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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy 6 juvenile neolampragus multifasciatus, to put in my planted 10 gal. The plants are vallisneria, dwarf sag, rooted wisteria, moneywort, and salvinia minima. Will the plants be ok? Will the fish uproot them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank has sand and I can add shells. I have an extra 10 gal that has eco complete. I could change the substrate to sand. Would that be better? Also any tank mates that go well with them?
 

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When I had my multis the tank was planted with val, crypts, anubias and some floaters and for the most part they left the plants alone, unless they were near where their shell was and then they would at some point uproot the plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While they can't be kept with other bottom-dwelling species such as catfish or loaches, shell dwellers get along fine with species that stay at the surface far away from their precious shells. Small livebearers such as Endler guppies or platinum halfbeaks for example would make ideal companions.
I heard that it's a good idea to have dither fish but the tank is a 10 gal. would I have space?
 

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It would probably be ok for the first little while since they're juveniles. But in the long run this wouldn't work. Adults can reach 2" in length, and the plants will get uprooted with the little space they'll have to dig out their shells. They should also be in a tank with a bigger footprint. I had a group of l. ocellatus in a 20g long and they did well, but it was a species only tank with a fish to shell ratio of 1:2. IMO you'd need to ensure that each fish has enough space and a shell to retreat to when it gets challenged by other fish, and without removing some of those rocks, I don't see that happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ok, I have another 10 gal that's empty I will set that up. Where do I get shells for these fish? how big do the shells need to be? Is there a certain shell they use in the wild? The 10 gal will have sand and shells only no ornaments. will there be space for a small colony then? I'd only be buying 6 fish.
 

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Multies use Neothauma shells in the wild and they are generally not available for sale + no need to buy them as they are expensive if you can get them.

I always use Escargot shells, bought online in a package of 24 from Marky's though it's been a few years. I like 2 or 3 shells per fish to give them a choice and they will bury the unused shells in piles of sand.
 
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When I kept and bred them years ago, I had a colony in a 20L with a lot of anubias and Java ferns and TX holey rock. The plants do well in high ph and harder water and the fish don’t bother them. It just made their tank a bit less stark looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Bootsy will I have space for that in a 10 gal? I feel like the shells and green plants would clash.
 

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10 gallons is pretty small, so you may not have a lot of room. But putting some rocks in could make it more visually interesting and break up sight lines, which could help with territoriality. I always liked the plants because it added a bit of height — shellies don’t really use the top level of the tank. But it’s totally up to you
 

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Yep, shellies will only use the upper levels of the tank if there isn't enough room on the lower level. Any shell-dweller that is hanging out in the upper level is likely stressed from not having any cover.

I used escargot shells in my colony as well, bought them online. Sizes ranged from 1.5-2.5" in diameter. You can also check with any local restaurants that sell escargot as a dish to see if they would sell/give the empty shells to you. Just be sure to clean them very well and bleach dip them too.
 

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One concern i have is that the multi require hard water and some of the plants you mentioned i would think would struggle in hard water; so the first question i have is your water suitable for multi ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My water is around 7.8. I thought those plants like hard water?
 

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Vals, anubias, and Java ferns do (I’ve kept all three with African cichlids) but I don’t think wisteria would appreciate hard water. Don’t know about sag and moneywort.

Also, your ph isn’t a good predictor of whether your water is hard or soft. Do you know GH/KH or TDS?
 

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Vals, anubias, and Java ferns do (I’ve kept all three with African cichlids) but I don’t think wisteria would appreciate hard water. Don’t know about sag and moneywort.

Also, your ph isn’t a good predictor of whether your water is hard or soft. Do you know GH/KH or TDS?
I've heard that long term java fern tends to object to hard water; or at least water hard enough for multis; i've never tired myself. I know there are crypts and apongeton that like hard water (some even require hard water).
 

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I’ve also read that some crypts like — or require — hard water. I just don’t have hands-on experience with that.

And now I’m questioning my recollection about using Java ferns in those tanks, lol. It’s been over 10 years since I kept shellies or other African cichlids.
 
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