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Old 07-11-2016, 12:37 AM   #1
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Thinking about a Shell Dweller tank...

My friend is wanting to get rid of her 25 gallon tank and I want to buy it and turn it into a shell dwelling Cichlid tank, and I'm thinking that I want to buy some Multis. So I've got just a few questions.

1). So they come from lake Tanganyika which I know has pretty hard water, but would they be okay living in just plain well water? If not, how can I raise the ph level?

2). Can they share a tank with other fish and still form colony's? Like if I were to buy some small surface dwelling fish, could they still have fry that survive to adulthood? Or would they be gobbled up?

3). Since they are so small could I keep some shrimp in there with them like Amano or ghost shrimp?

Any of y'all that have experience with shell dwellers and extra information to share, please feel free to share it.


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Old 07-11-2016, 12:14 PM   #2
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Most Shellies are fiercely territorial. I do not typically recommend adding other fish or inverts your first go around. Most Shellies will destroy other creatures.

As long as you're not buying wild caught, the hardness typically doesn't play as much of a role. Add some Texas hokey rock or limestone and you're good to go


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Old 07-12-2016, 01:45 AM   #3
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The ones at the store are tank raised, but the worker said that he is keeping them in hard water. If I were to buy some, could they make the transition from their hard water at the store to my not as hard water at home and be okay?


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Old 07-12-2016, 06:08 AM   #4
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My old multi colony survived going from Michigan tap water (well), then on a 9 hour journey, and now in Maryland tap water (city). They'll be just fine typically lol my colony has been starting to fade out and pass away after 4 years or so, but I have kept other fish with them so my fry yields have not been what they should. Again, I would recommend getting some experience with them prior to adding other fish with them. It was many headaches for me when I first did it (my colony was a year or two old)


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Old 07-13-2016, 12:33 AM   #5
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Thinking about a Shell Dweller tank...

Thank you for the response! I'm sure that they will adjust fine. How many should I start out with? Isn't it like 2-3 shells per individual?


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Old 07-13-2016, 01:32 PM   #6
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I recommend at minimum 3 shells per fish. More like 4-5 IMHO


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Old 07-13-2016, 06:58 PM   #7
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Okay. The fish store I'm buying them from has tons of large snail shells for cheap, so buying more is no problem. So would 3 Multis be enough to start out with? 4 or 5 maybe? They're about $9 each I think.


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Old 07-14-2016, 03:00 PM   #8
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Adding more later is difficult. I recommend 4-5 per 10 US gallons


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