How many Apistos in a 140 gallon planted tank?

BigBeardDaHuZi

Active Member
Member
Messages
223
I am working on putting together a big 140 gallon tank. 48x24x30. (Maybe 48x24x24 if I need to for the plants).
I am playing around with a few different stocking ideas, but one of the must haves for any tank I put together is at least Some cichlids!

One tank option I am leaning towards is a heavily planted tank with angelfish and/or rainbows with a couple shoals of tetras.

For the bottom, I was thinking of a big colony of appistos. How many would be good for a tank that size? I like the idea of a lot of little fiefdoms on the bottom moving among the plants.
Do you recommend all one species? Or maybe a couple species that aren't too closely related?

Could I keep an electric blue acara in the tank? Do they get along with rams? Will a pack of cories bother them?


The pH in my tap water is 6.8. GH is 7. KH is 6. If I remember correctly.
A little soft. A little acidic.
The tank will have a big sump for filtration.

Much obliged for your time. I love this site
 

Killies

Active Member
Member
Messages
52
They are actually really crowded in the wild, and people trying to mimic their natural habitat would probably put 70 Apistogramma in a tank that size based on a biologist record.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
BigBeardDaHuZi

BigBeardDaHuZi

Active Member
Member
Messages
223
Killies said:
They are actually really crowded in the wild, and people trying to mimic their natural habitat would probably put 70 Apistogramma in a tank that size based on a biologist record.
Yeah, that is where I am getting a little confused. I am reading one person saying one pair for every 20 gallons, and another where they said overstock the heck out of them. I am wondering what peoples experiences have been.
 

Redshark1

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
5,156
Killies said:
They are actually really crowded in the wild, and people trying to mimic their natural habitat would probably put 70 Apistogramma in a tank that size based on a biologist record.
They are crowded in pools and streams in the dry season as their water recedes. At this time they either die off due to dessication or bacterial infections. You don't want that in an aquarium.

Overstocking by definition is not a way to keep fish healthy.

Overstock: put more animals in (an area) than it is capable of supporting.
 

Killies

Active Member
Member
Messages
52
Dr. Uwe Romer and David Soares are Apistogramma experts with 50 years of experience, and they say that overstocking is better than understocking for Apistogrammas.
“Uwe Römer has found, in studying Apistogramma populations in the wild, that these little fish sometimes live in a fairly crowded environment. Perhaps as many as a thousand fish in an area of nine square meters, with leaf litter up to one meter thick on the bottom. You cannot duplicate these conditions in a small aquarium, but you can in a large one. I keep my fish in tanks from 30 gallons to 150 gallons. ”
Source:
 

jake37

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
4,101
Name of book ?

Killies said:
Dr. Uwe Romer and David Soares are Apistogramma experts with 50 years of experience, and they say that overstocking is better than understocking for Apistogrammas.
“Uwe Römer has found, in studying Apistogramma populations in the wild, that these little fish sometimes live in a fairly crowded environment. Perhaps as many as a thousand fish in an area of nine square meters, with leaf litter up to one meter thick on the bottom. You cannot duplicate these conditions in a small aquarium, but you can in a large one. I keep my fish in tanks from 30 gallons to 150 gallons. Large tanks provide many advantages. They are easier to maintain, it is easier to maintain the proper pH and hardness, it is easier to control the effects of ammonia and nitrites, and you will see the fish act in a way that more closely resembles their behaviour in the wild. I have as many as 135 Apistogramma juruensis living in a 20-gallon aquarium. At present, I have around 700 Apistogramma cacatuoides in a 150-gallon tank”
 

Killies

Active Member
Member
Messages
52
Oh It’s actually a website with the experiences of the biologists. It’s called ApistoDave
 

MacZ

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,733
You might want to quote the whole text though, because there are some more conditions attached to the stocking. Like the very low pH conditions that are a) making ammonia less toxic and b) make the nitrogen cycle work differently. Also the conditions of leaf litter, plants, driftwood and rocks are to be mentioned.

Also: There are several qualificators present in that source. "Sometimes" they live in those conditions and a "thousand fish per nine (9!) square meters". It's not even qualified in the sentence whether this refers to thousand apistogramma or thousand fish in general (which sounds more plausible, even outside the dry season.).

So reading the whole text this has to be qualified. There are conditions under which this is possible, but to me it does not sound like the norm in the wild. Looking at underwater footage from the wild one can see quite large groups of Apistos sometimes, though most often when there's footage the groups are rather small.

I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm not trying to personally attack you here, but we have sometimes easily impressionable aquarium beginners here, that sadly often don't mind looking into it further and just take the statements made here for granted. Whenever there is a controversial info like this, please give a source for it and please make sure nobody gets the wrong impression. That's the least amount of responsibility we all should practice here.

Edit:
I might ALSO add: The website doesn't give their source for the info, which is a bit concerning. As Dr. Römer is a german scientist I am really confused as to why this is not known or discussed here in Germany. Looking at his publications I would almost expect he found that only about some species and not all of them.
 

Newbie1234

Active Member
Member
Messages
72
MacZ said:
You might want to quote the whole text though, because there are some more conditions attached to the stocking. Like the very low pH conditions that are a) making ammonia less toxic and b) make the nitrogen cycle work differently. Also the conditions of leaf litter, plants, driftwood and rocks are to be mentioned.

Also: There are several qualificators present in that source. "Sometimes" they live in those conditions and a "thousand fish per nine (9!) square meters". It's not even qualified in the sentence whether this refers to thousand apistogramma or thousand fish in general (which sounds more plausible, even outside the dry season.).

So reading the whole text this has to be qualified. There are conditions under which this is possible, but to me it does not sound like the norm in the wild. Looking at underwater footage from the wild one can see quite large groups of Apistos sometimes, though most often when there's footage the groups are rather small.

I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm not trying to personally attack you here, but we have sometimes easily impressionable aquarium beginners here, that sadly often don't mind looking into it further and just take the statements made here for granted. Whenever there is a controversial info like this, please give a source for it and please make sure nobody gets the wrong impression. That's the least amount of responsibility we all should practice here.

Edit:
I might ALSO add: The website doesn't give their source for the info, which is a bit concerning. As Dr. Römer is a german scientist I am really confused as to why this is not known or discussed here in Germany. Looking at his publications I would almost expect he found that only about some species and not all.
I very much agree
 

MacZ

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,733
I almost forgot to answer the actual question of this thread.

Against what could be happening in the wild:

In a tank that size with that footprint area: 1 male and up to 4 females, depending on the species.

Other cichlids: The rams need higher temperatures, I would not combine them. The acara... Depends, be prepared to rehome that one without delay.

Cories: Apistos establish territories when they breed. Then they will chase the cories all the time and the cories will not acknowledge another species' territory. So the situation would be that cories and apistos are likewise stressed out all the time.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
OP
BigBeardDaHuZi

BigBeardDaHuZi

Active Member
Member
Messages
223
Thank you. That is what I was looking for.
MacZ said:
I almost forgot to answer the actual question of this thread.

Against what could be happening in the wild:

In a tank that size with that footprint area: 1 male and up to 4 females, depending on the species.

Other cichlids: The rams need higher temperatures, I would not combine them. The acara... Depends, be prepared to rehome that one without delay.

Cories: Apistos establish territories when they breed. Then they will chase the cories all the time and the cories will not acknowledge another species' territory. So the situation would be that cories and apistos are likewise stressed out all the time.
Thank you. That is what I was looking for.

I did find that site, and it was some interesting reading, but not a lot of specifics. I think he mentioned having 100+ appistos in a tank, but didn't mention if they were adults, fry or both.

(Also, on a probably irrelevant note, it is hard to take something seriously when it is written in comic sans)

It is disappointing to finally get a big tank and still be so limited. 4 feet is all that will fit
 

MacZ

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,733
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Thank you. That is what I was looking for.

Thank you. That is what I was looking for.

I did find that site, and it was some interesting reading, but not a lot of specifics. I think he mentioned having 100+ appistos in a tank, but didn't mention if they were adults, fry or both.

(Also, on a probably irrelevant note, it is hard to take something seriously when it is written in comic sans)

It is disappointing to finally get a big tank and still be so limited. 4 feet is all that will fit
You're welcome!

4 feet is not bad. I only got a 60cm tank. Surely the reason why I only keep one pair.

The site seems not to have been updated much in years. There were times when comic sans was not bad style. :D
 

jake37

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
4,101
I will add a few comments of disagreement. First there are german blue rams (or golds, electric blue) and there are bolivians ram so there is a range of temp you can pick. Second there are (too many to name) species of apistogramma - some prefer low-mid 70's and some prefer high 70's low 80's so in the end you can make it work but you do need to pick wisely.

I think in a tank that size you could do two species of apistogramma but i would go 1 male 3 females. Also you have to make sure the species are not genetic compatible (there is a term (the term is 'complex' so you would want two species from different 'complex' ) for this as it relates to apistogramma) as they will cross breed and cause other issues.

Cory can be a problem. I found my pygmy and kribs (not apistogramma) came to an understanding and after a while stopped being aggressive. I'm watching my sterbai with the nijesseni to see if they can come to the same understanding. Generally speaking the cory do not understand territory but they also don't like conflict. I think this is something you should consider but i believe they do co-exist in nature - though in that case the cory have far more space to separate themselves and are not forced into a closed box that can bring constant conflict.

MacZ said:
I almost forgot to answer the actual question of this thread.

Against what could be happening in the wild:

In a tank that size with that footprint area: 1 male and up to 4 females, depending on the species.

Other cichlids: The rams need higher temperatures, I would not combine them. The acara... Depends, be prepared to rehome that one without delay.

Cories: Apistos establish territories when they breed. Then they will chase the cories all the time and the cories will not acknowledge another species' territory. So the situation would be that cories and apistos are likewise stressed out all the time.
 

MacZ

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,733
Agree. I just forgot about the bolivians, but otherwise I tried to stick to the commonly available species of Apisto, as to not confuse anybody.
 

jake37

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
4,101
Part of the problem here is your tank is very tall and apistogramma are perfectly content if the tank is 8 inches tall. You could add something like angelfishes that are fairly content in the upper regions. I tossed a couple of extra apistogramma C in my 120 and whlie they have not spawned (only been a few weeks) they ignore the breeding angels and the angels ignore them as it should be. I'm not trying to breed them per sey as the tank is not well suited for them (it has a lot of loaches but also exceptionally dense patches of plant) but i would not be shocked if they do breed. Of course raising apistogramma frys is more troublesome. I've not done it but from what i've read you should not remove the female from them as they depend on the female to teach them how to eat and frequently if she is removed they will sit on the bottom until they die. This means if you are to offer them food it will take some gymnastic in a 30 inch tank to ensure the right food reaches them at the bottom; otherwise you will have to figure out how to get them into a breeding tank.
-
My nijesseni spawned last night in a 29 and i might have more to say in a week. I'm not trying to breed them and i would have thought this tank was unsuitable for such. It remains to be seen if the eggs will hatch and if the cory, pleco, mystery snails and kuhli will leave them alone. I will say she is quite proud of her eggs and is taking some care for them.

BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Thank you. That is what I was looking for.

Thank you. That is what I was looking for.

I did find that site, and it was some interesting reading, but not a lot of specifics. I think he mentioned having 100+ appistos in a tank, but didn't mention if they were adults, fry or both.

(Also, on a probably irrelevant note, it is hard to take something seriously when it is written in comic sans)

It is disappointing to finally get a big tank and still be so limited. 4 feet is all that will fit
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
OP
BigBeardDaHuZi

BigBeardDaHuZi

Active Member
Member
Messages
223
It is fun to watch cichlids spawn, but I am not really looking to raise any fry. Even if they did cross-breed, they are not something I would pass on.

The height of the tank.... mostly that is how tanks come here. The Chinese really like tall tanks - often with goldfish, flowerhorn cichlids or arowannas. I think I could probably special order a shorter tank, but the extra gallons are a nice buffer. The only real problem with the height is it would make doing a planted tank a bit of a pain in the butt. Hard to reach the bottom and it will need a strong light.

If I do go this planted route, I think I would like some Angels. I found one really good dealer here - he quarantines his fish before he allows them to be sold and he has some really nice stock (even some full grown wild ones!) How many? I don't know. 3? 6?
Rainbows would be fun. I have never kept them before. A couple schools of tetras. Appistos in the bottom. Or a big school of cories. Or cories and a blue acara. Some yo-yo's
Lush plants... if I can make it happen.

Or a big tank of African Peacocks. Which would also like a longer tank than tall.
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
256
Guests online
3,134
Total visitors
3,390

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom