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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve sourced a pair of supposed Bimaculata.
i understand they’re extremely rare, this man said that he traveled to Guyana and captured the parents himself.

anyone aware of care requirements? Any special treatment? I understand they prefer very soft water but there’s not much info online
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lucky you! The setup sounds great, keep us posted.....
Thanks. The opportunity kind of fell into my lap and it’s something that may never come up again. they Will be my main priority in this aquarium so I’m hoping they will eventually breed so I can spread the love. They are both juvies so we shall see what becomes of it
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi!😃😃
Omg! What a beautiful baby!!😃😃
What a blessing; ey?
I'd look on Google for this is what I'd do!😃
Thanks! I could only find the bare minimum on google, I was looking in case anyone has had the chance to work with them before. Here’s the 125 they’re going into. There are some angels and Cacatuoides but I’ll remove anything that becomes a problem for the newbies. I don’t foresee any issues though. May add some pottery but don’t want to detract from the natural look. I only used 1/4th of my almond leaves, may add twice this amount since there are shrimp in there too. I dont expect the shrimp to last forever
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi!😃
If you have Angels then the shrimp won't last long, you are correct, but it'll be nutritious for them though.
I love the tank!!! Omg! It's actually amazing, fish buddy; wow!!😃
I have 1 of our tanks with 5 Angelfish and 2 aquatic African Dwarf frogs and a tiny Black Kuhli that we're trying to get grown out so that he can be transferred to our Community tank right now. Hmmm....😃
i love your tank! I’m sure I’ll lose most of the shrimp but it’s for the good of the colony :devilish:
It looks good, and will be even better when the plants grow more. I would consider adding more wood to provide more structure at the higher parts of the tank. Make plenty of natural caves and crevices rather than adding pottery, and maybe add some floating plants?. Something like this one of mine that I would put Ivanacara in if I could get them...

On that subject, a while back my local fish shop owner told me he might be able to get Ivanacara bimaculata, and, like you, I tried to do some research on them and found very little, except that they are very rare in the hobby, come from a remote location in Guayana and are practically impossible to get unless someone goes there to collect them. At this point I became dubious and asked the guy again, he said they were coming from Indonesia! And conceded they might have been I. adoketa after all, but in any case it was too late to order them as they had sold out. All very strange! Here is the tank I would have put them in, and it normally has more leaf litter, need to get some more...

View attachment 143076
Thank you for your feedback, I will definitely be looking to get mine looking more like yours. What do you keep in there? It looks like a slice off a riverbank!
I just added some water lettuce, hopefully that brings more natural vibes. I want to avoid pottery after seeing your example. Looks like I need some more wood! Does the decaying organic matter on your substrate affect your parameters? I’ve been wondering if itaffects our tanks like overfeeding, it was the main reason I held off on adding more almond leaves. It looks so nice and natural
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Thanks for all of the advice everyone. The fish arrived today and are swimming around. Can't get a pic yet but they are very bland from shipping. I'll need help ensuring the identity for sure!

Just realised you are probably referring to nitrates rather than pH. Well in this tank I can barely register nitrates, the seachem test comes out the palest pink there is (0- 0.1). Low stocking, and water lettuce soaks them up. Never have any ammonia or nitrates.

Also I was wondering where you are in the world? When I was investigating this species before I remember that someone in Sweden had some and was breeding them…

Also if you do keep them in the community tank, though obviously not ideal, it is still possible to rear some fry if you take some out when they are free swimming and rear them separately. I have done this with Laetacara. Good luck anyway!
i'm in the northwest US. These fish were shipped to me from Sweden! Does he have any threads? Anything at all I can read documenting their care?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Also- the breeder responded to that list of questions you suggested, here’s what he said.
The fish shipped from Sweden.

The most prominent difference between the sexes is that the females have a white spot around their genital opening on the belly. See the following two pictures for example:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...jpg/640px-Nannacara_bimaculata_Armbruster.jpg
https://www.ciklid.org/artregister/artbild/i_bimaculata05par-hans_vermeulen.jpg

As for your other questions:

Temperature in biotope around 25 C. pH 4.5. I don't expect pH to fluctuate much over the year, it is a blackwater biotope. Similar conditions in aquaria. Higher pH is fine if you don't wish to spawn them.

They have a pretty loose pair bond. Either the female or the male may become aggressive before/during spawning. Mainly the female takes care of the spawn in my experience but the male helps to guard the offspring. They are pretty bad parents and often eat their eggs and they will start to chase their offspring when they reach around 1,5-2 cm (if the pair decides to spawn again).

If you wish to spawn them it is best to spawn them in a tank of their own. I don't realistically see them successfully spawning and keeping their fry in a community tank. I spawned mine in tanks ranging between 30-50 liters. It is easy to get them to lay eggs but it is more difficult to get free swimming fry. Probably because the parents are quite skittish when they have spawned. They prefer a tank that is very well decorated with lots of hiding places and floating plants to ensure that the tank is not too bright. These things seem to be key in order to get a successful spawn, in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I added more plants tonight and moved the wood around, the fish really colored up nicely afterwards. he chased her around a bit and then they were dancing with eachother, swimming in very tight circles to the point of rubbing one another. I wish I had caught a picture.
any plant or hardscaping advice? I’m new to plants In freshwater so if you have shggestions I’d love to hear them.
i plan to keep adding rocks and plants, I buy two new seiryu stones every couple weeks. I have enough almond leaves to double up on what’s in the aquarium. Should I?
The male squared off with my Cacatuoides tonight, no actual fighting.
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Oh wow.
Your aquarium is looking very nice. :)
The look you have now, and the direction you are taking it, seem very good to me!
Just a couple details I can offer, that you could consider.
  • Add some Java moss to some of your textured/rougher surface rocks. Plus, a little of it placed here & there on some bog wood pieces would look pretty nice. Esp. if you can mask any of those wood pieces with visible cut points or other artificial places showing. Super glue actually works pretty good to get that stuff started out where you want to place it.
  • Anubias comes in a bewildering array of types, sizes and actual species. You might want to indulge yourself online and look at potentially purchasing some of the less common types. Placing a mix of those different types onto the wood and some rocks looks pretty natural, and helps to sustain continued strong growth throughout. That is, if you have a species that is being a temporary 'sulker' or something... another Anubias species might be reacting differently and booming in growth for you.
Otherwise, your aquarium looks a little young, but has got some nice bones and should grow out for you into something pretty outstanding! :cool:
Thank you! I didn’t know it could be super glued. I was just going to get some super glue for my reef tank, now I have even more reasoning. I’ve been struggling to hide the edges on my wood and I’d been using rock piles. Java moss incoming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I was told on a different forum that these Bimaculata will require RODI water, which means the Cacatuoides will need to go. Does anyone have any insight on this matter?
due to the Bimaculata rarity I do t mind prioritizing them, just looking for opinions on water standards
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Thanks for the input everyone. on the Apistogramma forum they were suggesting I try to get under 5 for PH. So low! The fish are happy and colorful now, but I would prefer successful breeding over non obviously.
how fast is too fast when reducing PH? I know it needs to be a slow process to preserve their health. I’ve added another 70 almond leaves but when I get home from work, I think I may need to take a bunch out to avoid swinging too fast. I think 70 may have been a mistake. This is my first time trying almond leaves to manage PH. I just don’t want to make any mistakes That cause death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I don't think adding those almond leaves will change the pH very quickly, but adding that many at once might deplete the oxygen in the tank, just keep an eye on things...
Thanks for that, I forgot to add that I’ve got three bubblers in there for now. How long do you think the additional aeration will be needed?
would you personally approach this differently than I am when it comes to PH? I’m thirsty for input 😈
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I think you are doing everything right, but I am not very experienced at this, I do have very soft water with almost no KH, but the pH out of the tap is about 6.8. I have always added almond leaves to some tanks but the pH has never dropped significantly despite the low KH, probably as I do regular water changes. That said I have never put 70 leaves in at once, that might make a difference.
Do you think almond leaves would be more effective in RODI water? In an apistogramma forum I’m being told I need RODI for the Bimaculata and I’m not fully understanding why low TDS is needed for some soft waters while it isn’t really suggested for others, such as my cacatuoides. I’ve got the RODI unit for my reef tank so I’ve been doing RODI as about 70% of my WC make-up
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Little update
theyve been improving their color daily. I feed them frozen food nearly every day and they seem to love it.
the supposed male seems to be displaying a breeding tube for the last week or so.
the first pic is the one I think is male. The suspected female is looking noticeably better with a hint of yellow
i’ve noticed the female chasing the male around much more than usual they usually end up dancing.
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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Very nice! The last two pictures are the female? Appears to have the breeding tube out, but difficult to see for sure as the photo is not in focus, but looks to be female.
I agree clearer pics would be helpful.

I've not seen a breeding tube that large before, are you sure it's not swollen tissue?
No, I am not sure. I have some concern about this because it’s on what I suspect to be the MALE. It was my impression that acara tubes are significantly smaller than this anyways. it’s extremely hard to capture in a photo. He pooped a few minutes after those last pictures, which may be contributing to the size. Even when not preparing to deficate, I feel the tube is larger than it should be. i Am at work right now but will get better pics tonight And post them immediately.

appetite is FEROCIOUS
if this was your fish, how would you treat swollen tissue in the anus? Treat the food with something like Metro? Epsom? Peas? I tried a pea last night but no luck. I picked up some garlic additive to try again tonight. My other cause for concern is that this particular fish has been showing this tube thing for nearly a week, I haven’t seen it retract.

here’s the only crappy pics I have on me. The first pic is from the same night, the second pic is what it usually looks like
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Hmm yes, a male breeding tube should be much smaller, thinner and pointed. I believe Epsom salts can be used to treat an anal prolapse but I have never experienced this and have no idea of the dosage or how to go about treating it. Hopefully someone else can help
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a good option to help reduce swelling and the suggested dosage is 1 tablespoon Epsom salt per 5 gallon of aquarium water, added slowly to the aquarium over a couple hours and watch the fish for any adverse reactions.

You can also use the bath method and adjust dosage to the size of the container and I think the suggestion is a maximum of 30 minutes but again watch for adverse reactions.

You may be better off dosing the bath method as I think you are running a low pH and alkalinity tank? I'm not sure of your tank water parameters so it may be helpful to post them up.
I reached out to the breeder and shared all of these pictures. This morning, he responded:
Nothing to be concerned about. This is completely normal for this species. The females always look like this, sometimes it even becomes red, looking very much like the fish would be ill, but all the females look like this, also in the wild.
this brings me relief, I had become more and more sure of prolapse as I read online. I still find it very odd and peculiar
i am also surprised, because this fish was the one I suspected to be male. It’s been showing the darker colors lately.
 
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