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Picking breeding projects for the year


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Hey guys, 

I'm looking at trying to breed Ember Tetras, Apisto Cacatuoites Super Reds, bristlenose plecos, and neocardinia shrimp this coming year. I've been able to find plenty of information on breeding Neo shrimp and plecos but the info about Apisos and Ember tetras has been more lacking. Are there any good resources out there for breeding those two? I haven't been able to find much about the lifecycle for apistos or ember tetras or much about the right diet to condition apistos.

I plan on trying to colony breed the tetras and some cherry shrimp in the same tank, would I have to worry about the shrimp eating the tetra eggs or tetras eating baby shrimp in large enough numbers to worry about?


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You can never go wrong with a Master Breeder Dean Tweedle video on "How to Breed Apistos." 


In Episode 2 of the Aquarist Podcast, Randy Reed interviewed William "Chance" Peragine about breeding Apistos. The audio, if I recall, was awful. But the content was brilliant: 



Then there's this video from Ted Judy all about breeding various Apistogrammas. It's very helpful:


We made a little introductory video about our pair of Apistogramma Cacatuoides awhile back too. We've learned a lot since then, but some of the basic ideas are on the right track:

The Apistogramma.com forum is populated with Apistogramma breeding masters who can walk you through whatever you need to sort out: https://apistogramma.com/forum/

Basically, you want to make sure that you get good stock to begin with. Our Cacatuoides were sick and slowly died before we learned how crucial it is to quarantine and med-trio treat new fish. 

Basically, they like a bit of sand to sift through. Most Apisto keepers also use leaves -- some use catappa, alder cones, and Oak leaf litter. Do not keep plecos (bristle nose) in the tank that you're trying to breed them in. They can respond well to a dither fish -- that is, small fish that provide an "all-clear" signal for apistos to come out and swim around in the tank. Pencilfish work nicely because they do not have large mouths and won't predate on the fry. Be careful about your dither fish choice -- tetras sometimes will eat apisto fry. Our Neons gobbled up our F1 Apistogramma bitaenaiata fry . . . *ugh!*

You'll want to provide them with a cave. Check out the Apisto cave from Aquarium Co-Op: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/products/apistogramma-cichlid-breeding-cave We made our own  coconut huts. You can go online a learn how to build a good apisto hut. The key is making sure that the opening isn't too large. Females tend to like small openings. Sometimes pushing a rock to partially cover the mouth of the cave is preferred by the female. 

Feed them well on live foods. Baby brine shrimp, daphnia, and on frozen foods -- some blood worms,  etc. It will be the FEMALE who decides when it's time to spawn. She'll turn bright yellow, and will do crazy bending and dancing in front of the male. Her goal will be to lure him to the cave where she'll lay her eggs all over, he'll fertilize, and then she'll stay there and guard. 

Once the eggs hatch, she'll bring them out and parade them around the tank. Now, once the female turns into "guarding" mode, she'll sometimes take to tail-whipping the male. It's kind of funny . . . no matter how small, she'll pack a mighty punch! 

Good luck!!!

Edited by Fish Folk
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For Ember Tetras, the one-of-a-kind LRB has a video about breeding them: 

Once you get the water parameters correct, and they're in good breeding condition (feed females especially well on live foods) then they breed in a container set inside another tank with a mesh bottom so that eggs will fall through holes so they can't eat their eggs. They breed awhile in there, then the internal container is removed, and the fry are left to hatch. 

Having soft water is important. Lower the pH too -- Catappa leaves are recommended (also great for Apisto breedings set ups) and alder cones. 

Lots and lots of java moss is brilliant . . . that's always a great thing to have. 

Edited by Fish Folk
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