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General Apisto Info

Contents:

  1. Microgeophagus Ramirezi
    by huntley/ix.netcom.com (Wright Huntley ) (Wed, 28 Aug 1996)
  2. Slightly Off Topic Question
    by Mike Jacobs <mfjacobs/geocities.com> (Thu, 03 Jul 1997)
  3. factors relating to growth
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Tue, 30 Sep 1997)

Microgeophagus Ramirezi

by huntley/ix.netcom.com (Wright Huntley )
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996
To: apisto/aquaria.net

[Stuff removed by editor.. this was an answer to a question on breeding Rams]

I may be the last person to advise you on Rams. I have been searching
for some decent "wild" type Rams for over 2 years, so my breeding
experience is zip! Based on my general Apisto experiences, here are a
few tips that may (or may not) apply. Free advice is always worth
every penny.

In general, South American small cichlids have some things in common,
and one of those is (unlike African rift-lake fish) a love for real
plants and some humic acids in their water. Plants soak up ammonia
almost instantly, so we never see a tank "cycling" as the pet stores
love to tell us. The chemistry of the tank is automatically
stabilized, and may drift a bit in the acid direction if water changes
are too late. Usually not a big deal.

Much "aquarium" gravel is collected with shells or limestone in it,
and the harder you try to acidify it, the more the stuff dissolves and
pushes your pH back toward the 7+ side. Pour a bit of pool acid on
some of the gravel, and observe closely for fine bubbles (vinegar
generally is too weak to work). The same is worth doing to any rocks
you add. pH adjustment with chemicals is highly questionable, for many
contain some form of phosphate that will encourage algae bloom of the
worst kind. All tend to be bad for soft-water fishes. These guys are
supposed to *like* pH of about 7, anyway, so don't push too hard to
get below 6.5

Your water is almost soft enough. If it gets much below about 80ppm of
tds, it often gets squirrely about pH because there are few things
left to buffer it. A small neglect in water change can push the pH
down below 5 almost overnight. I let that happen to my agassizii, and
damned near killed them when I moved them to my normal pH=6.5 water
without acclimatizing them. Of course I neglected to measure it
*before* the move. :-(

If you want to soften the water a little, and acidify with the right
stuff at the same time, it's hard to beat putting a sack of boiled
peat in your filter, and monitor hardness and pH until you are about
where you want to be. The water may get a slight golden color, but
many of us think this is the way So. Am. fish should be displayed,
anyway. You could also soften by using about 5G of bottled distilled,
DI or RO water from the store (not "spring" or "mineral" water, of
course).

The zebra is probably a good dither fish to make the Rams feel at
home. You may want to yank him before they spawn (as soon as they
start cleaning a site) because danios *are* egg eaters, and the Rams
will be kept very nervous keeping him away.

AFAIK, the characteristics you mention are not too useful in sexing
these guys. I find the shortened second ray of the female's dorsal and
her red belly and ovipositor (when about to breed) are more reliable
indicators. What do I know, tho, for I don't even have any yet! [I
have *inspected* a lot, though.]

[More deleted]

ttfn

Wright


-- 

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



Slightly Off Topic Question

by Mike Jacobs <mfjacobs/geocities.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Stuart....you asked about help with some of your Apisto species.  I began 
having "luck" when I  1) started feeding live foods......baby brine 2-3 
times a day, daphnia 1 time a day when availiable, adult brine (feed 
spirulina before feeding to the fish) 2-3 time a week, and on very 
occasional occasions when I know the black worms are CLEAN!!!!! 2-3 
times a week.  And 2) lowered my pH to 4.8-6.0......depending on the fish.  
(A.borellii about 5.5-6.0)........and lowering the hardness(conductivity) 
to the numbers you talked about, or less.  A good start for mixing distilled 
with regular water might be 50/50 and work from there........but 
remember, pH will not be affected by lowering the hardness.  You must do 
that yourself.  Honestly Stuart...........get an R.O. unit.  I know they're 
expensive but it will solve all sorts of apisto problems.

Remember.....these numbers are all relative, but they are the numbers 
that I use for the most part.  I've learned that the apisto's can actually take 
numbers far below those I've spoken of.......but for the moment I've talked 
too long.

Have a good day.....the lowering of the pH and hardness WILL trigger a 
spawn.........I almost guarantee it......:-)

Mike

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factors relating to growth

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>Tom Mroz wrote:
>
>> Any/All:
>>
>> What are your opinions on other variables (Other than food "quality")
>> related to fry growth and what are their priorities?

I have found all these factors to be important for fry growth.

>> Water chemistry (pH and hardness)
It needs to be constantly checked to make sure it stays at their optimum
chemistry.  I have had pairs of apistos that would only spawn if I left the
tank for two weeks after a 50% water change. (They waited for the chemistry
to be where THEY like it.

>> Water cleanliness (frequency and amounts of water changes)
It should always be clean and I try to do water changes, 50% once a week,
except for those species that wait for the conditions to be to their liking.

>> Water temperature
I usually keep my tanks between 74 and 78*F

>> Number and type of feeding schedule (many small vs. a few large per day)
As Darren stated in an earlier reply, it is best to feed several times per
day with smaller amounts

>> Artificial vs. natural hatching
I usually take the first spawning of all my species so I can take pictures
of the eggs and developing fry. This way I can also note how long each
species eggs take to hatch and become free swimming.

>> Keep with adults/without adults
I try to keep my fry with the adults. One, I watch to see if the pair is
really bonded. Don't kill each other and work together to care for the fry.
The female in most cases take care of the fry for the first week of free
swimming and then allow the male to help in the care. It is most fascinating
to watch both parents caring for the young. But, if I have a pair that
constantly eat the eggs/fry (female eating the eggs to protect them from the
male and the male eating the fry once they were free swimming), then I would
artificially hatch the eggs and I would keep trying to find a pair that were
good parents. I prefer to leave the fry with the parents because I believe
the fry benefit more, but I have also found that I have less fry actually
survive this way than when I hatch them myself. (ie: With cacatuoides a
couple years ago I would be able to hatch out and raise over 200 fry from
one spawning but, if I left the eggs with the female/pair, they would only
raise 30 - 50 fry.

>> Lighting schedule
I have a basic shop light over the apisto tanks that I turn on when I feed
in the morning and turn off about half and hour before I go to bed. If there
is a pair caring for eggs/fry, I leave a night light on during the night.
This I found was very useful with my angels because the parents were able to
care for the eggs and fry during the night with some illumination. With my
angels it was best to do this because fry would be falling off the cone and
with the light the parents were able to see the fry and be able to put them
back on the cone. If I didn't have a night light on, I would find little
white bodies in the morning of those that fell off the cone and the parents
didn't know fell. Now I use this for my apistos as well. If nothing else it
makes me feel better because I know I have done what I can to help the
parents keep track of their eggs and fry in the earliest stages.

>> Other?
I basically just watch the fish to see how they are reacting to what I am
doing about their care and take their cues. If something needs to be
changed, I change it until I get it right. As to food requirements, I feed
the fry according to size. The larger the fry, the more food that is
required. The smaller the fry, the less food that is needed per feeding but
it requires feedings more often than its' larger counterparts.

Kaycy


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