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Breeding Apistogramma Cacatuoides

Discussion in 'Aquarium Articles' started by Basha312, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Basha312

    Basha312 Thread Starter New Member

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    Breeding Apistogramma Cacatuoides
    Apistogramma Cacatuoides are beautiful dwarf cichlids from South America that are great for anyone looking to get into breeding or dwarf cichlids. They are pretty hardy compared to most other dwarf cichlids and breeding them is not very difficult. Cacatuoides usually lay 30-50 eggs at a time sometimes as many as 80.

    Part I Setup
    Tank Size - The best tank for a pair or trio in my opinion is a 20 gallon long, however I have successfully bread them in a 10 gallon tank and some have done it in smaller (not recommended).

    Environment- For substrate I would recommend something dark, I use eco-complete in all of my planted tanks. Many Apisto breaders would recommend sand, I have never tried this. Provide lots of caves and driftwood, the female will likely lay her eggs in a cave or under/in driftwood. I use little 1" pots I picked up from Wal-Mart for super cheap. I would highly recommend live plants, they help tremendously with water quality. Java moss is a must, for the first few days the fry will eat microorganisms that get caught in the java moss.

    Water Parameters- While Cacatuoides are "soft water cichlids" most aquarium raised Cacatuoides don't require R/O water although it certainly doesn’t hurt. The pH should be kept below 7.5 preferably below 7 (mine is around 6.8). Temperature can range from 75-85°F, I keep mine in around 82°F.

    Filter- In nature these guys live in shallow muddy water that has very little flow, because of this I would recommend a sponge filter. They are cheap, efficient, and cause very little flow!

    Food- They should be fed a variety of frozen and live foods. I feed mine a combination of Frozen Bloodworms, Live Baby Brine Shrimp, and "Instant Baby Brine Shrimp". I would NOT recommend flakes/pellets.

    Quantities- Cacatuoides are monogamous so you can keep one male with a few females and he will potentially mate with all of them. I would not recommend keeping more than one male in the same tank unless it is fairly large with lots of hiding places and clear physical boundaries that break up the line of sight.


    Dither Fish- Pencilfish are recommended by most breeders if you feel the need to have something else in your tank or if your fish seem shy. I do not use dither fish, the Cacatuoides are beautiful by themselves.

    Water Changes- I do 20-30% once or twice a week.

    Part II - Fry at last, now what?
    When the female bright yellow it means that she is ready to breed, has laid eggs, or already has fry. If your tank is on the smaller side, be sure to monitor the male for aggression. Once the eggs have hatched the female will demand more space and the male will not always be accepting of these demands! Once the fry are free swimming provide them with live food (most people use baby brine shrimp). I feed my fry twice a day because that is all my job allows for, some recommend feeding up to 5 times a day. I hatch my BBS in a jar and feed my fry with a turkey baster. The mother will lead her children around the tank for a week or two before she is no longer interested in them, at this point it is time to take remove them from the tank! This is not required (depending on your tank size) but it is likely that at least a few of them will become food for daddy if they are not removed. Removing the fry will also cause your fish to breed again more quickly, if water conditions are right they might breed as often as once a month. At about three months old you should have no problem identifying the sex of your young Cacatuoides.

    Conclusion
    I hope this helps, let me know if I missed anything and please feel free to ask questions! This is based off of my experiences and is by no means the only way to go about breeding these wonderful little fish but simply what has work for me. Currently I am in the process of rearranging my breeding tanks but in a month or so I will post some updated pictures of what I have got goin' on. Enjoy and Good Luck!



    Note: The pot in this video is not the 1" ones that I am referring too.
     
  2. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Wonderful article, some very interesting and informative information.
     
  3. Basha312

    Basha312 Thread Starter New Member

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    Glad you liked it!
     
  4. buzz4520

    buzz4520 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice article. Thanks for sharing it, some really good info. :)
     
  5. UncleNed

    UncleNed New Member

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    if you breed this species in TOO low a pH, you will get mostly male babys ...
    broods of cacatuoides bred around 6.7 tend to run about 50/50 male/female babys ...
    aggassizi and many of the other apistos SHOULD be bred below pH 6.0 in order to get 50/50 male/female babys