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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wanting to put together a 20 gallon long with shellys. I am thinking of 2 shell beds with 2-3 piles of rocks. I would like to have 5 multi and a pair of julie transcriptus ( the classic combo). What I want to know is could I put 2 more fish in the tank for a splash of colour? I am wanting 2 of the following three types of fish but only 1 fish either a leleupi or daffodil brichardi or a Neolamprologus tretocephalus. I know that all of these fish are usually housed in pairs or colonies to see behaviour but I feel I have enough of that with the multis and julies, but will that be too many fish and too much agggression for that size of tank. Also what do people do for clean up crew in shelly tanks if any at all?? Thank you
 

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With multifasciatus I would do one shell bed, they like a lot of shells in layers...some say 100 shells are not too many.

The leleupi will kill shellies (even adults) so I would skip those. IMO the brichardi and tret are too large for a 20G. I think you are fully stocked with the shellies and julidochromis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok what about clean up crews in shelly tanks are these not needed because the multis clean up the sand pretty well. Regardless would a bnp fair well in this tank?
 

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Don't overfeed and filter well to avoid the need for any sand cleanup. The shellies will not appreciate other bottom dwellers disturbing them. A BNP might work since they spend significant time on glass, but I'd consider nerite snails due to the size of the tank.
 

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I have BN plecos in almost all my tanks, but not with shellies. My BN plecos only clean the glass at night, so during the day they would be more or less in the shellies' territory. Nerite snails might be a good idea. I have never kept any, but my Dad has two in his 200L (about 55G). They have been in there for many years, and he loves them.
 

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I love 20longs, but IME they are not big enough to house both multis and julies together. Nothing wrong with trying the combination in a 20long, (I did, despite people telling me it was a dicey proposition) but I'd suggest a back up plan in case you need to separate them. Julies, once you get a pair, will produce fry regularly. Juveniles are pushed further and further out from the spawning site as each new batch of fry arrives. In a 20long, that pushes them straight toward the multi's territory--which in a 20long isn't really far enough away to start with. Multis, despite their size, can be real brawlers with other fish getting into their territories. Adult males in particular have no fear diving straight into an adult J transcriptus spawning rock pile, let alone defending against intruders getting near their shells. That was my experience anyway. Multis and J transcriptus have really interesting behavior and are great fun to watch, especially when you can see fry of all different ages together with the adults. IMO, both species make for a fun tank. And both are terrific as a single species in a 20long. But I have no idea how others have gotten them to coexist in a 20long. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones. But I don't think you'll regret having a back up plan in case you're not. If you are really set on a more "community" type set-up with Tanganyikans, I'd suggest a much bigger tank. Even then it can take quite a bit of patient and persistent juggling.
 

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I think if you want to keep them together in a tank that small, you can only have one generation of fry per species. The older ones need to be removed. These are desirable fish, and can always be sold to a fish store or at a local club auction. You miss out on observing the colony behavior, which is a shame, but you can't have it all.
 
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