Keeping 2 male apistos?

Dan1o

Hi again, is it possible to keep 2 male apistos, (no females) in a 4ft community tank? Or will they still get territorial and flighty? Thanks
 

MacZ

Now you ask for 2. In the other thread it made the impression you were going for more.

I quote myself

The structures have to be done correct: broken lines of sight in the lower 20cm of the tank, and no way of looking from one side of the tank through to the other side. And even then you have to calculate with 60cm diameter per male territory, so if done right a 120cm tank can house only two male Apistogramma.

And I add: Said tank will have to be done right.

Also, Apistogramma are not community fish in my opinion. At best a biotope community with the right combination of fish, otherwise rather not.

Is the tak already set up? If so, mind giving us a glimpse?
 
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LadfromLondon

Now you ask for 2. In the other thread it made the impression you were going for more.

I quote myself



And I add: Said tank will have to be done right.

Also, Apistogramma are not community fish in my opinion. At best a biotope community with the right combination of fish, otherwise rather not.

Is the tak already set up? If so, mind giving us a glimpse?
Have to say, I’m always fascinated by your insight.

As stated above, it’s possible to do. Not sure if it’s worth the headache. Maybe some different cichlids would be better? Bolivian Rams perhaps?
 
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MacZ

I myself would only put in one Apistogramma and be done. Also it's always the decision Cories or Apistos. Not both.
 
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Dan1o

Two was the minimum I was going for if the answer came back that it was doable then I was going to ask about more….
image.jpg
This is the tank,
 
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MacZ

Actually quite a nice tank but you can see through under the driftwood and I honestly find it a shame to rearrange that tank to fit in two Apistos. Rather leave everything as is and get only one and it will be the king in this tank. Less is more with Apistos.
But you can definitely also add a bunch of leaf litter.
 
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Dan1o

Ok that’s great thanks for the advice, always good to learn new things!
 
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MacZ

May I ask what exactly the substrate is? Hard to tell. If it's sand, great, if it's soil not that great but no need to switch out either.

What imo would make the tank in general Apisto-appropriate would definitely be a layer of brown leaves, some twigs and other botanicals. For that you won't have to move anything. Also Apistos love foraging among that stuff, so it will be occupied and be able to show natural behaviour. Maybe not whole spectrum of social behaviours, but you can put a small mirror against the glass from the outside once in a while to get the blood pumping.
 
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MacZ

Depends on the species of Apisto. Can't give you a general answer to that one.
 
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Dan1o

Fair enough
 
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MacZ

You're welcome.

Oh and the black sand: Perfect.
 
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TClare

I agree its best just to have one male Apistogramma. Of the two species of Apistogramma I have, the cacatuoides is quite calm, and would probably be fine with keyholes, while the agassizii is very aggressive. I started with a group of 5 juveniles in a 4ft tank, that were sold as macamasteri but were 3 cacatuoides and 2 agassiziis (wild). All turned out to be males (I think, one has stayed small), and I gradually had to separate them. I had to return one male agassizi. At first the dominant cacatuoides and agassizii had their own territories at each end of the tank, and would just display at eachother at the boundaries. But after a while the agassizii tried to control more and more of the tank and they would often fight, even though there was plenty of structure in the tank. I still have him as the only Apistogramma in the 4ft tank, he is now with some bigger fish, but still tries to be dominant, sometimes flaring and nipping at the small festivums. One cacatuoides died recently and the other two I have in a much larger tank along with some Laetacaras who keep spawning and then are more aggressive than the Apistos, but as the tank is so big and well planted with caves and crevices this is not causing problems, the apistos keep out of the way.
 
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LowConductivity

Multiple males is perfectly fine.

As a general rule of thumb, aggression can be broken down by water type to a strong degree. Blackwater fish being the least social, clearwater fish being more social, and whitewater fish the most social. ( The easier it is to find food, the less mean you need to be to survive)
 
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TClare

Multiple males is perfectly fine.

As a general rule of thumb, aggression can be broken down by water type to a strong degree. Blackwater fish being the least social, clearwater fish being more social, and whitewater fish the most social. ( The easier it is to find food, the less mean you need to be to survive)
Really? Well mine were OK for a few months I suppose, and it was one particular male that caused most of the problems, but I only have experience of those two species.
 
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MacZ

I think it depends very much on how you structure the tank, which tank size and which species. That's a number of factors. I said earlier in the thread, 2, with the tank done right, might work, but not three. Just saying "it's fine" might be careless.
I know several A. borellii (Then again: Standard non-aggressive borellii, right?) in a 2m tank are no problem, but don't try the same with A. baenschi or A. ortegai.
 
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LowConductivity

Really? Well mine were OK for a few months I suppose, and it was one particular male that caused most of the problems, but I only have experience of those two species.
Not a totally unique experience. I once had a male borellii that was a complete tyrant. I'm sure in the wild he would have claimed an 8' circle as his territory, where his brothers and cousins were completely content in cohabitation defending a territory of maybe 12" x 12".
 
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CHJ

4 feet of tank? With the cover you got, put a cave on each end and they will never know the other exists.
I have bred pandoros in a 55g with many males. Lots of cories too but the padoros had no issues keeping them out of caves. The girls seemed to be more bitey face, than the boys. come within 6-8" of the cave and you were going to get bit.
So which variety are you looking at?
 
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Dan1o

Looking at viejita, I already have one so I was just considering another as I really like them
 
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LowConductivity

Looking at viejita, I already have one so I was just considering another as I really like them
Great species!

I have viejita in 3, 30 gallon tanks (36", 1M). All tanks are male heavy, and I wouldnt keep them any other way. You'd miss out on all the bluster, and the sooty belly patch that they really only show when standing off.
 
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Dan1o

Oh great! How aggressive are they generally? And are some species more aggressive than others?
 
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LowConductivity

Oh great! How aggressive are they generally? And are some species more aggressive than others?
In my tank that is stocked the heaviest (5M/1F), the males bicker over territory, they display, they chase, but no one is damaged. I'd consider them reasonably social.

Absolutely, some species are more aggressive than others. From my experience, I would advise to not attempt keeping more than one adult male of the following species together. atahualpa, elizabethea, minima, hongsloi, sp tefe, personata
 
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Dan1o

That’s great thanks
 
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MacZ

Add ortegai to that list.

About the viejita make sure it's not one of the macmasteri strains that're sold under the name. Lately a lot of retailers have been selling domestic macmasteri as viejita here and in north america alike.
 
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Dan1o

I think I may have left it too late to be honest to add another one now, the first has been in the tank 3 days now so he will probably have established his territory and won’t take well to an intruder!
Also how can I make sure it’s not a Macmasteri strain?
 
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Linda1234

As others noted it depends a bit on the species but also if there are no females there is less of a chance of aggression and if the fishes grow up together there is least chance of aggression but regardless of generality the actual behavior will come down to specific fishes. I've watched my nannacara (golden eye) interact with my cockatoo over the past year and there has been some interaction but no real damage. There was a hissing match between two females in which the nana quickly pinned the cockatoo and then release her and now and then there is a bit of tail wagging. I'm not a fan of the cockatoo for various reasons not the least the ones i have seem to have weak genetics with one locking his jaws open and another getting old fish disease after 18 months (nothing really wrong just general change in body shape). Personally i think the term apistogramma is like saying cichild - there are so many different species it is hard to draw general conclusions. One thing about MacZ comment is that to my knowledge he keeps his fish in a small tank - a four foot tank does have quite a bit more foot print and i would not anticipate significant issues with just two males of most passive species.
 
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LowConductivity

Add ortegai to that list.

About the viejita make sure it's not one of the macmasteri strains that're sold under the name. Lately a lot of retailers have been selling domestic macmasteri as viejita here and in north america alike.
Odd...my experience with ortegai subcomplex fish was rather unmemorable in terms of aggression, but I don't think I ever housed more than a dozen together
 
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MacZ

Also how can I make sure it’s not a Macmasteri strain?

Look for wild caught viejita. Then you have a chance not to get a macmasteri. It has become a bit like the Corydoras trilineatus vs. Corydoras julii problem. The one is almost never imported, the other one sold as it everywhere.
Edit: Ugh... finding a picture of a true viejita online is a mess.
https://www.aquainfo.nl/wp-content/...ogramma-viejita-wildvang-man-uit-Colombia.jpg
Just look for yourself. Especially that dark area on the flanks/belly is a telltale sign.

One thing about @MacZ comment is that to my knowledge he keeps his fish in a small tank

Comparatively, yes. Which is why I only keep single specimens anyhow. Doesn't impact what I see and observe in friend's tanks.
Much more versed in Rift Lake cichlids, indeed.
 
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Dan1o

Not a clue on mine to be honest, I definitely don’t have an eye for these things! I think I had better play it safe and not get another one as much as I’d like too, I don’t want to end up with 2 aggressive guys
 
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LowConductivity

https://www.aquainfo.nl/wp-content/...ogramma-viejita-wildvang-man-uit-Colombia.jpg
Just look for yourself. Especially that dark area on the flanks/belly is a telltale sign.

Technically speaking, the sooty belly patch is a poor diagnostic tool to identify A. viejita. The sooty belly patch is displayed by many of the species of the Macmasteri sub-complex, and even D10 group species.

True viejita is identified by a group of features.

Caudal spot is square, to crescent shaped (macmasteri is rectangle/verticle rectangle).

Lateral band is continuous, and appears to be a zig-zag pattern. (macmasteri display an often "broken" looking lateral band, visible only where it intersects with the bars)

Dorsal fin displays a distinct red-burgandy pattern on the tips
 
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Dan1o

So which is this guy? Any ideas?
 

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MacZ

That girl looks like a macmasteri.
 
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Dan1o

A girl, wow I thought she was too big to be a girl, she’s as big as the male cockatoo I used to own
 
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MacZ

I can't tell how big that fish is just from the pictures, but with these fins and that colour I it's very unlikely to be a male. How big is it?
 
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Dan1o

I would say maybe 6cm, comparison to full grown honey gourami
 

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MacZ

That's a lot, but in tankbred strains that can happen. A sleeper male could also be, but then it depends how long you have that fish. Now from that perspective the colours are more prominent although it's a bit blurry.
But definitely a strain of Macmasteri.
 
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Dan1o

Fab thanks
 
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yukondog

This is one of my young F1 male Viejita he is about twice as big now, if it helps.
P1010256.JPG
 
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Linda1234

Are you breeding them or did you purchase him as an F1 ?

This is one of my young F1 male Viejita he is about twice as big now, if it helps.
P1010256.JPG
 
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