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Borelli vs Panduro

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by BC Matt, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    Hi all. I'm in the process of setting up my 26g bowfront with the intention of putting a pair of Apsitos in there to fill out my small community. I was intent on picking up a couple cacatuoides however in Terrace BC that seems to be less than likely. My LFS has said they can bring in Borelli or Panduro however. I've looked into both and I'm not sure which one to get. A bit about my tank

    26g bowfront
    Reasonably heavily planted (all fake so far but will be adding in real plants as I come across them) with mutiple cave options. I'll also be adding in a couple pieces of driftwood in the next week.
    liquid rock water (200ppm +, 13o)
    Currently housing six neon tetras and will be looking to another 6 harlequin rasboras and possibly a couple corries (open to suggestions on stocking options)

    I realize breeding will be difficult at best without adding RO water but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. All that being said, what are your preferences between the two species mentioned? See my tank below (pre Tetras and a coconut cave which has yet to be added).

    Thanks IMG_4726 (1).JPG
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  3. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    Thanks for the link Darrel. I actually already came across that article a few days back. Lots of good info. I certainly understand that I will need to soften my water by some means (likely RO) in order to breed these guys. And frequent water changes is something I already do and have every intention to continue. I do get the impression from various articles, including those on dwarfcichlid.com, that Borelli would do reasonably well in harder water so long as breeding is not required. Panduro on the other hand seem to be much less tolerant of hard water. Would this be a fair representation of these two species?
  4. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I think you would need softer water to keep Apistogramma panduro, the water may be all right to keep Apistogramma borellii in, I don't have an experience of keeping them in hard water (I use rain-water).

    Would rain-water be an option for you?
    I'll be quite honest, I wouldn't keep any fish in your tank as it is, and certainly not Apistogramma.

    I like planted tanks, they aren't essential, but they make water management easier. I also like a sand substrate, you can use other substrates, but they are sub-optimal. I like the filter to be well established, and the tank grown in, before I add any fish.

    cheers Darrel
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  5. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    curious why you wouldn't keep any fish in the tank as is? Because it doesn't have any live plants at the moment? I've known plenty of hobbyists who never use live plants (not my preference and I do plan to plant it out over time). The filter is established and the neons are doing well. The apistos would be at least three months away so I have plenty of time to tweak the tank between now and then to ensure its suitable for whatever species I end up getting.

    Rain water could certainly be an option. I essentially live in the middle of a temperate rain forest so there's no lack of supply.
  6. Tom C

    Tom C Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Apistogramma belong to the tribe Geophagini, which means that they "eat earth". This is a very frequent and natural behavior, they will normally sift the substrate almost all day long. And when breeding, they will dig up the sand to make the cave opening just big enough to let the female enter, and too narrow for the male and other fish.

    I strongly believe that most Apistogramma species won't thrive in the long term without fine sand on the bottom.

    Frank Schäfer (Aquarium Glaser, Germany), wrote not long ago:
    "Especially the sand is important and the meaning of it often underestimated.
    In fact the sand is more important than the water chemistry (hardness, pH).
    In the wild, these fish feed mainly on particles they find in the sand.
    To find them the fish takes a mouth full of sand, chews the sand and releases the sand through the gill openings.
    Food particles attach on special anatomical structures on the gill arches and can be swallowed subsequently.
    In case an Apistogramma can find no sand it comes in a situation comparably to humans that get no opportunity to clean their teeth.
    This may work for a while, but in most cases sooner or later one becomes sick of it."


    This is one of the habitats where I have collected Apistogramma:

    [​IMG]

    Sand almost as fine as flour, and leaf litter.

    And this is how Apistogrammas look like most of the time, when they have the right substrate, when they let the fine sand out again:

    [​IMG]
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  7. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    Thanks for the great reply. I can see how my substrate leaves much to be desired. In this case it was bought primarily as a compromise to please the ladies in the house (wife and daughter) who liked the brightness of it compared to my last tank which had a much darker, more natural gravel. Given that, perhaps the bow front is not the right place for the apistos at this time. I also have a 10g which I had planned on using as a QT tank but I could also set it up to be a more permanent home for a pair if that would be enough space. If that is the case then what kind of substrate would be suitable? I've looked at products like eco-complete and aquasoil however these are quite expensive and I'd like to keep my costs down a bit. Any suggestions on suitable alternatives?
  8. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

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    Pool filter sand seems to be a popular choice around here.
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  9. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    Ya, I just came across that. Seems to be a good inexpensive choice. Wonder if I could change out part of the gravel in my 26g with pool sand so that portions of the tank have a sand bottom allowing the apistos to sift while still allowing my wife to look at the pretty blue gravel. Something long these line perhaps (But with more plants and wood)? [​IMG]
    Not my pic BTW. Stole it from google.
  10. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    A major issue for me is the plants, they aren't just decoration, they are an essential part of the filtration system.

    When you have actively growing plants you have a "plant/microbe" biological filtration system that is much more stable and resilient than a "microbe only" system.

    I'm happy to admit that I'm a pretty shoddy fish keeper, and that was partially why I started to look at ways that you could deskill fish-keeping. It isn't that you can't successfully keep fish with high water quality requirements (Like Discus or Apistogramma) in non-planted tanks, you can, but to do it long term successfully you need to be a more observant fish keeper than I am.

    Plenty of the other posters on this forum are great fish keepers, and experience has taught me that as a general rule if "Mike Wise", "TomC", "Gerald", "Frank_H", "Apistomaster", "Microman", "ApistoBob" or "Regani" etc. hold an opinion, or offer advice, it is pretty likely to be right.

    TomC was too polite to specifically mention his web-site in his post, (where the pictures came from) but <"it is a great resource">.

    The same applies to sand as to plants, you don't have to have sand, but a sand substrate is more natural for the fish, and also has advantages in a planted tank where you shouldn't vacuum the substrate. A lot of plants do well in sand, you don't need expensive active substrates.

    I have a simple technique for feeding your plants, I've called it the the <"Duckweed Index">. This is one of my tanks, with a sand substrate and duckweed index nutrient addition, the plants are still doing well, but I can't say the same for the fish.

    [​IMG]


    That sounds promising. I've used it since the 1970's without any problems in the UK.

    Have a look at <"Rainwater, peat ..">

    cheers Darrel
  11. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    Thanks everyone! I've got a few ideas for changes rattling around in my head. I may try them out this weekend and post the results.
  12. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Darrel is absolutely right - live plants are very important. They don't have to be bottom plants, however. My tanks have some clumps of Java Moss and/or Java Ferns for bottom plants, but all have a thick layer of surface plants like Duckweed or Salvinia that serve the same purpose.
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  13. Karin

    Karin Active Member

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    And if you add latter some dead dry leaves (oak, maple, catalpa, Persea, acer, magnolia) to create a leaf litter that will do the rest too!
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  14. BC Matt

    BC Matt New Member

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    image.jpg Ok, here is V2 of my 26g bow front. Still mostly travel substrate but I have added what I refer to as Apisto corner which is the back corner is now black sand. I will be adding more at some point but not quite yet. Also added a whole bunch of live plants. Currently there are 5 Harlequin Rasboras and 4 Neon Tetras (used to be 6 but one had lockjaw and the other died for an unknown reason. I suspect neon tetras disease. Watching closely for more). The plan is to build the two schools to 7 each and add a couple corydoras and then work on bringing the hardness down slowly before adding any Apistos. Comments on the new setup?