Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Joe1985 07-05-2012 07:46 PM

Apistogrammas/dwarf cichlids
hey all just would like to know what everyones opinion would be on the apistos/dwarf cichlids, good community fish? if so which ones? any go ok with angelfish? any input would be appreciated thanks

Tazman 07-05-2012 08:22 PM

depends on what your water parameters for pH, GH and KH are?

ElectricBlueJackDempsey 07-05-2012 10:59 PM

I have kept/keep Apistogramma cacatuoides, Apistogramma borelli and Apistogramma agassizi in a community tank. They were kept with discus, other dwarf cichlids, and different tetras and corys. They are territorial so you would want 1 male to several females but would do fine with angelfish. But first, make sure you check your water parameters, tank size, ect. like Tazman said before buying any fish.

Joe1985 07-06-2012 05:15 AM

GH (general hardness): 60mg/L
KH (carbonate hardness): 45 mg/L
pH: 7.5-8 but stays on 7.6 most of the time

the tank im thinking of stocking is a 59 Gallon 4 foot set up,
ill be adding my 4 angelfish, some bristlenose, and clown loach possibly

Byron 07-06-2012 01:54 PM

I would expect the pH to lower in an established aquarium, considering the KH is that low. Is there anything targeting the pH in the tank, such as calcareous rock or sand/gravel?

Most of the Apistogramma will be wild caught, and attention must be paid to their extreme water parameter requirements. This varies with each species, though most are very soft and acidic water fish. Your GH is fine, if you can get the pH acidic.

Apistogramma cacatuoides is often available and may be tank-raised. This species is more adaptable to basic water. You can read more about it in our profiles, click the shaded name. It is the only Apisto species in the profiles so far, simply because it is the most commonly-seen and most adaptable.

Now some general comments on any of these. They do best with dither fish, meaning fish such as characins (tetra, pencilfish, hatchetfish) that will be in a shoal or group. Apistogramma are very shy, and without dither fish in the tank they may remain in hiding, or be stressed. Angelfish are fine, though I would still consider some shoaling characins--but here you need to pay particular attention to them being suitable for angelfish. I won't go into all that, but our profile for the Scalare Angelfish mentions some tankmates.

Second, they will spawn, regularly. And when they do, in spite of their diminutive size, the females in particular can be quite nasty when protecting their eggs or shoal of fry. They often take a strong dislike to specific fish, and this can lead to considerable stress. Catfish are particularly targeted. And here, another issue comes up: if you want the fry to survive, do not have any catfish (corys, pleco, etc) in the tank, as being nocturnal they will always get the fry if not the eggs. A few may sometimes survive, but not many or often.


Joe1985 07-07-2012 02:38 AM

thanks for your help byron much appreciated! might thnk twice bout getting an apisto but if was id be thinking of getting just the one, preferrably a male, ill have to keep lookin thanks again

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