Apistogramma cacatuoides - biotope
I am getting a pair of A.cacatuoides thursday.
I am planning on making the tank a biotope.
So far I know Apisto. cacatuoides is from the Amazon, so that is the biotope I am planning
Cockatoo Apisto (Apistogramma cacatuoides) - Seriously Fish
Size- 20 gallon
Decor- Driftwood, petrified wood, rocks
Plants- Amazon sword & Amazon frogbit
Fish- pair of A.cacautoides, maybe a shoal of small tetras?
What kind of leaves should be added to the bottom of the tank to add tannins?
I have many ficus leaves but was worried about the sap.
I can collect maple, magnolia and oak leaves but how do you make sure they are safe?
You are right, don't use Ficus leaves. I use Indian Almond leaves. They are safe, make for a great leaf litter on the bottom of the tank and my cacatuoides love them. I get mine from a gal on ebay. She's great, has a lovely product and it's cheap! I just received 50 grade B leaves (they look grade A) for only $6.00.
(I can't comment on the other leaves you mentioned as I only use the Indian Almond leaves.)
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Can you post a picture of your fish please?
I would love to see them.
How often do you have to replace the leaves?
My cacatuoides are extreme juveniles, not much color and VERY tiny, barely measure an inch. Here the most recent pictures of some of them. (Notice the oto in the background in one of these pics, he is bigger than the cacatuoides, at the moment, lol)
What size is the tank?
Got my Apistos!!
I am going to be getting more plants for the tank, right now I only have Echinodorus bleheri and amazon frogbit, does anyone know of any other amazonian plants?
Awesome, they are real beautys! I always find it amazing all the different colors this apisto can be. It'll be interesting to see what yours end up looking like as adults versus mine. They are such cool little fish. Congrats!! :-D
Responding to your questions in this thread.
I use oak leaves, they work very well. Maple should be OK. Magnolia I would avoid, I've no scientific data but as I have a magnolia tree |I would not put those leaves in an aquarium. Oak and maple must be completely dried, preferably picked off the ground not live off the tree, and then laid out to totally dry.
The habitat info on the linked site is bang on; I know Matt who manages that site.
I would not use petrified wood, it has been known to affect water chemistry. Real wood (bogwood, driftwood) is fine. Rocks I would also ignore, if you want an authentic habitat.
Other Amazonian plants are any of the Echinodorus (sword) species, and in a 20g two that are ideal are both in our profiles, the pygmy chain sword and the dwarf sword. Click on the shaded name and check them out.
On tankmates, definitely have other fish. All apistos can be very shy on their own, and may stay hidden. With dither fish as we call them, they will be out and about more often. And any of the peaceful, quiet characins (some tetra species, hatchetfish, pencilfish) work very well. Nothing active, as this can unsettle the quiet dwarf cichlids. There are many options, have a look through our characins section in the profiles. If you find some you like, and have further questions, ask away. I have kept almost all of those species at some point.
Does petrified wood affect the chemistry in a good way or bad way? (raise or lower)
I might move my Serpaes into the tank with them but i think 20 gallons is too small for a school of 6.
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