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70L Apistos Setup
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MikeC90
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.07(Fri)18:58    Post subject: 70L Apistos Setup Reply with quote

After several years of having a 2ft tank sitting doing nothing I finally decided to get it up and running again. Old tank was my grandpa's, so 30 odd years old and had starting leaking, so splashed out for a new one Smile

Old tank complete with other bits and bobs...


Anyhow, I have always liked dwarf cichlids but never really had a tank for them or been able to get the water chemistry right (very hard/high pH tap water)... However, have a water tank now, with 6.5 pH, which is also nice and soft Smile

Never used a sand substrate before and have always liked the look of it, so thought I would give it a go on this small setup. Seems as I live in a very sandy area I decided to go out on a limb and collect some from the bush over the road (note to self: riding a bike with two 10kg buckets of sand isn't easy!). Spent a few hours cleaning the sand and getting most of the bigger stuff out of it...

The sand, complete with debris!


Then onto the setup! Very Happy Trying to keep the tank quite simple and 'clean', so just went for two bits of driftwood of the same type. Also painted the back black, which I think always looks good!




Once I had that sorted I grabbed a few plants from my other tank to give a bit of colour and chucked in a little cheap filter (with some media from another established filter) to start it cycling.



Big filter (Eheim Classic 250) arrived the following week, so got it and another couple of plants in, and also changed the decor as one of logs 'escaped' its rock taking the other one with it... Started looking quite nice and the new filter cleared things up very quickly! I know this filter is probably a bit of overkill for such a small tank, but I have an identical one (plus another external canister) on my 200L tank, so figured just swapping all the filter media would be the quickest way to get the new tank cycled and established Smile

So a few shots as is.




Plans for the tank are:
- 5 x panda corydoras
- 3/4 (1 boy) cockatoo apistos
- 10-15 small dither fish (smaller the better I think)

Obviously I will need to add some good little hiding spots and wait for the tank to cycle for a while longer before adding the apistos, but after 2 weeks the tank is 'cycled' as far as nitrite, nitrate and ammonia spikes are concerned Smile So will be adding the corydoras today!

Please let me know your thoughts and ideas for a small dither fish, thanks in advance Smile
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.07(Fri)20:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you're off to a smooth start.

Might be obvious, but have you checked that sand doesn't alter pH? Looks like it's nice and fine but might just be the wrong chemistry.

About dithers - I hear there are lots of unusual nano fish currently at Fishchick Aquatics...might be worth your while to drop by for a visit if you haven't already. Very Happy I might also suggest that going for 3-4 apistos in there might not go so smoothly if you don't have somewhere else to remove the 3rd/4th wheel if/when you get them pairing up.
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MikeC90
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.07(Fri)22:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I left some water in a bucket with the sand overnight and have also been monitoring the tank. It seems to be very 'bland', hasn't changed the pH, and only very slightly increased the hardness Smile

Thanks for the heads-up, I haven't actually been there before, might have to check it out before making a choice! I did see some Galaxy Rasboras recently, and although not in keeping with the South American theme I do quite like them (not cheap though!)

Righto, have you had much experience with apistos? I have minimal experience with SA cichlids, I have a pair of angels (for several years now) and two Bolivian ram boys (got them as babies) in my 200L but that is about it... From what I have read a 'harem' setup is the way to go for a small tank of apistos, spread the males attentions among a few girls. In saying that, as you have suggested and from what I have read, the females can get pretty aggro towards each other during breeding Razz Not sure which situation would be better/worse... If they were giving eachother too much curry I could move some into my big tank, there is HEAPS of low plant cover and hiding spots in there, so I don't think the rams would give them trouble, though I would never catch them again Confused

Thoughts?
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MikeC90
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.08(Sat)2:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went to the aquarium this arvo and got my little group of panda corydoras Smile They seem to be enjoying sifting through the sand!




Also saw some ember tetras, which fit my brief for a dither fish perfectly! South American, schooling, and small (max size 2cm) so I think they could be a winner Smile I also understand they are reasonably hard to come across???
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.08(Sat)2:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeC90 wrote:
I did see some Galaxy Rasboras recently, and although not in keeping with the South American theme I do quite like them (not cheap though!)


Nice fish, been toying with the idea of getting some myself. I hear they're *very* shy though. Not something you tend to notice in a shop tank as theres usually very little place to hide.

MikeC90 wrote:
Righto, have you had much experience with apistos?


Minimal experience on this one I admit - I have an understanding of how they act from problem solving/seeing fish that aren't my own but thats all. Often see people getting rid of a 3rd wheel after a pair forms. Not saying it is impossible, but tank size seems to be one of the deciding factors. If you've got somewhere to separate something thats get beat on, don't see too much of an issue, just be aware it is a possibility.

MikeC90 wrote:
Also saw some ember tetras, which fit my brief for a dither fish perfectly! I also understand they are reasonably hard to come across???


Yep, nice fish. Schools very well. Not that hard to come across in this country I think, seem to be rarer overseas perhaps. They're constantly on wholesaler lists. Would fit your tank pretty well, but still suggest you go have a look at Fishchicks first. Very Happy They often import unusual Apistogramma too, would be my first stop if I lived in Brisbane. I've gotten them to ship fish down to me from them a few times now, can certainly say they usually have high quality and very unusual stock.
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MikeC90
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.08(Sat)18:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

unissuh wrote:
Nice fish, been toying with the idea of getting some myself. I hear they're *very* shy though. Not something you tend to notice in a shop tank as theres usually very little place to hide.


Yeah, they were in a poorly lit aquarium at the shop and just looked like little dark grey/blue blotches, but a quick google search shows them to be quite a nice looking little fish indeed! However, also says they tend just 'sit' around the aquarium rather than schooling... Probably not that much of an issue in a small aquarium where any schooling fish wouldn't really have room to go 'zooming' around in a school Razz

unissuh wrote:
Minimal experience on this one I admit - I have an understanding of how they act from problem solving/seeing fish that aren't my own but thats all. Often see people getting rid of a 3rd wheel after a pair forms. Not saying it is impossible, but tank size seems to be one of the deciding factors. If you've got somewhere to separate something thats get beat on, don't see too much of an issue, just be aware it is a possibility.


I think I would be willing to try a trio, mainly because I think it would bring out more interesting/natural behaviour in the male. If needed I would be able to rescue the 3rd wheel.

unissuh wrote:
Yep, nice fish. Schools very well. Not that hard to come across in this country I think, seem to be rarer overseas perhaps. They're constantly on wholesaler lists. Would fit your tank pretty well, but still suggest you go have a look at Fishchicks first. Very Happy They often import unusual Apistogramma too, would be my first stop if I lived in Brisbane. I've gotten them to ship fish down to me from them a few times now, can certainly say they usually have high quality and very unusual stock.


I will certainly go and have a look, long drive (I live over an hour north of Brissie and thats the other side of town) but may well be worth it, particularly when it comes to getting some really nice apsitos! Unfortunately all the ones I have come across thus far have been of 'dubious' quality....
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MikeC90
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.19(Wed)1:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update on the tank progress!

Well I ended up going for the ember tetras, got 12 of the little guys Smile They are a very nice little fish! Started off running for the hills every time someone came in the room but they have settled in nicely now. Corydoras are also doing well, as are the plants Smile

Tanin is also dying down a bit now too, not that I mind it anyhow Razz




I have also added in some nice little homes for the apistos, I wasn't too sure how big to make the entrance, but I guess I can change them later if needed...



Removed one of the weight rocks, but I'm thinking I might leave this one in, makes a nice little overhang and once the plants fill in around it I don't think it will look out of place Razz
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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: 2011.10.19(Wed)7:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks mighty nice. That clear water is great, but I don't mind the tannin looking water either - looks natural! Cool Look forward to seeing those apistos.
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MikeC90
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2011.10.20(Thu)17:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

UncleWillie wrote:
Looks mighty nice. That clear water is great, but I don't mind the tannin looking water either - looks natural! Cool Look forward to seeing those apistos.


Thanks! Smile I'm quite pleased with how it is coming together.

I'm considering getting some indian almond leaves to give it a more natural feel, in terms of tannin and also just having leaves lying about randomly...

Haha, I can't wait to get some in there! Patience patience patience Rolling Eyes
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coryfan
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Joined: 11 Feb 2006

PostPosted: 2011.10.22(Sat)16:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ember Tetras sure are pretty. Kind of like a fancy version of a Glowlight Tetra.
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