I was going to get a pair of Apisto Viejita II. I was thinking of putting them with another pair of Double Red Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid. Is this a bad idea?
I will be using rain water.
What about the gravel should I go for sand or normal gravel?
The aquarium will be planted with plastic plants and will put some upside down clay pot.
Or else instead of the double red maybe I get Pelvicachromis subocellatus “Matadi” which requires the same water although from different countries. The sizes should be the same with Matada 8cm and Viejita 7cm.
All comments are welcome.
Depends upon the tank size. I would not have more than one dwarf cichlid species in any tank under 4 feet. I've had two species in a 4-foot tank and one was soon gone. Females are very aggressive especially when guarding eggs or fry, and they naturally view other females as a threat.
Some Apistos need a harem, one male and 3-4 females. I believe A. viejita is one of these. As is Apistogramma cacatuoides which is in our profiles.
Sand substrate is fine. I would seriously consider live plants thogh; water quality is critical for these fish, and plants are one of the best ways to maintain stability and low nitrate which is crucial.
Thank you for your reply. The main problem with live plants are the lightning because I have very few light. 15W for 60 litre tank. What type of plants should I make for this kind of setup?
Also if you are telling me that the viejita needs 2-3 females then I guess it would be ok to have other females from another specie I guess?
Also there is the issue of hybridization, something that serious aquarists frown on when it is not specifically controlled for a reason. I don't know these fish sufficiently to say if this is likely to occur, but I would want to explore that before deliberating setting up a tank with females of different species. In my limited experiences with these fish they didn't cross-species spawn, but then the females of one species killed the females of the other when defending their territory so that was that. And this last point perhaps best explains the "no."
To the plant/light question. If the tank is 60 liter that's 15 gallons, which is insufficient for more than one dwarf cichlid anyway. The 15w fluorescent tube (assuming it is a tube) is fine, I had this years ago and good plant growth. Pygmy chain sword, chain sword, any of the smaller crypts, dwarf sword. Check the profiles; and we have some of the crypts species included. Plus floating plants, definitely. Water Sprite would be my choice, but Brazilian Pennywort also works if left floating, or if planted in the substrate and allowed to grow across the surface. Amazon Frogbit, though I have no luck with this.
I used to think you could keep two types of Apistos in a 55gallon, but now I wouldn't do it in less than a 75, and preferably something larger. There are just too many factors that can end in fish loss. The apistos have to be similar size and temperament. They usually have to be either harem fish or pairing fish, mixing the two can be very difficult. I suggest against it unless you are experienced with apistos.
I will go for 1 pair of Viejita for now and see how it goes. What is the best white sand or dark sand?
I think dark sand shows off the color of the fish best
You can use a black sand, or playsand. The black aquarium sands are expensive, and there is also a black pool filter sand if you can find it. But I use Quikrete Play Sand which is very inexpensive, and since it replicates the sands in many Amazonian streams it is authentic in appearance. And the apistos will enjoy sand.
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