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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so after years of being out of fish due to little kids running around, im finally in a place to get a tank or two again. I started cycling a 33g planted tank but found that the water here (Mission) is KH 100ppm and PH is 6.4. I don't want to be buffering water every water change, so my question is can i have apistos or german rams at that level. I know they like the low ph, but that might be a bit much even for them. Any advice would be helpful. Also, any other fish that like low PH would be helpful too :)
 

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Yes, you can have both with that PH . In their natural habitat they both come from water with lower PH in 3-6.5 range. Apistos also mostly like very soft water (low KH & GH) so you will want to adjust those down if you can. They also like tannins(black water), sandy substrate, low light and low current. These are all important if you want them to be very healthy and happy. Luckily the tannin producing things also tend to lower PH naturally so this is how i do it. With Rams in their natural habitat they exist in very hot water up to 100 degrees so better to keep the tank 80+ degrees for them although this is not a must.

The good news is most captive bred fish will be acclimatized to 7 PH and normal 76-80 degree temp so this shouldn't be a problem unless you get wild caught. You can use your tap water and definitely for Apistos you should get some almond or oak leaves or alder cones (you can also use sphagnum peat moss) to use to make soft "black water" and also use a sand substrate so they can sift it. You don't have to make tea water but it's still good to have some leaves and many caves in their for natural hiding spaces.

As dithers/tankmates you can use any SA tetras like cardinal, neon, ember etc. and definitely pencil fish are great for Apistos as they occupy different areas of the tank. one other thing, as Apistos live in the lower level IMHO corydoras and plecos can be a bother for them and should be used sparingly as they may dominate your dwarfs.

For more information, do a web search and check out Apistogramma.com if you want to learn lots more about both species!
Good luck and welcome back to the hobby!
 

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Yes, you can have both with that PH . In their natural habitat they both come from water with lower PH in 3-6.5 range. Apistos also mostly like very soft water (low KH & GH) so you will want to adjust those down if you can. They also like tannins(black water), sandy substrate, low light and low current. These are all important if you want them to be very healthy and happy. Luckily the tannin producing things also tend to lower PH naturally so this is how i do it. With Rams in their natural habitat they exist in very hot water up to 100 degrees so better to keep the tank 80+ degrees for them although this is not a must.

The good news is most captive bred fish will be acclimatized to 7 PH and normal 76-80 degree temp so this shouldn't be a problem unless you get wild caught. You can use your tap water and definitely for Apistos you should get some almond or oak leaves or alder cones (you can also use sphagnum peat moss) to use to make soft "black water" and also use a sand substrate so they can sift it. You don't have to make tea water but it's still good to have some leaves and many caves in their for natural hiding spaces.

As dithers/tankmates you can use any SA tetras like cardinal, neon, ember etc. and definitely pencil fish are great for Apistos as they occupy different areas of the tank. one other thing, as Apistos live in the lower level IMHO corydoras and plecos can be a bother for them and should be used sparingly as they may dominate your dwarfs.

For more information, do a web search and check out Apistogramma.com if you want to learn lots more about both species!
Good luck and welcome back to the hobby!
Hey to add on to this I recommend definitely looking into Pencilfish species as they don't eat fry if you're looking to breed the Apistos, I really enjoy the red and black striped species sorry I forgot the name but google will find it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! So, one more question, do i need to specifically buy wild caught which are used to the low ph, or will captive bred be ok with my parameters too?
 

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captive bred are also best and easier to care for. When buying. just check to make sure that the fish you choose are feeding and look healthy and ideally have been in the store for a couple of weeks or longer.
 
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Very excited for you to get back into it LisaW! I have electric blue Rams right now and they do fine at the lower ph, just need the higher temps:)

Although those apistos have definitely caught my eye a time or two, rhennessey I'd love to see some photos of your apistos!
 

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Photos added of the ones i can get to stay still long enough ... lol
Pic 1 Apistogramma agassizi double red male
Pic 2 Ap. irinidae males squaring off
Pic 3 Ap. sp. ‘Schwarzkehl female (black throat)
Pic 4 Ap. sp. Putumayo River male
Pic 5 Ap. pandurini male

Also, I am going to be selling a bunch of fry before mid June as I am going away for a month. Stay tuned here and in the for sale section. Cheers Russ
 

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pics added of some of my apistos (in previous post)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've had my tank up and running now for a few months, and bought a pair of Ap. Agassizi double red from Fish Addicts in Langley. That guy has a lot of nice apistos! The spawned in the first two days and haven't stopped since :) This is their 3rd batch of fry, and this one i removed to a small predator free tank and am seeing how they do in there. Is there something other than brine shrimp i can feed them? Here's some pictures to enjoy, and thanks everyone :) Pictures: the 30g, female with fry, and two pictures of the male.

20150327_ourhouse_0078 (Small).JPG 20150510_ourhouse_0004 (Small).JPG 20150605_ourhouse_0003 (Small).JPG 20150605_ourhouse_0023.jpg
 
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