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Spavilla

New Member
Messages
6
Hello All, I am pretty new (6 months) to freshwater fish keeping. I saw some cacatuoides on the internet and thought they would make an interesting addition to my 50 gallon aquarium. I went to my LFS to purchase several, none of which had any color to them at all. I was told they were immature and would develop the color later. I took their word for it but now I am not so sure. Could I possibly ask if anyone can confirm the identity of my new additions? TIA! - Franco
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MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
Sorry to say they sold you fish in bad shape. The more colourful one is a domestic colour breed of Apistogramma cacatuoides, the other is a Pelvicachromis pulcher. The former is a female, the second a male.
I'd take them back and ask for a refund and then never go back to that store. Shame you got sold that.
 

Spavilla

New Member
Messages
6
Thank you for the info Mac. I also noticed the Pulcher is particularly aggressive towards the other as well.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,746
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I am pretty new (6 months) to freshwater fish keeping. I saw some cacatuoides on the internet and thought they would make an interesting addition to my 50 gallon aquarium.
Welcome and please don't take this the wrong way, but your tank isn't ideal at the moment. There is a lot of misinformation on web sites and forums, but you will receive good advice here.

Have a look at @apistobob's web pages <"https://dwarfcichlid.com/apistogramma-and-dwarf-cichlid-aquarium-care/">

and the "Seasoned Tank Time" (video below) concept.

@Tom C's pages <"https://www.tomc.no/"> about the habitats (and water chemistry) that Apistogramma occur in would also be informative.


cheers Darrel
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
I also noticed the Pulcher is particularly aggressive towards the other as well.
Absolutely normal. You don't mix different species of dwarf cichlids and if so, very carefully selected species and sexes.

And listen to Darrell. I'm completely with him there.
 

Spavilla

New Member
Messages
6
Thank you for all of the useful information. Just when I thought I knew nothing, I learn now that I know even less ;). Ultimately, I have decided to return the 2 Pulchers and keep the 2 female Pistos (to which I’ll add 2 males with my credit). Now all I have to figure out how to best feed them in a tank of voracious fish. 6 Gouramis, 4 Guppies and 2 Platys all of which are quicker to the rotating flakes, bloodworms and algae wafers. It seems the Pistos wait at the bottom of the tank for manna from heaven, but most is consumed before it hits the ground (I also have 1 golden balloon ram in the same boat). I would greatly appreciate any further advice on this. Thanks to all for the previous information and TIA for any future edification.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,342
Thank you for all of the useful information. Just when I thought I knew nothing, I learn now that I know even less ;). Ultimately, I have decided to return the 2 Pulchers and keep the 2 female Pistos (to which I’ll add 2 males with my credit). Now all I have to figure out how to best feed them in a tank of voracious fish. 6 Gouramis, 4 Guppies and 2 Platys all of which are quicker to the rotating flakes, bloodworms and algae wafers. It seems the Pistos wait at the bottom of the tank for manna from heaven, but most is consumed before it hits the ground (I also have 1 golden balloon ram in the same boat). I would greatly appreciate any further advice on this. Thanks to all for the previous information and TIA for any future edification.
Pistos? If you are referring to the cockatoo; they are not pair forming and you do not want 2 males; you really dont' want two females with a male.
 

Spavilla

New Member
Messages
6
Thank you for your reply. So, in your estimation, what would be the best combination of Cacatuoides in the 50G/190L aquarium below?
 

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anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,342
first they would be better off with fine sand for a substrate and there needs to be more structure/hiding places. You might get away with 2 females and 1 male if you add some more hiding places and structures for females to create their own territories. Cockatoo are not pair forming and as such the male will breed with any female who will have him after which the female wants nothing more to do with the male. Conversely if the female isn't interested in breeding the male will chase her away hence lots of hiding places are needed. In there natural environment there is a lot more territory for escape but in a small glass box you have to provide places where they can hide from each other when needed. caves, leaves they can hide under and similar. also rocks and driftwood can be used to make defendable boundaries.

The reason fine sand is important is they will often shift through the substrate looking for food and if the particles are too large they can get lodged and cause harm to the fish. Bob's website linked above have lots of good information.

Leaves are a major hiding place in one of my aquariums; also domestic cockatoo are a bit unpredictable in behavior and i've had several that were quite aggressive towards other males and females. It was a painful experience as they were the first apisto species i owned and had never had a polgyamous species before.
 

Spavilla

New Member
Messages
6
I am really not happy with the gravel either. It was what was on hand when I first set up the aquarium here. I would like to get real plants with a proper substrate. This has been a work in progress and I am only just discovering which fish I would like and and trying to determine their appropriateness regarding environmental parameters and species behavior. I just received my bag of catappa leaves today and just haven’t had the opportunity to place them yet. Someone just offered me an empty 90 gallon tank as they want to empty their storage facility. I am considering establishing that tank and then transfer my fish and contents. Since I have little available space the new aquarium would have to replace the existing one and the logistics of such a move is daunting. I can’t begin to consider how to deal with moving items in the 700-1000lb range. One day at a time….
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
rotating flakes, bloodworms and algae wafers
And that's not a good diet for dwarf cichlids. Pellets instead of flakes would be better, that way they even reach the bottom where these fish prefer to feed. Bloodworms aka red mosquito larvae have a reputation for killing Apistogramma. Rightly so, in my opinion. Those with little to no problems seem to have sources that keep the cooling chain going and buying high quality. Many stores ignore that as underpaid workers don't see it necessary for pet food. Very big mistake at the expense of fish and their owners. Instead Artemia, Daphnia and white mosquito larvae all live or frozen are preferrable. Algae wafers lack in the necessary protein. But that's the downside of community tanks... foul compromises.

Seeing your tank. Really no offence, as you couldn't know it better, I'd return the fish and start again from scratch. Many a dwarf cichlid has lost their lives in bad holding conditions (especially community tanks), and in the case of your tank I think - IF you really want to keep these fish long term and sustainably - return them, tailor a tank specifically for them and get better stock once the tank is setup.
 

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