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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my 90 gallon Lake Tang tank, after a recent move, I've noticed that my multi shelldwellers are ignoring their shells, and seem to prefer hiding in the synodontis caves. This normally would not bother me, but in the past six months, since the move, I've had no fry. I recently bought a good selection of multis from Aquabid, and these ones as well are ignoring the shells, shells that the multis bred and lived in quite happily before the move.

The young lelepui I added in right before the move are doing great and claiming a few shells, but opposite of the general shellbed.

What can I do to get the shellies back into breeding mode?
 

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maybe the shells are too small now? I would just let them settle first. My shellies acted similarly but are now back into their shells. have they burrowed/covered up any of the shells?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, they haven't done anything with covering up or burrowing with the shells. I'm wondering if I need to add more--there's something like 70 in there right now.
 

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Taratron said:
The young lelepui I added in right before the move are doing great and claiming a few shells, but opposite of the general shellbed.
I am guessing that this is the problem. Leleupi are no friends of shellies: they can be vicious going after fry in shells, and so with these new predators your shellies may not wish to settle back into breeding mode. Leleupi have been known to kill adult shellies to get at the fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Crud, I just saw another possible problem: a while back I picked up a handful of julie fry, and they have apparently survived. So perhaps these two inch long demons are also part of the problem. Darn it! My mom loves the leleupis, but I want my shellie colony to explode.

I wonder if the tropheus are stressing out the shellies too?
 

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Sorry I dont want to jump your thread but I have a question that was asked. What does it mean if they are burrowing the shells? I have 5 gold occlies and for the most part they have covered almost all the shells in there but just a couple.
 

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Taratron said:
Crud, I just saw another possible problem: a while back I picked up a handful of julie fry, and they have apparently survived. So perhaps these two inch long demons are also part of the problem. Darn it! My mom loves the leleupis, but I want my shellie colony to explode.

I wonder if the tropheus are stressing out the shellies too?
I think that in order to sort this out it will be necessary to view your entire stock list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, should have done that at start:

8 Tropheus duboisi

50+ multi shelldwellers

4 juvie leleupi

3 julie (marleri, I think), all about an inch

9 syno petricola

6 kuhli loaches that cannot be caught

10 bamboo shrimp that also refuse to be caught
 

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Both the marlieri and leleupi are bad choices if you are trying to breed the multies. The trophs may also be too active for the multies. Perhaps you need to start a 20 gallon speices tank for the multies if you want them to breed.

Aquascaping may be helpful... it's worth a shot if speices tank isn't in the works. Gather all the shells and pile them in an otherwise empty corner. Female multies will choose lower level shells for spawning, and the larger fish can't get to them as easily. Keep all other tank decor (plants, rocks, etc) far away (at least 8"), so there will be no cover for the predators.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was thinking of a more sturdy divider than rockwork, but does anyone know where I could get something as large as a 90 gallon tank divider, or how to make one? I'd guess something made of thin plastic, with small holes drilled in, would work well, but I don't want to silicon it in permanently.
 

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I don't think you understand what I meant: Don't divide your tank with rocks; divide your tank with open space. Leaving 8" of nothing will keep predators further away from the shell bed.

I've always hated tank dividers: if they work at all, they greatly restrict waterflow. I don't think it's a good long-term solution. I'd prefer to see the julies and leleupi placed in a holding tank for a few weeks to let the multies settle in. Perhaps once they've established a breeding colony, they'll be able to adequately defend against the predators.
 
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