29 Gallon, Bristlenose pair with apistogramma pair?

seamonkey102

Planning on a new breeding project involving dwarf cichlids and BN plecos. I've always wanted to try breeding apistogrammas or rams but I never got a chance as I was busy with my other tanks. But I recently decided to go with a 29 planted tank with a pair of apistogrammas after giving a few of my tanks away. But then I decided I wanted some sort of algae cleaner and a new breeding project so I decided on a pair of bristlenose plecos. First, I wanted to ask if I was okay with both of these in a 29. Will there be enough room for four decently sized fish? But the second thing I'm more worried about is whether or not there will be an issue of aggressiveness. Although I've never bred dwarf cichlids before, I'm aware that apistogrammas will go ballistic if any fish goes near their fry/eggs. I'm also aware that BN plecos and apistogrammas tend to vie for similar breeding grounds/caves. Will the BN plecos be able to fend off the apistos or learn not to go near them on their own? I don't want a problem between the fish. If the BN plecos don't work, please suggest some other algae eaters that will breed and be okay with the apistos. I've thought about shrimp but then decided against it as the apistos would eat all the shrimp.
 

BigManAquatics

Not sure how that would work with plecos, i woukd suggest several caves though so maybe one less thing to fight about!
 

Ouse

Bristlenoses won’t work as algae removers anyway. No fish will because they all produce nitrogen, which is algae food. There are better, safer ways to lower algae levels.

When it comes to apistos and other bottom dwellers, it’s either one or the other. Having both won’t work out because apistos claim the lower water column as their territory, and bottom dwellers will constantly invade it as they swim around.
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

Reticulated hillstream loaches? I believe they have been bred in warm water, I've kept them in warm water too. Contrary to the random care guide.
 

FishDin

I kept apistos and bristle nose plecos in a 29 gal. They ignored each other except for when the plecos would breed. Then the apistos would wait for the fry snack at the pleco cave entrance. Other than that I never saw any interaction between them. I did make sure there were plenty of caves for everyone. I was advised to have 2 caves for each female apisto, which is what I did. There were also other caves (much bigger) and hiding places for the plecos.

Having said that, I was keeping cacatuoides, which I believe are one of the easiest to breed and keep. Also, apparently my experience of keeping multiple males and females was not typical as I never obseved aggression between the males. They usually hung out together. They regularly bred. It was a very peaceful tank. I know that's not how it's supposed to work, but that was my experience.

 

seamonkey102

So would reticulated hillstream loaches work in this kind of tank?
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

Well, they don't use a cave, but they dig a pit at the bottom, so I would get one of the less aggressive apistos. I heard one of the 2 very common ones (Caucatoides or aggazizii) is peaceful and the other very aggressive, don't remember which. But I personally don't have much experience with appistos.
 

Ouse

Well, they don't use a cave, but they dig a pit at the bottom, so I would get one of the less aggressive apistos. I heard one of the 2 very common ones (Caucatoides or aggazizii) is peaceful and the other very aggressive, don't remember which. But I personally don't have much experience with appistos.
I think the two apisto species you mentioned are the two most peaceful ones, yes. The rest can be ruled out for their heightened territorial behaviour. Hongsloi and Ortegai in particular, from what I’ve heard.
 

LowConductivity

I tried something like this many years ago with my first foray into Apistogramma. It went pretty well until my A. borrelli spawned….I ended up with a nice batch of fry, and catfish without eyes
 

MacZ

So would reticulated hillstream loaches work in this kind of tank?
No. Those need fast flowing, cooler and oxygen rich water.

If the BN plecos don't work, please suggest some other algae eaters that will breed and be okay with the apistos.

You don't need Algae eaters. For the Apistos you will want either a dim tank with lots of driftwood and leaf litter or a well planted (not dutch/aquascape, just many plants of 1-2 kinds) tank. In both Algae are usually not a problem and they are absolutely normal to appear when there is an imbalance in a tank. You have a lot (and often free or not much effort) of options when they appear. But if you do everything right they will be only there in small amounts and won't sustain algae eaters. And the front glas is best cleaned by a human, animals usually won't prioritise it. :D
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

No. Those need fast flowing, cooler and oxygen rich water.
I and many others have had success keeping them in such conditions, and one even bred them. I haven't really seen anyone try them in warmer water and fail.
 

seamonkey102

If I have a lot of caves would it be okay to have bristlenose plecos with the apistos. I was planning on several caves anyways
 

LowConductivity

If I have a lot of caves would it be okay to have bristlenose plecos with the apistos. I was planning on several caves anyways
If you want to be 100% certain it will work, no. If you are willing to roll the dice and rely on being lucky, it may work out ok.
 

seamonkey102

I might just go with Otos then if they will work. I really want to try breeding apistogrammas
Also if you guys have any other suggestions for tank mates that are good clean up crew or algae eaters that also go well with a breeding pair of apistogrammas that would great.
I might just go with Otos then if they will work. I really want to try breeding apistogrammas
Also if you guys have any other suggestions for tank mates that are good clean up crew or algae eaters that also go well with a breeding pair of apistogrammas that would great.
Also would corys work?
 

LowConductivity

I might just go with Otos then if they will work. I really want to try breeding apistogrammas
Also if you guys have any other suggestions for tank mates that are good clean up crew or algae eaters that also go well with a breeding pair of apistogrammas that would great.

Also would corys work?
Big corydoras species are a bad idea....they are armored, and not too smart (they'll lose eyes too. Small corydoras species and otos are a rough go too, especially when cohabitating with Apistogramma species with large mouths (cacatuoides). Nom, nom, nom.

Generally speaking, if the goal is breeding and producing fry, it needs to NOT be a "community tank"
 

seamonkey102

Big corydoras species are a bad idea....they are armored, and not too smart (they'll lose eyes too. Small corydoras species and otos are a rough go too, especially when cohabitating with Apistogramma species with large mouths (cacatuoides). Nom, nom, nom.

Generally speaking, if the goal is breeding and producing fry, it needs to NOT be a "community tank"
Are there any possible tank mates for breeding pair of apistos. I want some variety in my tank and also would otos and corys be okay if the apistos weren’t big. I wasn’t planning on getting a cacatuoide and something more like a borellii or viejita
 

MacZ

Are there any possible tank mates for breeding pair of apistos.

Pencilfish.
 

FishDin

Are there any possible tank mates for breeding pair of apistos. I want some variety in my tank and also would otos and corys be okay if the apistos weren’t big. I wasn’t planning on getting a cacatuoide and something more like a borellii or viejita
Here is a link to a good article by Kevin Plazak in Tropical Fish Mag. https://www.tfhmagazine.com/articles/freshwater/the-apistogramma-aquarium

He addresses your questions about breeding in a community tank based on his experience. He lists some good tank mates etc.
 

seamonkey102

So in the article it says that Otos are fine. Would it be fine if I got eights to ten Otos and a six to eight hatchetfish.
 

MacZ

Please read up on Otos. They are quite problematic and have high loss rates. Also prone to really persistant parasites that are hard to get rid off. They need constant supply of aufwuchs, algae and biofilms. 8-10, while fitting their social needs, need quite a big tank to be sustained, so additional feeding is a must.
 

seamonkey102

I’ve kept Otos before so I’m aware. But will they be okay in a tank with a pair of breeding apistogrammas borelli or viejita
 

TClare

Small ramshorn snails are good at eating algae and fine with Apistogramma.

I have kept otos with apistos no problem, but not breeding Apistogrammas, however otos are pretty good at staying out of the way so I think they would be Ok if other conditions in the tank are suitable for them.
 

seamonkey102

Small ramshorn snails are good at eating algae and fine with Apistogramma.

I have kept otos with apistos no problem, but not breeding Apistogrammas, however otos are pretty good at staying out of the way so I think they would be Ok if other conditions in the tank are suitable for them.
I would be fine with those kinds of snails but the only problem is controlling their population. Snails tend to explode in population and taking care of them would be more of a chore.
 

TClare

I would be fine with those kinds of snails but the only problem is controlling their population. Snails tend to explode in population and taking care of them would be more of a chore.
They do explode that is true, especially at first, but later they seem to find an equilibrium. I suppose depending on the food availability. But the Apistogrammas will probably eat at least some of the newly hatched ones, helping to keep the population under control. I give excess snails to my bigger cichlids and they don’t seem to live all that long, I think as my water is very soft.
 

seamonkey102

I think I might just risk it and go for a pair of bristlenose plecos with the apistos. I'll make sure to have at least 7-10 caves and try to get a tank with less height and more area in the bottom. Either that or I'm just going to go with ember tetras to compliment the colors of the apistogrammas viejita. I've seen people house large schools of small tetras with dwarf cichlids and they seemed fine. If it isn't, please let me know.

I really appreciate all of the people who helped me with the process and I apologize for taking up your valuable time.
 

LowConductivity

I think I might just risk it and go for a pair of bristlenose plecos with the apistos. I'll make sure to have at least 7-10 caves and try to get a tank with less height and more area in the bottom. Either that or I'm just going to go with ember tetras to compliment the colors of the apistogrammas viejita. I've seen people house large schools of small tetras with dwarf cichlids and they seemed fine. If it isn't, please let me know.

I really appreciate all of the people who helped me with the process and I apologize for taking up your valuable time.
If the goal is to breed them ( I assume this also means grow out fry) most tetras are a horrible idea. Big mouth, big appetite = no fry. They are pretty spectacular predators….
 

seamonkey102

My final decision will just to keep the pair of apistos with 8 hatchetfish and 6 pencilfish
 

FishDin

+1 for the Hatchet fish. I love the activity at the top of the tank. Sorry I can't help with the Rasboras. I haven't kept them, but there are several on my list.

Good luck, and let know how it goes.
 

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