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Author Topic: Can you keep a group of only female Shell Dwellers?  (Read 3189 times)
Sarabi
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Tanks: 75 Gallon schooling community (Panda Cories, Harlequin Rasboras, Gold Tetras, Praecox Rainbows); 5 Gallon (Caspian the doubletail betta, Callahan the Olive Nerite Snail, Java Fern, Anubias); 10 Gallon Cherry Shrimp Species Tank (in progress)
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« on: February 07, 2016, 04:50:55 PM »

I have kept peaceful schooling fish for several years, and just now have an empty 10 gallon aquarium and am thinking about trying some Shell Dwelling Cichlids - they would be the first Cichlids I'll have ever kept. I really love everything I have learned about these fish so far. However, I wouldn't have room in such a small tank for a bunch of fry, nor do I have the ability to rehome extras reliably. In the past I have had problems with fry overfilling tanks and causing a dip in water quality for all the fish involved that resulted in the entire tank crashing, and I never want that to happen in one of my tanks again. So I am wondering if I could keep all girls to prevent overpopulation from being a problem.

Is there any species of Shell Dweller that would be okay in an all-female tank? I wouldn't want to even try this with Brevis Shelldwellers, since they live in mated pairs and so presumably really need that male-female dynamic, but what about keeping a group of female Multifasciatus Shell Dwellers, which as I understand it are colony fish that can either have tenuous pair bonds with an equal ratio of male/females or have harems when there are more males for females? Would they be able to adapt to that okay? Or would it not be good for these types of fish to have only a female grouping?

It is very important to me not to have the fish breed more than I can handle, but I also don't want them to be uncomfortable because of the way I prevent that. And while I do understand the charm of seeing them breed, I think my space and water quality considerations are paramount over seeing that, at least for now. And I'm already going to see so much personality and intelligence with Cichlids as compared to some of the other species of fish I have kept.

If I could get all girls, I'm thinking of getting 3-4.  Would that be an okay number?
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Karen
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 06:31:29 PM »

The fry really aren't an issue.  If you don't put in special food for them... they don't live. 
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gunnered72
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 03:54:15 AM »

Shellies ideally should be kept in a group colony situation (mixture of males and females)

I recommend at least 9 or 10.....

I see no problem keeping only females but I would recommend to keep a larger group...Remember they are Tanganyikan Cichlids and even though they are small aggression can be a problem (even amongst girls) Smaller groups will only result in some of the subdominant fish being bullied and possibly killed...

Also like Karen said babies wont be an issue....They wont last without proper care....

Having said all this I actually see no point in keeping Shellies unless you keep a  decent sized colony....Their behaviours will be much more natural and are amazing to watch.....Sure isnt that the whole point of keeping Shellies in the first place.....

The other thing to keep in mind is to make sure there is at least 1 shell per fish (2 if possible)
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russ
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 08:32:00 AM »

Hmmm. 9-10 in a 10 gallon aquarium will not work. A much smaller colony (except Mutlies), may work. I've kept and bred 4 different species of shellies. The smallest of the ones were Lamprologus ocellatus and two pair were ok in a 10 gal. Multies should be kept in at least a 20 gal long tank.

Like gunnered72 indicated, these tiny guys and guyettes are, after-all, Cichlids. By just keeping all females, they won't be displaying the full Cichlid experience for you.  happy


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Sarabi
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 08:21:08 PM »

Hmmm. 9-10 in a 10 gallon aquarium will not work. A much smaller colony (except Mutlies), may work. I've kept and bred 4 different species of shellies. The smallest of the ones were Lamprologus ocellatus and two pair were ok in a 10 gal. Multies should be kept in at least a 20 gal long tank.

Like gunnered72 indicated, these tiny guys and guyettes are, after-all, Cichlids. By just keeping all females, they won't be displaying the full Cichlid experience for you.  happy

I thought ocellatus were supposed to be larger, more aggressive, and protect larger territories than Multies?  Why would they do better in a smaller tank than Multies would?
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russ
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2016, 09:06:21 PM »

Multies are larger and quite the little engineers. They need space to construct their little trenches along the tank bottom.
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gunnered72
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 01:49:39 AM »

I always thought Multis were the smallest Cichlid in the world

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/lamprologus-ocellatus/

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/neolamprologus-multifasciatus/
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gunnered72
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Theres more water than air in here :P


« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2016, 02:30:35 AM »

Heres some more useful information!

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/n_multifasciatus.php
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russ
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 05:57:42 PM »

I may have to stand corrected then  happy
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