Borellii "Normal" Behavior

zca114

I recently purchased an apistogramma agassizii, borellii, and a very small kribensis. My tank already had a honey gourami, 3 flagfish, and a bristlenose pleco. Everything seems to be going just fine, the agassizii and kribensis have chosen their corner, but the borellii seems to be questionable.
It tends to spend most of the daytime (since I cannot account for its night activity) in the middle of the tank around the top third of the water level. Is this normal? It reacts like the others at feeding time, but it does seem to be the least aggressive. I do not really see it being picked on or nipped, just chased every once in a while.
I have a 20 gallon long with plenty of filtration, water conditions are good. There are plenty of hiding places and plants (admittedly I could add a plant or two at some point) but overall I think it has enough to be comfortable.
Any thoughts? I just really want the borellii to be healthy and survive. Thanks.
 

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LowConductivity

If you want honesty….you’ve just got too many fish that want real estate.

The agassizii, krib, and borellii, best case scenario, need a minimum of a 12”x12” territory…each (worst case scenario each will need a 72x72” territory….personalities….). Makes a 30x12” tank a really tall order.

(pro tip….an Apistogramma in the top 1/3 of the tank is homeless, and very likely to get murdered)
 

yukondog

(pro tip….an Apistogramma in the top 1/3 of the tank is homeless, and very likely to get murdered)
I agree, chances are it will be dead soon, I never mix African and South American cichlids together, it's just asking for disaster. Kribs can/are very aggressive and I did the same thing as you a long time ago and apisto's dead and Krib fat and happy. Your tank is too small for the fish you have in it. I would keep the Borelli [cause I like them the best] and take back/rehome the one's you dont want or set up more tanks.
 

MacZ

I have a 20 gallon long with plenty of filtration, water conditions are good. There are plenty of hiding places and plants (admittedly I could add a plant or two at some point) but overall I think it has enough to be comfortable.
This is a classic situation to show that good water quality and filtration are meaningless when the tank is neither big enough, nor properly structured.

I agree with the others, rehome/return all but one of the cichlids. Also still add more plants. There is plenty of room for plants already, and removing the slate (Sharp edges and territorial chasing = high risk of fatal injuries) and the white rocks (They look like limestone or an impure form of quarz, the former raises hardness and pH, the latter can leach a lot of different things youdon't want in a fishtank.) will open up more space for plants and driftwood. Which both are still necessary in far bigger amounts even with just one cichlid in thew tank.
But only remove the rocks when you are ready to immediately replace them with wood and plants. Until then they are good enough.
 

Ouse

My tank already had a honey gourami, 3 flagfish, and a bristlenose pleco.
Wait, are these still in there or did you rehome them? I can’t tell from the photo.
There are plenty of hiding places and plants (admittedly I could add a plant or two at some point) but overall I think it has enough to be comfortable.
There’s not plenty of hiding spaces. There’s plenty of open space, though.

It seems to be instinctual to think giving each fish it’s own cave or corner will solve all territorial disputes. It will not. These fish need thick structure throughout the tank so they can define their territories and not see each other. This means adding tons of plants, driftwood, rocks etc. The tank is too small for each cichlid to have a territory, hence the borelli must retreat towards the surface.

I am going to agree with everyone else so far: keep only one cichlid in this tank.

Also, (sarcastically) don’t remove the Minnie Mouse ornament. She’s enjoying the amazing view of all the action.
 

Linda1234

Do you just have males of each species? Still as other say the tank is too small. Also the borelli is most docile and least aggressive of the three which makes things particularly dangerous (for him).
 

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