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Old 04-25-2004, 09:37 PM   #1
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20 long with shellies?

I'm setting up a tank for a friend. He likes shellies, but I don't know much abou them. Any info would be apreciated.
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:05 PM   #2
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Shellies need sand substrate, at least 2 shells per fish (I like escargot shells sold in gourmet food stores) and preferably hard, alkaline water. A male and two or three females per 10 gals should work (harem brooders). N. multifasciatus, N. brevis or N. oscellatus are usually available. I would in general recommend no other tankmates. Fascinating fish!!!
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:08 PM   #3
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Any aditional cover? or are the shells and sand enough? How large do they get?
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:07 PM   #4
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I think rocks are appropriate, as it mimics the part of the lake where they come from. Many have reported that their shellies sometimes hide in the rocks, and not always stick to the shells. They are very small, and I think 2" is about it. Tons of personality, though, considering their diminuitive size.
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:19 PM   #5
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I have a ten gal with N. multifasciatus and a sand substrate. The males may reach 1 1/4" and the females around 1". They excavate and hide in their shells. Mine were more amusing when they were in with my brichardi (long story). Personally, I think the N. multifasciatus have dull personalities. They are cute, but I have seen others that *seem* to do more. It doesn't help that they hide everytime I come near the tank. They have not figured out that it is ME putting the food in the tank!!! MTS were added to aerate the sand.

Hey TG--nice to see you!
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:29 PM   #6
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Hey, Menagerie- we close on the new house tomorrow and move on Saturday, but I stole a few moments (should be packing - hubby has a dislocated elbow and can't help me.. 8O ) and thought I would check in while I still have internet service.

Your shellies do not sound typical, but everyone has different experiences, for sure. I know that is a bummer if you don't see them a lot - that is how my Brichardi are. I have the tank set up (for a couple of more days anyway..) with tons of rocks since I wanted to provide plenty of cover for future generations, but the consequence is that there are plenty of places for them to hide, so even though there are 4 fish in there you hardly see a single one. I am hoping as they mature I will see more of them. They are still quite small.

Atlarge - the N. brevis and oscellatus get a wee bit bigger than the multis, which are truly tiny for cichlids, but still they are very small. Here is a link that discusses "desktop cichlids." http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/shellweb/
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Old 04-26-2004, 06:23 PM   #7
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The cichlid recipe is a good one! I read it before committing to my little finned friends.
TG--too bad about your brichardi. I only have two, but I see them all the time--and they had fry, which don't really want to hide
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