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Agassizii female post spawning


New Member
Hi all,

Long time lurker here but I decided to make an account as I need some help.

I've had a pair of Apistogramma agassizii for just over a week. They are in a well planted and quite complex 60litre tank.

Last night the female spawned and has become very aggressive. I expected this but I thought the male would have ample room to stay away. He definitely has a lot of places to hide, but the female will pretty much hunt him down. He doesn't seem stressed and keeps reappearing to feed and explore despite her constant attacks. I've noticed some small damage on his tail frilly tail fin.

I'm wondering, will the female calm down a bit when the fry arrive, or get worse? I am going to put the male in a floating cage for now, but I'm wondering if/when I can actually reintroduce him



Active Member
Welcome belliemackers, I would say the best thing to do is remove the male before she kills him, at that small a tank he has nowhere to go and she may run him to death, I have had it happen.

Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Once the female has fry, she will become more protective - and even more aggressive. I would remove the male to another tank, not a tiny floating cage. Even a 10 L bucket with heater and filter will work. What do you plan to do when the fry need to be moved to larger quarter? All are things you should be thinking about.


New Member
Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately I think the female ate this clutch of eggs, which gives me more time to set up 2 extra tanks. One for the male and one for growing out fry. I am not usually so poorly prepared, but these guys spawned much quicker than I anticipated!

I'm going to set up 2 tanks with simple sponge filters. Instead of making a new thread though, I have a question:

Is there any problem with turning off sponge filters during the night? For now the spare tanks may have to go in the bedroom and air driven filters are a bit annoying noise wise



Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
Is there any problem with turning off sponge filters during the night?
Yes there is, you can't turn them off at night.

Nitrification is an oxygen intensive process, when you turn the air off you risk toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite building up and killing your fish.

You may also have CO2 issues due to the lack of water movement.

You can mitigate the nitrogen issues, to some degree, by having a planted tank (like you already have), but you still run the risk of CO2 levels rising during the night, when your plants and fish are both respiring.

cheers Darrel


New Member
Thanks Darrel,

I've set up a few tanks now with sponge filters and I've managed to make the pump etc almost silent.

A quick update from my initial post:

1. Since the female ate her first clutch, I removed the male and put him into a separate aquarium
2. I fed both male and female a mixed live diet (brine shrimp, daphnia, chydorus) approx. twice daily for around 2 weeks
3. I noticed yesterday that the female looked ready to spawn again. She seemed more agitated, had more of a golden hue and her cloaca was a bit more pronounced
4. I added the male back and instantly she showed interest, they courted and then she led the male to her preferred spawning site. This was a terracotta pot with an entrance small enough for her, but not him. She tried to coax him closer, but he wasn't quite getting it so she abandoned that idea and led him to another site. This was a cave underneath some driftwood, almost exactly where her first clutch was
5. Within 5 minutes of reintroducing the male, she was spawning
6. Interestingly, the female is again very defensive of her eggs and drives the male off, but she seems far less aggressive than the first time. Light nips as opposed to heavy fin bites. Is it possible for females to mellow with more spawning experience?
7. I'll keep an eye on the male, with a view to removing him now that I have separate accommodation :)

Hopefully I get some fry this time but we'll see!