super great fish!!!! if you have a office tank or dont have the room for a large tank a small group of 5 can and will live very happy in a 10 gallon for a long time. comical fish and the smallest cichlid to date they will throw sand around to bury their shells and call them home.
Not a true 100% shell dweller. Some fish will take to rock more readily than shells. When decorating this fish's tank, care should be taken to add the rocks and/or other decor(especially that which is load bearing) is added to the tank before the substrate is added. This fish WILL dig under rocks and topple structures that were not properly installed. Great fish, they do well in anything from a 10g species tank to 250g community setup. Anticipate about 10 shells per fish and a nice pile of rocks that form small natural caves. Sand is the best substrates but very fine gravel no larger than 1mm in diameter also works well. Ph should be 8.0 ( /- 0.5) this is mostly just to keep the shells from eroding. Tank parameter should be CONSISTENT(more important than anything else, except for habitat). Calling this fish timid is a very poor adjective. This fish is timid only to movement outside the tank (ie you). They are downright brutal when it comes to defending their territory/fry against other species and will work as a team to defend it against other species (and will squabble among themselves, but rarely doing much damage). A better adjective for these fish are gregarious/boisterous.
I agree! We have a shellie only tank, and they kicked a small Synodontis lucipinnis catfish's butt. They ganged up on him, and we had to put him in another tank! They also would not let a baby bristlenose pleco alone either. He tried to climb out of the tank to get away from them. They did have fry, and the fry are so cool!
Awesome little fish from Lake Tanganyika. They love shells and are somewhat protective of their young. They can be kept with higher swimming fish and have big personalities. Mines tended to be be scared of me when I first got them, then they started opening up to me and are no longer scared of humans. My favorite cichlid from Lake Tanganyika so far.