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Basic Questions

I'm an experienced cichlid keeper living in Central Florida.  I've always
wanted to keep apistos, but haven't had any success, and I'd like some
advice on whether it's even worth trying for me.  Our water here ranges
from c. 7.4-7.7 and is hard (I don'thave the figures handy, but can get
them), so I've had great luck with mbuna, Lake Victorians, and Centrals. I
once mail ordered 10 A. borelli, which I understood were acceptable for my
PH, but they gradually died over the course of 6 months or so.

So I have some basic questions, which will no doubt lead to others:

1) Is it possible to keep any species of apistos in this water?  My single
cichlid-keeping trick has always been Regular Partial Water Changes, so
manipulating the PH has always been a losing proposition: just about the
time I finally get the tank's PH down a bit, it's time to do water

2) Is live food a must for keeping (as opposed to spawning) apistos?  I
don't mind working at my fishkeeping, but my attempts at keeping a steady
supply of baby brine on hand have made the task seem pretty onerous.

Since you all have probably been over this ground many times, I'll be glad
to take any correspondence off-list if that's best.



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