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Old 08-23-2015, 12:37 AM   #1
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Alex's Shellie Tank (N. Multifasciatus)

So it finally happened! I planned on getting Multies at the very beginning of the summer, but due to a screw up at the LFS I tried to order them from, and then a series of vacations, I was unable to get them in until the 17th.

This tank was originally planted but I got tired of algae and other problems with the plants, so I decided to switch to something plantless.

The tank is a 20 gallon tall, with aragonite sand, around 30 escargot shells, and some type of rock that's used in saltwater tanks as a centerpiece (base rock was what it was labeled as).

I ordered 8 of them, but 2 were DOA. That left me with 6, what I now know to be 2 males and 4 females, based on their size (males are bigger) and behavior (males fight each other; females occasionally do as well, but not as brutally).

Since I got them, the largest male has claimed almost all of the tank for himself. He allows the other females to stay but is completely intolerant of the smaller male. He eventually chased the smaller male up into the top corner of the tank, and would chase him if he ever came out. Right now the smaller male is in a breeder box with some sand and a few shells, because the large male was going to harass him to death eventually. He seems much better now. I may try to reintroduce him later, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

But that’s all for the boring stuff. Time for... PICTURES!

Largest male, with his mate, or one of his mates (scandalous ):



Largest male, with his other mate in the background:



Largest male in front of rockwork:



Largest male with his first mate again:



Close up of the big male:



Shot of the whole tank:



Well that's about it. I'm hoping for some fry eventually. That would be cool.

Comments, questions and advice are welcome!

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Old 08-23-2015, 12:52 AM   #2
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Great shots of some gorgeous specimens! Nice job.


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Old 08-23-2015, 01:35 AM   #3
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Great shots of some gorgeous specimens! Nice job.


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Thanks fresh! I've been snooping on your thread, your tank is looking great. Seems you're having more luck with AR mini than I ever did
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:35 PM   #4
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Very nice pics!

Personally I'd suggest more shells; if that's not an option maybe rearrange the shells you currently have. I also kept some floating hornwort in my multi tank for those that ventured to the surface.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:28 PM   #5
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Very nice pics!

Personally I'd suggest more shells; if that's not an option maybe rearrange the shells you currently have. I also kept some floating hornwort in my multi tank for those that ventured to the surface.
I do have more shells, I'll throw a few more in I guess. Still, 5 per fish sounds like enough to me.

Floating plants is a great idea! I can't believe I didn't think of that! Seriously!
I mean, having plants was a pain before, but I've been having a bit of a plant relapse recently (I almost bought java ferns at petsmart to put on the rocks, but I thought better of it) so I think I may add some sort of frogbit like red root floaters, or maybe riccia fluitans. There's a relatively calm corner of the tank that would work great with them, and I know that the male in the breeder box, who is pretty shy, would absolutely love some more cover. Thank you!
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:53 PM   #6
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I do have more shells, I'll throw a few more in I guess. Still, 5 per fish sounds like enough to me.

Floating plants is a great idea! I can't believe I didn't think of that! Seriously!
I mean, having plants was a pain before, but I've been having a bit of a plant relapse recently (I almost bought java ferns at petsmart to put on the rocks, but I thought better of it) so I think I may add some sort of frogbit like red root floaters, or maybe riccia fluitans. There's a relatively calm corner of the tank that would work great with them, and I know that the male in the breeder box, who is pretty shy, would absolutely love some more cover. Thank you!
Years ago I bred multies, occies, and stapps. Anyhow, when I first got started folks in the local cichlid group told me I could never have enough shells, at least as far as the fish were concerned!

And you're welcome! I know plants aren't typically seen in shellie tanks but it might help plus it does give a nice bit of color.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:51 PM   #7
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So I've been thinking about/doing research on 3 problems recently.

1. What sort of floating plants should I add?

I'm pretty settled on frogbit. It grows like a weed but is easy to remove, and has some roots to give a bit more shelter. Red root floaters sound nice but I've heard that they can be difficult to grow. I've actually had frogbit in an unplanted tank before as an experiment and it went pretty well.

2. What to do with the breeder box male.

I've decided to put him in after I find a solution to 1 and 3; I will also shake up the aquarium rock placement a bit and add more shells right before adding him in hopes that in all the confusion peace will be made between the males.

3. What, if any, dither fish can I add?

I would like to see a bit more action in the top half of the tank, so I think I may add 6:
-cherry barbs or
-zebra danios or
-forktail rainbow fish (pseudomugil furcatus)

I'm leaning towards the danios at this point as they are hardy, adaptable, and stay near the top of the tank.
The rainbow fish would be my ideal choice but I fear that I may have issues with lack of plant cover (although the added frogbit may help). I'm also worried that they are rather fragile and hard to care for, or perhaps that their similar coloration may even lead to them being chased by the shellies (although I doubt this). Has anybody kept these that can give input?
Cherry barbs are still a potential option but I fear they may be more midwater swimmers than top dwelling.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
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Sweet setup man, I'd skip danios, they're non stop and became rather annoying to me, sk3lly took then back the next day. Than again, may need something quick to avoid getting beat on..

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Old 08-26-2015, 11:56 AM   #9
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Sweet setup man, I'd skip danios, they're non stop and became rather annoying to me, sk3lly took then back the next day. Than again, may need something quick to avoid getting beat on..

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I almost took them back the next day but persisted. The danios i got only stayed in the top inch of water and were jumpy at first. Any sudden movements and they used to jump out of my rimless. After a few days they began to swim more midlevel. They are ok fish, always swimming about and playing. They are a nightmare at feeding time, so frantic!


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Old 08-26-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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Multis are so great! Some of my favorite aquarium fish ever since I got mine last fall. Definitely put more shells in if for no other reason than because they'll overrun your tank pretty quickly, their fry practically raise themselves Congrats, beautiful setup!
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