29 Gallon Tank Apisto general questions as well as type question (cacatuoides vs agassizii)

JoeyFreshwater91

Good Day all,

I am fairly new to the hobby and My son (he's 4) and I got into this because he wanted a pet and this seemed easy. I have since learned that it is more work than you would think but I have caught the bug and LOVE it. After about 6 months of having mostly dither fish while I planted and decorated the tank, I tried my luck with Blue Rams. My experience with them was similar to many others in that they died quickly after I bought them for no apparent reason. This lead me to believe that I have not honed my skill enough as a fish keeper to have such a sensitive fish. After doing some research for a more hardy "show case" fish, I found the Apistogramma.

I have a 29 gallon (110L I think?) moderately planted tank with 3 rock caves and a drift wood cave (I will upload a pic later when I get home) so there will be plenty of hiding places for the Apistos and my current stock.

My current stock:
4 panda corys (I have read that these are hit or miss with apistos but I think I have enough cover for them to co-exist.)
4 Neon Terta (I had 8 at one point but I live in New Orleans and we recently had a hurricane that knocked out power for 2 weeks and I lost half of them. They were my only losses so it made me feel like my tank must have been pretty healthy to survive that long without light or filtration.)
4 Endler Livebearers (All Males. I love these little guys)
30-40 Neocardina Shrimp (I bought 5 and they have bred a decent amount. I am aware that the apisto might eat them all but I am at peace with that.)
2 Amano Shrimp (Apistos won't eat these will they?)
1 Japanese Trapdoor Snail (No issue here I hope?)

My tank specs: (these numbers have been stable for the last 3 months at least)
78 degrees F (about 26 Celsius) (I had it at 81F (27C) when I introduced the Rams)
0 ppm Ammonia
0 ppm Nitrite
10-15 ppm Nitrate (I think this was the issue for the Rams)
7.5 PH
GH and KH are both on the higher end but I do not know the exact numbers.

SO after my LONG introduction let me get to my questions:

1) Do you suggest a pair or a solo Male?

2) Do Males get their full colors if they are solo? Do they get depressed?

3) I love the colors of both the cacatuoides and the agassizii. Anything I should know about either variety?

4) could I keep one Male cacatuoides and one Male agassizii or is that asking for trouble?

5) Any other tips?
 

LowConductivity

1. If the corys are staying, I'd pass on a pair. Single male for the win.
2.Males are fine on their own.
3.cacatuoides and agassizii are both nice fish, generally speaking cacatuoides are more tolerant of harder water.
4. Yes
5. They are cichlids. On the small end, each fish should have a 12" x 12" "territory" for themselves. If you get unlucky, you could get a male that claims a very large territory. A 3" length of ABS pipe floating in the tank provides a nice safe space should someone need to hide out,
 

JoeyFreshwater91

1. If the corys are staying, I'd pass on a pair. Single male for the win.
2.Males are fine on their own.
3.cacatuoides and agassizii are both nice fish, generally speaking cacatuoides are more tolerant of harder water.
4. Yes
5. They are cichlids. On the small end, each fish should have a 12" x 12" "territory" for themselves. If you get unlucky, you could get a male that claims a very large territory. A 3" length of ABS pipe floating in the tank provides a nice safe space should someone need to hide out,
Thanks for the info! I am looking for the best 2 fish to put together in my tank with my current stock and water conditions. It seems like you think the hardness of the water might be an issue for agassizii, what other varieties should I maybe look at? Hongsloi or Macmasteri?
 

LowConductivity

Thanks for the info! I am looking for the best 2 fish to put together in my tank with my current stock and water conditions. It seems like you think the hardness of the water might be an issue for agassizii, what other varieties should I maybe look at? Hongsloi or Macmasteri?
borellii would probably top my list. I think they are probably the best looking apistogramma that is commonly avail in the hobby.
 

TClare

Cacatuoides are not only more tolerant of harder water, they are also (in my limited experience) more tolerant of others in the tank. I have 2 males in a large tank along with some Laetacaras, occasional fin flarings but no real problems. On the other hand I have an agassizii male in a 4 ft tank who wants to own the whole tank. I did originally have the cacatuoides in there but he became more and more aggressive with them, claiming more and more of the tank floor, and they started to look stressed so I moved them. Could be just particular individuals but anyway. Unfortunately I have no experience with A. borellii.
 

Eaton

I think different fish sometimes have different temperaments because I had a pair in a 90L for a while and they were fine. The male would occasionally flare at the female and chase her but nothing to dangerous and not that often. There was also guppies in the tank and the apistos didn’t bother them. This is just my experience with agassizii it may be different for you.
Actually I just had a thought mine were apistogramma agassizii double red and my lfs said that the agassizii alenquer were more feisty so I don’t know if that’s true I just wanted to let you know
But I would go with borelli if I were you
 

TClare

Mine are actually wild ones, which might make a difference, but yes I am sure not all of one species have exactly the same temperaments. Mine, including the agassizii, are all fine with non-cichlids (tetras and pencil fish) but the agassizii even chases the festivums sometimes.
 

JoeyFreshwater91

1. If the corys are staying, I'd pass on a pair. Single male for the win.
2.Males are fine on their own.
3.cacatuoides and agassizii are both nice fish, generally speaking cacatuoides are more tolerant of harder water.
4. Yes
5. They are cichlids. On the small end, each fish should have a 12" x 12" "territory" for themselves. If you get unlucky, you could get a male that claims a very large territory. A 3" length of ABS pipe floating in the tank provides a nice safe space should someone need to hide out,
This is a picture of my tank. I also posted these same questions on another apistogramma specific forum and the guy that answered over there said I should only do a single male fish and not mix species of Apistos. Do y’all agree or is he just being overly cautious?
 

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JoeyFreshwater91

I am going to go to the LFS today and see what they have in stock.
 

MacZ

This is a picture of my tank. I also posted these same questions on another apistogramma specific forum and the guy that answered over there said I should only do a single male fish and not mix species of Apistos. Do y’all agree or is he just being overly cautious?
Hello again.
I'm speaking just from experience.
 

JoeyFreshwater91

Oh nice to see you MacZ. Its hard to tell through text whether people are being blunt or a jerk which is why I double checked the advice on this forum. It is no disrespect to you as I don't know you or your background so I wanted to see if others agreed or if you just didn't like a newcomer on that board.

I have been a part of other hobbies such as sand volleyball where the vets looked down on new comers and keep their actual trade secrets to themselves. I wasn't sure if this was the case but I no longer believe that it is.

I can now see that you are obviously an experienced enthusiast given that you have found my thread on 2 different boards and will definitely take your advice and get only a single Apisto.

I received two different pieces of advice and wasn't sure which to believe.
 

Eaton

This is a picture of my tank. I also posted these same questions on another apistogramma specific forum and the guy that answered over there said I should only do a single male fish and not mix species of Apistos. Do y’all agree or is he just being overly cautious?
I wouldn't mix species, just do either one male or a pair of one species.
 

JoeyFreshwater91

I wouldn't mix species, just do either one male or a pair of one species.
I ended up getting a male Apistogramma Atahualpa. It was all my LFS had in stock and he looks great and seems happy. In the first couple of days he might have eaten some shrimp but he’s not going on a shrimp murder spree or anything. He doesn’t even seem to notice my other fish.

my only question is if you all think that it’s actually an Apisto Atahualpa cuz I can’t find any pics online of a blue Atahualpa. Regardless he is a fine looking fish IMO.
 

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MacZ

Sorry, but that's an A. trifasciata.
 

JoeyFreshwater91

Sorry, but that's an A. trifasciata.
Once I started doing research, I kinda figured that it wasn’t the Atahualpa given that it didn’t look like the pictures. Appreciate the help.
 

LowConductivity

Once I started doing research, I kinda figured that it wasn’t the Atahualpa given that it didn’t look like the pictures. Appreciate the help.
Not a bad thing. atahualpa are angry little fish
 

JoeyFreshwater91

Not a bad thing. atahualpa are angry little fish
I am honestly relieved that its not an Atahualpa. From what I read they are mean and they grow twice the size of some other Apistos. This guy has been great so far. I have never owned a cichlid of any kind before so my description may sound like any run of the mill Apisto but its awesome watching him "stalk" around the tank. He is also really sneaky. I will be looking for him and I will turn my head left and not see him, look right and not see him, look back left and he's front and center posing for me as if he knew I was looking for him.
 

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