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Hi,

LFS recently got a shipment of apistos and checkerboard cichlids. I am considering getting some for my 75 gallon tank. I was wondering if I could mix some of these guys together and if so, how many of each. My tank is fairly densely planted with a number of existing caves, but I will probably add a few more just because.

Thanks,

Nate
 

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G'day morefish4me,

What fish do you already have in the 75 gallon tank?

In the wild checkerboard cichlids are found in the Iniridae river with Apistogramma iniridae, green neon tetras and rummynose tetras.

There's another species of checkerboard cichlid that's found in the Tapajos river, which has a few apisto species in it, one being A. agassizii.

So short answer is yes they can be kept together. I would think a good start would be a trio of apistos and a trio of checkerboards, one male an two females.

FYI female apsitos use small caves for breeding, however male apistos and checkerboards are unlikely to use the caves.

Long answer will also be yes, but I will leave apistomaster to hopefully jump in here and answer as this really is his area of expertise.
 

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You can add just about any Apisto species you want. I wouldchowever stay away from A. Nij sseni, Panduro and the Macmasteri types as they tend to be quite aggressive. If you do not plan on breeding you can use a few species of Apisto males and a group of checkeboard males. Here's an example of a set-up I used to have: 2 A. Cacatuoides(m), 2 A. Trifasciata(m), 2 A. Borellii(m), 2 A. Agassizi(m) and 2 A. sp. Steel Blue(m), 15 cardinal tetras and 6 D. Filamentosus(m).
 
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