Shell dweller tankmate questions

ayeayeron

I’m planning on turning my 10g into a shell dweller tank for multis soon, and I have some clown killies and male endlers livebearers that I’m wanting to put somewhere else and I’m wondering if they can live with the shell dwellers?

They seem compatible temp wise, and they also stay mostly on the top level of the water, especially the killifish. But are they too small and will they get eaten? That’s why Im wanting to move them in the first place.
 

MacZ

Just don't. To any Tanganyikans and Malawis applies the old rule: Keep them only with fish from the same Lake.

They will not necessary be eaten, but killed. Also Endlers and Kilis like plants. Shellies are likely to dig up plants. That doesn't add up.
 
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Lorli

Are there any small Tanganyikan fish that can live above shellies, in the upper levels?
 
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MacZ

Yes, but then we're talking tanks of 1.5m length and 500+ liters.
 
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Lorli

Mine is a standard 29 gallon, and the shellies never go above the bottom third. Is there anything? I have 2 Aphanius mento males in there now; I’ve been searching for some females but haven’t found any.
 
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MacZ

No, sorry. The biotope the shellies come from is pretty unique. Because of the water chemistry alone I wouldn't keep anything from that lake with something from outside that biotope. They rarely venture outside the bottom third but unlike many other fish, fish above never worked for me as dither fish, they rather tended to be more shy. Small fish they usually attacked and often ate them.

The Kilis should be moved to a planted tank instead, as they really won't fit in with shellies longterm.
 
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Lorli

Thanks. I have one end planted but the shellies are reproducing at such a great rate that they will probably end up at that end too. The 6 juvenile shellies grew up to be 2 males and 4 females and there are lots of babies of all sizes.
Floating plants, maybe, to fill that empty space up top?
 
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Demeter

In my 29gal I have shellies with a pair of fairy cichlids, a BN pleco and a school of 9 fireline danios. ~half the tank is planted, there is a bed of shells on one half and a pile of rocks on the other end.

The danios stick to the upper level and the brevis along with the brichardi do their own thing. When I had multis they stayed close to the shells and only ventured upward during feeding time. I’ve never had any aggression to/from the danios.
 
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Lorli

I have to look up fairy cichlids, I don't know what they are. I did have danios at one time but gave them away, I guess I will have to give some of the shellies away too, how many is too many for a 29?

I got similis because I was told that they wouldn't breed as much as multis - I can't imagine what a multi colony must be like!
 
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Demeter

I’d try to only have 2-3 breeding pairs of shellies in a 29gal and sell fry as they become old enough. It’s hard to say an exact number, as a colony in that sized tank I’d guess no more than 12 adults? You’ll have to just check you nitrates periodically and adjust water changes accordingly, when the nitrates are getting too high to deal with then you should remove some fish.

Danios are rather robust fish, fire lines get to ~2in and they are fun to watch. Great dither fish so long as you get an appropriately sized species so they neither eat nor get eaten by the tank mates. Many are good with hard water too. I know not everyone is a fan of mixing biotopes but I could care less so long as water parameters are similar and they get along.
 
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Lorli

I was also wondering about julies - maybe they could live at the rocky end of the tank. Except one of the 2 male shellies has moved over by himself (I gave him some shells). All of the babies and baby mamas belong to the smaller of the 2 males.
The Aphanius are beautiful and live at the top, it is just so hard to find them. I got my first 4 from Aquabid but haven't seen any auctions for them recently.
 
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