Hi guys, just looking at the possibility of starting a small colony of shellies in a 60l tank I have. It's housing an aged bolivian ram with a small group of black neon dithers at the moment, and when the ram passes on (it's around 5 years old) I'm thinking I'll move the neons into the large bolivian ram tank I maintain elsewhere.
Just wondering how many escargot shells I should be looking for and how much sand (any particular reccomendation on type?) I'll need.
How many? 1m, two female? I'll be using remineralised RO.
Shells - at least two per fish, but the more, the better.
Sand - 2 inches or so as they like to dig and bury shells
In a 60 litre a pair would be a good start as they will rapidly fill the tank with offspring. Finding sexed adults for sale might be difficult. If you can only get juveniles, buy a group to be certain of including both sexes.
If it's a species tank for N. multifasciatus (which it should be at that size) I would not have too much sand. Unlike some of the other shelldwellers they don't need it e.g. to bury an isolated shell in. Their biotope in the lake would be deep piles of shells, and it seems to me that they just move sand to get it out of the way of their preferred shells, and you then need to watch it carefully for anaerobic patches. I would say get shells and more shells I get mine from www.confitdirect.co.uk, about ?8 for 48 I think
I think they are protective of fry and you'd need to rehome. I love the idea of keeping shellies, but I'm worried they'd breed like rabbits and living rurally means I'd struggle to find other fishkeepers to take them. Here is the caresheet: Neolamprologus multifasciatus
Ahh hah, great value shells, thanks for the link, Cathie.
It is to be a species only tank, though the problem of what to do when/if it gets over-run with fry is one that needs some thought. I potentially have a larger, 120l tank I could use in the future - are there any suitable Tang species that could double up as crowd control in a 120l tank?
I bought some sand today, probably too much for the small tank, but could come in handy if I am compelled to move to the bigger one. Some black limpopo sand from unipac.
The Bolivian Ram passed away over night, reached a good age, and was expected but still a sad moment. Still as one life ends a new life begins. Just noticed two spawning in the main tank in the living room :)
Altolamprologus calvus or compressiceps are fry predators but would need a larger tank than 120l. I have moved my multie colony into larger tanks 3 times now. I just give some away frm time to time, and at higher density populations they don't breed as much and some of the fry get eaten. I can't really get organised to sell them as that means extracting only juveniles; giving them away means I can just hand over several shells from the same area of the tank and that usually means I've taken an adult pair and some offspring, though some of my adults are pretty old now!