I got a package yesterday... :D

kinezumi89

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Lookie lookie! He's so cute. I bought one of ZeeZ's last apistogramma trifasciatas awhile ago, and now that it's cooled off a bit, I asked him to ship him to me. He arrived well-packaged and the water wasn't warm at all. (It was only in the upper 70s, and he couldn't have been in the mailbox more than a few minutes.)

I decided to go with the "plop" method this time. I let him float for two hours to make sure the temperatures were the same, then gently netted him out and into the tank. My reasons were as follows:

1. His pH is almost identical to mine, so there wouldn't be a pH swing.
2. I don't think drastic shifts in ammonia levels are bad, because if someone posts about the ammonia being high in their tank, no one says "do one water change a day," they say "get it down right away."
3. The nitrates in the bag water would only be whatever nitrates were in his tank, since there obviously wouldn't be any bacteria in the bag, so I wouldn't have to worry about a nitrate shift.
4. I've read about ammonium converting to ammonia once the bag is opened, and I didn't want him to be exposed to high levels of ammonia.

We left the lights off during acclimation and for awhile afterwards, and when they did come on, we covered half the tank with towels so it would be dark. He hid quite a bit but made some ventures out into the tank. He chases after the platies a bit; he isn't aggressive or nipping or anything, but he does swim a pace or two towards them now and then. He still hides much of the time, but he's definitely out more. Hopefully he'll feel comfortable soon and be more active.
 

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Dria

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So cute! I love those little guys.

Mine charged a few of the other fish for about a day and after that settled right down. I think he was just trying to figure out who his new tank mates were. Now he's very peaceful and actually spends quite a bit of his time swimming about instead of hiding.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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How long was it until yours stopped hiding as much?
 

Dria

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A couple of days. Looks like you're pretty well planted so I'm sure he'll come out and play as soon as he realizes the platies aren't going to eat him.
 

jwhorner6

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Very nice. I love those fish. If I can convince my wife to let me put a 125 in our dining room it is going to be full of dwarf cichlids.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Dria: Good to know! He's definitely been more active today, so hopefully that's a good sign. One of my platies is kind of aggressive towards the other ones, maybe he'll help keep her in check

JW: That would be awesome! I didn't know how "dwarf" dwarf cichlids actually are; I was surprised how small he was when I first opened the bag. A tank full of them would be neat.

ZeeZ:
 

Dria

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They are so small and cute! If I was going to breed fish it would definitely be these of a close relative. So much character.
 

AmazonPassion

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That is a pretty color fish. I've never had one but now I'm tempted.

You should make it your Avatar picture as well.
 

pirahnah3

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Hey I have one of his brothers or cousins or something lol they are great fish! Hope you enjoy him as much as I enjoy mine.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Lol I didn't know how extensive the club was! AP I definitely will, but I'm waiting to see if I can get a better picture. He's still pretty shy. I may use that first one I uploaded though; it's not blurry unless you make it bigger.
 

pirahnah3

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lol mine is still rather shy, he will sit there and pose in areas I just can't get a camera to lol I swear he knows where I can get a good shot cause he doesn't stop there for more than a second or two haha.

He is a ham thou just doesn't want to be shown off.
 

ZeeZ

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He'll be boss in no time.

Pic of the whole tank? Is this the 10 gallon or the 55g?
 
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kinezumi89

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Oops, how did I miss this! He's in the 55 for the time being. I'll get a picture up soon, I have bags of najas grass hanging in there temporarily. I didn't realize they stayed so small, so I think he'll most likely be in the 10 gallon as his permanent home, once there aren't cories quarantining in there. He'll look nice against the black background and sand, I think.
 

pirahnah3

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I have mine in a 10 and he stays in the bottom 1/3 of the tank most of the time perferring to hang out in one of the pots or in the plants or under the driftwood. I'm actually surprised that he doesn't get more boisterous in the tank with any of the other fish he just lays back and chills. Really cool fish, I'm actually looking at him sitting there in the dark just kinda resting in a sword plant lol.
 

soarl

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I'm looking for compatible Apistogramma's for my tank. Something that can tolerate 74-75 F and won't eat my shrimps! I do kind of like yours. Basically it's a 20 long danio tank.

Anyway...congrats on your new fish!
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Thanks, soarl and kb9plc!

AP, I'm pretty sure you can. I thought about having a male and a female in the 10 and asked ZeeZ if it was okay; he said they'd fit but the hard part would be finding a female. However I'm not sure if two males would work, as they might be territorial. I'm planning to get 6-8 endlers from Cichlidnut (aka Endlernut) to go with my apisto.
 
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kinezumi89

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He still hasn't eaten yet. I put in a TON of extra food today, very slowly sprinkled over the surface. He started to come out, and looked at a few pellets, but didn't try to eat anything. I've been putting shrimp pellets in, so hopefully he's nibbling at those; I know everyone else in the tank likes them. (Don't worry, what with six piglet platies, a pleco, shrimp, and snails, the extra food will definitely get eaten!)

I'm afraid the platies are too active for him. My boyfriend said he started to come out, then one of the platies was zipping up and down the wall as they are won't to do, and he quickly swam for cover. Luckily there's quite a bit of plantage for him to hide in and feel safe. Hopefully I can move him to the 10 gallon soon.

I'll be able to put up a picture of his current home tomorrow, since I'm shipping out the najas grass finally.
 

AlyeskaGirl

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Probably still settling in. Give him time.

I picked up a large Silver Dollar from my LFS several months back and she didn't eat for several weeks and then one day I saw her. I think it was like 2 months I swear. I never saw her eat anything. I figured she would when Hungary enough. Then sure enough. But took forever!
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Okayy. It's hard not to worry haha. I'm sure it'll be easier to feed him when he's in a smaller tank too. Not looking forward to catching him, though!
 

Dria

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If you're really worried you can try feeding him with a pair of tongs or something. For a while I was feeding my male gouramI that way because he didn't take food any other way. I had the idea because every time I put my tongs in the water he would dash over to them and touch them with his ventral fins, so I figure he was fed that way at some point. I think the first few days my apisto was there he got the same treatment because they were hanging around together. I don't know if it would work with platies though, because while my barbs are mental at feeding time, they are terrified of the tongs.
 

ZeeZ

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kinezumi89 said:
Okayy. It's hard not to worry haha. I'm sure it'll be easier to feed him when he's in a smaller tank too. Not looking forward to catching him, though!
Lol, I have pity for you... That particular Apisto was one of the fastest things I'd ever seen in an aquarium. The only other fish I remember owning that was even faster are the Otos. He's very skilled at hiding as well.

As for feeding, try some fish flakes or frozen bloodworms. That's what I fed him, and he would come out and feed with the other fish at the top when I fed flakes.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Hmm I'll have to try those things. I'll try flakes tonight and if he doesn't eat them I'll get some frozen food tomorrow. I'm not sure if my LFS has live foods...though come to think of it, I know there have been signs saying they sell live black worms. That sounds scary though, what if they miss some and they go live in the gravel
 

AmazonPassion

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kinezumi89 said:
Hmm I'll have to try those things. I'll try flakes tonight and if he doesn't eat them I'll get some frozen food tomorrow. I'm not sure if my LFS has live foods...though come to think of it, I know there have been signs saying they sell live black worms. That sounds scary though, what if they miss some and they go live in the gravel
then you'll have a colony of black worms in your gravel
 

ZeeZ

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AmazonPassion said:
then you'll have a colony of black worms in your gravel
Ones that will come out and suck your blood from your fingers every time you put your hand in!


Haha, nah, the fish will just learn that there are blackworms in the gravel and wait then nab 'em.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Grooooss! Haha I've never fed live or frozen foods before. Well, at the animal hospital I worked at, we fed frozen food to the fish in a saltwater tank they had. A guy came out every few weeks to clean it. But we fed thawed frozen shrimp and brine shrimp, which doesn't seem like the best diet for saltwater fish, though I've never had a tank, so who knows.

The lights are still off (only on for 5 hours per day ) but I've seen him swimming around a few times. He's always right near the substrate though, within four or five inches at least. He gets near the platies, so he doesn't seem afraid of them...maybe he just doesn't like them when they're super active. Hopefully I can move him soon. I have to move the cories that are in the 10 gallon over first, but I'm getting six rainbows from Rogue tomorrow (!!!) so I want to wait awhile, even though there are only two cories, so as to not overload the bacteria. I haven't had an ammonia spike in this tank in ages! Probably because I haven't added any fish in months.
 

Dria

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Well, they are more bottom dwelling than top dwelling. While mine doesn't hide a lot anymore he does spend most of his time at the bottom of the tank. He comes to the top during feeding time but otherwise stays mostly in the bottom half. Of course as I'm typing this he's cruising at around the top third mark, so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
 
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kinezumi89

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LOL he's just trying to throw you off. Good to know, I was just afraid it was just that he was afraid. See, once again, he's swimming right behind the platies. Maybe he's more bold when it's dark? Or maybe he's less afraid of them because they're calmer when it's dark.
 

ZeeZ

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Dria said:
Well, they are more bottom dwelling than top dwelling. While mine doesn't hide a lot anymore he does spend most of his time at the bottom of the tank. He comes to the top during feeding time but otherwise stays mostly in the bottom half. Of course as I'm typing this he's cruising at around the top third mark, so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
You're right on the mark, actually. They're mid-bottom level fish although they will occasionally go to the top, usually during feeding time. If you see them cruising around at the top, that means they're comfortable in the tank. Not necessarily with you, though. He just went through a traumatizing experience being chased around, getting stuck in a terra cotta pot then thrown into a box for several days only to be put into a new tank with new water and tank mates and some stranger he doesn't know looming over him.

In a week, though, he'll be staring at you through the glass demanding food as only a cichlid can.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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I always expect things to go back to normal right away When my cat had surgery a few months ago, I was demanding the vet explain why he wasn't better in like a week. (Don't worry, he's my old boss, so I can do that ) Of course it took him two to three weeks to recover, and he's his good old self now. I hope he eats soon though! I don't want to permanently feed flakes since they're a mess and I like my NLS pellets. Hopefully he'll learn they're food soon.
 

Dria

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They might be freaking him out a little when they dash around. I know mine gets a little skittish when the barbs go crazy every once in a while. Not scared, but kind of wary. He fluffs up all his fins and watches them. I can picture him saying in some kind of exotic accent, "What are you doing, silly fish?"
 

ZeeZ

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Dria said:
They might be freaking him out a little when they dash around. I know mine gets a little skittish when the barbs go crazy every once in a while. Not scared, but kind of wary. He fluffs up all his fins and watches them. I can picture him saying in some kind of exotic accent, "What are you doing, silly fish?"
Hahaha, yeah, they're like bettas like that when they display their fins and flash their color. It's their way of saying, "You come near me and I will end you!" But I've never seen them actually attack anything. They're all show, not much backup. The only thing I've seen them aggressively decimate were Cherry shriimp.
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Why can't you have one? Did you want a top-dwelling fish?
 

ZeeZ

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kinezumi89 said:
Finally, here's a picture of the tank! ZeeZ, your wisteria is getting a little unruly..
Well, send it back to me and I'll discipline it for you. okey:


And... :kewlpics:
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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So I think I've determined this fish will be absolutely impossible to catch. I decided to put him in the 10 gallon with the cories, as he seems to be hiding more since I added the rainbows. I verrrrry slowly moved a net towards him and he bolted and it took me forever to find him...underneath an overhang of rock, where I definitely couldn't reach the net. Rather than try to poke him out and likely terrify him more, I decided to wait until maybe he's out and about again, but I know he'll just bolt again. Sigh. I don't want to have to take everything out of the tank...
 
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kinezumi89

kinezumi89

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Now I can't even find him I think I'm going to have to wait until I do a water change, so the water will be lower. Maybe I can take out a few decorations like rocks or driftwood. I feel like there's no way to go about doing it without terrifying him.
 

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