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Hi ! Introucing myself and questions

dbmaven

New Member
5 Year Member
Greetings from the lower Hudson Valley in New York!

I hope you'll be able to give me some suggestions = I'll try to provide as much info as I can think of....

I am setting up a new 90 gal tank - Fluval Osaka 320 bent glass (48" L x 18" W x 25" H), with a Rena Filstar XP3. It's going to be a planted tank - but I want to select the future inhabitants before getting substrate (most likely a mix of Eco-Complete/relatively small gravel and sand - landscaped with the gravel back and sides and sand more toward the front with pockets jutting towards the rear) and plants so I can provide a better environment for them. Planning on using eucalyptus roots for driftwood and stone for 'caves' and outcroppings.

I currently have a 20gal tank with a common pleco that has outgrown it (now at > 9" )
and 9 Rosy Barbs from multiple generations of spawns - the largest is 3 1/2", the smallest juvenile about 1 1/2". These will all be migrated to the new tank - and the 20g will become a hospital/fry tank.

I'm looking for suggestions as to which apistos, and how many, would be a good "fit" for the above. Given the water chemistry and the existing stock of barbs/pleco, I'm only looking at South Americans.

I was originally considering 'regular' cichlids and was headed down a path of Blue Acara - but my own research and recommendations of others indicate that I'd be limited to a pair. I'd prefer to create more of an 'eco-system' with more fish - ideally different types that would get along. Moving from regular cichlids to dwarfs seemed like a natural progression (and frankly the dwarfs are more colorful and varied!).

The current tank has a well established bio-system, although no live plants. Water parameters as of last night:
pH 7.4
kH 7 - gH 4 (local water supply is brutally hard - untreated it's kH 11/gH 21)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~10 (I'd expect this to reduce naturally in a planted tank)

I currently do ~20% water change weekly - and the tank has been stable for several years (as I said - multiple generations of barbs!).

If needed in the new setup, I can do more frequent water changes - the investment in a Python No-Spill makes it fast and as close to painless as can be.

Hope that sets the stage and thanks in advance for your ideas ! :)
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
First welcome to the forum. Sorry for the delayed response; forum members are usually fast to respond to new members. I think your questions intimidated them!:biggrin: I'll try to give you my opinions. You could check for other answers from past threads in the "Search" section.

First, where dwarf cichlids are concerned, your tall tank has no bearing on the number of dwarf cichlids that it will house, since they rarely use more than the bottom 8"/20cm. The number of fish/different species depends on several factors, tank layout and temperament of the species being most important. You are setting up a display community tank so don't expect to get many fry to survive in this aquarium. Breeding tanks are completely different. I try to give each of my dwarfs a territory of about 1'/30cm in diameter. Heavily planted tanks that have areas that form well delineated territories can house more cichlids than tanks with more open space. Different species require more or less area as a territory. Males of highly polygamous species have been known to control the entire bottom of 2x7'/60cmX2m fairly open tanks. This is an extreme case, but expect more aggression among these species. Less polygamous species aren't as territorial, but still need an area of suitable size if expected to live harmoniously.

Your water values are acceptable for keeping most dwarf cichlids except some of the true blackwater species. Most of the more commonly available species live fine in it, but might not necessarily reproduce in it. I suggest you search out the water values of each species that you find interesting and then decide if it works for you. Some good dwarfs for your water conditions include Apistogramma agassizii forms, A. borellii, A. cacatuoides, A. caetei forms, A. commbrae/similis, A. erythrura, A. eunotus forms, A. hoignei, A. hongsloi, A. inconspicua, A. linke, A. macmasteri, A. resticulosa forms, A. steindachneri, A. taeniata, A. trifasciata, A. sp. Rotpunkt, Laetacara curviceps, L. dorsigera, Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, and Nannacara anomala.

Hope this helps, and keep asking questions.
 

tjudy

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Welcome to the forum! Mike has given some great advice. Since you are in the Mid-Atlantic states area there are some pretty good apisto suppliers near you who advertise on this forum. They are good places to start when looking for apistos.
 

dbmaven

New Member
5 Year Member
Wow!

That's tremendous, Mike - thank you so much for the response. You've given me a ton of info to continue researching. Many of the species/types you mentioned I've been looking into (A. agassizii, cacatuoides, hongsloi, for example) but some are new for me (Nannacara anomala (I really like them!), A. inconspicua, A. trifasciata).

The tank will be planted, but will take time to reach a "heavily planted" state that most of these guys prefer.

I usually don't do this, but if you were in my predicament, which one or two species/types would you choose and how many?

Again, thank you. And you can be sure that I won't stop asking questions !
 

dbmaven

New Member
5 Year Member
Welcome to the forum! Mike has given some great advice. Since you are in the Mid-Atlantic states area there are some pretty good apisto suppliers near you who advertise on this forum. They are good places to start when looking for apistos.
Thanks Ted !

In checking out "thatfishplace.com", I found that they're just down the road from my brother-in-law. I may have to make a road-trip! :wink:
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I usually don't do this, but if you were in my predicament, which one or two species/types would you choose and how many?!
You asked the wrong person! I don't think like the average apistophile. If I had a community tank and didn't expect to breed anything, I would put about 5 or 6 males of different different shapes and species together. It would provide a much more colorful display and you'd see a lot of interesting interaction. See? I told you I was the wrong one to ask.:biggrin:
 

Sharpfish

Member
5 Year Member
Welcome to the addiction of S.A. dwarf cichlids. If you have relatives in that area you are in luck. There are some fine shops in that area that advertise here. There are also members of this forum that live in that area who are producing really nice Apisto.'s ( that is your que Chris).
 

dbmaven

New Member
5 Year Member
Mike -

I hadn't thought of that - an interesting twist, to say the least.

For any number of reasons, I'm considering abandoning the 'community tank' idea.

So, let me pose the question differently - if all that was in the tank was the pleco, which species are a reasonable mix - which would you choose ?

Thanks for the ideas !
 

dbmaven

New Member
5 Year Member
Welcome to the addiction of S.A. dwarf cichlids. If you have relatives in that area you are in luck. There are some fine shops in that area that advertise here. There are also members of this forum that live in that area who are producing really nice Apisto.'s ( that is your que Chris).
Thanks. I'm already cichlid addicted - and I don't even have the damned fish yet ! :wink:
 
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