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Apistogramma tankmates??

Goodygumdrops

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Hi folks,I've recently got another little two footer which I'm in the process of setting up for a pair of apistogramma agasizzi who are waiting for this terrible weather to let up before they're delivered to me.
Obviously,this is to be a planted tank,it's also however to be a breeding tank for the apistos.I would like a little extra interest though,and was thinking of a school of micro rasboras or if anyone has any other suggestions,must be very small though as I want to make the tank appear a nice habitat/uncrowded.
Also,I have some veiltail bristlenoses I am growing out,in your opinions,would either micro rasboras or bristlenoses pose any threat to the apisto eggs or fry?
I woouldn't mind a few cherry shrimp either,will these catch and eat fry or eggs?
 

Ed Seeley

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I think the micro rasboras might get a bit of stick from the agasizzi when they breed. I'd go with pencilfish personally as they stay near the surface away from the cichlids and will not eat the fry. If you want to try the rasboras then they probably won't eat the fry.

Bristlenoses should be ok from a predation point of view, but they can be a bit big and might disturb the apistos. I'd put them in together though and see what happens first.

Make sure you keep an eye on the apistos BTW. I've found agasizzi to be quite shy in a tank but aggressive with each other and in only a 2 foot tank you'll need to keep a careful eye on them. 2ft is a good size, just keep them under careful observation!
 

Goodygumdrops

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Cheers,tbh,I thik I like the look of rasboras over pencil fish,they'll probably keep out of the apistos way,was just worried about whether they would go after fry or not.And I'm seeing what you mean about the aggression between each other,I have a very young pair,about an inch long,who you're lucky if you see once a day and who can't seem to stand being within an inch of each other.I'm hearing a few reports of them basically killing each other after breeding so I may hunt another female down to dilute things a bit.
I'll see how it goes with the bristlenoses,I just have a few to grow on to find a male then the rest are going,so maybe I won't need to put one in this tank.
What about the cherries anyone?Are they predatory?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Lovely fish, Ed is a good man to talk to. Most Apistogramma do better as harems, 1m 3f usually works fairly well, although this isn't really a big enough tank unless you get loads of cover. Worth keeping an eye on your "pair" too it sounds like they might be 2 males, can you get a photo?

Have a look at Apistobobs web site <http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/index.php>, he is full of good advice and a member of the highly recommended "Apistogramma forums" <http://forum.apistogramma.com/>, (along with Ed and myself).

For the dithers you need a fish with a small mouth that shoals well up in the water column, I keep Black Neon Tetras with some of mine, and even though they are quite big they are fine (and a good target fish). For example Neons or Pristellas are much more solitary and better fry hunters and much less suitable.

Cherry shrimp are much appreciated by Apistogrammas as a food item, they love them.

cheers Darrel
 

Goodygumdrops

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Ha,absolutely no chance of a photo of the young pair,they're in my bigger tank and very elusive (and very small still!!).I'm pretty much positive it's a pair,bought off a breeder and cichlid enthusiast,male was showing colour when bought and even more so now,female is still in camoflage!!(quite drab brown with darker stripes,male has his red tail and colouring up on body).
Good to hear about the cherries,I'll probably get shot,but I won't mind the aggies eating the shrimplets,I just didn't want it the other way around.
I'm going to try and jampack this tank with plants and hidey holes and take it from there.If there's too much aggro I can seperate them and look for another fire red female.
Everything's on hold at the mo though,aqua essentials can't deliver the plants because of the weather,same with the fish,but at least they're getting a good long quarentine!!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Yes sounds good, the usual problem is that breeding females are obvious and so are dominant males, but sub-dominant males and non-breeding females can be very difficult to tell apart.
cheers Darrel
 

Goodygumdrops

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What size do these start maturing at?When I got these ones they were teensy,really,only about an inch if that.I think the male is noticably bigger now but the female appears a bit smaller,are the females always smaller?
Really excited about these fish,they've been on my wish list for so long,the young pair I've got are a yellow strain,bought off a guy on eBay,and I've got a mature pair of fire reds arriving with me soon.
 

Ed Seeley

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To bo honest that sounds like it still could be a pair - mine were very hard on each other. Two males in the same 2ft tank will kill each other pretty quickly I imagine! A 3:1 mix would be good, but in a 2ft tank the females will start bickering with each other! I'd stick to one male and one female and have lots of cover. I had a 3:1 mix in a 1m long tank and one female was not allowed a permanent territory by the other two and the male swam around causing merry hell all over the tank! Hopefully yours settle down more amicably.
 

Ed Seeley

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Goodygumdrops said:
Ooh God,crikey!!This sounds like it could be interesting!!

It'll definitely be interesting; that's the great thing about cichlids. I've switched my jewel tank over to Tanganyikan cichlids (still got plants in though! :D ) which I used to breed in the past and all three species are spawning and interacting and it's great; I can watch it for ages.

Just keep an eye on yours and you will be fine. Give them plenty of good food (I used to feed my apistos newly hatched brineshrimp every day and that's a great food to get them into breeding condition) and other tankmates to distract the male and female from beating on each other and prepare to get hooked by cichlids! :lol:
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
You might be able to sex them by the way they interact, if the "female" isn't ready to breed she will tend to swim away and the male will harass her but not actually attack her. This is the reason for having more than 1 female it gives them a bit of a rest when the female isn't ready to breed (the male always is). If they are male and sleeper male, the dominant male is likely to go for a much more vicious attack, with ripped fins, lost scales etc.

Live food is always appreciated, I keep grindal and microworm cultures, very low maintenance, if you can't find any locally PM me and I'll post you one each.
cheers Darrel
 

Goodygumdrops

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Well it's pretty much the way you describe it,they sort of come accross each other by accident,male spots female and darts at her ,female hightails it.So far they're pretty much avoiding each other and look quite happy going about their business seperately.Good to watch,they're not scared of me at all and regularly check out the end of the hose when I'm syphoning,keep having to put my thumb over the other end and shove them out the road!!
Dw,the worm cultures you mentioned,do they (honestly) take up a lot of space,make a mess or smell in anyway???(I may take you up on the offer).
 

Ed Seeley

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Look for black on the pelvic fins. Males, even sleeper males IME, never have this feature and females usually do.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
A black foreward edge to the ventrals is a give away for females, but they can be really faint, so it's not always to tell, and no the worm cultures only take up a margarine carton's space and they don't smell at all (the microworms cultures can, but shouldn't if you sub-culture them fairly often).
cheers Darrel
 

Goodygumdrops

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Took delivery of my new fire reds this morning,bad timing as I wanted to have the other tank set up but I'm still waiting on substrtate and plants from AE.Soooo,they had to go in the 125 with my yellow aggies,the fire reds seem much more docile and go about the upper levels more,yellows appear more 'wild' if you know what I mean??
Sold to me as a pair,differences I can see:
'Male' appears to have blue speckling over gill covers,blue on dorsal,a thicker red stripe along his back,and the classic red markings on tail.
'Female' is very similar (in size also),dark red stripe is much thinner,no apparent blue markings and no red on tail.
Both at the mo have the same fondant orange colour body,does this sound about right?
The two pairs know the others are there,my yellow male did a bit of showing off and I'm surmising,aggressive posturing,but that's about it.It was amazing however,how quickly his colouration changed when the new guys were added.Bearing in mind he's still teensy and was on the whole just brown really,his body paled big time and the black stripe really popped out,think I've got a good wee fish there.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
They are territorial, and your new fish definitely would like to be near the bottom of the tank, but can't enter the existing territories. You will get a lot of colour/marking changes dependent upon how stressed they are and whether they are out to impress etc.

I'd probably try moving the decor around, and particularly any caves. I use 1/2 coconuts with a notch cut in the rim mainly now as they can be planted with moss and they blend in a bit better than PVC piping or clay pots.

cheers Darrel
 

Goodygumdrops

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Setting up their tank as we speak (I have a mature filter for it).Been mossing coco caves for a while as I think it shows off some mosses very well.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Would Galaxy Rasboras be ok with aggies anyone?Just been phoning round lfs's and that's the only thing I can come up with,well that and harlequins.
 

Ed Seeley

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Goodygumdrops said:
Would Galaxy Rasboras be ok with aggies anyone?Just been phoning round lfs's and that's the only thing I can come up with,well that and harlequins.

Never kept them, but I think I heard they're pretty nervous fish? Ideally you want something that's going to be out in the open as quite often apistos can use the shoaling fish as part of their cues to when it's safe. That's why keeping them on their own often doesn't work too well. Though with tank breds like yours it should be less of an issue. That's why I like the Eques pencils as they're always swimming out in the open and don't eat any fry.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Must learn more restraint!!There's an lfs about an hour and a bit away from me that has a superb range of fish,both dwarf pencilfish and a few different rasboras,I'm a bit nervous of driving there though.
My fire reds are now in their own tank and their behaviour has changed markedly.
Before,there were 2 pairs in the 125,the female fire red took up residence in a cave,with the male patrolling and chasing off even my neons,I actually wondered if they had eggs.
Now they're in the 60,the female seems to be the more dominant of the pair and chases the male off if she catches sight of him.
 
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