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Can I keep a pair of Borrelli with an unpaired male Apistogramma Iniridae?

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
Hello, I have a 37g tank (30w 22h 12 d) and I am wondering if keeping a pair of A. Borrelli with my Iniridae male is viable. My tank currently has 1 dwarf gourami, 6 Colombian tetras, and 5-7 Colombian tetra fry (completely accidental, I take it as a sign that I'm doing my job right). my tank looks like this, with a pretty decent amount of décor, lots of hornwort & moneywort and some water wisteria and one amazon sword, my filtration is one Marineland Penguin 200b power filter and 1 Aquapapa bio sponge filter, with a tetra whisper air pump powering it. IMG-0334.jpg
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
128
Location
Canada eh
In short, you should not add a pair of Borellii to that aquarium,

The plants are a good start, and having fish breeding is always a good sign. However, if you want to begin considering adding new apistos there are a few things to adress:

1. Substrate, pea gravel is not a suitable substrate for apistos as a key behaviour of theirs is sand sifting. This forum has plenty of articles on the topic, I strongly recommend for you to research a bit more about it. Here is a good article on which sand you should choose.

2. Lack of sight blocks, if you are going to add a pair of borellii you will need plenty of sight blocks. The decor currently does not offer nearly enough places for the pair to escape and hide away. The cave is a good start but i recommend adding driftwood, leaf litter and rocks just to make sure the fish have truly enough places to hide. Personally, I think a good tank is one where you rarely see the fish :).

3. Rather than adding a new species try to find a female for your iniridae, Borellii and Iniridae are very different species so keeping them together in an aquarium will be a compromise for both. Alternatively consider selling your male and getting the pair of borellii, Iniridae are a blackwater fish so would do much better having a very low pH. I currently keep my iniridae at a pH of 5.5 in a blackwater environment. The borellii would be much better suited for your tank, and if they were in with the single iniridae in such a small tank, nothing great would come of it.

Here is a photo of my iniridae tank when I could still take photos without too much glare (november), i added a lot more driftwood and Pistia stratiotes shortly after this as well.
363BEEC5-D0C2-4D6C-9536-B8413B57317D.jpeg

4. The dwarf gourami might and apistos might fight, I'd say keeping the two together long term is not a good idea.

I probably missed a few things, and hopefully someone else can give you some input. Hopefully this doesnt seem too negative because apistos are great, but I'd really recommend not buying any more apistos for this tank currently. Good Luck :).

Edit: do you have a picture of the iniridae? From the above image, I'm not certain if he is in fact.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
So here's a pick of the Iniridae, he was sold to me as a boy and has blue coloration on his face and a yellow dorsal fin, hope it helps with deciding. Secondly, I live near philly, and we have rather hard and basic water (7.4 150ppm) and the fish was bred locally so I think the ph is fine (I think that stability is all that matters ).
and BTW, I never was informed (Seriously I cant find much on it) about the sand sifting, do you think that there is any way I could add some sort of sand to the tank as it is set up, I have a non running ten gallon I intended for the borrellii to breed in, with leaf litter and sand, sadly for personal reasons I can't feasibly set it up rn. Also about the gourami, Larry (My gourami) is probably the least aggressive male dwarf gourami I have ever seen, he doesn't bother the tetras, he didn't bother the hill stream loach I had (it died, I noticed that its fins were damaged and that it had a sunken stomach soon after getting it, so I don't really blame myself or my fish for the casualty). Also I have no intention of getting a female iniridae (the store had only mature males at 2 juveniles to small to sex, decided not to take the risk of 1 big and 1 small male.)

EDIT: woops forgot the image.
 

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Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
128
Location
Canada eh
Looks like trifasciata. You could likely add sand over the pea gravel, i have done it. You dont need to worry about pH as much, but even certain domesticated species do get mineral blockage because of hard water, so It's not just stability. A good decision to not get two males for the small footprint of the tank. The male will be fine on his own, even if the gourami isnt aggressive, I'd pay extremely close attention to him because of the apisto.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
He has bitten the gourami lightly a few times, I've only had him for a day now and he already took his territory under the (fake) stump, only when Larry goes in his territory he nips. Would you say that possibly using hornwort to partition the tank (its so dense) could help with any aggression
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
Its definitely not trifasciata, the fins don't match up and it's more laterally compressed, and irl its a dull cobalt blue mostly, not like trifasciata
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
128
Location
Canada eh
well, do you have a picture of the fins extended? Also, if you've had the fish 1 day, and he is already being aggressive to a fish whose territory it was originally, the gourami will likely be harassed to death. Hornwort would help with sight blocks but it wont stop very aggressive fish like the apisto from chasing the gourami around the aquarium.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,740
Location
Germany
Secondly, I live near philly, and we have rather hard and basic water (7.4 150ppm) and the fish was bred locally so I think the ph is fine (I think that stability is all that matters ).
People can use RO units to produce the correct water even when living in an area with the wrong water parameters and that's common among Apistogramma keepers. Additionally store owners often don't care. So unless they are explicitly bred in local tap water, locally bred doesen't mean anything.

Stability may be good if you have absolutely no other options and bought the fish unknowing of it's needs. To me that has a slight aftertaste of someone wanting to own a certain fish no matter what.
Keeping softwater fish for some time now: Long term the water and tank should be tailored to the fish and there is no alternative to that.

You dont need to worry about pH as much, but even certain domesticated species do get mineral blockage because of hard water, so It's not just stability.
The domestic strains are actually quite resilient, as many of them are white- or clearwater species (A. macmasteri and A. trifasciata for example). Domestic A. agassizii would for sure be a candidate for premature kidney failure due to too hard water, as are true softwater and blackwater species. This applies not only to cichlids but also to tetras, pencils and catfish from those habitats.

and BTW, I never was informed (Seriously I cant find much on it) about the sand sifting, do you think that there is any way I could add some sort of sand to the tank as it is set up,
As I mentioned, many store owners and employees do not care. Many websites are only telling people BS in fish profiles, often basically saying "It's fine, BUY more!".
You want reliable information: Specialist books (yes, paper), reputable magazines and specialist websites (like these here and here).
The most reliable non-specialist info websites I know are seriouslyfish and fishbase.

About sandsifting itself: Watch fish in appropriately build tanks. Watch footage from nature. You will see these fish are normally foraging all day, picking at mulm and leaf litter and sifting sand. It's their main mode of feeding and as a byproduct sand keeps the gills clean. Apistos and other dwarf cichlids that don't get to do this tend to have health issues all the time.

You could add a "sandbox". Remove or just move some of the gravel and with a cup slowly and carefully add some washed fine sand in that space. It might be a bit cloudy at first, but it goes away. But frankly: If you want to keep Apistogramma sincerely and species appropriate, I'd move away from community tanks and do at least a biotope community with fish that have similar needs in water parameters, water quality and environment.

Its definitely not trifasciata, the fins don't match up and it's more laterally compressed, and irl its a dull cobalt blue mostly, not like trifasciata
You can relax, all of us have been sold a fish as another species than ordered at least at one point. Nothing to be ashamed of, even if it's not an A. iniridae. From this picture I would not even try to ID the fish.
 

Frank Hättich

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
387
Location
Germany
So here's a pick of the Iniridae, he was sold to me as a boy and has blue coloration on his face and a yellow dorsal fin, hope it helps with deciding.
To me it seems to show a white submarginal band in the caudal fin. If so, it's an agassizii-complex species. But to be sure, better photos are needed.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
People can use RO units to produce the correct water even when living in an area with the wrong water parameters and that's common among Apistogramma keepers. Additionally store owners often don't care. So unless they are explicitly bred in local tap water, locally bred doesen't mean anything.

Stability may be good if you have absolutely no other options and bought the fish unknowing of it's needs. To me that has a slight aftertaste of someone wanting to own a certain fish no matter what.
Keeping softwater fish for some time now: Long term the water and tank should be tailored to the fish and there is no alternative to that.
I actually have a partially set up ten Gallon that I intended for breeding a borrellii pair if I got them. The main reason I got the iniridae, is since I'm near allergic to breaking a deal (bit of context, I called the store about getting a shipment of borellii, they couldn't find any borellii, but they were able to get some Iniridae.) I feel like I'm obligated to get them since I asked. I can't set up the ten gall due to recent personal happenings sadly.
 

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Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
So it seems the conversation is drying up, so i'll try to finish it so we can get a final verdict out of this.
I have probably 3 options
  • Finish setting up the ten gallon on the cheap (no light, sponge filter, small heater)
  • try to re-home the Iniridae to someone with an r.o unit that can care better for it than I can with just the 37.
  • Try to give it back to the store (risking someone else getting it, with even less of an idea of care then I do)
Of the 3, I want to pick 1, but there are some problems.
  1. How do I get the low TDS water I need, RO units aren't an option because I enjoy the taste of food in my mouth. mostly im thinking of somehow collecting rainwater anyone have tips on that?
  2. Does anyone know of a cheap, super low power heater for a tank like that?
  3. So there is actually some sticker residue on the inside of the ten gal (one of the reasons I didn't finish setting it up) and I have no idea how to remove it, WILL IT KILL MY FISH I NEED TO KNOW.
  4. overall I just need a way to set up the 10 gal for < $30 (note I will be using my established sponge filter in the ten & i'll be using wood from a dead tree in my backyard, sterilized of course)
I truly want to be able to give the best care possible to this fish.
Please give me the advice I need.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,740
Location
Germany
  • Try to give it back to the store (risking someone else getting it, with even less of an idea of care then I do)
All your decision, but this is probably best. Finding someone who knows how to keep them by yourself is probably not that easy or quick. See it the other way round: In a store the fish also gets the chance to go to a good and fitting home.

How do I get the low TDS water I need, RO units aren't an option because I enjoy the taste of food in my mouth. mostly im thinking of somehow collecting rainwater anyone have tips on that?
Rainwater is an option, but check first whether you live in a acidic rain area or you have regular dry periods with little rain. You will need the amounts for wekly waterchanges.
So there is actually some sticker residue on the inside of the ten gal (one of the reasons I didn't finish setting it up) and I have no idea how to remove it, WILL IT KILL MY FISH I NEED TO KNOW.
No it won't kill them. You can remove it with a razor blade.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
Rainwater is an option, but check first whether you live in a acidic rain area or you have regular dry periods with little rain. You will need the amounts for wekly waterchanges.
So in my area it has been raining large amounts and it is rather average rainwater, I intend to do a 60/40 mix rain with tap water and seeing as I will have to do only 1 gal a week, I think I could handle it.

Does anyone have any tips about rainwater collection, and keeping it clean.
Also, any tips on keeping ph low? (with a sponge filter).

P.S
60% rainwater 40% tapwater. just making it clear.
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
128
Location
Canada eh
Collecting rainwater is great, you just need to make sure you arent near any large cities. I believe you said you live near Philadelphia, if you live near the city centre, I definitely would not collect.

If you live near any evergreen trees (firs, ceader) make sure no needles get in the water as the oils are toxic. I use a cheesecloth over my water and put it as far away as possible from any sources of contamination. Personally, I just use 2 tubs because i live in an area which rains more than enough. However, I know that people on this forum collect rainwater off their roof, by letting it rain heavily for ~10 minutes you can wash most of the debris off. After that, collect the rain water and run a filter with carbon for a few days (i do this as well.)

Do you have any more pictures, as the previous image was not enough to confirm which species you have, I'm just raising this point because the RO may not be needed depending on which fish you have.

To keep pH low just make sure you remove any rocks or substrate (such as argonite based rock) to stop the water from becoming more basic. Add driftwood as well, which has tannins in it and help lowers the pH. Just keep water changes consistent as well and check to see if the water you are adding has a drastically different pH because tap water does change season dependant.


Edit: Various sources claim that Pea gravel (your substrate) is not inert, and has more than enough calcium to increase your water hardness and pH.
 

Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
To be detailed the pea gravel Im using is carib sea super naturals one one side, and the aqueon on the other.

Now, I still want to know if anyone has a good heater for a 10 gal, anyone know one?

Also I finally was able to get some good pictures that are in focus, even better, the dorsal fin is up.
8ABD2367-6864-4C90-8789-463E29E3C7AA.jpeg2006EEFA-E9E1-4CF5-9B74-0162D426FD57.jpeg158A03D2-D5FC-47CD-90E8-D62A707F3459.jpeg
8ABD2367-6864-4C90-8789-463E29E3C7AA.jpeg
 

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Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
428
Location
San Francisco
That looks like agassizii complex to me.

Heaters: The only heaters I would recommend are the Eheim Jager ones. I've found most heaters to be unreliable, whether they're cheap or expensive.

Edit: That doesn't mean you can't buy a cheap one, it just means there isn't one I recommend. The danger is that the heater fails in the "on" position. You need to be very careful to always observe the temperature to make sure it's not outside a healthy range. I use temperature controllers to shut them off automatically in case this happens, even though I use Eheims. Absent that, I guess I might recommend getting an underpowered heater, so that the worst case scenario won't cook your fish. Also, there's less wear and tear on the heater if it's not constantly switching on and off. A low powered heater might always need to be on to get to your target temp.
 
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Memeboi

Member
Messages
82
UPDATE : I think it might actually be A. pertensis or A. gephrya, though TBH, not like it matters much, I might as well have picked up an Agassiziis complex freak of nature at my LFS.
8ABD2367-6864-4C90-8789-463E29E3C7AA.jpeg

Above : my Frankenstein's monster

1652138527397.png

Above : A. gephrya
1652138641679.png

Above : A. pertensis
1652138613836.png

Above : A ''normal'' A. Iniridae
 

Aquaticloch

Active Member
Messages
128
Location
Canada eh
I agree with Ben Rhau, looks to be some form of agassizi, None of the fish in the images shown match the fish you have by body shape alone. It looks like apistogramma cf. agassizi, but it would be a shot in the dark for me to attempt and identify it further. Hopefully someone else can give you a more conclusive ID.

If you want to try and find it on your own, try this link Here, just dont count on being able to google photos of the species listed.
 

Soonie

New Member
Messages
9
Also I finally was able to get some good pictures that are in focus, even better, the dorsal fin is up.
View attachment 11426
Don't know if they're the same, but I have this which was sold to me as Apisto Agassizii tefe red back, which looks somewhat similar to what you have.
 

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Frank Hättich

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
387
Location
Germany
Don't know if they're the same, but I have this which was sold to me as Apisto Agassizii tefe red back, which looks somewhat similar to what you have.
All agassizii-complex species and forms are "somewhat similar" ;) However, your fish are A. sp. Tefe, a different species than A. agassizii, not just a colorform or population of them. You can distinguish A. sp. Tefe from all other agassizii-complex species by means of the zigzag stripes along the body.
As for Memeboi's fish: without knowing the catch location (in case it's a wild form) I'm not able to be more specific than calling it A. cf. agassizii. If it's tank bred, it might also be a mix of some of these agassizii-like species/forms.
 

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Prontodelivery wrote on Apistoguy52's profile.
Do you still have the F1 Ivanacara adoketa “red” from the Rio Icana, interested in getting 2 Pairs.
mikishuhoo wrote on Apistoguy52's profile.
Hi,

Do you still have Apistogramma diplotaenia pairs available to sell? Please advise. Thanks.

Kenny
I'm clueless. If I say something you can safely ignore it.
Apistomaster wrote on anewbie's profile.
I see that The Wet Spot Tropical Fish currently has the fire red A. agassizi you are looking for. Here is the link:
I've always had good experiences buying from them on line.
Hallo,
I am Hanzle from Holland and keep apistoos for 40 years. Had my own aquarium shop from 1984 till 1988. Always s great fan from apistoos and hyphessobrycon which is s great combination in a Community Aquarium. Perhaps.....in the near future I start breeding apistoos again. Have a 400 liters Community aquarium for hyphessobrycon wadai and apistogramma biteaniata.
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