New Apistos!! HUGE adult male!

  • #1
I finally found a place that had a.cacatuoides in stock. I've been looking for months. We bought a pair back in january, but the male died within a day or two.

Found an lfs that had some in stock, "an adult male and several juveniles". Woot! I put them on 24hr hold and went to get them today. From the juveniles I picked out what I think/hope is a gorgeous male and 2 females.

Now I know all the articles say males get to around 3 inches, but I've only ever seen young ones in person. Holy cow this boy is MASSIVE! Lol I am honestly afraid he is too big to put with my female. I couldnt not buy him though, even if he just hangs out in the community tank until the female is bigger. My husband's estimate is that he is 3.5 to 4 inches long. I'm no good at gauging size. Gonna try to get better pics tomorrow with him near a ruler. He does not seem interested in the neon tetras that are in the tank with him at least, although he could easily fit them in his mouth. I have him in a divided 20g with a female macmasteri next door. I had originally planned on putting the 3 juveniles next to him, but they are so small they swam right through the divider. ‍♀️‍♀️

I picked up the macmasteri for free from someone local today too!

Anyways, enough rambling! Lol I'm just so excited to finally have the start of my breeding group. Hopefully I'll get better pics tomorrow, but here's a few for now.


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  • #2
Nice! Love those fish!
  • #3
I have a handful of cacatuoides fry at the moment.
I am not expert on this species at all ,far from it. But the males are always 3 or 4 times bigger than the females at the same age.I have had this guy for around 12 months and he was still able to fertilise the eggs of a new female that I reckon is about the size of your female? The local story in my country is to just have one male and ONE female in a small tank and then remove the male when you see eggs. The story goes that she might kill him. A spare female would need to be rehomed should you have her in the tank while they chose a mate. I have got to say my cacs are very peaceful,but I have seen another species of apisto become very very aggressive when she had eggs. Just keep an eye on them daily I suppose?


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  • #4
I've seen one big male like that, he had three females with caves, all spawning at near the same time, in a long 20 gallon tank. My experience with Cockatoos is that they are one of the Apistos that really likes a harem. But OP's new big male is really spectacular, I like the heavy black pigment.
  • #5
The male my like a Harem that is not in question.
The problem is the aggression from the females.

I am just saying what is recommended practice, in a small breeding tank by others in my country.
If the females are known to kill the huge males what chance do another females fry have?
The fry will only eat live foods are are to small to eat baby brine when first born. Infusora is working for my fry at the moment.
Just keep an eye on them daily.

I suggest you will not even see the NEWBORN fry unless you have your head within 6 inches of the tank.
  • #6
Females set a small territory about 6-8 inches in radius from the spawning cave. The male's job is to patrol the larger territory that contains multiple female territories. He may cover several square feet, and however many females as settle in his territory. Your problem is that the breeding tank is probably too small. I would not keep Cockatoos in a tank smaller than 15 gallons, and long 20 is better.

I've never heard of a female Cockatoo killing a large male. However, I have seen females of Nannacara anomala take out males three times their size when they start guarding eggs/fry. I suspect you are getting your species confused.

I raised the fry using microworms to start, and switched them over to bbs after about a week. I used to be able to start them on bbs, but they closed San Francisco Bay to egg collection. Those nauplii are smaller than Salt Lake shrimp. The Bay has recently been reopened, and the eggs are available again - at a premium price, of course.
  • #7
That is all very interesting chromedome52, thank you.

I can only work with the information I get from local club members with their tanks. Perhaps passing on word of mouth Information is not a good idea until I have hands on experience of seeing a dead male? I did say I have seen no aggression from my females.For that matter with the male now in another tank I will never see him smashed in the corner.

Nobody has challenged the advice to keep an eye on them daily IngeniousGeos?
  • #8
My trio became a pair in my 29 gallon. Took a month for one female to kill the miss my apisto. But I'm liking the black rams
  • #9
Like Fltfisha said and keep watch of the pair, I have had females get along with the male in the tank and had the female go psycho on the male [Hongsloi] and have had the male drive the female away from the fry [Macmasteri], I prefer to leave them together but if they dont get along I remove the male and let the female raise them for about 8 weeks or so. I have about 30-40 fry now 12 weeks old and have feed them BBS from day one, Good luck.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Just figured I would come back here and update since it has been awhile. All the new fish are doing great. After talking to a lot of different people, and to a really experience breeder, I decided against using the big guy for breeding. It looks like he may be quite a bit older than I was told (due to the shape of his head and back) and may have an old injury, birth defect or nerve damage that makes one of his dorsal fins a bit funky.

He has been lovingly dubbed Gomer by my husband and will retire in our community tank. Trust me, the name fits! Lol He has been doing his quarantine next door to a lovely adult female macmasteri. Since they cant interbreed, they will likely both go into my main community tank once I upgrade it. (Going from a 29g to a 55!!)

2 of the new juvenile cacatuoides paired off and spawned in their quarantine tank, so I pulled the third out and he/she is in a 20 long with amano shrimp, neon tetras and our original female cacatuoides. We bought her back in february. So far they are getting along really well but dont show any signs of spawning. Time will tell if they are both females or if the new little one is a subdominant male. Due to the age difference, he is still about 3/4 of an inch smaller than her.


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  • #11
Hey tnrsmomma thanks for the update.
My news that I have not shared openly is we have our first cactuoides fry.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Hey tnrsmomma thanks for the update.
My news that I have not shared openly is we have our first cactuoides fry.
That's awesome! Congrats

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