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Nanochromis transvestitus


  1. Slightly Off Topic Question
    by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/> (Thu, 03 Jul 1997)
  2. (No Title)
    by henshawm/ (Mike Henshaw) (Sat, 2 Aug 1997)
  3. West African Dwarfs -- Nannochromis Tranvestitus
    by Randy or Deb Carey <carey/> (Wed, 21 Jan 1998)
  4. West African breeding tips?
    by Mike Downey <windwalker/> (Sat, 1 Aug 1998)



female with fry

photos by Ken Laidlaw


photo by Helen Burns

Slightly Off Topic Question

by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997
To: apisto/

Stuart wrote:
> Hi
> I have several different species of Apisto and other dwarf cichlids my
> major problem is getting 3 different species to breed. At the moment I have
> fry from:
> Apisto Agassizi "Double Red"
> Apisto Cacatuoides "Double Red" "Starburst" and "Normal"
> Apisto Sp. Opal 2 batches
> Apisto Caetei
> Nanacara Anomala
> The remainder of my species are juveniles and not ready to breed except.
> Apisto Borelli, both the male and female are constantly attacking each
> other yet they are in a large(ish) tank 18in sq. which is well planted with
> plenty of rock caves. Even when they were in a 48in long tank they fought.
> Nanachromis Transvestitus, 2 males 1 female. These fish seem to be courting
> but nothing substantial is happening. My local store keeper has told me he
> will buy ever fish I can breed from these with cold hard cash, since he
> takes enough of my money I would love to get cash instead of credit from
> him. So as much info as possible please!!
> Dicrossus (Crenicara) Filamentosus 3pr in separate tanks, they are all
> adult
> fish and except for courtship display's from the Males, nothing!, I've been
> told that I need to reduce the conductivity of the water down to 20
> mico-siemans per million, for successful breeding and the best way of
> achieving this is to add distilled water to my tank (slowly), If this is
> so, does anyone know how much I would need to add to a 15gal (imp) tank to
> achieve this reading. I've just laid out a LOT of money on expanding my
> tanks from 30 to 50 and funds are VERY tight and I cannot afford a
> conductivity meter for a few months, unless someone knows of an inexpensive
> way of reading conductivity!.
> My water quality(s) are pH 6-6.5, 3 deg KH, zero Ammonia, Nitrates, I feed
> the fish small amounts several times a day with baby or adult brine shrimp,
> frozen bloodworm, frozen/live daphnia and pellets/flake.
> Any information would be greatly appreciated. either on the list or
> privately.
Hi Stuart,
	Mike's advice covers most everything, except one very weird trick that
always used to work for me. When your water's soft, acid and peat
filtered, and everything seems right but nothing happens, take two thin
pieces of rock (I used thin -2cmx2cm- slate bars) and bury them. Over
this, place a flat piece of thin slate on the sand. Often, the
transvestitus, and other nanochromis, will get very excited about
digging out a space under flat rocks. As the rock settles on the
supports you've prepared, you have a cave and they have a ritual that
seems to matter to them. It was a consistent trigger for both
transvestitus and parilus.
	I know it sounds strange, and it was, but you might want to combine it
with Mike's excellent advice. All I'd add is since I don't have
blackworms, they do love chopped earthworms and especially whiteworms
for conditioning. Good luck. 
	The fry grow fast, so they are good for selling once you manage to get
	Gary (Montreal)

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(No Title)

by henshawm/ (Mike Henshaw)
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997
To: apisto/

>Hello cichlid people, I'm sorry this isn't about apistos.... I have a pair 
>of nanochromis transvestitus living in a tank with some killies, and I want 
>them to breed. Can I do anything , or is it just a matter of waiting. Any 
>other tips (feeding etc) on this species welcome

Provide soft (20-60 ppm total hardness), acidic (pH 4.5-6.0) water.

Filter over peat.

Feed a variaty of foods including black worms (a relative of tubifex, so be
very careful.  They work wonders getting fish to breed, but they are
potentially a hazard if not handled properly.  You want healthy worms that
clump together in a tight ball.  Only feed them for short periods as a
trigger for breeding, and don't over feed.  Also, cut them up before
feeding them.)

Provide them with a cave such as a coconut shell, and leave some gravel in
the cave so that they can excavate it.  In the world of w. africans,
"Excavation means procreation!"

Dept. of Ecology & Evol. Biology, MS-170
Rice University
135 Anderson Biology Lab
6100 Main
Houston, TX. 77005-1892

Ph: (713)527-4919
fax: (713)285-5232

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West African Dwarfs -- Nannochromis Tranvestitus

by Randy or Deb Carey <carey/>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998
To: apisto/

AEIGPHD wrote:

> Hi.  I am new to this mailing list. I just started a 55 gal planted tank with
> 3 pelvicachromis subocellatus and 1 femal nannochromis transvestitus (tank
> alos contains congo tetras and west african killies).  I am looking to breed
> the cichlids.  <snip>

> Anyone have any breeding tips for theses species?   Any help would be greatly
> appreciated.
>                                         -- Andy

I'll give my recent experience with each of these.  I had a pair of wild-caught
subocellatus since last March, but they showed no interest in spawning and were
very shy.  In December I moved them to a 29 with a few tetras.  Within a couple
of days, the pair started to show color and female started to show interest in
spawning.  Then I conducted a 70% change with all r/o water and thinned out the
tetra community.  Shortly after, the pair spawned in a cave.  The female and male
work together guarding the fry.  They persistently bear text book colors.

The Nanochromis transvestitus are said to require a pH of 5.0 or below to spawn.
When I found fry, I observed a pH just below 5.0.  I know of at least two
successive broods living together in the 10 gallon, so the juveniles don't seem
to threaten the new fry.

As far as getting fish, you can ask on this list.  (All I have available are
fry/juveniles.)  Many of us will ship.  Also, you can check into the ACA, the
Apistogramma Study Group, or (if you breed fish) the North Am. Fish Breeders


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West African breeding tips?

by Mike Downey <windwalker/>
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
To: apisto/

>I have a wild-caught pair of Pelvicachromis taeniatus "Wouri" in a
>twenty gallon tank decorated with sword plants, java moss, bogwood and a
>half-coconut shell.  The water has virtually no measurable hardness, a
>pH of about 6.5 and has been treated with blackwater tonic.  The water
>is filtered through peat in a waterfall filter.  I keep the temperature
>at 77 degrees and keep the light on for about fourteen hours each day.
>I feed them dried bloodworms, glass worms and occasionally a
>multi-purpose flake food.  There are four harlequin rasboras for dither
>fish.  The Wouris have been flirting for a long time, and I even catch
>both of them in the morning in the coconut shell but have not yet had
>any spawns.  Part of me wonders if it's because the male is such a bad
>dancer...  But seriously, does anyone have any tips to spur on breeding?

The above is about the same set-up I have had success with in the past. I
would try raising the temp to 80 degrees. You might also add some live
food, such as white worms, to their diet.
Regular water changes are part of your proceedures, I hope. I like twice a
week with rain water .
And by the way, in the Pelvicachromis the female is the dancer and the
courter. The male is usually the pursued!

>I have the same situation with a pair of Nanochromis transvestitus, at
>least that they flirt a lot but haven't spawned.  They are in a ten
>gallon tank decorated with bogwood.  There are no dithers in the tank,
>and the tank is unlit, except for a room light which I leave on all day
>(I have several unlit tanks in the room).  The water chemistry is the
>same as for the Wouris but I am gradually lowering the pH using Sodium
>Biphosphate.  They are also fed the same foods as the Wouris.  The male
>of this pair is a much better dancer but I have the same question, any
>Thanks much,
>Andrew Blumhagen

With the Nano transvestitus you will have to get the pH down to 5.5 or
lower. They will do all the dances and digging and not spawn ' til in is
lower. With these I have found that a male and 2 or 3 females in a 20 gal
long is the best way to keep the aggression to a minimum. Usually one
female will have to be removed and the male will take care of the other two
in opposite ends of the tank. These prefer to dig their own cave under some
slate. I have 11 caves of various types and both females have dug their own
The fry are kept out of site in the thick vegitation for as long as
possible. For dithers in this tank I use mosquito fish. They seem to give
the bottom fish the secure movement in the upper layers and they keep all
the uneaten food cleaned out of the moss and plants.

For both of these fish and my other West Africans I use a sand substrate.
They really enjoy their sand sifting for food busy work. Good luck

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