Group size/gender ratio for apistos

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Snagrio

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Dec 15, 2020
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I'm considering how I'm going to go about stocking some apistos for a 125 gallon (according to my research Borelli would be an ideal fit) and the online store I'm looking at sells them either in a pair, one of each gender or three of each gender. I've heard that one male with a harem of multiple females is best in general with apistos but given the size of the tank and my budget, would just a singular pair be okay or would the female be endlessly harassed?
 

fishorama

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I've never had a 6ft tank, but with enough territories & other lines of sight interruptions (plants, rocks &/or wood) you could be fine with 3 pairs...but don't think you'll have lots of fry survive in a mixed tank...you'll need a separate tank for that. How bad do you want offspring? Not my thing any more but I understand if it might be yours, think hard!
 

Snagrio

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Not really fussed about breeding (this will be a community tank), my concern was more if getting more than two would be something of a requirement to prevent issues with a male not leaving a female alone or something along those lines. But if they are fine as a pair then that works perfectly.
 

IceH2O

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I’ve always been under the impression that you should buy a good number of them and let them pair up on their own then sell the rest back. Like if you want 3 pair buy 12
 

Wyomingite

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Breeding patterns and behaviors vary greatly in the genus Apistogramma, from forming strong pair bonds in A. steindachneri to almost exclusively haremic in A. cacatuoides and A. trifasciata. If I remember correctly, there is even at least one facultative mouth brooder. I believe A. borelli exhibits a fair amount of plasticity in breeding behavior, adapting to a pair or harem breeding strategy depending on circumstance. Honestly, your best bet for good information is to search Google Scholar for papers on apistogramma breeding behaviors as well as to look at and search a more focused web site, such as apistogramma.com.

Generally, haremic species should have a m:f ratio of 1:3, allowing for a territory of approximately 150 to 200 sq inches per female, and the male's territory will overlap the females'. Pair bonding species have a 1:1 ratio, obviously, and should provide for 200 to 250 sq inches per pair. I have very little practical experience with apistos, though I have researched a number of species I have considered keeping, and am relying completely on what I know about the species I've researched and general published knowledge about the genus, primarily on the husbandry of commonly kept species. Hope this helps.

WYite
 
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fishorama

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That's funny, Wyite. I had several (6?) cacs & agassizii (6 again?) in 2 4ft tanks & they were pretty much good with that...it may depend...no accounting for tastes or territories...lol.
 

Wyomingite

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That's funny, Wyite. I had several (6?) cacs & agassizii (6 again?) in 2 4ft tanks & they were pretty much good with that...it may depend...no accounting for tastes or territories...lol.
Yeah, you know. Sometimes all you have to go with is what you can research and your own experience. I've kept agassizii, baenschi, regani and an unknown species years ago. The agassizii and the baenschi were both in a 1m:2f ratio, the regani ended up a pair and a separated male, and the unknown was a 1m:3f ratio. This was way before I really "knew" anything about how to keep apistos, and they all did well. I had to separate the male and female regani once in a while. I double check my resources to ensure both accuracy and credibility, but sometimes what we "know" is still often dependent on just a few authors' published content and a few folks' experience since few really experienced aquarists are either published or have a strong web presence. Generally, what we know is still limited to a very small sample population which may have far different behavior patterns in different size aquaria and a large difference between captive and wild populations.

I've said it before: I learned a long time ago that there aren't any absolutes in this hobby, or in life in general for that matter. That's one reason I don't worry about quoting sources specifically. For everything I cite, someone else will be able to find at least one and maybe more sources that say different. Guaranteed. I have found or know of something in the literature that says the exact opposite from just about every source I've seen quoted since I've been back. It's not that either source is wrong; it's just that we don't know half as much as we think we do. I always hope to encourage people to do their own research rather than rely on someone else telling them something and believing it as the gospel. Sometimes I probably go a bit far and say too much so the OP doesn't feel they need to do much research on their own. That's a side effect of believing I need to be thorough and not realizing when I've been thorough enough to encourage the desired response, lol.

WYite
 

jake72

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Just be aware there are over 100 species of aspito and the answer to your question depends on the species.
 
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