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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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Ivanacara Bimaculata is an extremely uncommon fish in the hobby and has been rarely documented. I would strongly recommend you ask the person you are getting these fish from for photos they took. The photo of the fish is from a YouTube video (maybe you know this, just letting you know.) If you are to successfully keep a pair and attempt to breed them, blackwater is recommended with a pH below 6 and a very low TDS. Your aquarium is beautiful, and great for the current occupants, but if they were to spawn all fry would be eaten by the tetras as well as the angels. A 125 is a very large aquarium, but cacatudoies may still harass the newcomers. I recommend adding more sight-blocks as well as a layer of leaf litter.


Hopefully you are able to acquire true Bimaculata as these fish are rarely collected, even if your supplier said they were collecting true bimaculata it's more than possible they collected adoketa instead. These are still a rare fish and require similar parameters.


The only recent report about N, (I.) bimaculata that I know about is in Romer's Cichlid Atas 1. Romer reports that Franz Vermeulin collected the species in 1997. Vermeulin told Romer that the water was similar to that of I. adoketa: blackwater, very acidic (<pH 5.5) and extremely soft (almost no hardness of any kind at all). There are no known reports of successful reproduction that I know about.
This quote is from Mike Wise, whom is a dwarf cichlid authority on apistogramma.com.
 

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i love your tank! I’m sure I’ll lose most of the shrimp but it’s for the good of the colony :devilish:

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
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!
 

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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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Interesting, and very hopeful that they are the correct fish!

I only found these, not much information here but you might be able to contact him.

 

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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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Totally seeing that male already in your fresh arrivals from Sweden.
That's a good thing.
Showing and displaying natural coloration is a key indicator of an overall acceptance of the environment. That is - Not too stressed.
And so, now?
It's.....
One.
Step.
At.
A.
Time.......
Or, as they say, "To Spawn, or Not Too Spawn?"
That IS the question. :unsure:
 

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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.
Plant Wood Terrestrial plant Trunk Grass

Plant Vertebrate Botany Houseplant Wood

Plant Vertebrate Wood Vegetation Terrestrial plant

Plant Plant community Terrestrial plant Vegetation Bedrock

Water Plant Vertebrate Pet supply Organism

Plant Botany Terrestrial plant Organism Pet supply
 

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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:
 

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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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Keep us updated on your progress with more pics! This one will be fun to watch develop. :cool:
 

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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!
Hi!😃
And, you can use Gorilla glue too!😃 yep! and it doesn't hurt your babies at all! We like to use the glue sticks to not have to wait too long of a drying time!😃
 

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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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I am not sure as there is so little information about them, but I would not be surprised if they need very soft, low pH water to breed successfully (for the eggs to be fertile and not attacked by fungus), even if the adults can survive OK in slightly harder water. You might find you eventually have aggression issues with the cacatuoides anyway.
 

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+1 to @Mazan on that.
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The water chemistry needs of the I bimaculata will definitely have precedence over the A. cacatuoides. But, of the two I would believe that the little Cockatoos will be the most adaptable to the water chemistry conditions in the aquarium. Found naturally in the wild at higher elevations with white water conditions up to a PH of 8.0, on down to the basin where things get down to the mid - high 6 range in PH - this species should be able to adapt well to whatever you deem is necessary for keeping the I bimaculata.
However, softening the water is one thing, but I would be careful not to let the PH get below 6.0, as that will make it tough for many species of aquatic plants to grow in the aquarium. Plus, be careful when stripping your tap water out with RO that you don't remove too much of the dissolved minerals out of it. The water will lose almost all buffering ability when that happens, causing the PH to sort of go crazy on you in the aquarium - a BAD result for everyone.
 

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Many people keep blackwater tanks with RO water and very low pH (4-4.5), they maintain a thick leaf litter bed and apparently the humic substances act as a buffer to prevent pH fluctuations. I don't speak from experience, just what I have read.
 

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Oh man.... PH 4.0? Battery acid! :oops:
(Not really...).
But yes, if that PH drops below 6.0 in the aquarium? That would definitely be too low in PH to keep A. cacatuoides.
 
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