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A. cacatuoides, what's wrong?


I too have a harem of A. Cacatuoides (1Male, 2Female).
In a peaceful community 55g tank:
6 Nannostomus trifasciatus
3 A. cacatuoides
2 Microgeophagus Ramerizi (blue rams)
2 Dysichthys coracoideus (banjo catfish)
1 pl*co

At the beginning, I had the same problem with the chasing and constant
aggressiveness by the male.  The difference was that my females were not
even laying the eggs while he was chasing them.

I have read that they are found in blackwater regions.  I started by adding
blacwater extract, which is available at most commercial aquarium supply
stores. The same night that I added the extract, my first clutch of eggs got
laid.  I have now resorted to filtering through sphagnum peat (nylon bag of
peat in my filter canister) and both females lay a new clutch of eggs every
ten days. The peat in the filter will lower your pH so that you do not have
to do this with chemicals. Although I too have not had any success in
getting any hatched fry, at least there is now peace between all of them and
the females are laying regularily. I read this week that Apistogramma,
Pterophyllum and Discus eggs are light sensitive, if they are laid when the
lights are out. Also, I have found documentation stating that optimum
breeding for this species requires lowering the temperature of the tank
slightly (three or four degrees fahrenheit). This is due to the fact that
they tend to spawn in the wild when the rains come and lower the temperature
of their rivers.  I have not found much corroboration for these two facts
yet, but the search continues. If you would like more informatioin on my
environment please feel free to e-mail me directly.

I feed, frozen brine shrimp, frozen white mosquito and frozen bloodworm.
They have been spoiled and no longer eat any of the dry foods that I mix in
for variety.
Too bad... for those five feedings a week... they go hungry.

As for buying a new female, I am not sure that you have enough room in a 10
gallon to house a harem. The females in my tank guard half of the bottom
area of the tank when they have eggs (my tank is a 55g). When this occurs
they (females) become very aggressive towards each other if one crosses the
half-way point in the tank. They have each chosen caves in opposite corners
of the tank. I would not put a third in my tank due to the size of their
territory. IMHO, I would not get another for yours.

Forgive me for the length of the response.

I am trying hard as well to get a viable batch of young, I will keep you
posted on my progress. 

Best luck with your fish.

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