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Old 12-31-2013, 01:30 AM   #61
Wannaberooted
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I decided the more bottom area the better for Multies, so I went with the 36x18 inch footprint. Since the Multies stay at the bottom and were going to be the only fish in the tank, the 12 inch tall 30 Breeder was the most logical choice for me. I guess I'd go with the 20 Long if I were you.

As I understand it, they may fight over a certain shell or area, but they don't hurt each other. Loser goes and finds a different place. A mated pair will defend the same shell. It's good to have three or four shells per fish, they will figure it all out. I've read that a dominant male may eat fry if the tank is over-crowded, but otherwise the fry are safe.

If I'm wrong, hopefully someone who has kept them before will correct me.

Here's a couple articles I found that may be helpful.

http://www.fishchannel.com/freshwate...d-shellie.aspx

http://www.tfhmagazine.com/freshwate...ll-article.htm
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:26 AM   #62
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An update, I won't be getting fish until the end of March.

We will be closed at work from March 1-23, so I will be going to North Carolina to see my folks. I'm not going to set up a new tank for a month and then be gone for two weeks, especially with having to regulate pH and GH as I have never done this. I sure don't want to have to worry while I'm on vacation.

Otherwise, days off where something is actually open, and it isn't 20 below zero are coming, I'll look for the rest of the things I need. The Packers are out now, that will also help my productivity. Pictures soon once there is something new to see.

Stay tuned...
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:56 PM   #63
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especially with having to regulate pH and GH as I have never done this. I sure don't want to have to worry while I'm on vacation.
Don't stress on the pH and GH. I use Seachem Tanganyika Buffer and Cichlid Lake Salt. I have relatively soft water out of the tap. I make up evaporation with tap water and Prime. Water changes come back to buffer and salts. I use 3/4-1 tsp CLS per 5 gallons and 1 tsp buffer per 5 gallons.

I really don't check either anymore. The fish are hardy and adapt. I even have Synodontis lucipinnis in their tank. They are all fine.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:02 AM   #64
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Don't stress on the pH and GH. I use Seachem Tanganyika Buffer and Cichlid Lake Salt. I have relatively soft water out of the tap. I make up evaporation with tap water and Prime. Water changes come back to buffer and salts. I use 3/4-1 tsp CLS per 5 gallons and 1 tsp buffer per 5 gallons.

I really don't check either anymore. The fish are hardy and adapt. I even have Synodontis lucipinnis in their tank. They are all fine.
Thanks Jerry for your continued help. I'm sure it will all be routine in the near future, but I'll be much more comfortable keeping an eye on everything, and getting fish when it isn't crazy cold. It's all about the fish.

I took Diana's advice, and bought some Seachem Equilibrium, and also baking soda for the water changes. She said the 20 pounds of Cichlid sand mixed with the 50 pounds of pool filter sand would do the trick to buffer, so I got that as well. I completely trust her advice, but I also want to be around to observe. I need to learn everything.

Stay tuned...
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:22 PM   #65
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I have been considering Aragonite (nature's Ocean) for my Multi tank. What brand of Cichlid sand did you buy? Dark or light?
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:29 AM   #66
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I have been considering Aragonite (nature's Ocean) for my Multi tank. What brand of Cichlid sand did you buy? Dark or light?
I bought CaribSea Sahara Sand for Cichlids, it's black and white. I chose that one as it had the smallest grain size as I read Multies like that, but it was blacker than I thought it would be. I'm hoping it won't look stupid when mixed with the pool filter sand.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:23 AM   #67
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Looks good. I kept Multics awhile back. I still have a bunch of shells if you're interested. I
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:32 AM   #68
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I certainly would be interested. What kind of shells are they?
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:11 AM   #69
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They may be large apple snail shells. I don't recall. I have to go dig them out of storage and maybe I can send a pic. My shellies loves them.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:15 AM   #70
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They may be large apple snail shells. I don't recall. I have to go dig them out of storage and maybe I can send a pic. My shellies loves them.
Please don't go to too much trouble if you don't have them handy. I do have 36 shells already, but they will not even come close to covering the bottom in front of the rocks. It would be interesting to see which shell they prefer, escargot or apple, I'm just not sure yet if I would want two different shell types in the tank. The extra large escargot shells I have really aren't that big though. Here's a picture with a quarter to size.

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It sounds like people have good luck with these shells though. After all, the fish are tiny. But I could see many of these would be too small for the fish to claim.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:39 PM   #71
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Now that I think about it, my shells may also be escargot shells. I'm pretty sure they are about half the size of yours though.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:04 PM   #72
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Escargot snails are perfect. You will be surprised how they get into the shells. They like the confined space.

If you want to look at a video I took of some Telmatochromis temporalis "Shell" shell dwellers, here's the link. Towards the end you will see a female going into a Neothauma shell at 4:33. The video shows a female guarding fry. The spawn is in an Escargot shell. The Telmats are larger than Multies, so even smaller Escargot shells will work. Apple snails are good too. Whale's Eye snails are good too. A mix of types is not bad. Remember, there are more than one species of snail in Lake Tanganyika, but in the beds it is mostly Neothauma.

I have some shells collected in a local pond that have an almost identical size to the Neothauma, except for a larger opening. The wall thickness is much less. The fish use them. I have seen others using small conch type shells. Looks very unnatural, but the fish don't mind.

http://youtu.be/ocQtK9FYn-U
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:06 PM   #73
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Hi, I have had experience breeding golden ocellatus and ornatapinnis, both tanganyikan shell dwellers, and have always added crushed aragonite and either mixed it in with the sand or added a bag of it to the filter to buffer ph. It keeps the ph stuck at the mid 7s and gives the sand that crushed shell appearance if you chose to add it there. I also like to leave some bare sand around and in between shells because of how entertaining it is watching the fish dig out tons of little craters in the sand. I wouldn't worry too much about the rocks either as the fish in my experience won't really utilize them. Hope I helped a little.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:45 PM   #74
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Watching a breeding pair of multies with fry in my buddies tank sparked my interest in this hobby. Those blue eyes poking out of the shell...

So glad to find this build. Looks like you've done your homework. Can't wait for some pics.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:48 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrytheplater View Post
Escargot snails are perfect. You will be surprised how they get into the shells. They like the confined space.

If you want to look at a video I took of some Telmatochromis temporalis "Shell" shell dwellers, here's the link. Towards the end you will see a female going into a Neothauma shell at 4:33. The video shows a female guarding fry. The spawn is in an Escargot shell. The Telmats are larger than Multies, so even smaller Escargot shells will work. Apple snails are good too. Whale's Eye snails are good too. A mix of types is not bad. Remember, there are more than one species of snail in Lake Tanganyika, but in the beds it is mostly Neothauma.

I have some shells collected in a local pond that have an almost identical size to the Neothauma, except for a larger opening. The wall thickness is much less. The fish use them. I have seen others using small conch type shells. Looks very unnatural, but the fish don't mind.

http://youtu.be/ocQtK9FYn-U
Thanks for the interesting video. Do they turn around in the shells? I was amazed on how strong but very light the escargot shells are, I was wondering how a tiny fish could move one before I got them. I've read about breeders using little PVC elbows and caps instead of shells, the fish don't care at all. Then they can get the fish out easier when it's time to sell.

I have a three day weekend with not much to do finally. I've been busy otherwise between work, waiting too long to buy a new light bulb for my planted tank and melting all my Crypts, researching and buying my first laptop, and planning my trip.

So, I can finally go check out that PVC at that plastic place in town and do a little painting perhaps. This project is still in limbo for another month so no big hurry.
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