First cichlid tank is running

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jprime84

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It started as a shell dweller only tank, but I wanted a bit more color so I added two mbuna as well.

The tank is a 20g (long variety). Substrate is Eco-Complete African sand which is very nice and has the water pH and hardness perfect with no effort from me. It did take a few days for the cloudiness to subside. I have some cave-filled lava rocks along the back wall and two corners. I also bought an assortment of shells from http://www.cichlidbreeding.com/products.php?cat=10

I got 4 Neolamprologus Multifaciatus (admitedly adorable fish, only about an inch long right now. They are spawn of a wild caught pair according to the seller). Hopefully I have a mix of sexes, they are too young to tell.

For a little more color, I got a young yellow female labidochromis who so far has been very chill and non aggressive. I also got a young M. Lombardoi "Kenyi", which is very attractive but I have since learned will get too large for me, and it has been a little boisterous in the tank. I want to find a fish with a more subdued attitude and blue color to replace him.

The shellies have started to check out their shells, and for a little 20g cichlid tank its a lot of fun to watch!
 

Nutter

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Shellies are cool little fish. Unfortunately they are not suitable to be kept with Mbuna species. The Shellies are game little sods that will jealously defend thier shells, even against much larger fish. This can be a problem when kept with Mbuna species as the Mbuna will win. In any case a 20gal tank isn't large enough for any Mbuna anyway. I think it would be best if you returned teh Lab & the Kenyi to the dealer if that is possible. Shellies are best kept with other Tanganyika species rather than thier more aggressive Malawi counter parts. In 20gal you might just get away with having a Julidochromis Dickifeldi but not a whole lot else. When the tank is so small you are better off keeping the Shellies as a species tank. If you can upgrade to a 40gal in the future there are a few colourful fish you can choose from that would make suitable tankmates.
 
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jprime84

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I did make sure that the store was willing to accept the other fish back if there were problems. I looked for Julies but didnt see any. I know I will take back the blue guy, and otherwise I will keep an eye on the tank and the behavior of the fish.

I suppose I could just buy the rest of their multis...
 

Shawnie

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I agree with nutter....I would make that a shellie tank only...even the juli's as adults, dont always play nice......once the mbuna get use to that tank, they are going to fight with eachother(over stocking mbuna is best to keep aggression spread out) and tear up the lil shellie's .....20g is just too small....i hope things work out though no matter what you choose!
 
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jprime84

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Yeah - I decided to go species only. So now the inhabitants are 8 of the shell dwelling multis. I put a video in the videos section.
 
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