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New to Apistos, 38g setup

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
Hi all, I currently in the process of setting up my new Apisto “based” aquarium.
I am not looking at the setup as a breeding prioritised aquarium however I do like to see the fish showing their full character.
So the base tank is 31”long x 16” deep x 18” high = 38gallons…ish. Ph is 6.7 straight and temp around 24-25 degrees c. It’s planted and I have a SICCE whale 500 canister filter.

This is my current stocking idea:
18 ember tetras
8 Pygmy corrys
6 ottos
1m apisto borellii
1m apisto Agassizzi

According to aquarium stocker my weekly water change should be 18% and my stocking is under 70%.

So the question I’m asking is whether you see any issue with keeping two male Apistos in this aquarium or whether I should swap it around a little? Maybe introduce a different dwarf cichlid or apisto type.

Many thanks in advance
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
According to aquarium stocker my weekly water change should be 18% and my stocking is under 70%.
Please avoid and ignore any such sites as Aquarium stocker or AqAdvisor. They are not a help at all, as they ignore behaviour and space requirements and focus mainly on bioload, which is not your problem if a tank is stocked by the species requirements and not by "How many fish can I cram into a volume of X?" Let the latter be the concern of people that don't care for the fishes wellbeing and just want a colourful display.
To stock a tank right, keep in mind the space requirements, the group sizes and territorial behaviour, while sticking to a max. of maybe 2-3 species, in your tank size, max. 4 species.

Also, especially in the first year or so of the tank's life: 30-50% waterchange weekly is obligatory.


Ph is 6.7 straight and temp around 24-25 degrees c. It’s planted and I have a SICCE whale 500 canister filter.
pH isn't everything, 6.8-7.2 count as neutral, typically available tests are only accurate by +/- 0.3 - 0.5, so I'd make sure to find out your GH and KH. As different species of Apistogramma live in different habitats all over South America, there can be no generalization be made for optimal parameters. But there is a tendency to rather soft water. pH can vary depending on species.

All that said, now for the stocking:
18 ember tetras
8 Pygmy corrys
Works. You will want to do 15 each.
Otocinclus are usually wild caught and as specialized aufwuchs eaters they are usually halfway starved when reaching the retailers. Unless you offer supplementory feeding (which kicks the water quality in a new tank off balance very easily), you can expect them to starve to death within weeks to months after adding to a new tank. My advice: Wait AT LEAST 6 months before adding Otocinclus.
Also: I'm confident they landed on your list as algae eaters. You don't need any. Rather make sure the tank has decent amounts of plants from the start (whenever you think it's enough, triple the amount!), and botanicals and leaf litter to form mulm on the ground (which should be fine sand, if possible). That way you will end up with a well established tank after 6-8 months.
Whether it will be able to sustain feeding specialists like Otocinclus - Impossible to predict. If there's basically no biofilm and aufwuchs after half a year, toss the plan of adding Otocinclus completely.
1m apisto borellii
1m apisto Agassizzi
Decide for one species. Especially as IF it comes to aggression between species an A. borellii will usually take the short end, being the smaller species in almost all cases.
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
Please avoid and ignore any such sites as Aquarium stocker or AqAdvisor. They are not a help at all, as they ignore behaviour and space requirements and focus mainly on bioload, which is not your problem if a tank is stocked by the species requirements and not by "How many fish can I cram into a volume of X?" Let the latter be the concern of people that don't care for the fishes wellbeing and just want a colourful display.
To stock a tank right, keep in mind the space requirements, the group sizes and territorial behaviour, while sticking to a max. of maybe 2-3 species, in your tank size, max. 4 species.

Also, especially in the first year or so of the tank's life: 30-50% waterchange weekly is obligatory.



pH isn't everything, 6.8-7.2 count as neutral, typically available tests are only accurate by +/- 0.3 - 0.5, so I'd make sure to find out your GH and KH. As different species of Apistogramma live in different habitats all over South America, there can be no generalization be made for optimal parameters. But there is a tendency to rather soft water. pH can vary depending on species.

All that said, now for the stocking:

Works. You will want to do 15 each.

Otocinclus are usually wild caught and as specialized aufwuchs eaters they are usually halfway starved when reaching the retailers. Unless you offer supplementory feeding (which kicks the water quality in a new tank off balance very easily), you can expect them to starve to death within weeks to months after adding to a new tank. My advice: Wait AT LEAST 6 months before adding Otocinclus.
Also: I'm confident they landed on your list as algae eaters. You don't need any. Rather make sure the tank has decent amounts of plants from the start (whenever you think it's enough, triple the amount!), and botanicals and leaf litter to form mulm on the ground (which should be fine sand, if possible). That way you will end up with a well established tank after 6-8 months.
Whether it will be able to sustain feeding specialists like Otocinclus - Impossible to predict. If there's basically no biofilm and aufwuchs after half a year, toss the plan of adding Otocinclus completely.

Decide for one species. Especially as IF it comes to aggression between species an A. borellii will usually take the short end, being the smaller species in almost all cases.
Thank you for your reply much appreciated, yes the ottos were added to my list primarily as algae control but also as and additional dither fish. I will definitely take your advice on the plant life.
I will check the hardness of the water, I have an established 55g with Oranda, I am closing that aquarium down however I will use the existing filter media in my new aquarium.
So with regards to the Apisto, you recommend one species in accordance to the water parameters. I assume a harem 1m to 3f is suitable?
Thanks
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
Thank you for your reply much appreciated, yes the ottos were added to my list primarily as algae control but also as and additional dither fish. I will definitely take your advice on the plant life.
Yeah, then scratch the Otocinclus, or wait until summer.
So with regards to the Apisto, you recommend one species in accordance to the water parameters. I assume a harem 1m to 3f is suitable?
Actually I'd recommend a single male. It's a display tank and not a breeding tank. A pair or harem requires well-planned structure and if for some reason the females won't get in spawning mode a male might chase them to death. While vice versa a female with spawn will corral everybody else into one corner and might burn out after several spawns with too many other fish in the tank.
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
Yeah, then scratch the Otocinclus, or wait until summer.

Actually I'd recommend a single male. It's a display tank and not a breeding tank. A pair or harem requires well-planned structure and if for some reason the females won't get in spawning mode a male might chase them to death. While vice versa a female with spawn will corral everybody else into one corner and might burn out after several spawns with too many other fish in the tank.
A single specimen it’ll be then as I wouldn’t want too much disruption. I think the corry’s will help to bring some activity to the lower half without taking too much space.
Thanks for the help.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
I think the corry’s will help to bring some activity to the lower half without taking too much space.
Exactly. As Corydoras are unable to read the cichlid's thread display a combination of a possible breeding pair with Corydoras in a tank under 100x50cm footprint is too much stress for catfish and cichlids alike.

You have two options now:
- Either add the Apistogramma first, see whether there is enough movement in the lower regions for your liking and add the Corydoras later. It is possible the Apistogramma starts chasing the Corydoras very soon. For me a dwarf cichlid alone is enough, but I don't know what you are exactly looking for.
- Or add the Corydoras first and add the Apistogramma later. Usually the Apisto is more mellow that way around.

Oh, and don't combine Corydoras pygmaeus with "big-mouthed" Apistos ike A. cacatuoides. A pygmy Corydoras fit's their mouths and they will try eating them. Usually ends fatal for both fish involved.
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
Exactly. As Corydoras are unable to read the cichlid's thread display a combination of a possible breeding pair with Corydoras in a tank under 100x50cm footprint is too much stress for catfish and cichlids alike.

You have two options now:
- Either add the Apistogramma first, see whether there is enough movement in the lower regions for your liking and add the Corydoras later. It is possible the Apistogramma starts chasing the Corydoras very soon. For me a dwarf cichlid alone is enough, but I don't know what you are exactly looking for.
- Or add the Corydoras first and add the Apistogramma later. Usually the Apisto is more mellow that way around.

Oh, and don't combine Corydoras pygmaeus with "big-mouthed" Apistos ike A. cacatuoides. A pygmy Corydoras fit's their mouths and they will try eating them. Usually ends fatal for both fish involved.
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
I’ll avoid Pygmy’s and look around at some of my local lfs to see if I’m happy with the apisto alone..they have some nice display tanks at some of the locations. If I feel the aesthetics could benefit from corys I’ll add first..like you said it usually works out better. Once the scape is done I’ll know better in terms of how much of the floor space is taken up. I’m using large river wood along with seiryu rock as the base of my hardscape, then heavily planting.
Thank you for your advice, I believe an apisto will add some vibrancy colour wise to the aquarium, hopefully he is happy and active.

 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
with seiryu rock
Stick to inert river pebbles/rocks. Seiryu raises GH and KH and thus pH. The stuff messes with your water parameters in a way you don't want.

The fishes needs should come first, so you'll have to make sure to have cover for Corydoras. 2-3 branches with enough space unerneath for the whole group to find cover and the option to get out in two directions.
For Apistogramma leaf litter is essential in my opinion. For both genera fine sand is a must have and they should have unhindered access to it.
Corydoras prefer open sand areas, most Apistogramma prefer mixed leaf litter/sand areas.
When it comes to plants, avoid floor covering plants, focus on high growing stem plants, floaters and anything that can cheat low lights and lack of CO2.
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
Stick to inert river pebbles/rocks. Seiryu raises GH and KH and thus pH. The stuff messes with your water parameters in a way you don't want.

The fishes needs should come first, so you'll have to make sure to have cover for Corydoras. 2-3 branches with enough space unerneath for the whole group to find cover and the option to get out in two directions.
For Apistogramma leaf litter is essential in my opinion. For both genera fine sand is a must have and they should have unhindered access to it.
Corydoras prefer open sand areas, most Apistogramma prefer mixed leaf litter/sand areas.
When it comes to plants, avoid floor covering plants, focus on high growing stem plants, floaters and anything that can cheat low lights and lack of CO2.
Perfect, thankyou I’ve definitely learnt something today and I’ll work off that advice
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress! :)




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anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,342
I’ll avoid Pygmy’s and look around at some of my local lfs to see if I’m happy with the apisto alone..they have some nice display tanks at some of the locations. If I feel the aesthetics could benefit from corys I’ll add first..like you said it usually works out better. Once the scape is done I’ll know better in terms of how much of the floor space is taken up. I’m using large river wood along with seiryu rock as the base of my hardscape, then heavily planting.
Thank you for your advice, I believe an apisto will add some vibrancy colour wise to the aquarium, hopefully he is happy and active.

My experience with pygmy is they are a shy fish that will avoid violence. I.e, if the cichild shows aggression they will avoid that cichild - this is a bit different than other cory that never seem to learn. For that reason I believe that pygmy have a chance to work with dwarf cichild. This conflicts with @MacZ comment but that has been my experience. Yes there will be an increase stress level but as long as your tank is large enough that the pygmy can find an area that the dwarf cicihld does not claim things tend to work out over time; though initially there will be some increase stress level as they learn where they are allowed to go or not go. I know that my pygmy have gotten along with kribs, nannacara and borelli without issues. Long term the kribs eventually allowed the pygmy to mingle with their frys and the pygmy would follow them around effectively using the kribs to chsae other fishes away. This took quite a bit of time - around 4 to 6 months and prior to that period there was some unhappy encounters.
 

Bsan

New Member
Messages
18
My experience with pygmy is they are a shy fish that will avoid violence. I.e, if the cichild shows aggression they will avoid that cichild - this is a bit different than other cory that never seem to learn. For that reason I believe that pygmy have a chance to work with dwarf cichild. This conflicts with @MacZ comment but that has been my experience. Yes there will be an increase stress level but as long as your tank is large enough that the pygmy can find an area that the dwarf cicihld does not claim things tend to work out over time; though initially there will be some increase stress level as they learn where they are allowed to go or not go. I know that my pygmy have gotten along with kribs, nannacara and borelli without issues. Long term the kribs eventually allowed the pygmy to mingle with their frys and the pygmy would follow them around effectively using the kribs to chsae other fishes away. This took quite a bit of time - around 4 to 6 months and prior to that period there was some unhappy encounters.
I really like the idea of having a small school of Pygmy corrys, I’m doing as much research as possible before I get around to building a setup around the fish. Hopefully there’s enough floor space (31”x16”) to mix it up a little and then I can stick the upper levels of the aquarium. It would’ve been a lot easier if I wasn’t downsizing the my aquarium. Thank you for your perspective, food for though :)
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
"Report" your first post in this thread and ask the topic to be moved to another subforum. Easy as that. ;)
 

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