Apisto cacatuoides breeding

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Nov 17, 2003
Adelaide, Australia
Since my Apisto fry are doing well I thought I better start a thread just for them. The went for their first walk around the tank today. I have some pics to attach. The water is cloudy because I added some new plants, drift wood, terracotta pots and rocks.


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Great job mattrox. BTW, they look great in a planted discus tank :wink: What are they eating?
I've been think about getting into Apisto's and breeding them. I guess I have a few questions.

How aggressive to they get during breeding, worst than angelfish?

Can you describe your breading tank setup?

Is it easy or do they require any special needs?

I love these little fish, but they are almost impossible to get in my area. I'd love to here your experiences on breeding these little beauties.
Thank you Brian.

Docrak, I only had them 2 weeks before they spawned. They spawned in the community tank. The female is agressive now she is looking after the fry. They spawned in a terracotta flower pot. The are agressive but not to the point of killing anything.

The tank is 4ftx2ftx1.5ft (LxWxD) pH 7.2, dGH 10, dKH 3. They spawned during the cycle and NH3 was between 0.5 and 1.0 at anygiven time. Now the NO2- is between 0.25 and 0.5 at any given time. There is quite a lot of gravel ~ 100 lbs I guess, probably just over and some driftwood. I have it planted with about 76 watts of flouro lights after the accessories I guess I am between 1.1 and 1.3 wpg. The plants I have seem to be doing ok so far. (Echindoras, Anubias and cryptocoryne, just added java fern)

I got A. cactuoides. They tolerate a wide range of conditions to spawn in. I would like to set a 2ft breeding tank for them , then when they spawn the male can go back into the community tank, he doen't help with the fry.

In my tank are 5 Croydoras julii, 3 Otocinclus sp., 2 Bristlenose plecos, 4 Apisto. cactuoides, 3 Blue Rams.

The only special needs I guess is frozen bloodworms. I feed the fish those once a day. They love it. I also feed flake food in the morning. I feed flake in the morning and after work and in the evening the bloodworms. I think that helped condition the fish quickly.
Oh yeah, they are eating Sera micron powdered food for fry. And I have seen them picking at the driftwood.... must be little critters living on the surface of it.

Docrak, I am going to try and upload some photos it my photo gallery so you can see the set up.

***Photos now uploaded
mattrox said:
Oh yeah, they are eating Sera micron powdered food for fry. And I have seen them picking at the driftwood.... must be little critters living on the surface of it.

Docrak, I am going to try and uplad some photos it my photo gallery so you can see the set up.

That's awsome, you've really got me inspired to pick up some apistos. Thanks for the info.
Yesterday morning there was a power outage. I couldn't see where he fry in the tank were to feed them before I went to work. I don't know if there were any water chemistry issues due to the water not circulating in that time either, but in the afternoon only 5 fry were left. :( I am sure the outage did not help.

There had been about 13 fry since they started free swimming and were doing well too. Hopefully the fry that survived are the strong ones.
I eventually lost all the fry. The losses happened at night. Do cory's forage at night because they may have been eaten while the mother couldn't see. I might provide a light source next time....

But the female spawned again today. :D
Do Rams forage at night? During the day the female guarded them like pit bull and I lost none while my light were on. Head counts morning and night. hehehe
I put a second female into the tank to stop harrasment and now she has spawned too. Just laid eggs yesterday. Now I have one female with wrigglers and one with eggs. Maybe this time I'll actually get some results?
I am convinced the 25w lamp helps survival. I for got to turn on the lamp for when I turned the lights off for the night. I remembered a few hours later and when I turned the light on the corys were active in the dark....... hmmmm The next morning I had about 6 or 7 fry left. The female had a brood of atleast 40-50 free-swimming fry. A pity to lose so many.

I have notice that the male is helping defend the female's territory this time. She doesn't let him near the fry though!

I did a big water change today and the corys went crazy foraging. It has been hot and the water temp has gone to 84 deg F (29 deg C) and it cooled the tank a bit. The 5 of the corys formed a tight cluster moving excitedly every where. They invaded the second female Apisto's area. She has about 15-20 fry. She went crazy trying to defend her fry but 5 corys all feeding on top of her fry proved too much, I think she has 4 or so fry left. I am gonna have to get a spawning tank to for the Apistos....... here we go with MTS!
They are lovely... Look like my Kribensis when they were first born. :lol:
bare tanks with sections of 3/4 to 1" pvc pipe is just as good as anything else and are easier to clean, plus if the pipe is placed so you can look into it makes breeding these guys even cooler
leave a dim light on near the tank at night so she can easily defend the nest and you can relax.
:wink: Thats what I am doing Fish Guy... the dim light. I don't have enough equipment yet to set up a breeding tank. I will get a 20 gal tank to plant out and have as a permanent Dwarf Cichlid breeding tank soon.
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