View Full Version : apistogramma tank size?

Lady Hobbs
07-15-2007, 04:46 PM
As I wander thru the apartment today dreaming of having Apistogramma's, I spy my bedroom dresser. Ahhhhh Ha. A measurement gives me 54 X 16. So now I wonder if a 33 long (maybe 40 long) would work for these fish? There's plenty of room for the fish tank.

OR.....should I use it for community fish and put apistogramma's in the 30 gallon that have community in now?

33 Long 48 1/4 x 12 3/4 x 12 7/8
40 Long 48 1/4 x 12 3/4 x 16 7/8

Is 12 inches high not suitable for apistogramma's? I would rather stay with that size due to weight.

Lady Hobbs
07-15-2007, 05:34 PM
jman, fishguy, dev, jweintraub? One of you have the answer I just have to hear.

07-15-2007, 07:47 PM
Apistogramma lives in small streams and creeks leading to Orinoco and Amazonas. Certain species are specialized to a structured environment with very slow moving waters (including the more colourfull species like A. macmasteri and A. cacatuoides), while others can handle a more unstructured environment with uneven currents (including A. meinkeni and A. uaupesi).

Common to all of them is that they are used to small spaces, with water depths ranging from a couple of meters to only a few centimeters. A long tank (12 inch height) should not be a problem. A group of one male and two or three females may be kept in a rectangular tank as small as 60 cm and 60 liters.

Apistogramma can be a little territorial during breeding, but are usually quite tolerant of other fish, and will do well in a soft watered community tank with other quiet fish.

They are very territorial towards other Apistogramma, and two males would require a decent amount of space. The male territory may have a diameter of 30 cm or more.

In a 33 gallon (long) you should be able to keep up to two males of different species with 3 females each. Make sure the tank is broken into a number of territories by strategicially placed decorations. Females have a territory of their own within the male superterritory, usually about 10 cm in diameter. They will protect their territory from other females.

In short, I think a 33 or 40 gallon long will make for a perfect apistogramma tank :D

For some ideas, check out these two tanks by one of akvaforum.no's corydoras and apistogramma specialists. The site is of course in Norwegian, but the pictures tell you all you need to know :)

98 liter blackwater: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium.cfm?id=1821
128 liter clearwater: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium.cfm?id=1732

Or these successfull breeding tanks by other members:

128 liter Apistogramma agassizii: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium.cfm?id=5346
120 liter Apistogramma macmasteri: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium.cfm?id=5455

Keep in mind that while corydoras makes great tank mates for apistogramma, they tend to eat their eggs if they get the chance.

If you want to see even more, there are a large number of member tanks listed with different apistogramma on akvaforum.no, these URL's will let you find at least some of them without having to take a crash course in the Norwegian language:

Tanks containing:
A. cacatuoides: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium_search.cfm?fish_id=1093
A. agassizii: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium_search.cfm?fish_id=1085
A. macmasteri: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium_search.cfm?fish_id=1115
A. hongsloi: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium_search.cfm?fish_id=1108
A. borellii: http://akvaforum.no/akvarium_search.cfm?fish_id=1091

With almost 6000 tanks listed, the gallery on akvaforum.no is an amazing resource. With it's multiple picture function and direct links to information on fish and plants, sites like ratemyfishtank.com just can't compete.

Someone should make something like this in english, maybe with a blog function and an aqualog. Would make for the ultimate hit in the international fishkeeping community xD

Lady Hobbs
07-15-2007, 08:34 PM
I just knew a great answer would be forthcoming. It sounds to me that just possibly a few of them could go with my angels. If that was possible, perhaps they could go in the 55 then?

Now I have to go read all the sites you listed. Thanks a bunch.

07-15-2007, 08:40 PM
I just knew a great answer would be forthcoming. It sounds to me that just possibly a few of them could go with my angels. If that was possible, perhaps they could go in the 55 then?

I should think so, lot's of people keep them with angels, myself included.

Now I have to go read all the sites you listed. Thanks a bunch.

I don't know about reading, since they are all in Norwegian. But there should be plenty of pictures to look at :P Well, all the fish and plant species are listed with scientific names, so they could prove usefull aswell.

Happy browsing!

07-23-2007, 04:01 AM
it's simple if you want to see them interact with other fish start a small planted community tank-at least 30 gallons long because they don't really go up to the top as much if not in groups. put small shrimp in first if you want-they do good with plants but will be eaten as food if you put them in after-

then add hiding spots for them
- if breeding buy 3 females 1 male hiding spots food and water makes these guys breed easy-i can breed them with 1 pair

long tanks are the way to go
and the community fish that are less on being too active are as well they don't create stress and they don't create too much of a threat.

what kind do you like?

08-09-2007, 09:24 PM
I keep two species of Apistos in large, modified Amano-style planted tanks. I find them much, much less shy when there's a good sized school of tetras in the tank. Left to their own devices the Apistos spawn regularly, usually around the roots of plants, but are very, very secretive about it. I know they breed as juvies continually show up in the groups. I've had them for years and years so I reckon several generations have be born in those tanks. In groups, a non-violent pecking order is worked out, and the Alpha male then the Alpha female are always the first to food. Very interesting to watch. The Alpha male has far more color than his subordinates; sort of a fishy dictatorship :)


Lady Hobbs
08-09-2007, 11:49 PM
Thank you Dave. I think they're rather an interesting little fish so getting a tank ready for them will be the next step.

08-10-2007, 05:23 AM
Welcome, Hobbs :). Got them from a late member of my aquarium club 5 or 6 years ago. One species looks like agassizi, but the colors are too intense for me to be sure; the other looks like borrelli's blue bod with cacatuoides finnage, but the dorsal ray count is wrong for that one. The fellow I got them from did a lot of work with Apistos, so mine were probably F1s from wild caught parents. Wish I'd asked him the species . . .