Apistogramma trifasciata

Here is a video of a new group of A. trifasciata.  When I set up apistos for breeding, I start with multiple males and females.  Once a dominant male becomes established I remove the extra males, otherwise the dominant male spends ore time worrying about the competition than he does spawning…. as you will see in this video.  I removed the extra male after shooting this footage.

This species comes in from the Czech Republic as A. trifasciata ‘Macilliensis’… but that is not really a valid name.  This is a basically a nice tank strain trifasciata.

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Group Order Pre-Sale List for Below Water (Oliver Lucanus)

Below Water is Oliver Lucanus’ business in Canada (Montreal).  Oliver has spent a lot of time and effort developing many export contacts from many of countries in South America and Africa, and he manages to bring some of the rarest fish from those countries…. to Canada.  Oliver and I are going to try to offer those fish to hobbyists in the USA.  I am organizing the first pre-sales import to arrive in Chicago on January 8, 2015.  If you are interested in joining in on the order, the link below will download a spreadsheet order form.  The instructions for placing an order are at the top of the spread sheet.  If you have any difficulties, please send me an email (tjudy@tedsfishroom.com) or contact me through this website.


Here are the basics:

  • Orders are due to me by January 2
  • If we have enough participants to place the order, I will send you a PayPal invoice with the total including shipping from me to you.  That invoice will need to be paid by January 4 in order to place the order.
  • Fish will arrive in Chicago on January 8 (a Thursday) at 9:00 AM.  I will drive down to get the order (clear inspection, customs, etc…) and then repackage the fish (rebag/reox…. water change if necessary) and ship them out to you via FedEx Priority Overnight the same day…. you will receive the fish on Friday, January 9.
  • Prices reflect Oliver’s retail plus a service fee to cover the overhead of the order.  Prices are FOB Chicago… shipping to you from me is extra.  Most boxes will be in the $50 -$70 range to get to you.  If you need a shipping quote before I send you an invoice, please ask.

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Apistogramma sp. Melgar

It is amazing what a few black worms will do to cure apisto shyness.  This video is of some Apistogramma. sp. ‘Melgar’ that took two days to lose their fear of the camera… but it required liberal quantities of worms to do it.  This has to be one of the most under-appreciated dwarf cichlids from Peru.  I think it is beautiful, especially the huge females.  Here is a picture:


Enjoy the video…

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Feeding Time!

I love to feed fish.  I think that we all do.  I especially like it when the fish I am feeding are aggressive on the food, and the best food for that is live black worms.  Here is a video of several of my dwarf cichlids I have set up in spawning tanks getting a treat.  I feed black worms a couple times each week to the fish that can handle them.  You will see some Congochromis sabinae and some Nanochromis splendens getting some worms, but those fish only get them every other week or so: and even then they do not get many.  The apistos can handle the worms though, and in the immortal words of the incomparable Charley Grimes, ‘Nothing like worms to eggs in a belly.’

The tanks are all 10-gallon set up for breeding.  All the structure is in the back, away from the light.  The spawning site that I hope the fish use is visible from the front.  I use yarn mops in dwarf cichlid tanks for a couple reasons.  A fish being picked on can hide very well buried in a mop, and when that mop is mature it will be loaded with infusoria for the fry to eat.  I also use wood, magnolia leaves and live plants (potted crypts and free-floating java moss) for structure.  The filter is in the back corner, which makes it another place a fish can find refuge under.  There is only a little sand on the bottom.  Lighting is very dim (which is why some of the video resolution sucks).  The magnolia leaves add tannin, but sometimes they make the water cloudy, which you will see in a couple tanks.  After a week and a few water changes, however, the tank will clear.  I also use alder cones, which add some antiseptic chemicals to the water.

The tanks all start with two pairs or two trios.  After a few weeks I will remove any fish that are obviously not handling aggression.  By the time fry start to appear, most tanks have a pair or a trio.  There is a tank in the video with some A. kelleri, which cannot stay in a 10-gallon tank forever.  This is one of the mouthbrooding species, and it gets BIG.

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Stingrays for a Client

I have been holding and acclimating some wild fish for a very cool aquarium, and the fish are being delivered tomorrow.  Stingrays, Brochis multiradiatus and wild angelfish.  For those of you who are observant, yes… these are some of the same stingrays that were in the CustomAquariums.com booth at the Aquatic Experience show a few weeks ago.  The owner of CustomAquariums.com loved the rays, and he called a client who wanted to do something special.  Tomorrow we will see the result.  A custom aquarium built with sting rays in mind.  I will not tell you about the tank right now… I plan to shoot video tomorrow.

The fish in this video are the first stocking, which will include three rays, a school of Brochis multiradiatus catfish and some wild angelfish.  The substrate in the aquarium is sand, and one of the dangers with rays is that a sand substrate can become dirty and cause infections on the skin of the rays.  That is where the Brochis help out… these hoovers constantly turn over the sand and help to keep it clean.  We will also be putting some eartheaters (Geophagus and Satanoperca) into the tank to help with that chore.

I am a little bit in love with these stingrays.  They have been a lot of fun to have in the fishroom, and I will miss them.  But I really do not have tanks large enough to house them long term… but that may change.

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Two Apistogramma

Here is a video showing two Apistogramma species from the most recent order from Peru.  I set these fish up in the photo tank and decided to get some video as well.

Apistogramma bitaeniata ‘Rio Tigre’ is one of the prettiest forms of this species I have seen.  I really like the black, white and yellow markings.  Just after I put them into the photo tank a couple males really lit up, but by the time I had the video camera in my hand they stopped.  Here is a still pic though:



The second species in the video is a bit of a mystery.  It was shipped as A. payaminonus (a holy grail species), but that is not what was sent.  I think that they are one of the cruzi-group fish that comes from the same area, possibly A. playayacu.  It is a pretty fish though.  Notice in the pictures and video how bent and skinny the larger fish are.  This is sue to malnutrition, and can happen rapidly, especially in older fish.  But the condition is usually reversible with plenty of food and good water quality.  I generally stay away from buying these larger specimens, however, and choose younger fish when I can.  Here are some still pics of a young male, an old male and a female:

edit_Apisto_sp_20141129_0496  edit_Apisto_sp_20141129_0510


Enjoy the video…



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New In Stock and Shipping Windows

Busy week here at TedsFishroom…  Two new orders arrived last Thursday, but I have not seen them because I have been at the OCA Extravaganza for three days… but I am told that the fish are all doing well.  Here are the new in stock lists.  The EXCEL PRICE LIST now includes hyperlinks to pictures and informational web pages for some of the species.  When I can make the time I will get pictures of most species loaded into the list.

We have a GREAT shipping winding (good weather) coming up the week of December 1…  If you would like to place an order, let’s take advantage of it next week.  I am not worried about holiday package volume with FedEx Express the first three weeks of December, and Christmas is late in the week this year.  We will HOPEFULLY have three full weeks of shipping weather in December.  Western New York got enough snow last week for all of us to enjoy for a white Christmas… here’s to having a beautiful, mild holiday season.

GCCA Swap – Dec. 7, 2014…  I will be attending the swap and will be bringing PRESALE FISH to the event.  I will probably bring some Repashy food to sell, but I will probably NOT bring bags of fish that are not pre-sold.  So if you want fish at the GCCA swap… please place an order.


From Peru:

  • More Apistogramma, including payaminonis… this is a NICE FISH!!!!  Also in are nijsseni, sp. melgar, and locations of bitaeniata and aggasizii
  • Some more common cories including pygmeae, arcuatus, zigatus and reticulatus
  • More Copella vilmae
  • Hypoptopoma sp. Peru/Orange… the ‘robocop’ oto… very cool nano catfish
  • Hyphessobrycon loretoensis… 1″+ on this beautiful small tetra.  Great in planted tanks
  • Rineloricaria lanceolata…. fun, spawnable whiptail catfish

From Below Water in Canada (Oliver Lucanus):

  • Nanochromis splendens and N. parilus (two locations of each)
  • Congochromis cf. sabinae… very colorful!
  • Three different, rare Steatocranus
  • Corydoras araguaiensis ‘large spot’
  • Two different dwarf Distichodus… one crimson red and the other emerald green… just in time for the holidays
  • Tylochromis lateralis
  • Odontocharacidium aphanes… the hummingbird tetra

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Unpacking A Fish Order

Here is a video on a subject that I have been wanting to show you for a while…. unpacking a large order of fish.  A lot of planning goes into getting a new order of fish into the fish room, especially am import from out of the country.  In this case, 30 boxes from Peru!!!


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Aquatic Experience Small-tank Aquascape Contest

I entered the small-tank aquascape contest at the Aquatic Experience in Chicago this past weekend.  This is the first truly competitive aquascaping contest I have ever tried.  There were some great entries.  Mine was different that all the others… I went with a biotope riparium.  Special thanks to Devin Biggs at Riparium Supply for providing the centerpiece fern.  Check it out….


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Custom Aquariums Booth at Aquatic Experience

Here is a quick video of the CustomAquariums.com booth at the Aquatic Experience show going on right now in Schaumburg, IL.  Cool stuff!


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