View Full Version : Cichlid experiment - your thoughts please

04-07-2008, 09:53 PM
I have a little experiment going at the moment .

I have a very heavily planted tank about 20 gallons with the following ALL living happily !!

Every fish is very young and under an inch in length .

2 Apistogramma panderini (pair)
2 Apistogramma pulchra (pair)
2 Apistogramma cacatuoides (pair)
2 Borelli Cichlids (Pair)
2 Keyhole Cichlids (pair)
4 Checkerboard Cichlids (tiny)

The only two fish who had a problem with each other was the female panderini and the male pulchra but they took it in turns to "chase" each other .. ... there was no outright winner so they both get on with each other ( well tolerate each other ).

=Amazingly the only fish who has claimed a little patch of tank is one of the TINY checkerboard cichlids

I realise that this tank is only peaceful because they are ALL such yopung fish but it is fantastically intersting to watch them all going about their business.

As they grow I will simply move them to other tanks.

04-07-2008, 10:02 PM
My thoughts.... Good Luck!!!! LOL

I have been breeding Apisto's for years now and have seen breeding pairs fight of Angelfish, Torpedo Barbs and Pictus Cats (all 5 times bigger than them)

Checkerboards are usually quite agressive... other apisto's might crossbreed.

I have had 2 pairs of Apisto's in a HEAVY planted 120 Gallon tank go wrong with the female from one pair killing twice...

It depends on their character and maybe the agression will be spread out enough seeing you have so many (like in the tanks in LFS) but I don't believe you will be able to enjoy the 'natural' character of these fish with so many of them which is one thing that makes them so special.

04-07-2008, 11:16 PM
Post Pics!

04-08-2008, 05:32 AM
I'd recommend moving them to different tanks before they grow large enough to spawn. One pair is all it will take to turn the peaceful scene into a war zone. A 20 isn't a large enough tank to allow room for other fish to get away from the irate newlyweds...

04-08-2008, 06:51 PM
To be honest I did a little research about these little beauties and decided to try them togther in a heavily planted tank . Bear in mind that they are ALL unsed an inch long - the checkerboard and pulchra's are only half an inch long.

Nothing sinister going on - I just had a feeling that they would get on as they are so young -and thankfully for the last month or so - they have.

I have 3 other mature tanks ready and waiting if any problems develope.

04-08-2008, 07:50 PM
Interesting! I heard that apistos in the wild live very packed together so you maybe okay for a while. I heard of this guy who keeps like 100 apistos in a 55gal tank with no ill effects.

04-08-2008, 08:01 PM
So what is the experiment? How long will it last?

This may apply?? Just a little tid bit of advice... (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=20530) LOL (No offense)

I would like to see the pics too. It must be a nice visual.

04-08-2008, 11:04 PM
Maybe experiment was the wrong choice of word .

Thanks for the feedback peeps .

Incidently please excuse any spelling mistakes.

Initially I put in the tiny 4 checkerboard cichlids in with no problems other than ONE of the little fellows claimed a little patch in the path of the rising air bubbles

One week later I added the little pair of Apistogramma cacatuoides - all six got on beautifully ,

A couple of days passed and I added the pair of Borelli Cichlids these are the biggest pair at just over an inch long . Again no problems at all .

Then a few days later one of the local fish shops had some Apistogramma panderini in stock so I bought two and popped them in with the others.

Within about half an hour the female panderini had "taken" the front of the tank at ground level and proceeded to chase any of the others out of her little patch .... after a short while I decided to remove the pair of panderinis to make life easier for the others .

A couple of days later in another fish shop - I found a pair of Apistogramma pulchra hiding under some bogwood in a very busy tank of 5" clown loaches - the little pulchras were terrified. They were the last two of a batch and the fish shop had just dumped a new stock of loaches in .

Anyway I got them both for 5 / $10 and they appear to be a pair . Very attractive AND interesting to watch.

When I got home I introduced them and expected no problems as they were so small - under an inch - but the dominant one decided that HE would have the front of the tank as HIS patch .

Anyways to cut a long story short the next day I decided to give the pair of panderinis a second chance in the community . and LO and BEHOLD a strange thing happened .... the female panderini wanted her patch back but the male pulchra didn't want to give it up .... so they took it in turns to chase each other - about 4 goes each and since then NOTHING !!! No problems at all !! It's as though they just respect each other and have agreed to get on nicely.

I realise that it's early days and I am sure that the sday will come when I have to remove a few of them but until then I can honestly say that this is the most interesting group of fish I have ever had in 35 years fishkeeping ( on and off)

04-08-2008, 11:27 PM
So stop teasing us alllllready! :) We need pics.

04-08-2008, 11:39 PM
So stop teasing us alllllready! :) We need pics.
Picstures please!:18: :18: :18:

04-09-2008, 10:28 PM
I will try and get some pictures although I am very inexperienced at photography and these little beggars are so small !! :)

Also I have no idea as to how I get them onto your forum page :)

04-09-2008, 11:34 PM
Have you got a digital camera??
If so if you dont know how to upload on the computer you say so but what you can do is upload to a free photo holding website like www.photobucket.com and they will help you upload your pictures onto the website.
After you have uploaded pictures to it, there are bunches of embedding codes that writes a code to grab that photo and display it on your post! Just like writing an html site! so there is a tab that is html and copy that into your post for your picture!:19:

Please ask question i will be more then happy to help yea!:19:

04-11-2008, 09:27 PM

I decided to remove the pair of Apistogramma panderini and the pair of Borelli Cichlids as I wanted to add a small pair of Laetacara curviceps to my show tank .

04-11-2008, 10:05 PM
Your seriously overstocking... the tank is only 20G... nice fish though.

04-12-2008, 03:06 PM
Dimensions 30 x15x 15

Heavily planted /filtered/ airated and regular water changes.

I have already rehoused a couple of pairs to make way for a young pair of Laetacara curviceps.

I will keep changing things around to keep everyone happy and healthy .

Nobody gets hurt on my shift !!

04-12-2008, 03:29 PM
That tank is way overstocked... If they do breed someone is getting attacked. The pair will push all the rest up into a corner of the tank. You need to setup a seperate tank for the mating pair so the tank doesn't get shredded...

Cichlids overstocked and mating is not a great experiment. Someone is going to get hurt...

04-12-2008, 07:20 PM
What type of filtration do you have on it? I wants a pic!!

05-03-2008, 11:14 PM
I have removed a couple of pairs of fish as it seemed a little busy :)

05-04-2008, 10:28 AM
your tank is 29.2g not 20! and can i ask where you got your apistos so cheap. I am in england to and 2 for 5 is crazy.

05-04-2008, 08:59 PM
Apistogramma panderini ( 5 - pair)
Apistogramma cacatuoides (5 - pair)
Were bought from Walkers Aquarium of Rossendale.


Whereas the Apistogramma pulchra (5.50 pair) and
Checkerboard cichlids ( 4 for 10 ) were bought from BAS of Bolton.


05-04-2008, 09:24 PM
My main tank now has a pair of Apis. Pulchas , 4 checkerboard cichlids , Pair of curviceps , a pair of Apis. cacatuoides and just added two very small but beautiful Rams .

Everybody is happy and healthy

Tried taking a few pics but just can't get any decent enough to give the tank any justice. Close ups seem bluured or just show 2 or 3 fish but if I go further away you can't really see the fish - they are all under an inch long.

Novice photographer I 'm afraid.

05-05-2008, 04:11 PM
cmon! we need some pics!