Lake Tanganyika Species • Shell Dwellers territory issue

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Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby naturlvr » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:43 am

I had pearly occelatus approx 8 that died due to ICK. So I ordered 4 Lamprologus Signatus in their place. So while I am waiting for them to get here, I discover 2 pearly occellatus had made it and were in hiding. I have them in a 40 gallon tank. So the pearly occelatus set up their territory with one on one side of the tank and one on another..so each were claiming about a space of 20 gallons each. Then along came the Signatus a week later, and those two tiny pearlies are not letting the 4 Signatus take up any space in the tank except behind rock in the back. Is there any way to help these Signatus claim an area?
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Re: Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby DJRansome » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:20 pm

There are 2 tried-and-true methods that I know of.
1-one species of shellie per tank
2-in a 72" tank stock brevis first and let them choose a shell. Move the brevis and their shell to a shelf within the tank that is off the substrate. Then stock the 2nd species. The reason this works with brevis is they stay by their shell. Not true for all shellies.

I am not aware of any tricks to get occellatus and signatus to coexist in a 36" tank. Short of dividing the tank.

Maybe someone who has done it will chime in.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby naturlvr » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:03 pm

DJRansome wrote:There are 2 tried-and-true methods that I know of.
1-one species of shellie per tank
2-in a 72" tank stock brevis first and let them choose a shell. Move the brevis and their shell to a shelf within the tank that is off the substrate. Then stock the 2nd species. The reason this works with brevis is they stay by their shell. Not true for all shellies.

I am not aware of any tricks to get occellatus and signatus to coexist in a 36" tank. Short of dividing the tank.

Maybe someone who has done it will chime in.


Thanks JR. I never thought keeping Chichlids would require a doctorate on behavior LOL. Part of the problem is that I tried to get everything set up too fast. In the 75 gallon tank many of the 8 Gold ocellatus have NOT been able to take a shell because three of the Golds have taken a shell and will not let the others come around so 5 of them just hang out on the edges of the tank. I don't have brevis. I have Gold Ocellatus in the 75 gallon tank .....and in the 40 gallon tank I have two Pearly Ocellatus and 4 Signatus. I did not think so many of them would be without homes. The 4 shellies are kicked to the curb along with 5 Golds in the 75 g tank. that leaves 9 shellies kicked to the curb. I feel awful about it because I must have gotten something wrong...I read that you can put several oin the tank and let them pair off. Leaving 9 shellies on the edge seems wrong and I guess I should rehome all but the ones in shells. They weren't supposed to take up 20 gallons apiece.
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Re: Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby naturlvr » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:39 pm

Hiw bout I out the large number of Gold ocellatus in the 240 gallon community tank??? Then I can put the signatus in the 75 gallon . its the only thing I can come up with Never knew they claimed such large territories for themself. I had read 6 inches per fish. They need renaming...the Billionaire Shellies.
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Re: Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby DJRansome » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:44 pm

I don't think you want shellies in a Malawi tank...it was a disaster for me.

Why not choose one species per Tang tank and rehome the rest?
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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Re: Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby naturlvr » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:23 pm

DJRansome wrote:I don't think you want shellies in a Malawi tank...it was a disaster for me.

Why not choose one species per Tang tank and rehome the rest?


OK yes I can do that. Did the fish kill your shellies?
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Re: Shell Dwellers territory issue

Postby DJRansome » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:33 pm

I rescued them, but it was not a good mix.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Petricola
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Homeless Peacocks; 33G Cobue
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