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i've never kept an apisto in my life but that's going to change!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by samurai.cichlid, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. samurai.cichlid

    samurai.cichlid New Member

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    hey all!

    i guess the done thing is to say where i'm from: north carolina. i wish i had something interesting to say about myself to go with that, but alas i don't.

    i'm just thinking about getting some apistos for the first time and before i get them i wanted to get the best information to give me the best chance for success. so that's why i'm here.

    big thanks to everybody on this forum for all this great information i'm about to dig into!

    p.s. species wise i really want to go for some hongslois--i really dig the deeper body shape they seem to have in pictures at least. good choice or bad choice for my first try?
  2. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    Hey there! Some quick and dirty pointers for the most success:

    Sand. They need sand. Don't get gravel, aquasoil, etc.

    Coverage. They need places to hide and make their own. Don't expect to make a great aquascape with dwarf baby tears everywhere and have the Apistos happy. Wood, rocks, leaves are great for them. A "dirty" tank is the best tank.

    Dithers. This can vary from person but I always recommend dither fish. A. hongsloi are on the larger size of Apistogramma, so larger tetras will be best. Pencilfish should be fine too.

    Decide what you want from them. Do you want breeding? Or just looking pretty? There are different setups for both.

    Hope that helps! Let us know what other specific questions you have.
  3. samurai.cichlid

    samurai.cichlid New Member

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    wow what a warm welcome.

    and thank you for the advice. i'd hate to immediately take advantage of your hospitality but i already have some follow up questions lol.

    you say "dirty" tank and i've noticed that in people's photos and videos of their apisto tanks. they look kinda grimy whereas when i look at people breeding angels and discus their tanks are usually bare bottom and utterly spotless. so is that dirtiness intentional plant matter decay? is it like cappata leaf decay for anti bac/fungus?

    the reason i ask is because i'm utterly fanatical about my water changes with all the fish i've ever kept. i've been known to change water daily on overstocked tanks.

    the only plants i ever use are the indestructibles --- java fern, anubias, java mass, et al. but i am looking forward to the fun of the challenge of creating territories and breaking line of sight with coconut huts and terracotta pots. but i was hoping i could grow my indestructible plants on top of them lol.
  4. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    By dirty, you are correct. I throw in Catappa, Oak, and other leaves, as well as old palm tree fronds to create dark spaces and places for aufwuchs to grow. Ideally the whole bottom of the tank would be covered in a layer or two of leaves. This isn't necessary, and I've bred Apisto's in tanks without leaves, just sand, and in bare-bottom tanks. I just think to get the most out of them, that is the way to go for most species. Some don't need it to be perfectly happy, but the babies will be infinitely happier if they can graze on the leaves.

    Java Moss and Fern are great because you'll have low lighting in the perfect tank. The more moss, typically the better.

    Discus require pristine water, hence the bare bottoms. It makes it easier to clean daily. With Apistos, they don't tolerate high nitrates well, so you should keep up with changes, but every day is overkill unless you are trying to raise fry commercially (you aren't.) I change 10% of my largest tanks every week or so, but I've been known to go a month-plus without a "change", just topping off with new water as the level drops. Nitrates build up in this case, and the pH usually drops if you don't use buffer, but that's how I've done it with my "lazy" style.
  5. samurai.cichlid

    samurai.cichlid New Member

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    awesome, thanks again.

    i'm not really setting out to breed anyway, but it's one of those things whenever you get into any cichlid. or any fish for that matter. you know it (babies) can happen if you take care of them well.
  6. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    If you're main goal isn't breeding, then adding some characins should take care of any fry that surface. This is what I prefer to do with my non-breeding fish. I let them breed, but don't harvest the fry. The tetras get live food, the Apistos show awesome colors and behaviors, and I get to witness it all.
  7. samurai.cichlid

    samurai.cichlid New Member

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    oof, if i get free swimmers i'm probably gonna raise them lol. if the parents keep eating the eggs then i'm not sure how motivated i'll be to solve that. but even then i'll probably try to figure out if something is spooking them or if it's just a new parent issue.

    although, if i do choose honglois i wonder how well i'd do trying to trade offspring in at my local fish store for some store credit when i guess juvies won't be very colored up.

    speaking of my local fish store, i've done some checking and some googling and i'm having a hard time finding a breeder for honglois in the way i've found breeders for other types of fish in the past (i.e. through facebook groups etc). it doesn't help that aquabid is down at the moment lol.

    the one place i've found selling them is the wet spot and they do ship so i'm thinking of putting in an order with them. i'm a bit discouraged that they sell them by the "unsexed pair".

    maybe i can request them at my fish store here. but i'd much rather find a breeder.
  8. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    Samurai, shoot Wet Spot an email. Perhaps a friendly face there will help you out... ;) They do their best to sex the fish, and I can tell you that their current batch of A. hongsloi is actually somewhat sexable. Usually they arrive with no color and tiny, so sexing is impossible!

    Trading them in shouldn't be a problem if you show them photos of the adults. A. hongsloi are brilliant if you can raise them up, but they do tend to lack color when young compared to something like a Super Red A. cacatuoides.
  9. samurai.cichlid

    samurai.cichlid New Member

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    wow what a coincidence. i feel super lucky. so awesome to have a connection at the wet spot.

    i'm in the middle of moving at the moment though. but i'll be settled in my new place next month. i realize by then your stock might have changed but the second i'm ready i'll go for it and see what the situation is with you guys.

    seriously thank you again for being so welcoming and kind. i genuinely honestly appreciate it.
  10. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    No problem. We all enjoy fish and helping others.