Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took a few shots of my shellie tank and thought I would post them for you guys. I started with 8 blue occies. I lost one almost immediately (jumped out), and lost one the other day to stress/bullying. 2 more were relegated to the top of the tank and certain to follow in the path of my second fatality. I don't have another tank ready to go yet, so I needed to buy myself some time. Check out my temporary solution.....





The two guys who were forced out from the bottom took to these shells within minutes! Obviously just a temporary fix until I get them some new digs......

Here is one of the dominant guys....



I often read the advice on here about starting with more fish than the tank can support long term, it just stinks that you have to lose some guys in order to make pairs happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
O_O

The advice to buy more than you need usually goes hand in hand with having a second, temporary, home for fish. Find an LFS to take them before they die? Poor fish :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
From your pics, it looks like you need more shells, and your problem might be solved. For 8 occies, I would provide 24 shells, 3 per fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Poor fish? Lucky fish! Nina's post made me realize perhaps I look like a poor fish keeper. With that said I should mention that when I left for my week vacation, all 7 fish had claimed shells and were holding there ground firmly. My neighbor was watching my tanks for me while I was away and thats when one was apparently bullied to death and the other two lost their foothold and moved to the top of the tank. As you all know, things can happen quickly in these enviroments, I acted as quickly as possible to save these 2 guys that my fiancee has now taken a liking to and dubbed "Sandy and Shellie". Regardless, I take this hobby relatively seriously, which is why I had a tank on hand to cycle and move them into.

Thanks for the advice Shellie. I did under shoot the 3 shell marker per fish for sure....but not by much. The gentleman I bought them from, said 2.5 per fish so I did that. With that said though, I'm not sure more shells would help now. It seems as I add them, the more dominant guys fill them up with sand which, combined with my poor photography skills, is the reason there appears to be so few shells.

For the time being, the 2 bullied fish have recovered and are doing very well. My small desk top tank should be ready by the end of this week. I look forward to providing a better home for these two guys!

I fear the LFS would be a death sentence as around here they only seem to care about "mixed African cichlid" tanks. Although these two are tough little guys, they wouldnt stand a chance in one of those free for all mixed tanks.

Thanks Deeda!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey shellie, how do you think a mid tank shelf would work? It would stick out maybe half the width of the tank about half way up in the water column. It would give the relegated fish "ground" territory to claim and still provide open water for them all. You ever see anything like that before? I seem to remember a picture on this site where some one had a raised, small shell bed. I guess I'm talking the same thing, just much larger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
I'm not sure about the shelf, It may work, but I've never tried anything like that. I Also started with 8 blues, but I think I got lucky, and wound up with 2m/6f(I'm not 100% sure yet) and they're spread out in a 36"x18"tank with one male at each end. I didn't realize your male had already buried some shells, mine do the same, but they do go back and use them later. I would try adding a pile of rocks to the tank. It will provide a place for the rejected males to seek shelter, and at the same time you put the rocks in, you could re-arrange and un-bury all the shells. It will give the rejected fish one more shot at being integrated into the community.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Is an interesting idea you have there but I would add rocks to, helps with line of sight if they can't see them don't seem to care
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seems I might have majority males. The 2 that were moved to the top of the tank are much smaller...maybe females? All are about the same age.

How long before occies pair up, on avg? My brevis paired up within weeks of having them. I guess they could have been older though than these guys when I got them.

Looks like you both recommend a rock pile. I was worried about taking away from ground area, but I'll take you guys up on the suggestion and then let you know how it goes in the coming weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,006 Posts
SandBagger said:
Seems I might have majority males. The 2 that were moved to the top of the tank are much smaller...maybe females? All are about the same age.

How long before occies pair up, on avg? My brevis paired up within weeks of having them. I guess they could have been older though than these guys when I got them.

Looks like you both recommend a rock pile. I was worried about taking away from ground area, but I'll take you guys up on the suggestion and then let you know how it goes in the coming weeks.
Probably female, if same age and smaller, but time will tell. It becomes obvious as they grow out. It's not uncommon for males to initially reject them. Occies can be a pain that way. I'd add the rocks also. One tall one may do. The out of sight, out of mind worked for mine as well. Just put the shells on top of the rocks. Once the females have a safe hideaway, you can give things time to develop, and it may take a bit. They're not as easy to pair as brevis IME. My males would sometimes reject the females even after spawning once or twice. Very fickle that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
I think that the shelf would work but you have to add a lip to the shelf so that it could hold sand. Even with the lip on the shelf they would still move alot of the sand off of the shelf. I guess I should add that I have never tried it myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Just have random biggish rocks that are about 6in tall and make territorys maybe 4 to 5 in wide try to take a picture later
Changed it up some old picture
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ya know Prov...that stinks! If I don't remove those little guys, they will likely die. If I do remove them, they will never pair up. Dotbombs set up was my motivation for this tank and the Occie species, perhaps I should have gone a different direction. If you havent seen his tank....check it (http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=1565375&sid=672e6e7f770641b66cc1cb05938db891 )

Thanks for the tank shot frazee! It really looks good and I can see the various territories with the obvious site breaks that really makes it work. Here is a side shot of my tank, notice how far out the BG sticks. It really takes up a large part of the tank. I think I might take out what I think is a male and the 2 females and put them in my tank that is currently cycling and see what happens.





Any suggestions on size and how to place the rocks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,006 Posts
If I don't remove those little guys, they will likely die.
No, not at all. You just need to give them a space to get out of sight. My males didn't kill the females, just pushed them into corners. Get the shells up on large rocks and they should do ok. Large rocks on the tank bottom to act as sight breaks or territory markers work well too. From my experience, a small, open tank is not a good way to to with occies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Any rocks work be it big ones or small as long as they break line of sight. Thinking of changing it up with actual piles instead of large sight breaks after I decide if I like the rocks I've collected :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
+ 1 on OUT OF SITE OF MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also you might consider another species for upper mid part of tank. Just a few other distractions for the occies to think about. If they only have eachother to pick on or think about, they will thrash eachother more. Just ask what type fish and you will get many answers. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also you might consider another species for upper mid part of tank. Just a few other distractions for the occies to think about. If they only have eachother to pick on or think about, they will thrash eachother more. Just ask what type fish and you will get many answers.
Interesting thought there. Didn't even consider that.

No, not at all. You just need to give them a space to get out of sight. My males didn't kill the females, just pushed them into corners. Get the shells up on large rocks and they should do ok. Large rocks on the tank bottom to act as sight breaks or territory markers work well too. From my experience, a small, open tank is not a good way to to with occies.
Sounds good. I'll try it and let you know how it goes.

I hear ya Frazee....Im going to go with piles of smaller rock first...shells on top.

your tank background looks great. What type/make is it?
Thanks noddy! I really do enjoy the look of it, but boy does it take up a large portion of the tank! I got that at http://www.designsbynature.net/

If you look at the link I posted before to dotbombs tank, you can see another one of their bg's.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top