Lake Tanganyika Species • 1st time shelly advice needed

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1st time shelly advice needed

Postby sandandrocks » Tue May 08, 2012 2:24 pm

Hi all,

This is will be my first Tang tank and I'm looking to do a shelly tank in a 29 gallon 30"-12"-18".

I want to get a group of Lamprologus ocellatus (Gold) and possibly a group of Lamprologus ocellatus (Blue) as well.

What are the recommended male to female ratios and how do you tell the two sexes apart (is it like peacocks where males have color and females have no color)?

How many of each species should i get?

Can i keep both Gold and Blue together in a 29 gallon?

Any other advice before i start would be greatly appreciated as well or references to great articles.

Thank you.
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:35 pm
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Re: 1st time shelly advice needed

Postby Rick_Lindsey » Tue May 08, 2012 5:01 pm

Different people have different experiences, and will have different advice. Grab a grain of salt since I haven't kept any of the ocellatus family myself, yet, but I'd recommending choosing a single species of shell-dweller for that tank, and not mixing blue and gold occelatus. Are you planning to buy adults or juveniles? A common recommendation is to start with 6 juveniles and let them sort themselves out. My understanding is that the occelatus family tends to go pairs or trios, and occasionally harems. In the end I'd aim for a single male and his girls, though if you set up multiple territories with sight breaks it *might* be possible to keep more than one male in this tank long term. YMMV, and fish have different personalities. If it were me? I'd start with a fistfull of juvies and watch them grow. Let them sort themselves out... a little territorial tension can be fun to watch, just be ready to rescue outcasts if bullying gets too fierce.

my 2c. I'm sure someone who's actually kept them will chime in soon :).

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, who's 29gallon tank currently houses a breeding pair of J. Marlieri "Gombe" and a smallish but growing colony of (lamp? neolamp?) multifasciatus)
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Re: 1st time shelly advice needed

Postby FedEXguy » Tue May 08, 2012 5:55 pm

I agree with Rick. I'd get one type or the other, 5 or 6 juveniles, and let them grow up. You won't need shell piles, just individual shells spaced apart 6 or more inches and some rocks or plants that serve as sight breaks. Scoop out anybody that gets chased up to the top of the tank and stays there (they'll swim all over on occasion so don't worry about that.) You'll eventually end up with a pair, maybe a trio, or a harem if you get lucky. You may not have to take any of them out if you cross your fingers just right.

Won't easily be able to tell the males from the females with the golds (don't know about the blues) until they've grown nearly full-size. The males will be bigger by a quarter inch or so and maybe a bit duller and more slender. The females will get more of a potbelly.

With the height of the tank, you might want to consider a small group of topwater fish to help keep the shellies active if they're shy at first. A small group of zebra danios would work well I think.
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Re: 1st time shelly advice needed

Postby 24Tropheus » Tue May 08, 2012 6:53 pm

Yep for sure keep blue and gold apart or no one will want the young (too much risk of hybridising). They act pretty similar, so you get no added interest. Yellow are my fav because you get both yellow and blue with those. Yep agree with occies your prob best sticking with one shelly type per tank. Some of the smaller less agressive shellys can be mixed in a 30" tank (say a trio of occies (one male two females) plus a pair of brevis or quite a few other combinations) but you get a lot less breeding and its not as easy as one species per tank.
Dunno if you will be able to keep more than one male occie in a 30" tank but it can be worth a shot just buying a bunch of juveniles and letting them sort out if more than one male can co exist. If going with adults and sexable I would go just one male and and up to 6 females.

All the best James
Tanks 180, empty revamping 100,65,60g Tropheus/tang communities 75g revamping. 29gx3 shelly communities, 29g Trigs breeding. 20gx2 shelly tanks. BCA member 207. Try it you might like it.
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Re: 1st time shelly advice needed

Postby sandandrocks » Tue May 08, 2012 10:48 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys. Must appreciated to know all that prior to going out and buying them. I'll try to find some juv Gold and get a group of about 6. From there i'll wait to see how they do.

Another question: if i get a 4 footer (55, 40L, 33L) do these rules still apply or can i keep more than 1 adult male in there with several females. I'm very interested in having at least 2 males in my tank cause i wanna see them fight for territories and shells.
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Re: 1st time shelly advice needed

Postby prov356 » Thu May 10, 2012 3:26 pm

I kept gold occies' in a 42x10 footprint and two males were able to claim territories. That was the limit.
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Re: 1st time shelly advice needed

Postby starplayer » Sun May 13, 2012 3:39 pm

In my experience you will still see territorial displays from the females even if you only get 1 male. Nice fish. Provide some rocks to give line of sight breaks and you should be ok with 2 males.
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