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Old 09-24-2017, 01:56 PM   #1
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Appistograma

I am starting a 40 breeder and would love to have some Appistos. And thoughts on what I can start with. Would love to have a few pair. Unfortunately I have hard water ph 7.6. Is it a possibility. Woyld like to stick with amazonian theme and have some dither fish ad well. Reccomendation are welcome.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:28 PM   #2
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Unless you find a wild pair, they will adjust just fine to your pH. Stable water parameters will be your biggest factor in keeping apistos. Consistent tempatures, low nitrates, and They will adapt to your pH just fine as long as they are acclimated correctly. Most fish I keep are supposed to be kept in acidic water and my pH is around 8.2

I do also want to note that most apistos need a mature aquarium and you should have a stable cycle for a few months before considering adding them. Maybe get your dither school to stabilize your cycle for a few months before adding a pair of apistos.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:22 AM   #3
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Any suggestions on dither schools
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by murph3400 View Post
I am starting a 40 breeder and would love to have some Appistos. And thoughts on what I can start with. Would love to have a few pair. Unfortunately I have hard water ph 7.6. Is it a possibility. Woyld like to stick with amazonian theme and have some dither fish ad well. Reccomendation are welcome.
Even in a 40 breeder, you are looking at no more than 2 adult pairs. Even that may be pushing it. Personally, I would do a single trio in a tank that size and add some other fish.

Apistogramma cacatuoides is a great Apisto for moderate/hard water conditions. Most of the tank raised A. borellii will do OK as well.

With other Apistos, it will depend where they come from. Many of the black water species will be difficult to have success with in harder/high TDS water.

There are quite a few that come from more moderate waters though. It just depends which apistos you are looking at.

As for dithers, it depends if you want to raise the fry out. Apisto fry are tiny and most tetras/barbs etc will eat them. Pencilfish are a good choice if you want the fry to survive. Other peaceful cichlids will usually be OK as well since the Apistos are usually excellent parents and will chase them away. With 2 pair of apistos in the tank there might not be anywhere else to go.

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Unless you find a wild pair, they will adjust just fine to your pH. Stable water parameters will be your biggest factor in keeping apistos. Consistent tempatures, low nitrates, and They will adapt to your pH just fine as long as they are acclimated correctly. Most fish I keep are supposed to be kept in acidic water and my pH is around 8.2

I do also want to note that most apistos need a mature aquarium and you should have a stable cycle for a few months before considering adding them. Maybe get your dither school to stabilize your cycle for a few months before adding a pair of apistos.
As someone who has kept more than 30 species of Apistos I would say that this information contradicts virtually every experience I have had.

Apistos are usually fairly hardy and don't require an established tank that has been cycled months ahead of time. If you are finding them to be fragile, the more likely cause is not the state of your nitrogen cycle but that you are trying to keep them in hard, high TDS water. While this will be fine for some Apistos, many species will have difficulty.

Consistent parameters and low nitrates are pretty much good for all fish but that doesn't mean you can plop any fish into any water and be fine. It is often said that consistent parameters are better than specific parameters that swing wildly around as you try to alter the water and in most cases that is true. However, it is also true that keeping consistent and appropriate parameters is much closer to ideal.

I wrote a more thorough description of this a few years ago that I still believe to be true. If you are interested, you can read it here,
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:05 PM   #5
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I would be happy with Apistogramma cacatuoides. A pair would be fine.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:07 PM   #6
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Ideally I would love to have other peacfull cichlids with them.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:31 PM   #7
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I would be happy with Apistogramma cacatuoides. A pair would be fine.
Great choice, I have found them to be very easy to keep. Both wild caught fish and the tank raised line bred variety.

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Ideally I would love to have other peacfull cichlids with them.
How about keyhole cichlids? They make great community fish.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:07 PM   #8
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You think a pair of each would work?
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:12 AM   #9
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Even in a 40 breeder, you are looking at no more than 2 adult pairs. Even that may be pushing it. Personally, I would do a single trio in a tank that size and add some other fish.

Apistogramma cacatuoides is a great Apisto for moderate/hard water conditions. Most of the tank raised A. borellii will do OK as well.

With other Apistos, it will depend where they come from. Many of the black water species will be difficult to have success with in harder/high TDS water.

There are quite a few that come from more moderate waters though. It just depends which apistos you are looking at.

As for dithers, it depends if you want to raise the fry out. Apisto fry are tiny and most tetras/barbs etc will eat them. Pencilfish are a good choice if you want the fry to survive. Other peaceful cichlids will usually be OK as well since the Apistos are usually excellent parents and will chase them away. With 2 pair of apistos in the tank there might not be anywhere else to go.


As someone who has kept more than 30 species of Apistos I would say that this information contradicts virtually every experience I have had.

Apistos are usually fairly hardy and don't require an established tank that has been cycled months ahead of time. If you are finding them to be fragile, the more likely cause is not the state of your nitrogen cycle but that you are trying to keep them in hard, high TDS water. While this will be fine for some Apistos, many species will have difficulty.

Consistent parameters and low nitrates are pretty much good for all fish but that doesn't mean you can plop any fish into any water and be fine. It is often said that consistent parameters are better than specific parameters that swing wildly around as you try to alter the water and in most cases that is true. However, it is also true that keeping consistent and appropriate parameters is much closer to ideal.

I wrote a more thorough description of this a few years ago that I still believe to be true. If you are interested, you can read it here,
Okay besides your opinion on them not needing an established tank, you pretty much said everything I did besides you added the factor of water hardness. Just because you've kept over 30 species of anything doesn't mean a thing if you can't keep them alive.. most apistos I know of live to be 5-7 years old depending specific species. That's either a lot of aquariums and major money or you've kept fish for years and years, some of which you must of had species of before being common in the trade.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:42 PM   #10
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You think a pair of each would work?
The cacatuoides and the keyholes? There are never guarantees but a pair of each of those should be a pretty safe combination in a tank that size as long as the Apistos don't decide to make their home in the very center of the tank. If they start to do so, rearrange the tank and put some caves or pots at the far ends of the tank.

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Just because you've kept over 30 species of anything doesn't mean a thing if you can't keep them alive.. most apistos I know of live to be 5-7 years old depending specific species. That's either a lot of aquariums and major money or you've kept fish for years and years, some of which you must of had species of before being common in the trade.
At the time in which I was keeping Apistogramma I had several racks of smaller tanks ranging from 10-30g. I was running more than 20 aquariums.

As for keeping them alive, it was a challenge at first. Some, such as A. cacatuoides, were easy to keep and breed. Others seemed fragile, though some did adapt. However, once I switched my Apistos to reconstituted RODI water and started providing each group of fish appropriate water conditions, it got much easier. They stopped being "fragile" and managing aggression became the biggest issue.

The reason I am so passionate about this subject is because I saw the difference between when I kept them in hard, alkaline water and when I moved them over to reconstituted RODI. The difference wasn't small.

I was surprised that even the fish in my display tank, which housed larger(than Apistos) SA cichlids, saw behavioral differences. Prior to the change, I thought those fish had all adapted well to my hard water but afterwards it became clear that while they were living, they were not thriving.
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