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Substrate for apistogramma cacatoides

Stephen Zawacki

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On 11/5/2021 at 8:25 PM, Stephen Zawacki said:

Hey guys I just need some info to make sure my apistos are good in  all of my tanks I use flouralite black volcanic gravel I’ve had the best plant growth with it.  I just want to know is that substrate good for the apistos I have a pair of triple red cacatoides if that changes anything.


thx yall

Apistogrammas like to sift through substrate. Sand or very fine gravel / stone is probably preferred. I recommend sand with lots of leaf litter.

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On 11/5/2021 at 7:59 PM, Stephen Zawacki said:

Ok so I have a question if I'm going to change the substrate then since you recommend sand versus the volcanic gravel, how do I remove that out of my tank, without scratching my glass beyond belief

You can try a wet/dry shop vac if you have one.

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I agree with everyone above most south american cichlids prefer sand and fine substrate.

As far as substrate removal goes... You are going to scratch the tank no matter what you do, I find that its easier to just scoop out the substrate with my hand or a clean small garden shovel. Just try to keep the scratching to the bottom of the tank and it should look fine. You could try placing cardstock or cardboard against the aide glass panels. This would stop you from scratching the panels then you could just rinse off whatever is lefty on the side. 

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I’ve spawned and raised a lot of apisto cacs in the past few years on bare bottom tanks, sand and gravel substrate. I keep a few in my personal tanks as well. My opinion is that apisto cacs don’t care about the substrate that much. They might prefer one over the other, but they won’t be harmed by fluorite vs sand.

What they do prefer is plants, leaf litter, driftwood, hiding places, a cave, etc.  I think you’ll be fine with fluorite as long as you focus on those other aspects.

Situate things in the tank so they have lots of places to tuck away, like if you have driftwood, prop it up just a tiny bit so they can hang out under it.  I find that that, and leaf litter is what keeps them happy as they like to pick through the leaf litter and forage for morsels of food in it as it decays. 

Edited by tolstoy21
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