Lake Tanganyika Species • New to cichlids & shellies.

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Re: New to cichlids & shellies.

Postby mmerose » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:43 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the awesome advice! I didn't write last week because work got really busy, but I managed to order 6 N similis from (am I allowed to say who?) and they arrived on Wednesday, along with 1 bristlenose pleco and 2 nerite snails. I couldn't be happier with them, I could sit and watch them for hours (which is what I did yesterday) diving into the shells and then peeking out. The smallest one (about 1/2 inch) has a shell next to the glass and I seriously think he might be watching me too.

I moved most of the plants to the far end of the tank and threw out the plants that weren't doing well in my very alkaline, hard water. I used pool filter sand (spent all last Sunday washing it) and there are maybe 40 shells (escargot and a few whale eye snails). The shells are piled up at the end without the plants - should I rearrange so that there is more open sand area for them to dig? I haven't seen any of them dig yet. Also, thanks for the advice about the driftwood, I had no idea it would change the water chemistry and it's coming out today.

Of course I have more questions.
- If I rearrange the tank at all, will they go back to the shells they have claimed now? They seem to use the same ones all of the time - will it be a problem?
- I noticed one of them behaving oddly. It sort of backs up (like a hummingbird) and wags its tail really fast, usually when there is another fish there. Is that aggressive behavior and will they need to be separated? It isn't the biggest one.
- Food. I bought a few different types, but my concern is that they are not getting enough. The greedy danios grab it as it sinks, even after they have been fed with their own food. The smallest food (Golden Pearls size 150-200 microns and 250-500 microns) floats around and doesn't really get to the bottom and the cichlid pellets might be too big for them They pick them up and spit them out. I don't want to put too much food in but I don't want them to starve...they stay down at the bottom, by the shells.
- How can you tell males from females, and does it matter?

Thanks so much again. By the way, the breeder was so nice and gave advice and information (found him on this forum). They arrived safely on one of the coldest days of the winter so far and they are beautiful and look healthy.
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Re: New to cichlids & shellies.

Postby DJRansome » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Do not name the vendor in the forums.

1-don't plan to rearrange the tank. If you have to for some reason, the shellies are likely to go in the shells and stay there until they are in the new arrangement and have been there a while
2-I have not observed that behavior, but it sounds like aggressive behavior Malawi display. Don't separate unless there is a danger of death (fish driven repeatedly to the surface).
3-Consider removing the danios. Unless the cichlid pellets are larger than 1mm they should be fine. While you use up the existing food, mix it in a little cup of tank water and pour it from a height over the shellie shells. It will get past the danios and down to the shellies.
4-doesn't matter unless there is danger of death
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: New to cichlids & shellies.

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:35 pm

Working frozen brine into the diet always benefited the colony and seemed to initiate more breeding. Keep an eye on that pleco. They can be quite disruptive, and may eat eggs as mentioned earlier. If your focus is to build up a colony through breeding, you may want to remove it. Time will tell...
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