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Creepy Hollow

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,199
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Only reason I have been feeding him like this is he is looking extremely gaunt and shredded and has been hanging out close to the surface under the floating plants. Anytime he goes from food one of the other males nips at him or chases him away.
They only stay at the top of the tank when they haven't got any territory that they can use at floor level. You could try a <"length of pipe"> in the top corner of the tank for him to hide on, but I'd guess the end is nigh.

cheers Darrel
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
486
Location
London
Sounds like he needs a retirement tank, your big tank is a young fish's game!

How did you source all your apistos? Is the older male your original? Just wondering as it sounds to have 3 generations living together! Interested in hear about how you grew the community :)
 

Kogre

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Apr 2013
Messages
212
Location
Derby
Unfortunately I don't have another tank to put him in. Missus is already preparing to beat me with a rolling pin when I next mention a nano tank for a betta again.

I'll see how he fairs. The pipe idea is a good one and should give him somewhere to hangout at least.

How did you source all your apistos? Is the older male your original? Just wondering as it sounds to have 3 generations living together! Interested in hear about how you grew the community :)
Right, here goes my fish version of Dynasty... In terms of numbers discounting any fry... right now I have five males and five females in there. I purchased 6 orange flash from Maidenhead Aquatics, 2 males and 4 females. I thought this was a nice balanced number but there became a problem very quickly, the father of the fry was nipping and chasing the other smaller male, this was before there was any fry in the tank. Lesson: Either a sole male or three males should have been purchased; all around the same size. At this stage only one of the males had super long pectoral fins with a nice light blue hue and had a deep blue colour along his body. The other seemed pale yellow and was often seen with a split down his tail at some stage or another. I thought I would try to diffuse some of the aggression and ordered two double red apistogramma's having made a rookie mistake; not asking the seller questions. I ended up with a male and a female (I was hoping for two males... I've never seen a female double red unless she carries the trait...) and these guys were small, like almost freshly our of their juvenile colourless lives and beginning their coloured up lives as young adults. This gave the first and second original males a target, sadly a very small one who spent most of his time hiding. Around this time two females had fry from the then dominant male.

A few weeks later I found another seller only this time I asked questions and asked for pictures. I received two very large males. "Matt Daaaammooooon" is the biggest and dominant one now, with only his brother sometimes challenging and failing. There are no damaged fins on either of these. "Matt Daaaammooooon" has developed larger pectoral fins with the blue hue, but his brothers have also started to grow in a little. The original smaller orange flash is now bigger than the original dominant orange flash and he has the longest pectoral fins relative to his body size. I think it's probably this guy dishing out some revenge on the original dominant. The juvenile double red now no longer gets bullied by anything. He gets chased off by females from time to time but his fins are well developed (healed from being split multiple times) and he's developing some heft since I first bought him. None of the larger two double reds are annoyed by his presence and will eat alongside him.

From the two lots of fry I had, one brood was stolen by the other mother. There are two lots of fry that have basically now been left to fend for themselves and between the two original broods I have an extremely broad range of sizes from tiny 5mm ones to 2-2.5cm ones (though there are few at this size, potentially only the one). My response to throw more fish at the problem was a silly one. I've already had a discussion with a local pet shop, probably about two-three weeks ago about them taking the original two males and they've said they would be happy to, only I can't catch both of them at the same time for the life of me. I thought I was stressing all my fish out with the males darting down into the foliage and me disturbing everything trying to catch them. so for now I thought I'd leave them be. My youngest son likes the two orange ones... That said, he hardly sits in the room with the aquarium, so I'm not totally against taking them to the store.

I'll go take a breath now.
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
486
Location
London
Unfortunately I don't have another tank to put him in. Missus is already preparing to beat me with a rolling pin when I next mention a nano tank for a betta again.

I'll see how he fairs. The pipe idea is a good one and should give him somewhere to hangout at least.


Right, here goes my fish version of Dynasty... In terms of numbers discounting any fry... right now I have five males and five females in there. I purchased 6 orange flash from Maidenhead Aquatics, 2 males and 4 females. I thought this was a nice balanced number but there became a problem very quickly, the father of the fry was nipping and chasing the other smaller male, this was before there was any fry in the tank. Lesson: Either a sole male or three males should have been purchased; all around the same size. At this stage only one of the males had super long pectoral fins with a nice light blue hue and had a deep blue colour along his body. The other seemed pale yellow and was often seen with a split down his tail at some stage or another. I thought I would try to diffuse some of the aggression and ordered two double red apistogramma's having made a rookie mistake; not asking the seller questions. I ended up with a male and a female (I was hoping for two males... I've never seen a female double red unless she carries the trait...) and these guys were small, like almost freshly our of their juvenile colourless lives and beginning their coloured up lives as young adults. This gave the first and second original males a target, sadly a very small one who spent most of his time hiding. Around this time two females had fry from the then dominant male.

A few weeks later I found another seller only this time I asked questions and asked for pictures. I received two very large males. "Matt Daaaammooooon" is the biggest and dominant one now, with only his brother sometimes challenging and failing. There are no damaged fins on either of these. "Matt Daaaammooooon" has developed larger pectoral fins with the blue hue, but his brothers have also started to grow in a little. The original smaller orange flash is now bigger than the original dominant orange flash and he has the longest pectoral fins relative to his body size. I think it's probably this guy dishing out some revenge on the original dominant. The juvenile double red now no longer gets bullied by anything. He gets chased off by females from time to time but his fins are well developed (healed from being split multiple times) and he's developing some heft since I first bought him. None of the larger two double reds are annoyed by his presence and will eat alongside him.

From the two lots of fry I had, one brood was stolen by the other mother. There are two lots of fry that have basically now been left to fend for themselves and between the two original broods I have an extremely broad range of sizes from tiny 5mm ones to 2-2.5cm ones (though there are few at this size, potentially only the one). My response to throw more fish at the problem was a silly one. I've already had a discussion with a local pet shop, probably about two-three weeks ago about them taking the original two males and they've said they would be happy to, only I can't catch both of them at the same time for the life of me. I thought I was stressing all my fish out with the males darting down into the foliage and me disturbing everything trying to catch them. so for now I thought I'd leave them be. My youngest son likes the two orange ones... That said, he hardly sits in the room with the aquarium, so I'm not totally against taking them to the store.

I'll go take a breath now.

Quite a saga!! Thankyou for sharing :)

I think it's natural to have problems like these, you did the right thing that everyone says by getting the 6 fish at the start, I've also heard from someone who I gave 2 male apistos to that they had problems, even in a rather large tank. I ended up swapping one of the males for a female. I wonder if there is ever a perfect number or if they will always be aggravation of some sort... apistos are so lovely, partly because they're so dramatic, but that drama comes with problems too lol

For your catching apisto problems, I've found it quite easy to catch them with a bottle trap with live food in, though you may be quite a large bottle for the big males to fit into! I would have 2 buckets, 1 for the fish that go in it that you want to keep (my motherfish was constantly going in the bottle to get more food, and when I'd take her out she'd just go straight back in again, very annoying), and one for the ones that you want to give to the LFS. Though maybe you've tried this plan! Catching any fish with a net in a big tank is a fool's game unless you're breaking the whole thing down. 😂
 

Kogre

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Apr 2013
Messages
212
Location
Derby
The third brood got wiped out almost instantly. The mother was chasing off fish all the way to the other side of the tank and I'm guessing her being so far away from the brood for longer than needed didn't help.

This isn't something I mind and half expected with the number of fish in there right now.
 

Kogre

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Apr 2013
Messages
212
Location
Derby
IMG_20210721_144218.jpg


Been a while since I updated this... thought I'd do just that today.

The plants are doing well. Some of the S Repens that was dying off (I had multiple leaves floating around most mornings) have been pulled out but I still have a lot of healthy plants in there. The hygrophila pinnatifida completely died off and became food for the shrimp. I didn't mind this, I had too much going on in there (arguably I still do). The hygrophila siamensis 53b is doing really well. I've been thinking about removing the wood with the moss on the left (it's blocking a lot of light and is difficult to remove and place back in because of how broadly the base sprawls) and placing cuttings of the hygrophila in the space. There is a sword back there but it's not doing too good because of the blocked light I think. The echinodorus reni died back and hasn't bounced back yet, I don't think it will as the hygrophila blocks a lot of light to the corners.

Some of the swords ended up being affected by the raised temperatures I had the tank running on for about a month to try and get a mixture of males to females. I've now normalised the temperature and the damage seems to have stopped spreading.

The cryptocoryne beckettii (petchii) has just started to yellow in places and have leaves die off. The wendtii I had planted before receiving my plants have completely taken over and are dominating the midground. The vallisneria seemed to die back and bounced back two-fold. I have leaves reaching over the top of the tank now, and some of it is growing inside the hollow. I pull this out when I can reach it from the roots. Same with the sagittaria, it's just growing bonkers as is expected. As you can see, I'm a little behind pulling out from the front of the cave where some of the shrimp have decided to camp out.

Some of the "babies" have started growing out well and I have a nice mixture of males to females (thanks for the tip @dw1305) and the males have started to fill in their colours in their tails. Some of them are already exhibiting courting behaviour. There are currently at least two broods in their right now but I believe these are from already established mothers.

There is some sort of sickness in the tank. I've lost a couple of the beginner males to it, where they start to develop black spots, they lose their appetite and end up dead. One of the current mothers is affected by this affliction and has been for over a month. It's the same fish in my profile picture. Here she is, hiding away:
IMG_20210721_151739.jpg

Currently there are a few fish affected by this, only the cacatuoides though from what I can see.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,070
Location
Nottingham
Sorry to hear about the fish illness, I'm sure some of the more experienced apisto keepers can advise.

That aside the tank looks fantastic - some serious growth for 6 weeks low tech! Given you have a lot more plant mass now, you may need to review your fert dosing regime.
 
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