Shellies - Neolamprologus brevis

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by pierreschoonraad, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    I never thought I would ever keep African cichlids until I was made aware of these guys. I must thank Rachel O'Leary for showing off her multies on her youtube channel. I just fell in love with these small fish.

    Two weeks ago I got myself 6 Neolamprologus brevis. This was an impuls buy. Yes I do that too. I had no tank setup for them going at all. The tank I had in mind was a 1.5ft full of rainbow fry. With the bag of fish I also took 2kg of aragonite. This decision I made on the fact that these fish require a high ph, 8 and above, as well as hard water. I quickly googled their requirments in the lfs. Luckely for me I asked the owner for some of the Apple snail shells in their tanks. Without any question he told me to start getting shells while he got some out of the other tanks.

    Back home again I removed the rainbow fry to a 2ft grow out tank. Drained and cleaned the 1.5ft. Added the aragonite and filled it up. The water turned extemely murky and foamed at the surface. I drained 100% of the water and filled it up again with much better results. I took a cycled sponge filter from another tank to use on this tank, as I moved the sponge filter that was in the tank with the rainbows.

    While waiting for the water to clear I started dripping the new guys in. While they were dripping in I added the shells plus some sea shells I had at home to the tank. Being African fish I wanted to create a, sort of, biotope. I added some bone stone with anubias attatched to it.

    I very soon realised that these 2cm fishies are defnitly going to kill each other before they reach their adult size of max 6cm. I'm already in the prosess of getting a 3ft for them, it will be a bit of a juggle with the 2 tanks on this rack but I will be able to move them to another place in the fish room. This might sound like overkill for 6 small fishies but they are cichlids in the end. They don't take crap from anybody and need enough space to mark off as their territory. As well as the fact that I want to add some Neolamprologus brichardi at some stage, one of the other African fish I looked at before but never had a tank with the righ parameters for them and seeing that they prefer the top half of the tank they will be perfect with the Brevis. And both of them come from Lake Tanganyika.

    Already last week I got just under 2kg of spiderwood for the 3ft, currently getting waterloged and trying to get rid of as much tannins as possible as it will counter act the work the aragonite is doing. Luckely spiderwood doesn't leach that much tannins so it shouldn't be much of a problem in the end.

    Because the tank will be viewed from 3 sides, when sitting on the floor, I will be plasing the wood in the centre of the tank. This will create more than enough space around it to spread the shells out and break line of sight. Sticking with the African biotope idea I will cover the wood with anubias, bolbitus and plant some vallis in between the wood. Filtration will be done by two sponge filters at both ends of the aquarium.

    I have added some foto's of their current setup as well as some of the fishies that are just starting to color up. The last foto's is from the web and shows their adult colors.

    If anybody here has ever kept or currently keeps any species of shellies please share your foto's as well as info regarding them which can be helpfull to noobs, like me.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  3. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    They are extremely entertaining i have an small colony aswell.
     
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  4. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    @Barry Roux please post some foto's and say more about your set up. Please

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  5. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    I have brevis and similis If you need some shells im sure i can spare some proper shells for you.
    Try and add some dither fish live bearers work great nothing that goes close to the shells or the will get an beating. Do you have an formed pairs?
    Screenshot_20190310-203837.png Screenshot_20190310-203554.png Screenshot_20190310-203501.png
     
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  6. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    Sorry for the bad pics.
     
  7. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    Congratulations @pierreschoonraad

    So glad we not the only ones that do some impulse shopping..

    Tank looks great already and they are too cute!!
    You can see in their eyes that they cheeky... they just have that look

    Good luck with your new project.. look forward to this
     
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  8. Bart

    Bart

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    @pierreschoonraad

    I am so jealous right now:(. I know you will just fall in love with Tangs:D. I also told myself never an African cichlid again… until I got my first tangs. They were Julies. I had six and they formed a pair and had a few fry when I had to let them go. Then last year I had to change again. I bought some leleupi’s and they have spawned for the 2nd time now. Just love them all. Shell dwellers and the fairy high on my agenda. For a while I have been wondering what fish I want in my fish room. I have a few but with time I am going to move everything over to tangs (will keep the discus, and tell them they are the best:lol::tt2:o_O). Just love everything about the tangs, personality, behaviour, breeding and all the rest. Best of luck.

    Will follow this thread for sure.
     
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  9. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Very nice @Barry Roux. I havn't got any pairs yet as they might still be too small for breeding. I might just have 2 males and 4 females but will wait and see.

    In what size tank to you have them and how many?

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  10. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Thanks @MariaS. There are times that I just can't help myself but then I make a plan. My 4ft is completely over stocked at the moment, impuls buy of 8 emerald corrie and adding small rainbows, but you just add more biomedia to the sump and do 2 wc a week. Sorted.

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  11. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    The brevis tank i have 5 pairs had a bit if an and in the similis around 20pairs. The similis is in an 4ft and the brevis an 2ft
     
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  12. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    Just out of intrest i got this surprise yesterday withy juli dickfieldis. Screenshot_20190311-051818.png
     
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  13. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Thanks @Bart. I had tangs many years ago, can't remember what I had though. I prever them above Malawis due to their temperament but I wasn't prepared for these little monster. But I still love them.

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  14. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Thanks for the info. I know a 3ft might be overkill for only 6 fish but I have the space for it and would like to get as stable enviroment for them as possible.

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  15. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    3ft will be perfect i would say. My biggest issue is all the food gets stuck between the shells, ok i do have too many shells but just another reason for dither fish.
     
  16. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    I have noticed the food between the shells. I have added some shrimp to the tank to clean it up a bit but they don't go near the shells. They learned their lesson the day I put them in. With the bigger tank the shills will be spread out a bit more. This might help as I noticed that they will dig in the substrate looking for food, almost like corries.

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  17. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    @pierreschoonraad

    Excellent.
    Very nice.
    IMO Tangs are the most interesting group of Cichlids to keep.
     
  18. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Thanks @Reedfish. I love the shellies as they stay relatively small but they have tons of personalety.

    There is one, I assume it's a male, that desided the centre of the shells is where he will stay. He is defnitly the dominant one in the tank and he defends his shells with passion.

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  19. Barry Roux

    Barry Roux

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    I Find the digging in the sand is more to make their home so the dig the shell into the gravel sort of sink it in.

    I had some corries with them they took an beating even small frontosas. Best are live bearers
     
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  20. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Two weeks later. All 6 still alive and doing great. Have increased in size and love their micro worms and crushed dry food mix.

    Plans to get the 3ft up and going for them are going full steam ahead. Spider wood has been soaking for the past few weeks and is finally water logged. Got some vallis last week and already in their tank to adjust to the new water parameters. Got another 10kg of aragonite and cleaned it to prevent a cloudy tank. Will be removing some bolbitus and anubias from my other tanks and just let them drift in this tank until the 3ft is here.

    Now my question is: why are 3ft tanks so popular? They have only one tank builder and, between his other tanks, he can only build 3 a week. My lfs can't make enough to supply the demand. I have actually asked them now to hold one for me as it seams that it will be the only way to get one. It might just be the price though. I don't know how the prices compare to other lfs but they ask R570 for a 3ft in 4mm glass with a centre brace at the top. My 7 year old tank from them hasn't given me any problems. How does this price compare to your lfs?

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  21. OP
    pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Did an update earlier today but lets add some pictures.

    Foto 1 shows how much they have grown since I got them. Their color is also showing more every day. No pares formed yet.

    Foto 2 shows the vallis I got a week ago. No melting or dieing. Anubias I had in from the start are also still doing great.

    Foto 3 is the massive amount of wood planned for the 3ft. Not sure if all of it will make it into the tank in the end.

    Foto's 4, 5 and 6 is the anubias I'm considering for the 3ft.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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