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How to get him interested?

PexGat

New Member
I've had this pair of apistogramma cacatuoides for about 3 months now in a 15g with 4 bronze corydoras, soft and close-to-neutral water with some tannins and kept at 26°. I've got 2 hiding spots and I've noticed one of them was being guarded by the female for two times now. The male barely cares about her and whenever she starts guarding the cave, she'll swim up to him and whip him with her tail, but he at most will flare up and swim away 4 seconds later.
I think that they havent been able to sucessfully breed because of this, and I've come to the conclusion that something needs to change if I want them to breed. I've thought about getting another female with them (which I already have in another tank) but she would get bullied since she's smaller than the one that's already there and the tank's pretty much stocked. How would he get interested in her? Should I take the corydoras out and give it another go or swap the male for another one that I have?
 

chris1805

Active Member
5 Year Member
I find that corydoras and breeding are not a good combination. I would take them out regardless of your issue. I am wondering what your current water parameters are. Could you please give us more information about that. A picture of the tank may be usefull as well.
 

PexGat

New Member
Hi,
Thanks for the reply! I didn't take them out because the female didn't seem much upset by them (she would ignore them most of the time whilst she was guarding the cave).
The water parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5-10 nitrates. I don't have a good pH test on me, but last time I measured the water was about 7.0, so now I'd say it might be between 6.8 and 7.0 since I'm using a big catappa leaf. I am using water from a local fountain that isnt treated with any chlorine or buffer, and its close to soft like I said before. The tank has a breeding net you will be able to see on the picture with fry from some barbs I have in another tank and the mineral stains have been there for over 2 years, I changed the water source about 1 year ago. I dose the water with some liquid ferts every water change to keep the cabomba alive.
(PS: The tank actually has 3 hiding spots, but they don't like to hang out around the pot)
 

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chris1805

Active Member
5 Year Member
Ferilizers increase the TDS of your tank. The lower the TDS the better for Apistogrammas. It looks like you only have cabomba in your tank. I would stop using liquid fertilizer in your tank. In my opinion you dezerve an award if you manage to kill cabomba. In my tank it grows like weed and I only have a sand substrate, never use liquid fertilizer and I use lots of RO water. You could always just put a clay ball in the substrate. This shouldn’t increase your TDS so it would be a better solution.

I would still remove the corys, once your femae has eggs/fry, she will attack the corydoras and aim for their eyes. You will end up with blind corydora’s which would be a shame of these nice creatures.
 

PexGat

New Member
I don't have a TDS pen otherwise I'd tell you how high it is. I've got cabomba and two anubias, planning to switch the two other plastic plants for some moss (inside the rock) and a java fern (at the back).
I dont know much about plants yet and the person I bought the plants from told me to dose the ferts, but I'll take your word on it.
I'll take them out as soon as I can, thankfully they never got bitten by any of them.
Thanks for the tips!
 

chris1805

Active Member
5 Year Member
No need to go for plastic plants, mosses, java ferns and anabias are really easy plants. Ofcourse they grow better (faster and more dense) with high ligh, co2 and fertilizer, but they will do fine without all these things. Real plants have a lot of advantages over plastic plants. They remove excess nutritions from the water and they provide oxygen to the water. They grow also more dense than plastic plants are so it’s eaiser to hide from the apisto’s :)
 

PexGat

New Member
I bought those because of that. I've had this tank setup with plastic plants for a while and I didn't want to invest a lot of money now that I'm very close to go college, otherwise that orange substrate would have been gone by now too
 

Ade205

Active Member
As Chris has said, plants you have don't really need extra ferts, both pretty easy plants.
Regarding males interest or lack of, the actual spawning is pretty quick and easy to miss, and the male often doesn't even enter the cave, can do his part by the entrance of cave. I've a Cacatuoides colony at moment that's out of control breeding wise and the males are rarely seen interacting with the females. Worth pointing out also that this tank has water at 7.2ph with a very high tds of 450ppm which most consider very hard... the cacs breed in this no issue though many other species of Apisto would absolutely not successfully breed in such conditions. Ideally I'd shoot a lot lower tds for them but find it easy to maintain stability using just my tap water which is super hard after making its way through the Derbyshire peak Districts stoney landscape in the UK! And breed in it they certainly do!!!

Two things I'd do in your position is firstly, as already said, remove the corys. They upset the female with her territory constantly being invaded, and if apistos do breed then the corys will be attacked and Cory's loosing eyes is a regular occurrence in the situation.

Second thing I'd do is switch to a sand substrate . I've had countless females that only breed once they have piled sand up so high at the entrance to a coconut shell that only she can fit through the hole, and often only able to do this on her side with some wriggling!! Once she feels safe in her cave she should hopefully be ready to breed. Sand is also important for other reasons to apistos.....

Other than above, feed plenty of varied high quality froozen and live foods and wait!! When conditions are right they don't usually wait around!

Ade.
 

PexGat

New Member
Thanks for the reply Ade.
I've cut on the ferts. Didn't dose them in the last water change, everything looks the same except for an anubias that isnt getting much light due to the breeding net (going to remove it asap).
As for the cories, I'll be removing them from the tank like you both suggested asap too. Thankfully it will help them feel more at ease and sucessfully spawn this time.
As for the sand, I'll try and buy some too. I've been using a decorative inert natural-looking sand in some tanks, so it'll be what I might pick up.
Food wise, I've been feeding them frozen blood worms every other day and frozen mysis and daphnia too.
As I'm writing this, I finally saw him properly court the female, which is in a beatiful breeding dress, stunning behavior. Hopefully it'll come something out of this.
Thanks once again!
IMG_20181120_190539~2.jpg
 

chris1805

Active Member
5 Year Member
Good point made about the sand substrate, i totally missed that. Please be carefull with feeding too much bloodworm, this has high risk of causint bloat at Apistogrammas. I would suggest to feed frozen brine shrimp and only frozen bloodworms once in a while.
 
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