Summer Breeding Project? Dwarf Cichlid?

Bruinfishkeeper1

Hey guys, so this summer I really want to breed something. I was thinking of breeding endlers (by simply breeding them in my main community tank, then putting the fry in the breeder tank) but then I felt that that was kinda boring and I wanted to play around with things a lot more

So I wanted to try to breed something like Dwarf Cichlids. I was looking into some of them and I really wanted to breed Apistogrammas Cactoidus. They look fairly easy compared to some of the other apistos. I could do something like Kribs or Scarlet Badis, but something just attracts me to the apistos.
Im gonna ask my buyer (my lfs) which dwarf cichlid they would buy from me. Based off of that ill make my decision (but also ill make my decision off my preference) ive done this whole (here i have a list of things i can breed for you which one should i" thing before with my lfs so ill be fine

Anybody have any tips on breeding Apistogramma Cacatoudis?? I know they need caves (do they need heavy planting?)
 

MacZ

What you need for Apistogramma:
- 20gallon tank or larger (60x30cm footprint minimum)
- 2nd tank to separate the pair in case aggression rises too much, if the pair works well together you can use it as a growout.
- substrate: Fine sand. (an essential!)
- decorations: rocks, driftwood, leaf litter. Flower pots etc are fine, leaf litter is mandatory in my opinion for infusoria.
- plants: floaters, otherwise doesn't have to be densely planted but some strategically placed patches of Elodea, Vallisneria or the like are helpful.
- water: A. cacatuoides are a clearwater species, they don't need extreme water parameters. Additionally most are domestic strains anyway. Still soft acidic water is beneficial for hatching and survival rates in the first days. Good readings: pH 6.0-6.5, GH ~5°, KH ~3°, TDS 80-100 mg/l, EC 150-200µSi/cm
- Tankmates: None. Pencilfish at best as dithers, because they are fry safe.
- Food: Live and frozen, stay clear of bloodworms. Yes, they love them, but not a good food as a staple. Brine shrimp, tubifex, daphnia, white and black mosquito larvae.
- Nice to have: A way to hatch baby brine shrimp on a daily basis. Best fry food.

Except the water parameters this list applies to almost all Apistos.

Edit: place 2-3 caves randomly in the tank in case the female is picky. When the female has picked one, you cn remove the others.
Also make sure the fish can avoid each other, so the decorations have to break the lines of sight.
 
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Flyfisha

Hey MacZ I am only trying to learn more.
Why is sand substrate essential?
Is it something to do with the leaf litter / Infusorea?
 
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MacZ

Most dwarf cichlids show a strong tendency to chew sand and mulm as a means of feeding. That alone should be enough to make Sand an important part of the setup.
For some Apistogramma I am suspecting even that it has a communication aspect. Especially as a means of reduction of aggression and stress. Whenever my Apistos were fighting one of the fish taking a mouthful of sand ended the confrontation and seemed to signal to the aggressor (be it the male or the female) "I yield and keep my distance to you.".
 
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Flyfisha

That makes a lot of sense. Body language is an important part of communication.

Thanks for sharing that tip. I currently have more
cacatuoides pairs than I can find homes for and have been shuffling fish around today. I will add a bit of sand to some of the tiny temporary tanks.


On occasions I have walked past a wild mob of kangaroos. The large dominant male standing on guard looks straight at you and pretends to be eating a handful of grass. As the human walks closer his females look up and see him eating . The message is clear without making any noise.
 
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MacZ

On occasions I have walked past a wild mob of kangaroos. The large dominant male standing on guard looks straight at you and pretends to be eating a handful of grass. As the human walks closer his females look up and see him eating . The message is clear without making any noise.

Also similar to some Apisto males when you use a mirror to make them flare. They also chew sand when you remove the mirror, marking the moment the immediate thread is over.
 
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Bruinfishkeeper1

What you need for Apistogramma:
- 20gallon tank or larger (60x30cm footprint minimum)
- 2nd tank to separate the pair in case aggression rises too much, if the pair works well together you can use it as a growout.
- substrate: Fine sand. (an essential!)
- decorations: rocks, driftwood, leaf litter. Flower pots etc are fine, leaf litter is mandatory in my opinion for infusoria.
- plants: floaters, otherwise doesn't have to be densely planted but some strategically placed patches of Elodea, Vallisneria or the like are helpful.
- water: A. cacatuoides are a clearwater species, they don't need extreme water parameters. Additionally most are domestic strains anyway. Still soft acidic water is beneficial for hatching and survival rates in the first days. Good readings: pH 6.0-6.5, GH ~5°, KH ~3°, TDS 80-100 mg/l, EC 150-200µSi/cm
- Tankmates: None. Pencilfish at best as dithers, because they are fry safe.
- Food: Live and frozen, stay clear of bloodworms. Yes, they love them, but not a good food as a staple. Brine shrimp, tubifex, daphnia, white and black mosquito larvae.
- Nice to have: A way to hatch baby brine shrimp on a daily basis. Best fry food.

Except the water parameters this list applies to almost all Apistos.

Edit: place 2-3 caves randomly in the tank in case the female is picky. When the female has picked one, you cn remove the others.
Also make sure the fish can avoid each other, so the decorations have to break the lines of sight.
Oh ok sounds good. This seems pretty fun to do. Although what kind of other dwarf cichlids maybe easier to breed (although i still kinda wanna breed the apis cac) but is there anything else. I heard Bolivian Rams are relatively easy

Its also going to depend on what my lfs' have for pairs. Are kribs similar to breed?
 
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MacZ

The basic conditions I summed up above fits almost all dwarf cichlids. Only the waterparameters would differ.
 
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TClare

Laetacara are also very attractive. I have some Laetacara araguaiae, I got 4 very small ones in March and they grew and matured very quickly, a pair has already spawned twice, although both times the eggs only lasted 2 days, not sure if they ate them themselves or just stopped caring for them, they were not such determined parents as other cichlids I have bred, but maybe because they are still young and there were too many other fish in the tank. I would like to set up a tank specifically for them Ideally.
 
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Bruinfishkeeper1

Laetacara are also very attractive. I have some Laetacara araguaiae, I got 4 very small ones in March and they grew and matured very quickly, a pair has already spawned twice, although both times the eggs only lasted 2 days, not sure if they ate them themselves or just stopped caring for them, they were not such determined parents as other cichlids I have bred, but maybe because they are still young and there were too many other fish in the tank. I would like to set up a tank specifically for them Ideally.
Oh ok I'll look into that as well. There's not much options to buy that where I live so I'll have to see if I can. I'm thinking about Kribenses, Apistogramma Agasszi, or Apistogramma Cacatodius, and maybe Bolivian Rams. The place I want to buy it from currently only has Kribensis in stock but I'm planning on buying them later (in like a month) so hopefully that changes.
 
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TClare

Oh ok I'll look into that as well. There's not much options to buy that where I live so I'll have to see if I can. I'm thinking about Kribenses, Apistogramma Agasszi, or Apistogramma Cacatodius, and maybe Bolivian Rams. The place I want to buy it from currently only has Kribensis in stock but I'm planning on buying them later (in like a month) so hopefully that changes.
Yes, well the Laetacara was an extremely rare find here as well, that is why I snapped them up quickly. I thought they might be more available elsewhere. Mind you apistogrammas are quite hard to find here too. I seemed to manage to get all males last year and not found more since.
anyway, good luck with your project!
 
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Bruinfishkeeper1

The online store im talking about has a type of Laetacara that is not in stock but they sell it. So I'll definitely look into that. Are they easy to breed?
 
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TClare

The online store im talking about has a type of Laetacara that is not in stock but they sell it. So I'll definitely look into that. Are they easy to breed?
I believe they are easy as mine spawned after having them less than a month, and they were really tiny when I got them, I gave them a variety of foods including frozen brine shrimps, but no live foods altnough they probably got some tiny snails from the tank. As I said they were not brilliant parents compared with other cichlids I have had (they both left the eggs alone when I put food in the tank) and especially the male seemd to lose interest the second day, but this could be due to inexperience or because there are too many other fish around. I had to snap them up quickly and don’t have a dedicated tank for them at the moment. They will probably spawn again soon and maybe I will try to remove the eggs and try to rear some young.
 
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TClare

Update - they are spawning again now!
 
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LowConductivity

Get the cacatuoides! There’s always a buyer for fry, and being a whitewater species, they are very un-fussy about water.

Bigger tanks are better. Everyone and their cousin espouses the 20 longs, but a 40 or 55 will allow you to grow the fry out longer and larger much faster.

Learn how to hatch BBS.

Keep the temp in the 76-78 range.

Profit!
 
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