This is a discussion on First time cichlid owner, woohoo! within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; -->
Im thrilled my brand new double red apistos cacatuoides arrived yesterday. These will be my first experience with cichlids!
Anything you cichlid folks think ...
Congrats! I have this same species and LOVE them. When they start coloring up they are awesome!How many did you get (four?) and can you tell yet who is male/female? Who else is in the tank with them? They bred fairly easily (your nicely planted tank is prefect for them), if there aren't too may predators around.
I paid for 4, 1 male, 3 females. They did throw in an extra female though. I have one small female, you can see her at the bottom of the bag in the first pic, I think she may have a swim bladder issue. Im not sure though.
Shes really cute so I hope she lives, but shes TINY compared to the other girls and she swims along the substrate. Last night she was actually swimming upwards and around the tank, but if she stops swimming she sinks back down to the bottom and rests on the bottom like a mudskipper. She is eating and exploring like the others though, so Im hoping she will pull through as Im not sure what to do for her.
My male is still very young, hes smaller than the 3 females. Hes in the bottom right picture. :)
The only other thing in the tank right now is some Lemon tetra and a mystery snail.
I'm not sure I'd do anything at this point if I were you. When I first got mine they were REALLY tiny. So tiny you couldn't make out who was going to be male/female and they were devoid of any real cacatuoide coloring. Mine would stay along the substrate (sometimes just "sitting" on the substrate and not really moving) and it took awhile before any of them truly started exploring the tank. Even now they never venture above the bottom third of the tank level, which is normal for this species. You say she eats and is exploring, which is good. When you say "sinks" to the bottom, she sinks without moving any fins at all??
I only watched her a little bit last night before bed, but if I remember correctly, as soon as she stops moving her fins she sinks.
Actually if you look at the picture of the male (bottom right) you can see the little girl there under the chain sword leaf. She is like you say, very devoid of color, compared to the others. I'll watch her more tonight and see.
The others stay close to the bottom too, like the picture of the 2 females there, but the little girl is literally, ON the substrate bottom.