czech Republic sometimes, and a lot of wilds as they are easy to catch very close to the export centres in Brazil.

Apistogramma breeding taught me that eggs are as alive as fish, and that they can have their own adaptations. I have been told (but have not seen research) the theory that since they come from really low mineral waters, and need them, the eggs pull in everything they can get. That mechanism in medium hard water means the shells hardens really fast, and the eggs die (or sperm can't function). The male is probably good. However, the females don't like useless men, and will seem to blame the male and beat him up sometimes. A male who's an egg eater will often die very quickly.

Here's hoping your water is what they need..

Thats all great info, and while I was aware of the majority of It I do thank you for sharing it.

I am either blessed, or cursed... Depending on a person's preference. The water supply where I live is super soft, coming in at about 20ppm which is right about 1 degree of hardness. I'm confident that water quality, parameters and conditions are as close to optimum as I can make them, and given the cloud of fry that I now see I think that things should be fine on that front.

With the male I have he seems very attentive to his current female, and she in turn allows that where the previous one did not. I currently keep 4 species of apistogramma and over the years I think I've kept either 5 or 6 more, and I've never seen a female with such a distinct personality split when eggs were involved.

She was the most aggressive female I've ever had, although when eggs were not present she would dance and present for the male and everything was calm. It always felt like she just wanted a different male, and I did wonder if the male was incapable for a time.

I am hoping for continued breeding success with this pair as it would be nice to be able to offer tank bred specimens in my area.

I will try to keep this thread updated with the progress of these fry.
 

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