Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I have a 20 and a 29 gallon tank set up for any fry from my 75 gallon tank, but I'm thinking of either converting it to a breeding pair tank, or a shellies tank.

1) What species of shell dwellers is fun and a good fish to keep

2) How many fish could I keep?

3) Which tank size would be the best?

4) Would I be able to mix other fish in with shell dwellers, if so what kind
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
1) What species of shell dwellers is fun and a good fish to keep

All of them!

2) How many fish could I keep?

That depends a bit on the type you are keeping. For example multies and similis are colony forming, which means they will tolerate multiple generations of fry in the tank. Occelatus and Brevis will try to chase older fry away when they want to breed again. I have heard a German breeder refer to this behavior as nidifugous. In a tank environment this means you need to remove older fry at some stage.

3) Which tank size would be the best?

Assuming we are talking about a 20G long, both tanks have the same footprint, and shellies won't use the upper part of the tank. In other words, there would be no advantage in using the larger tank.

4) Would I be able to mix other fish in with shell dwellers, if so what kind

Maybe a single calvus or a pair of the smaller julies, but you'd loose quite a lot of fry. In case of a prolific multi colony, that might not be a bad thing :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm just going to say this, I love your shell dweller tank fmueller. Its amazing haha. Well If I converted my 29 gallon (30" long) into a little Tang tank, could I have a group of shellies with a few other fish? I looked at calvus and they looked cool. Thanks :fish: :fish:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here are a few species I like, I really would love to have a Neolamprologus tretocephalus, not sure if they will work in this size tank, or how many I would need, but just a thought. I also like the Calvus and Compriceps, also not sure about numbers. But the main inhabitants I would want would be a group of shellies, and either Neolamprologus tretocephalus or Neolamprologus brichardi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
fmueller said:
3) Which tank size would be the best?

Assuming we are talking about a 20G long, both tanks have the same footprint, and shellies won't use the upper part of the tank. In other words, there would be no advantage in using the larger tank.
I disagree with there not being advantages in larger water volume. Its easier to maintain all your correct parameters. But the shellies would not use it like you said. IMO :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've read that it is hard to keep more than one species of shell dwellers, and keeping leleupi with shellies because they pull out the fry, but in the cookie cutters, they have them put together. Something wrong?

Well here is what I would really like to keep,

Altolamprologus calvus -pair
Lampologus caudopunctatus -???
A shell dwelling species, not sure which yet.

or

Following one of the cookie cutters
Julidochromis marlieri (Burundi) -pair
Neolamprologus leleupi (Orange) -maybe pair?
Group of shellies, again still not sure what kind.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also would any species be able to substitute the leleupi? Such as tetrocephalus?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Could I maybe have
Altolamprologus calvus -pair
Julidochromis marlierei (Burundi) -pair
Group of shellies?

In a 29 gallon tank, 30" in length
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,517 Posts
I think you need a 55G, LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I have a 20g long. Same width as your 29. I just put in a group of 7 shellies and the tank is full. I can't see putting in any other fish. As it stands each shell dweller has staked out his or her small territory and defends it vigorously.

If you want to add other species I'm thinking you need a 4' tank minimum.

If you get a shy shellie species I could see adding a small shoaling fish as a dither that takes up the top of the tank but I'm just not seeing another cichlid in this size tank.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
Furcifer158 said:
I disagree with there not being advantages in larger water volume. Its easier to maintain all your correct parameters.
Of course a larger water volume makes it easier to maintain parameters, but in my experience the difference between 20G and 29G is not large enough to really notice a difference in this regard.

dotbomb said:
I have a 20g long. [...] I just put in a group of 7 shellies and the tank is full.
I agree. A 20G is nice for a shellie species tank. Anything beyond that is pushing the limits.

mattawan_cichlid said:
I've read that it is hard to keep more than one species of shell dwellers, and keeping leleupi with shellies because they pull out the fry, but in the cookie cutters, they have them put together. Something wrong?
The cookie cutters are recommendations made by a group of CF moderators. They tried their best to please everybody, but that simply isn't possible. Personally I think they were a little too mindful of beginners wanting to cram as many species as possible into a small tank, and gave in to those demands. What they recommended can work, but there is no guarantee.

For example it is well known that shellies are spunky fish. If you put two species in a small tank and let them fight it out over the shells, you are guaranteed to see some action. Many people have had bad experiences in this process with loosing fish, and I would not recommend that.

Regarding the leleupi, I have had excellent experiences with leleupi and brevis in the same tank - but that was a 8', 240G setup. In a 3', 20G, I would have to say no way! I would not keep leleupi by themselves in anything under a 4' tank, but YMMV.

mattawan_cichlid said:
Well here is what I would really like to keep,

Altolamprologus calvus -pair
Lampologus caudopunctatus -???
A shell dwelling species, not sure which yet.

or

Following one of the cookie cutters
Julidochromis marlieri (Burundi) -pair
Neolamprologus leleupi (Orange) -maybe pair?
Group of shellies, again still not sure what kind.
75G and the world is your oyster :D

Any 4' tank would do, but I am saying 75G instead of 55G, because the extra depth is very useful, while a 75G tank doesn't really take up more space in a room, and is usually not much more expensive.

mattawan_cichlid said:
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also would any species be able to substitute the leleupi? Such as tetrocephalus?
Wow - tetrocephalus can be mean #[email protected]! A lot more so than leleupi.

Of course in a 75G you could keep them both, but I don't think I would combine them with the much smaller shellies.

A peaceful setup would be something like:

bottom (shells): one species of shelldweller; eg. L. multifasciatus, L. brevis, L. occelatus or similar.
middle (rocks): one species of rockdweller, eg. Julidochromis, A. calvus or similar.
top (open water: one species of smallers cyprichromis (eg leptosoma 'Utinta') or paracyprichromis.

Depending on setup, you might get away with two species of rockdwellers in a 4' tank, eg by setting up two rock piles, but again, less is often more :)

How many of each species depends a bit on what species you choose and what's available to you. With the shellies you could start with a breeding pair, or buy six juveniles and wait for a pair to form. The same is true for most of the rockdwellers. Cyps and paracyps do well in larger groups. A dozen would be a good start.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,517 Posts
But wait...isn't the topic a request to stock a 30" tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well after some thought, I decided I am just going to try out either a breeding pair or just shellies. I like neolamp. brichardi a lot, any other species that make a good breeding pair in this size tank?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
Shellies would be your best option, but brichardi can also work in a 29G. I think it would be best to start with about 6 juveniles. That way they can get used to their environment, which will be better than putting a pair that was used to a larger setup into one so small. When a pair forms, you need to remove all fish but the pair. Excess males will almost certainly be killed, and females quite likely as well. Once the pair has their own offspring, they will tolerate multiple generations of fry, and the older fry will help the pair to guard the colony against any intruders. They would be very unlikely to tolerate any other fish in a tank that size.

The last time I kept brichardi I put them in a 6', 125G tank. They tolerated a colony of multies on the other end, but when I tried to introduce a group of cyps, the brichardi proceeded to beat the $#!% out of them, and the next day I removed all surviving cyps from that tank.


Brichardi colony in a 125G. Breeding male (the biggest one) and female in the foreground, together with multiple generations of fry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
ebjdftw said:
fmuellers web site was the reason i got a 20g long and put gold occies in it! such a cool fish! i had no idea there was so much spunk in a little fish.
+1 I saw his site and photos after I bought a 20g long for a potential grow out tank. I put it on my wetbar in my office with some fish that needed isolation for a week. I realized I liked having a tank in that spot and then bought some shell dwellers last week :D

Now I need a new tank and location for a grow out tank when I start getting some fry :thumb:
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top