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Growth Rate of Apistos

Contents:

  1. stunted growth??
    by Randy or Deb Carey <carey/spacestar.net> (Sun, 23 Nov 1997)
  2. stunted growth??
    by raychah/auburn.campus.mci.net (Charles H. Ray, Jr.) (Mon, 24 Nov 1997)
  3. borelli
    by cfonda/sentientconsult.com (Fri, 18 Sep 1998)

stunted growth??

by Randy or Deb Carey <carey/spacestar.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com wrote:
> 
> 1 inch at 5 months is about right.  Apistos don't grow as fast as larger
> cichlids, even Aequidens or Laetacaras.  Bloodworms and a quality flake will
> push growth about as fast as you can expect.  It is possible to get faster
> growth if you keep nitrates and silicates at zero, but even then, the growth
> would not be noticeably better.
> 

I feel one inch in five months is on the low end of normal.  If given
enough tank space, frequent water changes, and if fed amply and often,
dwarf cichlids should grow faster.  I have had Apisto's level off on
their growth rate, but I believe it's from my lack of effort: somewhat
crowded conditions or an underestimation of the amount of food the
growing body mass needs.  (Remember, double the length is eight times
the body mass.)

A friend of mine used to spawn, raise, and sell German Blue Rams (and
later various other dwarves)  He was able to sell his "fry" at over one
inch long within two months!  His technique was to feed them several
times a day with newly hatched baby brine shrimp.  His job allowed him
to be home to feed frequently.  Through frequent trading of his Rams in
larger quantities to a wholesaler, he obtained dozens of sizeable tanks
and equipment for his fish room in a short time.

The point I'm making is that our dwarfs can grow faster if we take the
effort to raise them for growth.  Apparently, frequent and ample feeding
is an important key to maximizing growth.

--Randy

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stunted growth??

by raychah/auburn.campus.mci.net (Charles H. Ray, Jr.)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>1 inch at 5 months is about right.  Apistos don't grow as fast as larger
>cichlids, even Aequidens or Laetacaras.  Bloodworms and a quality flake will
>push growth about as fast as you can expect.  It is possible to get faster
>growth if you keep nitrates and silicates at zero, but even then, the growth
>would not be noticeably better.
>
>Bob Dixon
>
Rate of growth varies with species.  Although I can raise Rams to 1 inch or
more in 8 weeks, I cannot achieve the same rate of growth with apistos.
Cacatuoides are relatively rapid in growth and might exceed the one inch in
five months.  A. bitaeniata on the other hand seems to grow ridiculously
slow once they reach about 1/2 inch in length even with ample room (one
gallon per fish) and the best foods (primarily live foods).  A. borellii
grow relatively quickly as do A. agassizii.  I have several other species
that seem to follow the bitaeniata model.


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borelli

by cfonda/sentientconsult.com
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com




I have never bred borelli's.  Thus far I have successfully bred agassizii,
gephyra (the male is absolutely spectacular when he is in the mood), and
panduro.  I have tried some artificial raising in tanks with only substrate
and in tanks with logs and plants.  I seem to get varied results with
respect to rates of growth.  Some of it seems to be random, with a couple
of exceptions:

1)  Those fry that I have left with their mother and dithers (and, when
possible, the father) for their first month+ of development seem to grow
quickly -- Loss of fry, however, occurrs at a higher rate.  When I leave
them with the mother, I feed the mother (and dithers and father) the same
foods I normally feed (a varied mix of mostly frozen foods - lots of
enriched brine and white worms).  The mothers tend to "chew up" some of the
food and "spit it back out" for the fry to eat.  They also tend to use
their fins to direct greater amounts of food toward the fry.  I think maybe
this behavior has some effect on growth rate.

2)  Fry that are fed different foods at different points in their
development seem to grow quicker.  I use microworms for the first week that
they are free-swimming, microworms and BBS during the second week, and
mainly BBS thereafter.  As soon as the fry are able to eat larger foods
(usually around 1/2 inch), I start transitioning them, giving larger food
in the morning, BBS in the afternoon, and alternating the evenings until
the fry are "willing" to dine solely on the larger foods.  Once this is
accomplished, the growth rate skyrockets.

3)  Fry that are raised in tanks with plants, logs, and other hiding places
seem to grow quicker.  I do make an effort, however, to identify their
favorite hiding places and squirt (I use a syringe) the food near them.

4)  Fry that are raised in tanks that get regular water changes (I do 25%
twice a week, but was not always quite so religious about it) seem to grow
faster.

These are the patterns I have noticed in my tanks.  I tend to leave the fry
with the mother and dithers (and, when possible, the father) for as long as
possible, removing either the fry or the adult fish (mom, dad, and dithers)
once the fry are 1/2 inch, the mother starts being a danger to the fry, or
the mother stops protecting the fry from the dithers.  I do suffer from
heavy loss of fry but seem to achieve fairly good growth rates and
beautiful juveniles.  I also raise my juveniles in tanks with a mostly sand
substrate, a log or two, and plants (lots of watersprite).  I am starting
to experiment with using SAE's, pigmy cory's (the little ones that are 1/4
inch when adult), and pigmy suckermouths to help keep the raising tanks
cleaner - it seems to be working so far and I am considering trying them in
some of my spawning tanks.

Bottom line for me is that it is fun... and the greatest part of the fun is
the learning process.  Everyone seems to have different techniques that
work.  The process of trying different techniques and finding what works is
very rewarding to me.  I like the fact that the people on this list are
willing to share their experiences (a great resource).  I think that
sharing those experiences with the goal of not only identifying techniques
that work but also the reasons a particular technique works in a certain
situation might be a very useful endeavor.

--Cliff



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