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Dither Fish

Contents:

  1. pingu guppies -Reply
    by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Wed, 09 Jul 1997)
  2. Fwd: pingu guppies -Reply
    by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com> (Wed, 09 Jul 1997)
  3. Fwd: pingu guppies -Reply -Reply
    by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Wed, 09 Jul 1997)
  4. dithers (was pingu guppies) -Reply
    by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca> (Thu, 10 Jul 1997)
  5. Fwd: dithers (was pingu guppies) -Reply
    by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com> (Thu, 10 Jul 1997)
  6. Fwd: dithers (was pingu guppies) -Reply
    by huntley/ix.netcom.com (Wright Huntley ) (Thu, 10 Jul 1997)
  7. Good dither/target fish for apistos
    by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk> (Wed, 17 Dec 1997)
  8. Good dither/target fish for apistos
    by Fredrik.Ljungberg/saab.se (Wed, 17 Dec 1997)
  9. Good dither/target fish for apistos
    by Randy or Deb Carey <carey/spacestar.net> (Wed, 17 Dec 1997)
  10. Good dither/target fish for apistos
    by Wright Huntley <huntley/ix.netcom.com> (Thu, 18 Dec 1997)
  11. double-duty dither
    by coenga/infonie.fr (Dujardin Colin) (Sun, 15 Nov 1998)
  12. Tetras & Apistos
    by "Fredrik Nilsson A (QDT)" <Fredrik.A.Nilsson/edt.ericsson.se> (Tue, 15 Dec 1998)
  13. Apisto beginner summary and new questions ;-)
    by "ALEX PASTOR" <alexp/idirect.com> (Tue, 12 Jan 1999)
  14. Tetras as dithers
    by Fi205sh/aol.com (Wed, 8 Dec 1999)

pingu guppies -Reply

by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>>  have found them to be even better than some of the tetras
as dither fish <<

What are the attributes of a good dither fish?  I've never really
addressed this issue personally, but let me throw out some
categories as a starter for debate with possible values or
options. Some have obvious choices (i.e., aggressive dithers
are not desirable) but I'll include them anyway in case what
may be obvious to me may not be right at all. :-)

ACTIVITY
Active swimmer, moderately active or sluggish

AGGRESSION
aggressive, somewhat aggressive or peaceful

STRATA OCCUPIED
upper, middle or lower

REPRODUCTION
Live bearer or egg layer

COLOR
colorful, moderately colorful or dull

Bill Vannerson
McHenry, IL USA
william_vannerson-at-ama-assn.org

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Fwd: pingu guppies -Reply

by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Perhaps we should go back further and define what are dither fishes.  I 
suspect that there may be more than one reason for keeping dither fish.  
The upper strata and middle strata is not occupied in most cichlid 
tanks, so appearance and completing the pictorial view of an aquarium is 
a possible need.  Cichlids in general are cautious and many do not 
display themselves unless there are other "dumber" fish which may 
present themselves as the first target of a predator--so to better view 
your apistos behaving naturally(questionable in an aquarium setting) may 
be another reason to have dither fish.  There are surely other reasons 
that I have not thought of.

>What are the attributes of a good dither fish?  I've never really
>addressed this issue personally, but let me throw out some
>categories as a starter for debate with possible values or
>options. Some have obvious choices (i.e., aggressive dithers
>are not desirable) but I'll include them anyway in case what
>may be obvious to me may not be right at all. :-)
>
>ACTIVITY
>Active swimmer, moderately active or sluggish
>
>AGGRESSION
>aggressive, somewhat aggressive or peaceful
>
>STRATA OCCUPIED
>upper, middle or lower
>
>REPRODUCTION
>Live bearer or egg layer
>
>COLOR
>colorful, moderately colorful or dull
>
>Bill Vannerson
>McHenry, IL USA
>william_vannerson-at-ama-assn.org
>


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Fwd: pingu guppies -Reply -Reply

by William Vannerson <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>>Cichlids in general are cautious and many do not  display
themselves unless there are other "dumber" fish which may 
present themselves as the first target of a predator-<<

So intelligence is another category!  :-)

I would suspect that *pulling* the apisto out into the open to
make it more observable would be the first objective.  Filling
additional strata for aesthetic purposes would be secondary. 
Tetras seem to be a common choice followed by danios and
then guppies (pure anecdotal assumptions here).

But if we revisit the purpose or definition of a dither fish, some
of those may not be optimal choices, at least for apistos. 
Tetras, for example, occure naturally in most cichlid habitats,
they're inexpensive and don't bother the lower strata fish for
the most part.

But is a tetra an ideal dither fish?  What about a dwarf
gorami?  Or guppies?  Or maybe different dwarf cichlids?  Are
they better or worse?  But rather than having me going on and
on and on....  What different dither fish have people used and
what were the results?
Bill Vannerson
McHenry, IL USA
william_vannerson-at-ama-assn.org

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dithers (was pingu guppies) -Reply

by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

William Vannerson wrote:
 
> I'd love to find a good killie as an Apisto dither.  What about
> Cynolebias nigripinnis or some other S. American killie to
> keep the species from the same continent?
> 
Hi William,
	me again. I wouldn't try cynolebias because they don't seem to run
much. They challenge, at least for a second, and that is a mistake for a
dither to do. The pterolebias were amazing. they pack-hunted the
cacatuoides fry, taking apparently coordinated turns diving down on the
gaggle of apistos and drawing the mother off. It was like a nature
documentary in my own little basement. Rivulis may be too slow and lazy
in their movements - I'd be afraid to try it unless I had an awful lot
of juvenile rivulis. I can't think of a South American killie suited to
a career in dithering. 
	African killies have worked for me - in fact I often grow out juveniles
by using them as dithers for pairs of apistos in 20 gallon tanks.
	gary

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Fwd: dithers (was pingu guppies) -Reply

by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>I'd love to find a good killie as an Apisto dither.  What about
>Cynolebias nigripinnis or some other S. American killie to
>keep the species from the same continent?
>

At a lecture given by Uwe Romer at the San Francisco Aquarium Society 
last year, I learned something about characins that I didn't know 
before.  It appears that larger characins are higher up on the food 
chain than Apistos. In many apistos natural environment, the creatures 
that predate on the apistos are some of the larger characins. It 
wouldn't surprise me if the smaller characins may predate on smaller 
apistos and fry.  

Somewhere else in my travels, I came across something about keeping 
killifish with other fish.  Many of the killifish inhabit mud puddles, 
elephant footprints filled with water, etc.  It seems that many of them 
are incredibly aggressive to hold their territory and be able to 
reproduce. Although I have not had a lot of different types of Killies, 
I have not found the ones that I have tried to be particularly good 
community fish,  either they don't make it or the other inhabitants 
don't.

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Fwd: dithers (was pingu guppies) -Reply

by huntley/ix.netcom.com (Wright Huntley )
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Ed wrote: 
>
>>I'd love to find a good killie as an Apisto dither.  snip...

Forget it.
 
>... Although I have not had a lot of different types of Killies, 
>I have not found the ones that I have tried to be particularly good 
>community fish,  either they don't make it or the other inhabitants 
>don't.

I keep mostly killies and breed some Apistos when the urge strikes. I *never* 
keep them together. The closest to community-tank killies are the west-African 
Chromaphyos and close relatives. They are *still* puddle fish, hence killers of 
any invader of their territory.

My favorite general-purpose dither fish is Heterandria formosa. A top-water 
live bearer, never over 1.5" long, they don't even eat their own babies, much 
less try to steal others. Nice perky, not hyper, fish that tend to produce a 
calm environment. Grown Apisto parents may eat *them* tho. IDK.

Wright


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Wright Huntley (408) 248-5905 Santa Clara, CA USA huntley-at-ix.netcom.com

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Good dither/target fish for apistos

by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

> Currently, I
> have a very young pair of cacatuoides housed in a tank with serpae
> tetras, and harlequin rasboras, and am interested in replacing their
> tankmates soon..

Hi,

Serpaes and Harlequins are probably not as you suspect the 
best dither fish for Apistos, they especially the 
Harlequins are pretty fast swimmers and could probably 
steal fry if there are more than a couple of them.

How about small pencil fish such as Nannostomus marginatus 
which are pretty timid.  My favourite though are small 
killifish such as Aphysemion bitaeniatum.  I have raised 
Apisto fry in a tank containing a trio of these fish.  The 
male was left in place to help in the defence. Some of the 
bigger killis e.g. A. (some would say Fundolopanchax) 
gardneri are a bit tough and big to be good dithers.

Hope this helps,
Ken.

*****************************
Ken Laidlaw
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
Tel: 0131-668 8100
Fax: 0131-668 1130
Web: http://www.roe.ac.uk
*****************************



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Good dither/target fish for apistos

by Fredrik.Ljungberg/saab.se
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

On Dec 17,  8:27am, EXT AVS; Ken Laidlaw wrote:
[snip]>
> Hi,
>
> Serpaes and Harlequins are probably not as you suspect the
> best dither fish for Apistos, they especially the
> Harlequins are pretty fast swimmers and could probably
> steal fry if there are more than a couple of them.
>
> How about small pencil fish such as Nannostomus marginatus
> which are pretty timid.  My favourite though are small
> killifish such as Aphysemion bitaeniatum.  I have raised
> Apisto fry in a tank containing a trio of these fish.  The
> male was left in place to help in the defence. Some of the
> bigger killis e.g. A. (some would say Fundolopanchax)
> gardneri are a bit tough and big to be good dithers.
>

Hello,

I've tried killies (smaller Epiplatys, Aphyosemions and Rivulus)
as well as smaller tetras. Nannostomus-species (beckfordi,
marginatus) works like a charm, though I've seen beckfordi
stealing fry from L.dorsigera, but that was my fault. N.
marginatus is a little too shy to be perfect, beckfordi is
tougher.

Epiplatys (singa, chaperi, lamottei), Aphyosemion (bivittatum,
bitaeniatum, gabunense, striatum) and Rivulus (cylindraceus,
magdalenae?) are OK as well. I tend to favour the Epiplatys because
of their surface-loving behaviour (dither). Putting the cichlid-
tanks next to each other works excellent for having threatening,
yet harmless, targets.

//Fredrik

-- 
Fredrik.Ljungberg-at-saab.se
Saab Ab 
Flutter and Loads Department
voice +46 13 18 54 60, fax +46 13 18 33 63

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Good dither/target fish for apistos

by Randy or Deb Carey <carey/spacestar.net>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Crom wrote:
> 
> I've heard that some tetras are egg-eaters by nature, thus make poor
> dither/target fish for apistos.  The only tetra I've heard recommended
> as wholly safe is the neon.  I'd like to hear from the list what
> fishes (tetras or other) folks think are safe companions for apistos
> because of personal experience, research, or otherwise.  

The common tetras will never get the chance to eat guarded eggs.  Some
tetras will be able to pick off young stray fry. 

Most of my Apistos are kept one species to a twenty-long.  The twenty
long houses a few tetra/Rasbora species.  Perhaps I lose a few Apisto
fry when one strays away, but given the cover of rocks, pvc pieces, Java
Fern, and Java Moss, the females seem to guard the bulk of their fry and
the fry seem to learn how to keep cover.

Obviously, if you are concerned only with the Apistos, chose the right
dither and only keep a few of them.

Schooling fish like Rummy Noses and Neons are less apt to break off from
the rest and hunt for stray fry.  At the opposite of this behavior, the
individualistic Emperor Tetra is a poor choice.  I've seen them
"nose-down," scouring the bottom for stray fry (away from the female
Apisto) and then snatching what they find.

All Pencils (except beckfordi and trifasciatus) are on the shy-er, more
reserved side.  Furthermore, they usually prefer the upper end.

Right now I have a female and male desperately guarding fry against some
of the faster tetras (including the Emperor).  Once she got the fry into
a small clump of Java Moss at one end, the parents have been successful
at keeping the tetras away--despite their incredible speed.  The thing I
do to help is keep this tank's lights on 24-hrs/day.  (If this were a
rare Apisto, I would not have allowed this situation to occur.)

So from my experience, tetras don't guarantee disaster.  But I would
recommend just a few of a schooling species if you are concerned only
about the Apisto's and their fry.

--Randy

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Good dither/target fish for apistos

by Wright Huntley <huntley/ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

IDMiamiBob wrote:
> 
snip...
> 
> How about headstanders?  Anyone ever tried them?  I use neons and corys.
> 

I have found Corys to be excellent egg stealers (or small fry grabbers)
with macmasteri and aggies. Never again!

Wright

-- 
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley-at-ix.netcom.com
abcdefghijkmnopqrstuvwxyz  -- Sieze suns greed dings.......

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double-duty dither

by coenga/infonie.fr (Dujardin Colin)
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com (Apisto mailing list)


>ok, this may sound crass, but i'm looking for the perfect 3D species
>here. my schedule/lifestyle precludes raising BS as live food. as it's
>now into late fall, soon to be winter, mosquito larvae and daphnia are
>out as locally obtainable supplements.
>
>i just had a brainstorm (beginner's luck). if i could find a prolific
>livebearer to use as a dither fish, i'd have it made. unfortunately,
>most common livebearers prefer harder, more alkaline water than my
>apisto tanks (low 6's).
>
>has anyone had any luck keeping guppies, swordtails, etc. along with
>their apistos?


>I keep a very nice strain of all yellow guppies in my 30 breeder tanks
>with
>my pelvicachromis and nanochromis. The water is never above 6.5 pH.
>They have 100s of fry in the floating plants.

>MikeD

Hi

        I bought a few guppies to act as dithers and feeders producers
in my 45 tank for my Pelvicachromis taeniatus.
        Guppies are good dither fish, good fry producers, but
unfortunately not feeders producers for the P taeniatus. The Taeniatus
live near the ground, the guppy fry live in the riccia at the upper
level. My fishes are well fed, so i'm now in a guppy plague, and the
guppies are competing with every body for food. So; i'm not sure that
they are a good choice, unless you have a few big cichlids in another
tank needing living fishes for sport food.
        Better i think are danios. Mine are spawning in the tank, and i
saved  half a dozain of them in the third part of my filter. So the
danios spawned and the fry have been eaten possibly by the taeniatus.
BTW, the zebras are doing a good job as dithers, making the taeniatus'
head spinning when time to eat.
        I'm waiting to see them with fry and chasing the zebras.

Colin


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Tetras & Apistos

by "Fredrik Nilsson A (QDT)" <Fredrik.A.Nilsson/edt.ericsson.se>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998
To: "'Tetras/onelist.com'" <Tetras/onelist.com>

From: "Fredrik Nilsson A (QDT)" <Fredrik.A.Nilsson@edt.ericsson.se>

My absolute favorite tetra for use in an apisto set-up is the black neon
(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi). They school nicely, even in relatively
small set-ups, and tend to move in the upper layers of the tank. As an added
bonus they look really great in a planted tank!
I have never had any problems with apistos over-harassing them or with the
tetras preying on apisto fry.

I would love to be able to breed them - does anyone have any success stories
to tell?

Fredrik Nilsson





> -----Original Message-----
> From: plasticolor@guate.net [mailto:plasticolor@guate.net]
> Sent: den 15 december 1998 18:07
> To: Tetras@onelist.com
> Subject: [Tetras] Re: Tetras & Apistos
> 
> 
> From: plasticolor@guate.net
> 
> As this list budded from the Apisto Mailing List and my 
> interest in dwarf
> cichlids started with, what I consider, the most aesthetic aquarium
> community - Planted Tanks/Dwarf Cichlids/Tetras -, I´d like 
> to know more
> about successful combinations of these elements, that is, 
> thriving plants,
> breeding cichlids (able to rise their fry in the tank) and healthy
> (hopefully breeding) Tetras.
> I´ve enjoyed breeding A. sp. Rotpunkt with Neons in a 15 gl., 
> but the same
> set-up with Three-lined Pencilfish didn´t work, as these fish were
> terrorized by the breeding female.  Maybe the tank was too 
> shallow (12") to
> effectively separate the cichlids from the Pancilfish ?  On 
> two occasions
> I´ve been able to remove gravid Neons to a separate dim-lit 
> breeding tank
> where they spawned.
> A. agassizii bred in a 55 gl. with a large group of Cardinals 
> (40), but
> when I reduced the number of Cardinals and introduced a dozen Emperor
> Tetras, the female was unable to protect the fry.  Although I 
> usually see
> gravid Cardinals in this tank, it is too heavily planted to catch them
> without stirring up the whole thing.
> I just finished two 28 gl. tanks for Rams and Bolivian Rams and was
> thinking about keeping them with Inpaichthys kerri.  Is this 
> a good choice
> or are there any particular Tetras that someone has 
> successfully kept in
> this type of set-up ?
> Has anyone bred Cichlids and Tetras in the same tank ?
> 
> Peter
> plasticolor@guate.net
> 
> 
> 
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, or to change your subscription
> to digest, go to the ONElist web site, at http://www.onelist.com and
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> 



Apisto beginner summary and new questions ;-)

by "ALEX PASTOR" <alexp/idirect.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>


-----Original Message-----
From: Klaus Vancamelbeke <klaus.vancamelbeke@advalvas.be>
To: Apisto Mailinglist <apisto@majordomo.pobox.com>
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 1999 1:47 AM
Subject: Apisto beginner summary and new questions ;-)

Klaus wrote:


>So, black neons make a good dither... They aren't very
>expensive here (under $1.5). I can get to white clouds
>too (Tanichthys alabonubes). Which one of both is the
>best (ie. eats less Apisto fry).


I found that white clouds are terrible little creatures.  When there was fry
in the tank they turned from being dithers into sharks!  They 'd cruise
around at 'low altitude' in and out of the java moss and drive the females
crazy.  In a 50 gallon tank with 8 spawns and 8 white clouds, did not have a
single fry grow up.  The white clouds HAD to go.

G. Kadar


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Tetras as dithers

by Fi205sh/aol.com
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Hi All

I just thought I'd place my bid for the ideal tetra dither. Neolebias 
ansorgii. I had a group of a dozen in a 15 gallon tank set up with some 
driftwood, small clay pots, a coconut shell, plastic plants and a cover of 
floating water sprite. Not only did four species of dwarfs, (Dicrossis 
maculata, D. filamentosus, A. pertensis & A.cf meinkeni) spawn in the setup 
but I have also pulled out at least 30 Neolebias fry. They are difficult to 
find but if you ever see them, get them.

Tom Wojtech


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