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Apistogramma and Kribensis in a tank?

HB101

Apisto Club
Messages
2
I had a 110-litre tank and recently upgraded to a 125-litre tank. I also have an external filter. I do have 2 kribensis who are a breeding pair. (babies don't survive longer than a week) After moving the fish across to the new tank I realized my female Apistogramma is still alive. The kribensis stick to one piece of the wood cave and the Apistogramma sticks to the other on the opposite side of the tank. The tank is also a community with 1 German ram and 2 Sunset balloon rams. There are also neons, hatchets, corys, and a lot more. My question is if I get a male Apistogramma do you think the tank will still be peaceful? While I have had the rams and kribensis there have been no fights except for a few nips when the rams or neons went too close to the babies.
Photo of the new 125-litre tank:
16792243903344945625574310534453.jpg


As you can see there are 4 pieces of wood piled and caved together surrounded by a few plants.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,894
Location
Germany
My question is if I get a male Apistogramma do you think the tank will still be peaceful?
Likely not. The female and the rams will likely get the short end of the stick. Especially, what species of Apistogramma are we talking? With some the likelihood of things going haywire is bigger than with others. I personally would only keep together a maximum of two species of dwarf cichlids from different genera in a far bigger tank.

To be honest, the situation up to now is far from ideal and may tilt to bloodshed any time. I personally find the tank overstocked and the combination of species is a big gamble. Not to mention the tank being mostly barren. I'd be surprised not to find signs of a high baseline stress level on most fish in your tank.

Also one of your Mikrogeophagus is ID'd wrong, I see two balloon mutants of M. ramirezi and a M. altispinosus, not three M. ramirezi.

I'd reduce the number of fish and species significantly, while making sure the remaining species are kept in apropriate numbers. Also more structure (driftwood) and plants would for sure have a positive impact.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,332
It is esp difficult on the fishes to mix african with sa since they use different signals to indicate hostile intent - which basically means they are more likely to actually fight. Also the kribs will double team any fish they consider a threat. The rams aren't really temp compatible with other stockings - well the ramirezi which prefer warmer temps. I am a bit surprise your kribs frys are not making it longer than a week - i suspect it might be a food issue - in my community aquarium which a huge amount of greens and micros the kribs had no problem raising their frys (yes i had other dwarf cichild in there and learn the combo doesn't work well - no one was killed per sey as they learn to avoid the kribs the hard-way. One of my fishes develop a very strong negative view of the kribs and would attempt to ambush them whenever possible. Anyway the kribs are an interesting species in the right environment but i found them to be rather proficient breeders which was problematic.
 

HB101

Apisto Club
Messages
2
Thanks for your reply but I would like to note a few things! I have had this tank for 3-4 years and would rather ask an overall opinion before going ahead. I also called my fish by there common fish shop name not the scientific. By saying there needs to be more wood and plants I personally think I have enough as each 1-2 species have there own designated area. My fish quantity is also alright as I only have 30-40 fairly small cleaning fish and neons! I have also found my Oblivion ram, Sunset balloon rams and female apistogramma all swim together and stick together happily! I have had no nips across ths cichlids only with Kribensis nipping a cory near the babies and the juli cory is perfectly fine. No other incidents in 5+ months. I am also looking to get either a double red apistogramma or a cockatoo with 3-4 females. (Only one male).
This shows a sunset balloon ram (yellow and blue fish on left) and oblivian ram (on the right) with background fish of cardinal tetras, panda garras and new arrivals of Opal Gouramis.
16793387383629223197933376946088.jpg
 
Last edited:

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,894
Location
Germany
I'll put it this way: We have very different views on how to appropriately keep fish and how the behaviour of fish is to be interpreted. I can simply not advise to add any more fish to this tank, especially not an Apistogramma. That's my baseline answer to your original question. Good luck finding any other advise.
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
152
Location
Canada eh
I agree with macZ, Bolivian rams and (balloon) mikrogeophagus ramirezi as well as corydoras trilineatus, gouramis and garras all in the same tank is a recipe for disaster. They all require drastically different parameters.

Just because it may have worked for years does not mean you are not shortening the livespan of most of the occupants due to undue stress and unfit conditions. As the fish age, temperaments may change, an aggressive breeding pair of Kribensis could kill your corydoras or other bottom dwellers easily. The fish are under stress due to the conditions so erratic behaviour is likely and should be expected.

In short I would consider removing occupants before adding.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
563
Location
San Francisco
You can obviously do what you want, but if you're asking for an overall opinion, I'll agree with what's been said by others. Let's consider just a single parameter: temperature. If you keep the temp ideal for the balloon ram, the fish that live at lower temps will have their metabolisms running faster, which by definition shortens lifespan. If you lower it to match those species, the balloon ram will have greater susceptibility to disease.

That said, there are many more factors mentioned that are far from ideal for the inhabitants in its current state. Adding 1 - 5 specimens of Apistogramma will not end well.
 

bianchi56

New Member
Messages
2
I am new to this forum but not to fish keeping. I understand everyone has opinions here but there is an underliying tone of 'I know best' and good luck if you don't agree.

I find the original post and question quite clear and innocent which was asking for advice and support. Although some responses have been positive and quite clearly supportive (anewbie) of someone asking for advice, others (Macz) are from this. This writer has maybe come here for more advice and support than their local store and experts can offer.

The comments about parameters are valid in my opinion but all tanks have variations over their life time. Temperatures will fluctuate as the surrounding air temperature changes. Minor changes are almost impossible to avoid, unless hobbyists have expensive chillers, then hot summers days will impact tanks as would cold winter days. As for environment and different fish not being able to live together, that is also true, but looking at this tank, all seem to be community fish that any of us would have had recommended to us when starting out.

Also, at what point is the tank big enough to house fish that may not interact in the wild. Remember, the majority of fish out there are generations away from their wild ancestors. Most will have their life span affected from over breeding and poor breeding. Again, us hobbyists do the best we can, on the budget we have to offer the best environments possible. The writer seems to have explained about different areas of the tank for different fish breeds so has done more than alot of people out there. Warnings of bloodshed at any time is a pointless comment. Unless you dedicate your life and tank to one breed, in theory most fish categorised as 'community' could turn to blood shed, but in the right size tank, less likely. Over stocked?????? Your calculations are off if you think this. Again, we cant see the whole tank, but from the list of fish in there, this is far from overstocked. You have come to this conclusion on what grounds?

The tank does look like it could do with more plants and hardscape, but the writer says that they have just upgraded their tank. No one overstocks their tank with plants on day one as they take time to establish.

Just a shame there has been so many blunt warnings here to a new member rather than replies like anewbie which was way more constructive and less defensive.

To HB101, you have done right by reaching out and asking for advice, keep it going and finding what works for you! Your tank looks great and will just get better as them plants take and start to grow.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,894
Location
Germany
@bianchi56
Before answering to the actual points to be discussed, I want to state my main reasoning:
I prioritize the wellbeing of the fish over everything else. I have seen my share of impossibly stocked, decorated and maintained tanks that other people were wowed by, which I found to be death traps to the animals kept in them. Community tanks of the "fish soup" variety make me nauseous. They ignore most factors of what the singular species needs and the overall taste of it boils down to keeping fish as a commodity, which they should not be. The most frustrating problem with this is: The fish get the short end and pay the prize. I rather bluntly state my disfavour for this kind of fishkeeping than trying to not hurt feelings.
I abstain from getting personal by principle, but if it means I can safe a few fish from a slow and unnecessary death from the neglect of their owner who thinks all is well... so be it. Then I'm uncomfortable, but also stick to the problem at hand.
I'm not here to make friends (which I still did! Partially explicitly because of my approach.) but to give advise, learn somethings myself (which I also did!) and occasionally help out some animals on the brink of peril (which luckily is a rare occasion here in comparison to some other boards that put the fishkeepers first). I can very well live with that.

The temperature topic has been sufficiently addressed.

The overstocking:
You can overstock in several ways. You can overstock in basic numbers/stocking density. This concerns the space per fish. You can also overstock in terms of bioload. You can overstock a niche (like e.g. bottom dwellers). And you can overstock concerning social behaviour (e.g. too many males of a territorial species or generally too many territorial fish).
In this case it's a mix of stocking density/space requirements, social behaviour and niche. I laid out the main concerns above.
In combination with insufficient structure and planting and (seemingly or actual) bright lighting, this makes for a tank which favours the most resilient fish. And the others wither away. If the planting and structure in the beginning is insufficient, one can invest in those instead of into another species/specimen of fish. Priorities are obviously different.

Remember, the majority of fish out there are generations away from their wild ancestors. Most will have their life span affected from over breeding and poor breeding.
Which is a good reason to abstain from supporting the massproduction of longfinned Bettas, balloon fish of any kind and inbred Mikrogeophagus and not to buy them at all.

Again, us hobbyists do the best we can, on the budget we have to offer the best environments possible.
Yet, our decisions have consequences over life and death. Irresponsible stocking is a result of active decisions. It's not like a tank like the one above comes to someone that way (yes I know, there are exeptions like rescues). Every fish added was a decision made consciously. That also means, this situation is self-inflicted and not something to deal with without responsibility. Of course everybody is in their right to decide themselves. My goal is to keep people from making more mistakes.

You have come to this conclusion on what grounds?
Experience in terms of the space requirements an behaviour of the fish and what amounts to months and months of observation in dozens and dozens of tanks in fishrooms I worked in, stores I frequent, public aquaria I visited and conversations with people with similarly and much more direct experience than myself. I don't calculate stocking. I understock by principle according to what I see as species appropriate.

The tank does look like it could do with more plants and hardscape, but the writer says that they have just upgraded their tank.
And instead of investing in additional plants and hardscape asks for more additions in lifestock. Their choice, yet not one I can understand or support.

No one overstocks their tank with plants on day one as they take time to establish.
Because many don't know better. People massively overlook the importance of plants. I think now the problem of priority is becoming obvious to you.

Just a shame there has been so many blunt warnings here to a new member rather than replies like anewbie which was way more constructive and less defensive.
I would like to have it another way, too. But the matter of fact is: Sometimes a blunt remark, even if it hurts, is worth more on the long run. If this was about let's say... muscle cars and the only thing in danger was the owner's bank account... I couldn't care less.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,740
Location
Wiltshire UK
H all,
I have had this tank for 3-4 years and would rather ask an overall opinion before going ahead. I also called my fish by there common fish shop name not the scientific. By saying there needs to be more wood and plants I personally think I have enough as each 1-2 species have there own designated area. My fish quantity is also alright as I only have 30-40 fairly small cleaning fish and neons! I have also found my Oblivion ram, Sunset balloon rams and female apistogramma all swim together and stick together happily! I have had no nips across ths cichlids only with Kribensis nipping a cory near the babies and the juli cory is perfectly fine. No other incidents in 5+ months. I am also looking to get either a double red apistogramma or a cockatoo with 3-4 females. (Only one male).
I've got to agree with the others, it isn't a suitable mix of fish to keep long term and I'm not going to tell you what I think about Balloon Rams, as I'd like to remain a member of this forum and a lot of swearing is likely to lead to eviction.
I understand everyone has opinions here but there is an underliying tone of 'I know best' and good luck if you don't agree.
The OP has asked a question and we have done our best to answer it. You might not like the answer, but it doesn't stop it being the right answer. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, but it doesn't make all those opinions equally valid.

I'm not going to comment for myself, as I'm a pretty lazy and shoddy fish keeper, but the others who have answered this thread are very experienced fish keepers and just want the best for the OP and their fish.

Nobody is obliged to listen to them, but I would strongly recommend that people do.

cheers Darrel
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,894
Location
Germany
H all,

I've got to agree with the others, it isn't a suitable mix of fish to keep long term and I'm not going to tell you what I think about Balloon Rams, as I'd like to remain a member of this forum and a lot of swearing is likely to lead to eviction.

The OP has asked a question and we have done our best to answer it. You might not like the answer, but it doesn't stop it being the right answer. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, but it doesn't make all those opinions equally valid.

I'm not going to comment for myself, as I'm a pretty lazy and shoddy fish keeper, but the others who have answered this thread are very experienced fish keepers and just want the best for the OP and their fish.

Nobody is obliged to listen to them, but I would strongly recommend that people do.

cheers Darrel
Thank's Darrel, as always, you have the diplomacy I often lack.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
563
Location
San Francisco
I understand everyone has opinions here but there is an underliying tone of 'I know best' and good luck if you don't agree.
I'm sorry that the tone comes across that way. It's sometimes hard to convey all elements of tone in words, even when it's your job to do so (which in my case, it is). My comments come without judgement or malice. The question, as I understand it, was whether the tank could remain peaceful if a male Apistogramma was added. And later, the OP suggested adding a male with 3 - 4 females.

The advice others have given (some rather bluntly) is "no, it will not be peaceful." That advice doesn't come from any feeling of superiority, but rather from what we collectively know about the behavioral ecology of these fishes. A breeding pair of apistos is not peaceful. Add to that other aggressive cichlids that occupy the same territory and in some cases have different body language, in a relatively small tank with lots of open space... It's a recipe for conflict.

What about a single male? Generally speaking, that's less dangerous. With the current set of inhabitants (particularly the breeding pair of kribensis) I wouldn't advise it.

Unless you dedicate your life and tank to one breed, in theory most fish categorised as 'community' could turn to blood shed,
I disagree with this. There are many species people combine in community tanks that aren't lethal. For example, the tetras, hatchets, and corys would be perfectly safe together. Some can bicker, yes. But that's a far cry from both the inter- and intraspecies aggression observed in cichlids.

I don't begrudge anyone's desire to keep many species together, whether those are domestic, wild, from the same habitat, or from different continents. I do encourage people to be mindful of the requirements of each species, and to try to ensure that some of those baseline requirements are met.

Temperatures will fluctuate as the surrounding air temperature changes. Minor changes are almost impossible to avoid, unless hobbyists have expensive chillers, then hot summers days will impact tanks as would cold winter days.
Of course. All tanks experience transient changes. I would go so far as to say those changes actually benefit the fish. That said, most aquariums are set to a fairly narrow temperature range with a heater/thermostat. If the baseline temp is higher than the max range typically seen by the fish, that's a chronic (not transient) effect on metabolism.

Can you do that? Sure. Expect those fish to age faster.

-Ben
 

bianchi56

New Member
Messages
2
Ben, (and all others here) I 100% don't disagree with any of the comments within any of the posts. I was purely passing by and thought I would just point out that some replies to the OP were a little on the harsh side and as I read them this way, maybe the OP read them in the same way. From reading the OP I got the impression that they were reaching out for advice from more knowledgeable people on a subject they take seriously (otherwise they wouldn't be asking). Your reply above is really appreciated and like others, totally on point in every way. Also, constructive. Scare mongering and mentioning 'bloodbath' etc was where I thought a little too much.

I have since reached out to the OP writer. They are a 13yr old just starting out and taking advice from her local store only. They had given poor advice in the past and recommended various fish that even they knew were not compatible. I advised them to keep asking the questions and not read into things in the way I did.

I will not keep on about it now, and hope this thread ends with the OP happy to continue reaching out.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,894
Location
Germany
Context helps a lot. We lacked that context and the OP has given their age with 22 in their profile here and came across as one of these cases we all here know and almost fear, of people oblivious to what's going on in their tanks. More transparence at an earlier point might have been helpful. One had to assume to deal with an (albeit young) adult, not with a kid.

This one went unfortunate, but especially on a website as this, where the usual suspects among the users have strong opinions about animal welfare and species appropriate tank conditions, a "casual" fishkeeper with such a mixed community is usually a bit of a bleeding animal in a piranha tank. We're all decent human beings, many maybe a bit snarky at worst. As long as confronted with somebody who seems to be reasonable, which was not the case here.

I spend the past 3 years on Fishlore. That site makes you assume the worst when presented with such circumstances as these here. And thus to proceed with prejudice.
And although I know that in some countries this is seen differently, I do not think there was any fearmongering going on here and words like "bloodshed" should not be a problem among adults. Again... this is not Fishlore, as long as we stay reasonable and don't get personal there is no censorship here.

Please keep this in mind when intervening like this. You also had no context about most of us either.
 

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