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New to Apistos

Torison

New Member
Messages
7
Hi everyone!
A few months ago I "inherited" a pair of apisto cacatuoides along with a secondhand tank I bought.
I was only really after a starter tank for my first tropical fish since childhood so a 12 gallon "Aquaone nano 40" seemed a good option with its built in multistage filter.

I had never really considered apistos as was just looking at starter fish but I'm really happy with the way things have worked out.

I was told they were quite young, but over the last couple of months they have really come on.

The male is quite dominant towards the female, and will chase her away regularly, or she will "submit" by angling onto her side.

Is this related to mating behaviour?

She goes quite yellow/golden in colour, but doesn't really seem to have a prefered "cave" despite a few options.

Since picking them up I've added 4 peaceful otocinclus for algae control. After a couple of days the apistos settled to there new tank mates well, only occasionally giving chase.

Just today I've added 8 neon tetras. To try and stop the male being so aggressive with the female, and distract him a little. Seems to be going well, a little chasing but nothing major. I've noticed both male and female looking brighter and "showing off" a little more to which is positive.

I've attached some photos to see what you think of them. The male in particular looks incredible. I had never heard of these incredible little fish and I'm so pleased that I accidentally discovered them!

Torison
 

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Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,173
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I am happy that you like your apistos. What you see (angling to her side) can be both a submission gesture and an invitation to breeding. Your community seems nice for now, but things could change quickly if your apistos breed:

Females become highly aggressive and protective of their brood territory - male included
.
Neon tetras are infamous fry predators, not a problem if you do not want offspring, but the female on lucky (unlucky for neon) occasions might damage one while trying to guard fry.

If the male becomes interested in breeding but the female is not, the male often tries to drive the female out of his territory. In a small tank, like yours, this means the entire tank. If she cannot avoid the male she might be injured or killed.

So, enjoy your community tank but be prepared to intervene if needed.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
Also to add: Both fish seem quite old, might be one of the last breeding attempts for them.
 

Torison

New Member
Messages
7
Thanks for the reply Mike, that's good to know.

While she is a nice golden yellow, I do have the feeling it's more submissive than an invitation for breeding (not that I know anything).

I can't say I am interested in breeding (mainly due to the lack of space, I wouldn't know what to do with the fry short or long term).

But if it happens I will obviously do what is best for the fish, contacting yourselves or my lfs for advice.

I am surprised you said they were older as the chap I got them off said they were young, I believe he reared the male himself. But again, I have such little experience with the species bar what I have read on the Internet.

The male does seem to be a bit of a bully towards her, but chasing more than nipping, and he relents when she does her submitting pose. While I'm sure it could be stressful for her there is certainly no physical damage to her currently.

With it being such a small tank I have ensured that there are many hiding places (hopefully you can see from my last picture of the full tank) since the photo I have also added some java fern to increase the cover for the tetras (and female). If anything it's almost a jungle. But personally I like that, and I hope the fish will too.

I was considering picking up about 4 kuhli loach in a few weeks once the tetras have settled, to help with the cleaning of the tank, picking up any loose morsels etc.

I'm more than happy with any advice that can be provided with regard to keeping these fish.

Kind regards
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
563
Location
San Francisco
I was considering picking up about 4 kuhli loach in a few weeks once the tetras have settled, to help with the cleaning of the tank, picking up any loose morsels etc.
As bottom dwellers, kuhli loaches would be directly in the line of fire of the breeding pair, and that will increase stress for everyone involved. Your tank is pretty heavily stocked; I wouldn't advise adding any more fish of any kind.

As for eating leftover food, apistos are sand sifters and will play this role. Just don't let that be an excuse to overfeed.

Cheers
 

Torison

New Member
Messages
7
As bottom dwellers, kuhli loaches would be directly in the line of fire of the breeding pair, and that will increase stress for everyone involved. Your tank is pretty heavily stocked; I wouldn't advise adding any more fish of any kind.

As for eating leftover food, apistos are sand sifters and will play this role. Just don't let that be an excuse to overfeed.

Cheers
Thanks Ben, I'll take that advice on board and leave it.

Speaking of feeding currently my sinking microgranules are failing to get past my cloud of hungry tetras, the frozen bloodworm is fine (to big for the tetras currently). Any advice on ensuring the apistos are eating well, without increasing the food volume and overfeeding the tetras?

Cheers
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
563
Location
San Francisco
Speaking of feeding currently my sinking microgranules are failing to get past my cloud of hungry tetras, the frozen bloodworm is fine (to big for the tetras currently). Any advice on ensuring the apistos are eating well, without increasing the food volume and overfeeding the tetras?
Use a 5ml medicine dropper or 3ml pipette to target feed the apistos.

You can also feed the fish on different sides of the aquarium. This is how make sure both apistos are eating. It takes some timing and practice.
 

PaulJ

New Member
Messages
5
Any updates on this tank?

I have the same scenario (recently adding a pair of apisto cacs to an existing tank of neons and kuhli loaches). The seller told me they were young but the male is already 2.5 inches long, so they can't be that young.

The female is hiding a lot, which I am guessing is because she's not interest in the males attention.

My tank is 20 gallons, heavy plants, driftwood and cave decorated (so heavy, it took me 3 days to find where she was hiding).

Thanks
Paul
 

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PaulJ

New Member
Messages
5
Any updates on this tank?

I have the same scenario (recently adding a pair of apisto cacs to an existing tank of neons and kuhli loaches). The seller told me they were young but the male is already 2.5 inches long, so they can't be that young.

The female is hiding a lot, which I am guessing is because she's not interest in the males attention.

My tank is 20 gallons, heavy plants, driftwood and cave decorated (so heavy, it took me 3 days to find where she was hiding).

Thanks
Paul
So here is my uodate.

Tonight i found the female dead. I am guessing the male killed her wanting to breed.

The guy I got the fish from did not know the age but it did seem like the male was older than the female. Maybe it was just poor timing, but hard to think they had spent any time in the same tank before I got them.

I guess I should look for a pair of femalea now to spread his attention around?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
Yet again, the definitions of heavily planted are miles apart between people. Sorry, you maybe have a densely planted back of the tank, but otherwise open spaces in the front and midground and the structure is not enough for a tank that size. The fish can move and see through under the driftwood and caves don't count as structures if the male can enter, because then the female can not hide in there. Unless you redo the tank any newly added females will share the same fate.

Unless you want to breed, just keep the male alone with the other fish in a community. The tank doesn't have the necessary structure and is generally too small to keep a pair without problems. I might add: With tetras in the tank breeding is not going to be successful anyway, just spare possible new additions the whole torment and leave the stocking as is now.

Also: You probably have a problem with a bacteria bloom, you might want to first take care of that before anything else.
 

Eddy. E.

Member
Messages
72
Location
Germany
He definitely has a bacterial bloom. And 12 gallons is definitely too small for A. cacatoides. With that in mind, any additional fish/species would be an extra load that the small filter could never handle.
 

PaulJ

New Member
Messages
5
Hi All,
Thanks for all the good advice. I guess there is a reason that this thread is titled "New to Apisto". Just for clarification, the original author had the 12 gallon tank, mine is 20 gallons. Also the "bacterial bloom" is just a dirty glass, as I had stirred up the substrate just before the picture.

The male has now settled in and eating much better. I guess, initially he was preoccupied with the female. They were only in the tank for 3 days and I had never seen any signs of aggression during the day, so it must have been happening at night (I work from home, so it's easy to monitor the tank during the day).

I'll look more into re-arranging the tank to be more conducive. Also the Neons are probably going to be taken out, based on the advice that they are egg stealers.

Regards,

Paul
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,902
Location
Germany
I'll look more into re-arranging the tank to be more conducive. Also the Neons are probably going to be taken out, based on the advice that they are egg stealers.
Tetras eat free swimming fry. The loaches might go for eggs or get beaten up. So I guess you want to breed? Then get a second tank for separation. Otherwise this will repeat.
I guess there is a reason that this thread is titled "New to Apisto"
That's why such thread hijacks are frowned upon. I reported already to get your thread separated.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,339
Tetras eat free swimming fry. The loaches might go for eggs or get beaten up. So I guess you want to breed? Then get a second tank for separation. Otherwise this will repeat.

That's why such thread hijacks are frowned upon. I reported already to get your thread separated.
I've kept both pangio sementica (kuhli loaches) and pangio sheffordi with my apisto and in both cases they don't bother the eggs. They don't necessary respect boundaries but they dislike confrontation so it doesn't take much for the female to encourage them to elsewhere....
 

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