South American Cichlids • Apistogramma cacatuoides

Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)

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Apistogramma cacatuoides

Postby surfthebay » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:05 pm

Breeding Apistogramma cactuoides in a Ten Gallon Aquarium
Tribe: Geophangini,
Genus: Apistogramma cacatuoides
Picture of the Ten Gallon

Ten gallon aquariums are easy to find. They just require the proper equipment for the fish to thrive. A duo t-5 light stripe, and a canister filter help promote plant life. Sand is an excellent cheap substrate. Fill it with plants. Once the aquarium is established, a fish species needs to be selected. The fish help the plants flourish. Apistogramm cacatuoides is a readily available dwarf cichlid from South America. Many strains are available and identifying sex is easy. Breeding Apistogramma cactuoides is easy with the correct; environment, pairing and patience.

The environment has to be comfortable, natural and private. This type of environment comes with a variety of live natural plants. The fish have to feel protected from attacks. The aquarium described used Pogostemon erectus, a bushy green plant, in the back. In front of the Pogoestemon erectus, two narrow leave swords, Echinorodus tenellus, were planted towards the sides. In between the narrow leave swords, java moss was anchored. The foreground has numerous Cryptocoryne wendtii of various sizes. In addition to these plants, one stem of Telanthera folia was placed for color. Amazingly enough, the fish spawned under a Telanthera folia leaf. The Telanthera folia is also native to South America. Rotala magenta is planted in the front right corner because the cutting was available. Any cuttings available to make the aquarium heavily planted will aid in a comfortable, natural environment. This environment gives the fish privacy and protection. The male and female are ready to spawn at about three months. Once they feel at home they spawn.

Apistogramma cacatuoides, like most dwarf species are bought in trios. A ten gallon aquarium has limited space. The space limits the hiding spaces and makes up small territories. The male Apistogramma cactuoides has bright fins. It is not a good idea to have two males in a small tank. They fight. Also, if the female does not have eggs, the male will push her away. He pushes her away with the hope of another female, with eggs, coming into his territory. So, a trio consist of two females and a male. Needless to say, for the females own protection, they must have amble hiding. The male will continue to push her away until she is ready to breed. Match the substrate with the color of the female. The females color begins pale tan. Pick a pale sand substrate. She blends into the environment and can hide in the sand. On the contrary, the male has large bright fins. The bright fins impresses females and attracts attention from predators. This natural adaptation allows the female to nest. As she develops eggs her belly grows. She will look similar to a pregnant guppy when she has eggs. Once her belly fills with eggs, she selects a territory of her own. She draws the male in to her nest by shimmering her body next to his. The female turns yellow when she lays her eggs. The male will be exhausted after they mate.
Fish Fanning Eggs
Eggs Hatched

It requires patience to wait for the female to develop eggs. Patience for a pair to court. Once a pair mates in a ten gallon tank, it is a good idea to remove the other female. This allows protection of the fry. Also, time seems to fly once the fish lay eggs. The eggs hatch in three to five days. By the end of the week the mother is taking the fry for a swim around the tank. The fry and mother stop to rest. While they rest, they look for food. The mother will find something and sifts the food into tiny particles through her gills. The fry rise to her gills to feed from the mother. Apistogrammma cacatuoides have amazing parental instincts. In addition, she captures the fry in her mouth. This occurs when a fry wonders off during the swim. She captures the fry in her mouth. Swims back to the school of fry and spits the one or two strays with the rest of the school. In about a week from the eggs hatching, the fry can swim all around her. Her stress level raises the better the fry can swim. The female and the male dig pits in the sand using their bellies. This gives the fry a safe place to rest and a place to hide.
Free Swimming Fry

Breeding Apistogramma cactuoides is easy with the correct; environment, pairing and patience. The correct environment can come with natural live plants. Preferably, use plants native to South America. However, any plants available can create an ideal environment. The environment will allow a trio to thrive. Patience is required for a pair to form. It is recommended to remove the second female, but not necessary. Fry will be free swimming in a matter of weeks. I have since moved the pair into a community 90 gallon. The pair bred twice in the community tank. The female did bit fish, however the male never showed aggression.
Andy Magoulick
Meteorologist from the University of Hawaii
[email protected]
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:56 pm
Location: Livonia, Michigan

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Re: Apistogramma cacatuoides

Postby surfthebay » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:36 pm

Apistogramma lovers only show photographs of females. The females are the more interesting then the male, because of the color change. The males do help in raising the fry and are very peaceful. Here are photographs of the male.
Orange Flash
Orange Flash II
Andy Magoulick
Meteorologist from the University of Hawaii
[email protected]
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:56 pm
Location: Livonia, Michigan

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