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Cacatuoides females keep dying in breeding attempts

mmeirovich

New Member
Messages
5
Hi guys,

I've been trying to breed my apistogramma cacatuoides. I put a male and a female together in a 50L (13 gallon) planted tank with a couple of guppies & halfbeaks and started to feed them frozen & live food, in addition to a bit of high quality dry food. First the male and the female seemed to interact normally, with the male playing "the boss", posing & gently hitting the female with the tail. Then, after 2 weeks, the female became less and less active and finally stopped eating & died.
I put another female and the same story happened after 4 weeks. In the beginning the male was just playing bossy, then slowly the female was hiding more and more and eating less, then she got weak and die.
The tank is fully cycled, the water parameters are good, all other fish including the apistogramma male look good & healthy.

What do you think happened? What did I do wrong?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,740
Location
Germany
The tank is too small and probably not structured correctly. If you want to breed Apistogramma in that tank size, always have a backup tank to separate them at any given time, do not add any other fish and make sure the female is able to hide effectively. Her being hidden from you doesn't mean she's hidden from him.

If you don't change your setup this will repeat again and again. The male basically chased her to death and kept her from feeding.

I'd move the male to another tank, set up this tank as a breeding tank, put just a female in, condition both separately and then add him to her, when she's in yellow breeding dress. As soon as she's on eggs you can remove him again and let her raise the fry alone.
 

mmeirovich

New Member
Messages
5
The tank is too small and probably not structured correctly. If you want to breed Apistogramma in that tank size, always have a backup tank to separate them at any given time, do not add any other fish and make sure the female is able to hide effectively. Her being hidden from you doesn't mean she's hidden from him.

If you don't change your setup this will repeat again and again. The male basically chased her to death and kept her from feeding.

I'd move the male to another tank, set up this tank as a breeding tank, put just a female in, condition both separately and then add him to her, when she's in yellow breeding dress. As soon as she's on eggs you can remove him again and let her raise the fry alone.
Thank you for your answer!

1. Will she get in yellow breeding dress even without the male present?
2. Will it be a good idea to put two females instead of one, to create a harem? Conditioning them separately of course, like you said.
3. The guppies & halfbeaks (all young & quite small) are there to serve as dither fish. Bad idea? No need?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,740
Location
Germany
1. Will she get in yellow breeding dress even without the male present?
Yes, just the conditions have to be right.

2. Will it be a good idea to put two females instead of one, to create a harem? Conditioning them separately of course, like you said.
No. The females are aggressive among each other, too. You usually would have to calculate with a territory size for a female of 30cm diameter, 60cm for a male. 2 females in a tank that size will become 1 female very quickly.

3. The guppies & halfbeaks (all young & quite small) are there to serve as dither fish. Bad idea? No need?
No need, only take away space and add unnecessary bioload. Dithers are only necessary in display setups so you see the fish or in bigger tanks to disperse aggression. If you condition the cichlids in separate tanks and want to breed these fish are only in the way.
 

mmeirovich

New Member
Messages
5
Yes, just the conditions have to be right.


No. The females are aggressive among each other, too. You usually would have to calculate with a territory size for a female of 30cm diameter, 60cm for a male. 2 females in a tank that size will become 1 female very quickly.


No need, only take away space and add unnecessary bioload. Dithers are only necessary in display setups so you see the fish or in bigger tanks to disperse aggression. If you condition the cichlids in separate tanks and want to breed these fish are only in the way.
Great, thanks!
For conditioning - will it be enough feeding live aulophorus, frozen tubex and occasional live daphnia? As well as keeping low GH by changing to RO water?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,740
Location
Germany
For conditioning - will it be enough feeding live aulophorus, frozen tubex and occasional live daphnia?
Nope. Artemia, white/black mosquito larvae (live black ones are THE conditioning food!), daphnia, cyclops, your worms... all live or frozen. Feed a variety and as fresh as possible. Only worms is not a varied diet. But stay away from red moaquito larvae/bloodworms. Those can be problematic for Apistogramma.

As well as keeping low GH by changing to RO water?
GH is of less importance than KH (and with that pH) and TDS/EC, but A. cacatuoides are not strictly blackwater (usually clear or whitewater) and also I am pretty sure your's are domestic fish, those can do with tapwater. So there is no need to change anything about that.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
735
My cacatuoides successfully bred in water that is gh 7 kh 3 and tds 120; ph 7.1.
 

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