considering adding apistos: good idea or bad idea?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Freak
Dec 14, 2005
St. Louis, MO
i am considering adding 4-6 apistogrammas cacatuoides to my 92 gal C02 tank. tank members include:

cardinal tetras
rummy nose tetras
zebra botias
yo yo loaches
bristlenose plecos
cory cats

i am sure there would be no compatibility problems on most of these, except for the cory cats! i have read conflicting articles on the internet that either cory cats will do fine with apistos, or they won't. have any of you tried this?

before i had blue rams in my tank, but they kept getting sick. i honestly would love to try rams again, because they worked great with all of my cories, but i am doubting it'd be worth it to try again. basically though, i want to add some sort of cichlids to this tank.

my work has some really cool looking apistogrammas cacatuoides. they are young and smaller than my cory cats at this time. could they grow up with my cories peacefully? or should i maybe try bolivian rams or angel fish instead?

my tank has a lot of hiding places and great depth. here are some pics:


I don't have any cories, but I do have two species of Apistos, trifasciata & cacatuoides, and I have several tetras, rams, angels, and a queesn arabesque plec in my 55 and I have no issues. Both my rams and the two Apisto species are spawning like mad too.

Let me just say about your tank..... :crazyeyes: :eek2: WOW, awesome
thank you!

now i am getting conflicting ideas from websites as of what apistos i should put in my tank. one suggests that i should only put males if i don't plan on breeding them (which i don't, but if it happens i won't mind)

another suggested that too many of the same species will cause territorial problems, and said i should get 3 pairs of different species (suggested a pair of cacatuoides, a pair of aggaizzi, and a pair of borelli).

the final thing i've read is to get all the same species, but have about 3-4 females per male

obviously all of these suggestions conflict eachother. what do you guys think would be the best choice? i'm hoping to have at least 6 apistos all together
I have read that they do best in groups up to 10+ but i suppose a lot of fish do aswell.
I had a pair of cockatoo's and the male was very agressive towards the female which proved fatal in the end I was too late on seperating them and thought he'd calm it eventually. I would like to try them again but i'd want to get a 30gal+ first.

I don't think my 20gal was big enough or had enough room for them to be peaceful. Your tank should be more than enough and with at least 2 female's to a male i think you'll be fine. :)

In most Apistos one male needs 3 or 4 females.....they are mostly harem breeders and don't usually do so well with just one girl. My trifasciata have disproven this however, the boy in there is totally happy with just one girl and they have spawned.

I also have cacatuoides in there with them. I have one male and 3 females. They get along fine with each other. So, I have 2 species of Apistos, a ram couple, 3 angels, and a couple of tetra schools and no aggression issues. The two Apisto species and the rams will chase each other of of their respective terriotries, but nothing overly aggressive.

I say go for it.
do best in groups of 10, eh? that does not sound bad to me, as i think i'd rather have the apistos be the centerpiece for the aquarium, like the featured species

i'm gonna start with cacatuoides, probably one male and 3 females, we'll see how that turns out at first. i'll let you guys know. thanks!
Blue rams are really the only dwarf species that form pair bonds; the vast majority are harem spawners. As such, you'd ideally want at least two females per male.

You can keep multiple species in a tank (especially in one as large as yours), but you do need to watch out for cross-breeding. Try getting species with different body types.

Cories and other bottom dwellers can get bullied by spawning dwarfs, but a tank as large as yours will provide plenty of space for everyone.

You've got a nice looking tank and the apistos would look great in it. Good luck!:)
That 92 gallon tank is beautifully arranged and I think that apistos would look great in there. You said your tank has plenty of hiding places which is important as apistos will like those as areas to spawn. Your idea to get one male and three female cockatoos is a good one to start. I think you'll be happy when you get them.
I agree, go for it! I have 2 a. steindachneri in a 20 gallon, and although I don't think they will spawn, they do tolerate each other. Your tank is large, it has lots of hiding spots and plants, and you did an excellent job with your aquascaping, so apistos would be a great choice for you IMO. Don't be surprised if you get a spawn!
Voodoo Chilli said:
Blue rams are really the only dwarf species that form pair bonds; the vast majority are harem spawners. As such, you'd ideally want at least two females per male.

Don't forget the Bolivian Rams. They are not harem spawners, and will generally be aggressive to the outcast. Once a pair is formed, they are for life.
Actually, they are dwarf cichlids. They get to 3 inches max, sometimes just a tad bigger. My 2 yr old Bolivians are 3.5". Basically what I consider dwarf cichlids are GBR, Bolivians, and most, if not all the apistos. :)
Agreed. I've been keeping Bolivians for 4 years and never had them get bigger than 3.25".
Bolivian Rams are harem spawners. I agree with your thought of one male to three females. But I must say the more the merrier. I have a very large planted tank, 300 gallons. I have 50 Bolivian Rams, 10 Blue Rams (5 of each), Borelli's (1 male, 3 females) and Cockatoos (2 males, 4 females) I also have 15 Corys, 5 Bristlenose, Ottos, Cardinals Tetras, Lemon Tetras, Pearl Gouramis and 50 Amona Shrimp and I have peace all over. The fish do chase each other around but they see another of their kind and the chasing stops. It's great to watch. The Bolivian Rams and Blue Rams I've spawned. I had 160 Bolivians but I've been selling them at auctions and to LFS's.

Top Bottom