SHELL DWELLING AQUARIUM FISH!
Last week I [showed] you guys the stalking to my new office aquarium build in today’s video We’re gonna talk a little bit more about them now if you didn’t watch [that] video from a few days ago I introduced an African shell dweller to this tank specifically x Lampre longest Similis or Neo Lampre longest Similis or Lamprey Longest Similis depending on which book and what year or where you’re reading it from it’s a Cichlid from Lake, Tanganyika Which if you’re not familiar with that? It’s the largest lake in Africa by volume not by Surface area because Lake Victoria takes that however by sheer volume Lake Tanganyika is actually the second largest freshwater lake in the world accounting for about Eighteen percent of the world’s fresh water supply. It’s an extremely deep lake however these guys are not found in the deep parts They’re found more so along the coastal areas of the lake this species Generally in water up [to] 15 feet deep now if you go on Google images and try to find their natural Habitat what you’re going to find is nothing but sand and shells you see there’s several species of African shell dwellers and one of the species that the symbolist often gets confused for is the Lamprey Longest Multi Fasciitis Also known as the Multi why does it get confused for them well at first glance they actually look identical? However, if you know what to look for the differences are quite obvious now if you were to look at a multi fasciitis you’ll notice That the striping stops at their head it actually does [not] continue to stripe over their head in fact the striping on a multi-faceted stops at their operculum Which is essentially their gill cover or gill plate? Whatever you want to call it however with the similis the striping continues over their head and over the gill plate So above all else that’s the easiest way to tell the two apart you don’t need experience with both of them You don’t need two of them side-by-side You just gotta look at their striping and if it goes past their gill plate the other species of shale dwellers are easy to tell apart Now that you know you have you’ll probably want to know who is who do I got males or do? I have females well unfortunately these guys are monomorphic meaning that they don’t show signs of sex However the mail gets to about twice the size of the female so you almost have to wait until they reach sexual maturity To know what you have when they do the male’s can get one and a half inches to 2 inches in length Yes, these guys only stay small. So you now know what you have you know the sex? What about stalking or scaping the tank well? They kind of both go hand in hand You see when stalking shelled weller’s since they never venture much more higher than about six inches off the ground you don’t need a terribly Tall aquarium however what that does mean is that if you do have shell dwellers you can have other? African cichlids that spent a lot of their times higher up in the water column But when it comes to how many fish per gallon it actually goes how many fish per square foot? Ideally it’s one male per square foot And each fish should have at least one shell I prefer to provide each fish with at least four to five shells Giving them options and other areas of [refuge] so with one male per square foot You can have several females with him now depending on the size of the tank and the layout of it you can most likely Exceed those limitations, but when dealing with a smaller aquarium like this, I definitely wouldn’t go much bigger ideally you would start out with a pair in no time they’ll start spawning and establish your colony for you and on the topic of Spawning these guys are pretty easy to breed But it all starts with the water parameters and quality of the water Now in my opinion these guys will do fine in any type of alkaline water meaning that the ph is over  why chances are the ones you’re going to get are going to be tank raised locally and The water is going to be extremely similar to your own so my suggestion Is that if your waters ph is already over 7 don’t mess with it your fish are going to appreciate Stable parameters rather than ones that are constantly fluctuating by you attempting to give them. What’s ideal For example the ph in this tank is 7.6 when it comes to the temperature of the water I like to keep it between 77 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 and 27 now these guys tend to be a carnivore type Cichlid but in my opinion They’ll eat just about anything you offer them as long as it’s a quality food designed for Cichlids I feed these [guys] a combination of flakes and small pellets two to three [times] a day as for the quality of the water My preference is thirty percent every three days and with such a small fish this will keep nitrates undetectable and water in pristine condition So if you followed these basic guidelines that I’ve given you you’ll have them spawning in no time now getting them the spawn is one Thing getting the fry to survive is another you’ll have the best chances of the fry surviving in a well established aquarium Meaning that the shells might have a little bit of algae buildup or perhaps a little bit of Detritus Or something along those lines to give the fry a chance to graze if they have to however since the fry tend to stay in Clusters and all in one spot. They’re really easy to spot feed personally I just grind up some flakes into a powder and make [sure] that it falls in that general area that They’re in they might not eat it out of the water column, but once it lands They’ll go ahead and pick away at it now given the fact that you’ll probably have a thriving colony in no time my suggestion would obviously be to have a variety of Shells within the aquarium Anywheres from Half inch to two inch? Giving the fish the ability to choose their homes that’s appropriate to their body size at the time now You don’t need any specific species of snail shell however what I like to look for is the escargot type or the rounded Shell? Although there’s the do-it-yourself option where you can use PVC parts And they will function the same they’ll bury them and make them their own now last week the number one question that I got on this fish it was how do you clean the tank you see since the Fish customize and change the scape of the tank exactly to their likings How do I go about cleaning it without destroying it well to be honest. I don’t vacuum the substrate at all I don’t do it [for] two reasons 1i have proper circulation within the aquarium And it hasn’t necessarily been an issue just yet The second thing is that if anything does collect in the aquarium it tends to collect over on this side So if I do have to vacuum the substrate, I’m not destroying very much lastly since there’s fry in the aquarium I’d rather leave the uneaten food in there for them as Opposed to removing it and since it’s such a small amount of uneaten food or waste It doesn’t have the opportunity to have an impact on the overall water quality on the tank Based on my water change schedule so with that That this tank is actually very low maintenance and that means I spend more time enjoying the aquarium than taking care of it which is Most important to me because watching these fish is entirely fascinating now if you remember last week I showed you guys how the aquascape began and what it was like a day later After they got in the tank you see these guys are constantly rearranging the aquarium digging moving the shells around burying their shells Creating their own little homes and of course constantly interacting with each other The Male’s displaying to each other flaring their gills there’s lots of tail slapping and just constant activity It’s just an all-around Non-stop interesting aquarium to have so if you’re looking [for] a small yet Interesting fish or you’d like to get into African cichlids yet? You don’t have a really big aquarium Give African shell dwellers a try and I think I’ll end the video on that note if you have any further Comments or questions leave them in the comments section below in a few weeks or months I’ll do another Update on this aquarium And let you guys know how everything is going so if you’re not subscribed make sure you do if that’s something you’d like to see Anyways out that you guys enjoyed today’s video. If not doing me next Thursday, and I’ll have something different for you