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My apistogrammas keep dying (help)

Clarky

New Member
Messages
2
Heya, I'm new to Apistos, and have recently set up a tank for them and a couple other fish (tank is a month old). I'm really having trouble with them, I started off with 5 and now only have 2, none of them looked particularly thin with no apparent diseases, however some hover in a corner of the tank and none seem interested in food. I've been getting them from my work and all of them have been healthy when they come into the shop. Any ideas of what could be happening?

Tank info:
Planted aquarium, struggled with 02 at first but have since fixed that.
Ph - 6.8 to 7
Temp - 26⁰c
Tank mates - half beaks, Cory's, glass catfish, small Burmese loach and small banjo catfish
Treatments - each time I add fish I use easha 2000 as a preventative, currently been treating the tank with a gill fluke and wormer for 2 weeks as a lot of the fish are flicking (rubbing themself on stuff) but no improvement so far
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,548
Location
Germany
I see issues all over, but let's start with the most striking:
I started off with 5 and now only have 2
Apistogramma are territorial fish. Depending on the ratio of sexes and the structure in the tank they might have been killing each other off, directly or indirectly. What species of Apistogramma are we dealing with anyway?
each time I add fish I use easha 2000 as a preventative
Stop that. You write you had problems with oxygenation, EsHa 2000 causes oxygen depletion.
Tank mates - half beaks, Cory's, glass catfish, small Burmese loach and small banjo catfish
Quite a fish soup (means a species combination that is bound to cause problems) you have there. Including the Apistos almost only bottom dwellers and at least two nocturnal species. Any other losses? Have you properly cycled the tank? One month running time and already that many fish is ... let's say ballsy. You're taking quite a risk there.

Some important questions (without answers it will be almost impossible to help):
How big is the tank (dimensions, if possible in cm, please)?
What do you feed?
What's your maintenance regimen?
What are the water parameters? (GH, KH, pH, NO3. NO2 and NH3/4 only if you have any readings.)
Can you please post a picture of the tank and the fish?
 

Clarky

New Member
Messages
2
I see issues all over, but let's start with the most striking:

Apistogramma are territorial fish. Depending on the ratio of sexes and the structure in the tank they might have been killing each other off, directly or indirectly. What species of Apistogramma are we dealing with anyway?

Stop that. You write you had problems with oxygenation, EsHa 2000 causes oxygen depletion.

Quite a fish soup (means a species combination that is bound to cause problems) you have there. Including the Apistos almost only bottom dwellers and at least two nocturnal species. Any other losses? Have you properly cycled the tank? One month running time and already that many fish is ... let's say ballsy. You're taking quite a risk there.

Some important questions (without answers it will be almost impossible to help):
How big is the tank (dimensions, if possible in cm, please)?
What do you feed?
What's your maintenance regimen?
What are the water parameters? (GH, KH, pH, NO3. NO2 and NH3/4 only if you have any readings.)
Can you please post a picture of the tank and the fish?
They were all female, except one. 3 hongsloi, 1 macmasteri, 1 double red.

The tank is 175L, the place I work generally the rule is add up to 4 fish a week (we do fish and reptiles, now I kinda wish I just kept with my lizards, they're so much easier :( ), plus it's pretty spacey and each fish has it's own place to hide. I believe its 80cm length, 50 high and I think 45 deep.

I clean the tank once a week, doing a 20 to 30% water change, I'd tell you the water parameters but I'm out of strip tests, I do have a liquid one however for a couple bits, all it shows is ph which is 7, ammonia which is 0 and nitrite which is 0

(I'll take a pic of the tank when I get home)
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,548
Location
Germany
They were all female, except one. 3 hongsloi, 1 macmasteri, 1 double red.
That doesn't have to mean anything, sadly. Females can be territorial among each other as well. And depending on age it is not always clear what they are until they colour up and grow out the fins, this is now hard to determine in hindsight. Same goes for any signs of disease. Care to still post pictures of the remaining two?
Also, which have died?

The tank is 175L, the place I work generally the rule is add up to 4 fish a week [...], plus it's pretty spacey and each fish has it's own place to hide. I believe its 80cm length, 50 high and I think 45 deep.
I see... So I take it you work at a pet store? Do you live in a country with hard regulations (mandatory workshops/licenses) or deregulated market? No offence I want to get an impression of your level of experience in general.
Spacey is subjective, though. I would have probably added no more than two in the first place. What do you call hiding places? What we might consider as such might not be the case for the fish. In a 80x45 footprint it is almost impossible to place sight-barriers sufficient for 5 terrirories.

May I also ask how many each you have of the other species? Depending on numbers the 20-30% waterchange will likely not cut it.
pH tells me your GH and KH might not be very low, but it's also not super hard water.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,564
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
..... new to Apistos, and have recently set up a tank for them and a couple other fish (tank is a month old).
That would worry me a bit straight away. Can we have a picture of the tank?

You read a lot about cycling etc. on the WWW etc., but most of it isn't true and a lot of it written by people who want to sell you a useless, and totally unnecessary, product.

Have a look at these threads on UKAPS, <"Talking with Tim Hovanec"> and <"Seasoned Tank Time">, basically Apistogramma are best in tanks that are established and stable.

cheers Darrel
 

yukondog

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
660
Location
N.W. Fl.
I agree with Darrel, I read you post and the first thing that comes to my mind is the tank aged enough, and I don't think so [just me] after only a month, the spices you list are easy to keep if your tank is right, just my 2 cents.
 

Samson&Delilah

New Member
Messages
4
I haven’t read all the comments but this seems really simple to me.

Apistogramma are sensitive fish who get stressed easily. They will not do well in high tech tanks and they need their parameters, temperature, hardness (GH) and PH met. Minimal ferts and low tech plants, lots of tannins and very low nitrates and phosphates at all times.

You need to run the tank with other fish that have similar requirements for at least 4 months before even attempting to add apistos and the setup needs to be right for them. Do you have a photo of the tank? What test kit are you using?

Adding 4 fish a week to a new tank is a recipe for disaster. There’s no need to kill lots of fish, establish your tank first. Then run it for 4-6 months so the filter and environment have properly matured before adding any sensitive fish like apistos but make sure the scape is right for them as stress kills them also. They can’t just be added to any established matured community tank.
 

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