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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeing as this board has been more helpful than anywhere else I have visited, I pose another problem for you fishiacs.

I have a 6.5 gallon tank sitting around not being used. I know that 6.5 bizarre size, but I actually really love how compact it is. It used to be a infirmary tank for my 40g but I am setting it up again and thinking about what to do with it. The tank measures 23"L x 9H x 7"D. Obviously the tank size limits my options, but I love the way the shellies interact. How many would everyone would recommend starting with and does anyone have any recommendations?

You guys have been great so far with all the help, and I appreciate anymore in advance.
 

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If you are diligent with frequent water changes and can mitigate temperature swings (sometimes hard to do with so little water volume), then a pair of brevis or multifaciatus might work in there.
Have you considered something like cherry shrimp instead?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't have a problem doing water changes as the tank will be sitting on my desk where I constantly sit. The water temp will be an issue I have to watch as I did the last time I had it set up, but I believe I can contend with that as it will no longer be sitting by a window and will now be more closely monitored.

Prov356 - I love the tank! Just a question, how many Brevis did you start with? I know it may take a while for the fish to pair off so I am just curious as to how many to start with and if you have had any aggression problems with the other pair or the dithers.

Thanks again for all the help guys, you have been extremely helpful!
 

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I actually paired them up in a 10 gallon. Brevis are very easy to pair up. I think I started with 8-10. I had three pairs form quickly, and just picked two to take in to my office tank.

They ignore the dithers unless they come down and get in their face. I swapped out the tetra's for some zebra danio's after a while as I couldn't keep the tetra's alive. You'll need dithers to entice the brevis out. Even then, they'll be skittish the first few weeks, give them time to get used to you.

As for time to pair up, I've had brevis as young as 9 mos that spawned. Once old enough, they pair up very quickly. If you had 5m/5f, you'd probably get 4, maybe 5 pairs, as they don't seem picky about mates.

If they're all the same age, just pick some smaller and some larger. I've gotten pretty good at guessing m/f by size when young.

As for aggresion between the two pair, it's more posturing than anything else. Occasionally both males would meet at the border in the middle between territories and strike a head down pose and light up in color like the females. Cool to watch. Never any contact. The females would then come out and nip at the male as if to tell him to get home before he got hurt.

But, be ready for fry. I had them by the dozens. The tetra's ignored them, but the danio's would pick them off, so solved the fry problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Would it be an issue for me to pick up a smaller amount than 10? I have a 40g up and running, but with the current/future residents, I do not feel that brevis would be a good fit there. If I was to pick up say 6 would that be enough? This is of course assuming that my LFS will buy back whatever fish do not pair up.

The other issue I have is, I do not plan on actively breeding the brevis. I understand that breeding is something that is bound to happen, and that comes with buying in a group. How often will they breed?

Lastly, did you any reasons behind the dithers that you picked? I was not even planning on having any due to the high ph and lack of room, but seeing your tank does let me know it is possible. Do you feel that the dithers were necessary, or rather just a welcome addition to fill out the tank?

Again, thanks for all the help!
 

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Of course you can go less than 10. I'd go with at least six and go for two pair because the interaction is the fun part. Just try to get 3 larger, 3 smaller.

You'll need a dither that will pick off fry. I siphoned out dozens at one point before I got the danio's. It can be a real problem as they'll give you a new group every few weeks. They'll be like little ants crawling all over, even with one pair.

Dithers are very helpful for brevis in bringing them out and making them less shy. They work with a lot of fish actually. You could try without, but once you add them, you'll see an almost immediate difference. And, as stated, helpful in fry control. I liked the zebra danio's. I'd also suggest adding a nerite snail or two to keep algae down.

I do 50% water changes once per week. Very easy with a small tank. Water my office plants with the change water. They're growing like weeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Prov you have been very helpful with this and I appreciate it. Looks like once I have finished cycling and setting up my tank, this is where I will be headed.

Now all I have to decide is what dither to use. I am hoping to use some black slate rock plus shells to finish decorating the tank so perhaps a little color wouldn't hurt.

The waiting is the worst part!
 
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