Rethinking My Tank(s)

  1. dahly Member Member

    It been a month now that I've started into this hobby  :) and I am still cycling my tank, even though it was once said to have cycled.  I am "blessed" with very hard tap water, 300+, with high pH, 8.4.  After much reading and exploring the web, and visiting many LFS's, I am thinking of going the Cichlid route, as opposed to my initial desire for a Tetra/Mixed Community tank.  I have a 29 gallon, nearly cycled, and a 20 gallon kit that's still in it's box.  I know these are small for big Cichlids, but there are many smaller types (3-5") that I could enjoy.  I am not going to buy anymore tanks at this point, and ask for your input.  What do you think?
     
  2. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    With the higher ph you have, african cichlids would really be happy in your tanks. However, many of them are quite aggressive and eventhough they may be smaller fish, they need lots of territory room. Might I suggest you look at shelldwellers? There are many varieties, and they are quite entertaining. Most "shellies" are not as colorful as the the common africans you see in the fish stores, but their personalities more than make up for that.

    Desktop Cichlids


    www.shelldwellers.com
     

  3. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    YES,YES,YES neolamprologus multifasciatus (multis) are wonderful!!!! See....
     

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  4. dahly Member Member

    WOW!  I love them! :D  I read a lot about shelldwellers the last couple of days.  Altough the Lab. yellows seem interesting too.  Seems they are recommended to go with three differant cichlids from the same lake.  One yellow lab and three ladies.  Apparently they don't pair up, just shack up! 8)  Are they shelldwellers? Four cichlids in my 20 gallon would be ok for a while anyway.  I will be in FL, Melbourne, over Thanksgiving and may pick up 30 pounds of shells to crush and/or use for tank habitat.  I'll go to "Half Priced Books" tomorrow at lunch and pick up a book or two, and read all about what to do.  Then I'll "yell" for help as I stumble along! ;D
     

  5. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I too love my multies!

    1.jpg
     
  6. dahly Member Member

    Great links Gunnie! ;)  I think it's settled.  I'll continue working towards a mixed community 29 gallon tank, and later go with shelldwellers in my 20 gallon. ;D  I do have questions though; coral sand substrate with snail shells.  How large of snail shells?   Are other shells ok too?  They say "introduce 6 at once in a 10 gallon."  So, do I add 12 at once in a 20?  Or do I go with 6 and let them mutiply?  They also recommend "thick skinned bottom feeders" and possibly an algea eater.  Any suggestions? Six questions in one post; my new record! :D  Thanks for your help!
     
  7. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

     We started out with 6 in a 10 Gal and soon they had "multi"plied themselves into a 15 Gal. long and now we have 14 in a 30 Gal long with 2 sets of fry. This is all after giving some away and selling some. Probably over the space of a year to a year and a half I think. I don't have anything else in the tank with them except Malaysian Trumpet snails to keep the sand stirred. Multis are the smallest shell dweller but they have personality plus and attitude. I don't have anything else in the tank except multis and snails as they can be a little territorial and they are so small
    Mine use any of the shells that are enclosed like snail shells and I even have a pair that lives under the holey rock. I'm not sure I'd use crushed shells though. they pick up the substrate in their mouths and spit it so if its sharp it might cut them but they love sand. Just my thoughts.
    Carol
     

  8. dahly Member Member

    Thanks, I won't over buy then, six it is! If I pick up the snail shells on the beach to use, do I bleach , or boil them? I'd guess that I could get two dozen, or how many would you suggest? How many snails too? Glenn
     
  9. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    And multies can be quite pricey when you buy them so starting with 6 would probably be a good idea. One of the lfs north of Butterfly sells the multies for $18.00 apiece! Don't let that scare you though. Find a local club or check the classifieds on the forums (especially shelldwellers.com and the african cichlids forums). You will probably be able to find them much cheaper and much better taken care of that way! ;)
     
  10. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Dahly where are you located?
    Carol
     

  11. dahly Member Member

    Just north of Cincinnati, OH. 25 miles north of the Ohio River, which divides KY and OH. Why do you ask?
     
  12. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

  13. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Was just trying to see how close you are to us so could help you figure out where to get multis ;) We live at the Tennessee/Georgia border at chattanooga/Rossville
    Carol
     
  14. dahly Member Member

    Chattanooga is a 5 hour drive away from me, down I75.  I've checked lfs's around me and none carry "Multi's."  I was told of a lfs, near my job, that may carry them.  If that doesn't work out, perhaps I can have them ordered or order them myself.  Gunnie gave two website that may work out.  Dayton OH is an hour away, Indianapolis is 2 hours away.  Maybe I could just place an add in the Cincinnati paper?  I'm sure there are folks nearby who could "help out a fellow American, down on his luck." - "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" :D  I check local craft shop and shells are readily available for 2-3 dollars a small bag full.  Each bag has 3-4 decent sized shells.  There's a meat and fish shop down the street that I will check as well.  Ahh, the adventure, the joy!  ;D
     
  15. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    The Smoky Mountain Aquarium Society meeting is Sat Oct 15 in Sweetwater Tn. I think there may be some Multis there ;)
    Carol
     
  16. dahly Member Member

    I won't be setting up another tank until I'm back from Thanksgiving vacation, at the earliest. I want to get my first tank buzzing first. :) "The Smoky Mountain Aquarium Society meeting is Sat Oct 15 in Sweetwater Tn." What's the agenda? It may be nice/informative to attend regardless. What's the address of the meeting site? Thanks
     
  17. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I think it would be great if you could attend! There will be lots of fish and plants for sale or trade. Since they just completed the by laws, it's probably gonna be a general meeting. I think I know everyone that will be there, and you are in for a real treat if you decide to go! Dino will be giving a tour of his fish house he is having built, and the who weekend sounds like a blast. There is usually a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium on Sunday as well.

    http://www.smokymountainaquarium.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=107&start=0

    http://www.aquatic-hobbyist.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13740


    I really wish I could be there, but the trip to London wiped me out! I am planning on being there for the next meeting in January though! Dahly, if you can go, I would. Jake will have some great fish there, and they are all in excellent health, plus others will have fish also! If you do want any of his fish, you will have to contact him through the Smoky Mountain site. You will have to register and then send him a pm. He has a list of fish available, but will probably only be bringing what people ask for. On his list you will notice some Victorian cichlids which are very hard to find and usually very expensive. If you are looking for them, now is your chance! You will enjoy yourself completely! ;)
     
  18. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    We would love have you!!! 
    Carol
     
  19. dahly Member Member

    I won't be able to attend this weekend. My three boys all play football. Two games on Saturday, one Sunday. I'm one of the coaches on Sunday. Although I've added fish to my world, my wife and I are on constant run with the boys. I am still looking locally and emailed someone from the Kill fish club Gunnie shared. Thanks but not this time.
     
  20. dahly Member Member

    I've found a local fish wholesaler as well as the "Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Club."  The club meets near my house! ;D  They are having an auction at the end of the month.  I won't be ready for any fish, but I'll go to meet some folks and possibly arrange for fish gitt'en late November.