Dwarf Cichlid Tank Mates?

ValerieAdams

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My tank is 29 gallons, and I have my heart set on one of the following (I'm assuming 1 pair of whatever I decide to go with?):
Apistogramma agassizii
Apistogramma baenschi
Apistogramma borellii
Apistogramma rositae
German Blue Ram
Tateurndina ocellicauda

If I do one of these, what are some suitable tank mates for those of you with experience? I'd like to do a group of schooling fish with them and some type of fish to help with algae. I've seen suggestions of cardinal tetras, black phantom tetras and rasboras. I just have no experience with these types of fish so I'd like to get some opinions.
 

DutchAquarium

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If you plan on breeding the pairs and get successful hatch rates, i wouldn't add anymore fish. This is because everything will try to eat the eggs and fry. the risk is also higher that the parents will eat the eggs and fry due to stress. Also consider that Tateurndina ocellicauda are a brackish species and salt should be added. Something around 1.005 should be comfortable. I believe you should have better experience with one of the cave laying apistos. they aren't as aggressive as many of the others. I would probably go with one of the tetra species since these will most closely match tank parameters with apistos and rams. I would also look into hatchetfish.
 
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ValerieAdams

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DutchAquarium said:
If you plan on breeding the pairs and get successful hatch rates, i wouldn't add anymore fish. This is because everything will try to eat the eggs and fry. the risk is also higher that the parents will eat the eggs and fry due to stress. Also consider that Tateurndina ocellicauda are a brackish species and salt should be added. Something around 1.005 should be comfortable. I believe you should have better experience with one of the cave laying apistos. they aren't as aggressive as many of the others. I would probably go with one of the tetra species since these will most closely match tank parameters with apistos and rams. I would also look into hatchetfish.
I really don't want to get into breeding because I have nothing to really accommodate fry. What are some of the cave laying apistos? I will look into Tetras as tank mates but I don't like the looks of hatchetfish at all for some reason.
 
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ValerieAdams

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I also read up on Tateurndina ocellicauda and found multiple places where they have been kept in both brackish and freshwater and haven't had any differences
 

DutchAquarium

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Lack of salt is said to decrease the life span. I don't know if that's true, I assume it is, but when i kept this species, they only spawned in the brackish aquariums and never in pure freshwater. This gives you the idea of how important salt is to their health. they are also found in slightly brackish streams in the wild.
 
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ValerieAdams

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DutchAquarium said:
Lack of salt is said to decrease the life span. I don't know if that's true, I assume it is, but when i kept this species, they only spawned in the brackish aquariums and never in pure freshwater. This gives you the idea of how important salt is to their health. they are also found in slightly brackish streams in the wild.
Really? I read the opposite on other forums. They all said that they only spawned in freshwater and when the same person kept them in brackish v. freshwater, they're life span was the same. Interesting. Is a brackish tank very different from freshwater? What tank makes would work with them, if any?
 
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ValerieAdams

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Fredward said:
Green neon, black neon, ember tetras or pencilfish make good dither fish for apistos. Cardinal tetras do best with GBRs because of their matching temperature ranges. Otos can help some with algae but can be hard to keep alive when you first get them so personally I suggest nerite snails.
I was originally going to get Malaysian Trumpet Snails, would those work instead of the nerite?
 

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ValerieAdams said:
I was originally going to get Malaysian Trumpet Snails, would those work instead of the nerite?
I think so. Mainly you just need to be ready for the Trumpet Snails to reproduce.
 

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I think most cories will work with apistos just fine. The GBRs your biggest barrier will be temperature. I've heard that pygmy cories go well with apistos and won't overcrowd your tank.
 

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ValerieAdams said:
What about a pair of GBR, a school of cories (6-8?), a school of Cardinal Tetras (not sure how many, 10?) and a Dwarf Gourami?
Possibly. It would have to be a school of warmer water cories like sterbai or mosaics. And with the dwarf gourami it has about an equal chance of working out or being a total disaster in my opinion.
 
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ValerieAdams

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Fredward said:
Possibly. It would have to be a school of warmer water cories like sterbai or mosaics. And with the dwarf gourami it has about an equal chance of working out or being a total disaster in my opinion.
I was thinking sterbai. I would add the gourami last, I have back up tanks available and plenty of time to create another tank if I would need to
 

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ValerieAdams said:
I was thinking sterbai. I would add the gourami last, I have back up tanks available and plenty of time to create another tank if I would need to
Then in that case you may as well try. One tip I would suggest is adding lots of "barriers to sight" (plants, rocks and other decor). A lot of times any skirmishes can be broken up if one fish is able to hide behind something. If the combatants can't see each other aggression will usually die down quickly.
 
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ValerieAdams

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Fredward said:
Then in that case you may as well try. One tip I would suggest is adding lots of "barriers to sight" (plants, rocks and other decor). A lot of times any skirmishes can be broken up if one fish is able to hide behind something. If the combatants can't see each other aggression will usually die down quickly.
I have 3 large dragon stones in right now, I just ordered more and a piece of driftwood. I also have several plants so I’m hoping that will be enough
 

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ValerieAdams said:
Would you stock cories or cardinals, blue rams, then the gourami?
Terra cotta pots also make good hidey holes. And yes I'd definitely put in the cories and cardinals first.
 
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ValerieAdams

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Fredward said:
Terra cotta pots also make good hidey holes. And yes I'd definitely put in the cories and cardinals first.
Does it matter which first? And how many of each do you think would be best? Also, how much time between each should I allow? I have a quarantine tank also
 

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ValerieAdams said:
Does it matter which first? And how many of each do you think would be best? Also, how much time between each should I allow? I have a quarantine tank also
I don't think it really matters which is first. Just make sure the tank is really well-cycled. And your original suggestion of 6 cories and 10 cardinals should work fine.

The suggested quarantine time (3-4 weeks) should be enough time between additions.
 
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