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Apistogrammoides in Australia?


Crabby

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Okay so this is a super random thread, but I was listening to an aquarium podcast today as I was moving my aquariums to my new house (spoiler alert: it went great!!!!) and I heard something about a South American dwarf cichlid called an apistogrammoides (pucallpaensis). Not an apistogramma, but a seperate (although similar) genus. And they only get to 3cm! This is like my dream fish, a tiny apistogramma that would probably be shrimp and nano tank safe. Would be the absolute coolest thing in my 5 gallon shrimp and blue star tank in my bedroom. Or another tank, but just sayin. But the only sign I've found that they could be in Australia was a breeder on another forum in 2006... 

Has anyone anywhere in Australia seen them, or heard of them being sold here? I mean we have a ban on koi in Victoria (unless with a license) as a noxious species, yet people still breed and sell them online, so (despite my doubts) it could be the same with the apistogrammoides (for another reason probably) and that's why I can't find any out there.

Anyways let me know.

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Those look so cool, I want some? I didn't know about them but have just watched some youtube videos and other sites. As far as I can see they only appear to be  mainly in Germany (and a few surrounding countries).

I doubt they would be very shrimp(let) safe though!

I hope you get some positive feedback.

Simon

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Yeah true, nothing is really shrimplet safe. And they are probably a bit of a predatory fish. But they’re so teeny, I can’t imagine them doing any harm to an adult shrimp (whereas my 10cm male apisto definitely would).

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  I have not seen them in Australia. And I wouldn't trust it with shrimp, even if you managed to find them for sale.

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Okayyyyyyyy not with shrimp then, if I miraculously find some. My dreams have been crushed.

Thanks for the response jayc.

Edited by Crabby
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On 3/1/2021 at 9:01 AM, Crabby said:

My dreams have been crushed.

Yeah, sorry about that.

I have a 3cm Apisto Agasizzi right now. It's fairly young, and has some growing up to do.
But it is happily chomping down on shrimp, my culls.

All apistos have relatively large mouths compared to their body size. That means they will eat things that other similarly size fish wouldn't.

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On 3/1/2021 at 9:01 AM, Crabby said:

My dreams have been crushed.

Sorry... this was meant to be partially sarcastic. I mean it's a bit sad but I don't really mind all too much.

36 minutes ago, jayc said:

I have a 3cm Apisto Agasizzi right now. It's fairly young, and has some growing up to do.
But it is happily chomping down on shrimp, my culls.

Yeah they're like that, with those big mouths. 

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  • 11 months later...

Crabby - the apistogramma you are interested in are available from Aquarium Industries(wholesaler) or livefish.com.au 

they are about $40-$50 per piece as they are wild-caught stock and I think they have been floating around for about a month or so. Those that are available still are probably the strongest of the batch. I would look at Norberti as well if you are  skilled in keeping apistogramma ? Just a heads up!

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Oh, no way! Thanks for letting me know. I’m no expert, so I’ll have to have a serious thought about whether it’s a smart decision, but I’ve bred 2 generations of Apisto Nijsseni and they’ve all done pretty well. 
Unfortunately the tank I was going to originally keep apistogrammoides in if I ever found them is now being used for a nano saltwater rockpool. I’m going to do a post on that when I eventually find the time.

 

Anyways, thanks mate! I’ll be looking into it. I’m able to order stuff in through AI so I’ll see if it’s cheaper through them. 

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I've never had Pucallpaensis or as the old-timers call them(T-bar Apsito) before as I never found them attractive enough colour wise, be warned though there is no turning back once you get into apistogramma ?

 

If you've bred two generations of Nijsseni - you're a breeder!!!

No such thing as too many tanks! If there is a will, there's a way Crabby. Looking forward to your post!

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Yeah they’re not the flashiest of dwarf cichlids by any means, but I love small fish, and subtlety in colour, so I think I’d enjoy them. And logically I think if I can fit them in one of my existing 5 gallons then it would be pretty convenient to get a pair of what is essentially an apisto, breeding in one of those tanks.

I’ve only kept the one apisto species thus far but I’m definitely hooked. You seem rather knowledgeable - any recommendations on fun apisto species I should think about for my next apisto tank?

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Would recommend Bitaeniata or Borelli Opal. They're both pretty hardy and breed true to form ie. hold their shape well and colours are quite nice. With the Bitaeniata, you may need a bit of RO water just to get them in the "mood" and also soften the fish eggs shell so they hatch. These 2 species also are easier to sell off when they get to size as there is demand for them. I've also suggested them as they get to size pretty quickly compared to some other species. The Macmasteri is also easy to spawn as you have found out with the Nijsseni.

 

Good luck! And happy fish keeping 

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I like the look of the Bitaeniata, that species is really piquing my interest. Rare enough that it feels special, common enough that they’ll still sell, nice colouration, very different body and pattern to my Nijsseni, and it sounds like they are definitely breedeable but more of a challenge.

So (questions incoming), if I were to get a pair and attempt to breed them, where would I differ in treatment from my Nijsseni? You mentioned soft water, but I’ve got some special driftwood that keeps pH below 6 so that would probably be fine. Would I be okay to just buy a pair and assume they’ll pair up? What kind of caves do they breed best in? I’ve only bred mine in a cavity of my driftwood. 
Also, I know the general consensus is always “get the biggest tank you can”, and that’s my opinion too generally, but if I get another tank I’ll definitely be limited in space, so what’s the minimum you would comfortably do a breeding pair of apistos in? Assuming I pull the fry after a month or two, let’s say, and I plant it heavily and provide lots of line-of-sight blocks. Would you say 10 gallons? 15?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, you just seem pretty knowledgeable about these guys and I’m having trouble finding good hobbyist info.

Cheers!

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A pair would probably work for Bitaeniata because they are not very choosy when it comes to pairing up.

I use driftwood (3 pieces as a minimum - I use Malaysian) BUT I let them choose where they want to lay their eggs by also placing the smallest terracotta pot sawn in half(soak the pots overnight in some water) that you get at nurseries in the tank.

 

60 litre tank / 2 footer would be more than enough for a pair to spawn in and raise the babies. 

 

 

 

IMG_3962.jpeg

IMG_3942.jpeg

Edited by hengeli
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In addition, 2 foot tanks are great as it makes the job of netting the males after they have fertilised the eggs EASY. If you want the Bitaeniata to breed you may need to add 70-80% RO water and hopefully achieve a TDS value of about 100-120.

Bits are easier to breed compared to Baenschi for example. Its all a matter of trial and error till you get reddish eggs which most likely mean they are viable. Driftwood may not be enough to breed the Bits as softer water will aid in spawning the fish - which is why a Shield Aquarium RO system from eBay works wonders, it really is a game changer for Apistogramma keepers.

 

IMG_3970.jpeg

Edited by hengeli
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11 hours ago, hengeli said:

If you want the Bitaeniata to breed you may need to add 70-80% RO water and hopefully achieve a TDS value of about 100-120.

My tap water comes out at 27 TDS, so most of my tanks sit around 100 anyway.

Interestingly, on another forum, someone said they bred bits in 7.5pH, 3KH, so I guess there’s potentially a range to it. I’d still aim for what you recommended because that’s pretty easy for me to replicate I reckon.

That’s some awesome advice, thanks a load. If I end up going ahead with this sometime in the next few months, I’ll start a new thread and tag you.

Cheers!

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23 hours ago, hengeli said:

 

In addition, 2 foot tanks are great as it makes the job of netting the males after they have fertilised the eggs EASY.

 

Just read this again - are you saying I should net the male after fertilisation? Would this just be behaviour dependent, or your usual recommendation? I’ve had countless apisto Nijsseni spawns and never pulled the male or the fry (it was in a community tank), the male just took care of the fry by chasing away other fish.
Is pulling the male a species thing, or individual thing, or just general/personal choice?

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Primarily to increase fry survival rates.

You can wait till the eggs are viable ie. have tails. And by this stage, its very normal for the female to chase the male away from the developing fry. I find females often move the eggs from driftwood to driftwood or to cave as they are a bit uneasy with the male being in the same tank. Then, it would be time to remove the male to lessen chances of the female eating the eggs/fry.

It can also be behaviour dependent as you pointed out - some males are fry hunters without you knowing it.

My preference is always to isolate the female as she learns to look after the fry especially if its her first brood. And when you notice her chasing them away - by 2-3 weeks, its time for her to be netted out as the fry are less reliant on her to search for food in the tank. Also, when you notice the fry are free swimming, get a brine shrimp hatchery ready as they need bbs to get them growing.

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  • 1 year later...

OK Not in Australia but not much point starting a new topic at this point.

A friend went on holiday last week, and when he returned his Apistogramma pair had produced babies. He had done a large 50% water change before he went away so I assume that triggered it as it hasn't happened before, first batch!

A photo of the babies and the dad keeping an eye on them, they are only a couple of days old and at the bottom of the photo, very difficult to see, I think there are 6-8 maybe;

2113398362_babyapisto.thumb.jpg.4c99034de5d6c007bd4014b05be6d253.jpg

They are in a community tank at the moment and the dad is doing a sturdy job of protecting them. If they do survive I will probably take a couple for my still empty old shrimp tank, but a bit too early to set that up at the moment as I don't know how likely it is that they will survive?

Any advise on keeping/raising these will be much appreciated.

ps. My betta is still doing well. 

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1 hour ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Any advise on keeping/raising these will be much appreciated.

Live, newly hatched baby brine shrimp !!

Feed them asap, the look big enough for BBS now.

And I mean NOW.

It only take 2-3 days before they starve if there is no food for them.

Edited by jayc
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Hi - those are dwarf west African cichlids, most likely a Pelvicachromis Pulcher variety. Apistogramma are South American.

The only way to ensure the babies survive are to isolate the parents in the community tank OR remove all other fish inhabitants to another tank. Not to worry if you lose the babies, if they have done it once, chances are they will breed once again if they lose this brood. The pair will benefit from having a tank to themselves so they can breed and bring up the babies without losing them to predators.

 

 

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I would also agree that it is an African cichlid.

For apistogramma, I normally let the parents raise the fry until the female starts becoming aggressive towards the male. Only then do I separate the male. From my experience apistogramma fry can eat BBS right away. I've never had fry that we too small to eat BBS. There are a few smaller apistorgrammas like the psammophila which may be an exception.

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