Lake Tanganyika Species • Shell Dweller Setup

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Shell Dweller Setup

Postby strobukm » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:04 am

Hello! I'm planning on setting up another tank and I really want shell dwellers. I have a few tanks sitting empty right now, a 10 gallon, a 29 gallon, and a 26 gallon bow front. Which tank would be best for a single species tank? I'm leaning towards Neolamprologus Multifasciatus, but would consider another species. I plan on using pool filter sand for the substrate and tons of shells. My tap water seems perfect for these guys since my pH is 8.3 and my hardness is 290 ppm.

So, my questions are:
1. What tank would you use?
2. Which species?
3. How many fish would you start with?

Also, if there are any people around the Minneapolis area, where is a good place to buy/order these guys?

Thanks!
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Re: Shell Dweller Setup

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:10 am

The 26 gallon bow front sounds like a good tank. Probably the most floor space of the three tanks, though I'm not sure of the dimensions. You could start with six multifasciatus and go from there. If not multifasciatus, you could go with brevis, who actually can make an interesting colony as well, though I might use the 29 gallon instead.
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Re: Shell Dweller Setup

Postby whalebite » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:23 am

I am really hoping to get my hands on a colony as well, and that is what really makes them cool they live in a colony. You can keep 5 or so in a ten, probably a few more. Probably the best small tank for multi single species set ups is the 20 long, fairly small dimensions, but big enough for a bigger colony. The thing with a 29 or 26, is they are pretty tall, so you may what to consider a dither fish like dwarf neon rainbows. Personally I would do the colony in the 26; not just for floor space but also because it will look pretty stunning. I am not sure how many multies, but if I do them I would like to start with around 5. Similis is another slightly larger Colonial shelly that would also do well in the 26, probably (I would do it). There are some other species that live only in pairs, and I could see in a 10 gallon. I have heard the key, especially when starting out is enough shells.
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Re: Shell Dweller Setup

Postby strobukm » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:31 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I suppose I should have listed the foot prints for the tanks in my original post. The 26 is 24" long, 12" wide at the sides and 15" in the middle and 18" deep. The 29 gallon is 30" long, 12" wide and 18" deep. Based on this it seems that the 29 gallon would be best since it has the largest foot print, correct?

I was concerned that since both tanks are quite high it would look a bit empty towards the top of the tank, but if they as entertaining to watch as I've heard, the empty space at the top wouldn't bother me. Would having a dither species in a tall tank benefit the shellies or would it just be for aesthetics?

It also seems that I should try to get around 5-6 fish to start and make sure to use plenty of shells. I ordered a 36 pack of XL escargot shells and also have a bunch of shells from the craft store that wiuld probably work, though I should probably boil them or something first. How have any of you treated shells before putting them in your tank? Would you add plants, live or fake, to the tank or just go withthe sand and shells?

I'll look around locally for either the multies, similis or brevis and see what I can find. Maybe I'll convince my husband we should set up both the 26 and 29 and pick 2 species...
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Re: Shell Dweller Setup

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:15 pm

strobukm wrote:T. Maybe I'll convince my husband we should set up both the 26 and 29 and pick 2 species...



That's the spirit.
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Re: Shell Dweller Setup

Postby whalebite » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:48 pm

A deither fish is used to bring out shy species. if a school of fish is swimming about, shy fish will feel safer and be out. at least that is the theory. so if you have a school of something the shell dwellers will be out and about more (although the set ups I have seen, they don't really hide all that much.)
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