below is a pic of my 36g (44.5 US gal).
I'm planning on stocking it with 2 pictus cats and a pair of apistogramma's, but unsure as to what sort of dither/shoaling to add to go with. Also, would a bristlenose be ok too?
I'm not entirely sure this is a good plan. The Pictus needs to be in a group, the recommended amount is 5 or more. It is a very active fish, and may need more room than you have (depending on the tank's foot print). I also suspect that its activity combined with its typical level of swimming would stress out your Apistos, and your Apistos territoriality would stress out the Pictus. The pictus is a manic, heavy feeder and may not allow your Apistos to get any food. If your Apistos breed, the fry would be a tasty treat for the Pictus.
So, yeah. I'm not sure about this. If you look in the Tropical Fish Profiles on this site under Pictus, you'll see that Pictus and cichlids are not recommended roommates. So maybe you could pick the species that is more important to you, and then build a plan around that? Or do you have two tanks that could each house a species? Just some thoughts. Let us know!
thanks for your comments,
the thing is, i really love the activeness and look of the pictus, so yeah, i am pretty struck on getting them so will need to re think tankmates then. Tank footprint is 3ft long by 1.5ft (36" by 17.5"). I seem to keep reading that people say that the pictus get more aggresive towards each other as they age, so wasn't really wanting to put 4/5 in, unless you reckon the tank is suitable for that, but rather just have the 2.
Also, i have another 4 tanks! 1 at 14g (17us gals), 1 at 13g(16su gals), 1 at 8g (9us gals) and 1 at 6g (7us gals). the 6g currently has around 15 mollie fry at 3 weeks old, the 8g has 4 neons, 2 cherry barbs and a harlequin, the 13g has 1 mollie and 3 silvertips and the 14g has 2 praecox dwarf rainbows, 2 dwarf red robin gouramis (1 year old only 1.5") a bristlenose and one gbr. Is it possible for me to move things around enough to have a pair of apistos in the 14g?
Others have pointed out the needs with respect to the Pictus Catfish. You can read more in our profile, click on the shaded name. As it mentions there, twice, a group of 5 is recommended for the fish's good, meaning a 4-foot tank. The profile suggests suitable aquascaping, and tankmates are limited due to the Pictus' special requirements. These fish attain 5 inches and such fish must have adequate space and numbers just to be themselves. Without, stress is likely and that mean unhappy and unhealthy fish.
On the apistogramma in a 14g, assuming this would be a 24-inch length tank, yes, a pair of some species would be fine. Some get larger than others or need groups (harems), so the species matters. With the right species, a pair in a 24-inch tank well planted, sand or fine gravel substrate, chunks of bogwood, would be excellent. Some small dither fish would be good too. Ember Tetra, pencilfish (some species, not all are suitable due to size or habits), and hatchetfish in the Carnegiella genus are some options.
To illustrate the point on activity and feeding...
Years ago I had a single adult Pictus in my generic South American tank. The only reason I had just one was that he was a rescue from (get this!) a filthy tank that housed the aforementioned adult Pictus, one adult Silver Dollar, and one nearly full sized commo Pleco... ALL IN A TEN GALLON TANK! :shock: You believe that?! It was horrifyingly cruel. So I took the Pictus figuring living alone in a clean 55g has to be better than dying a slow death alone in that prison or being "euthanized". The other fish were taken by my coworkers.
Once I got him home and healthy, his nicknames were, alternately, "Ricochet" for his manic, constant dashing and darting, and "Teeter Totter" because, if allowed, he would eat so much that he could no longer lay flat on the substrate. His belly would bulge out and he would sway gently like a teeter totter in the current! :lol: Unsurprisingly, I learned quickly not to overfeed. He lived a reasonable 5 years, considering his past living conditions and his unknown age.
Just thought I'd share a "fish tale". Thanks for listening! :-D
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