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i want to setup a shellies tank!


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first of all just wanted to say hi! i just found this site the other day and m glad i did! thumb.gif

iv kept tropical fish on and off when i was younger but have only started getting serious about it recently and the addiction is SCARY!

iv got a spare 12G tank and shell dwellars have caught my eye. im probably going to get neolamprologus multifasciatus because they are the only ones i can seem to find and i like the idea of having a colony. (tho if anyone else wants to sway me in another shellies direction im open to suggestions!)

iv done a bit of research and so far i will probably get about 1inch pool filter sand for substrate and run a aqua clear 200 (im worried this might be too big tho). i was also gonna chuck some crushed coral in the filter.

iv also acquired 10 escargot shells, i heard that shellies love these shells to bits. but the ones i have are only 3-4 cms long. is this too small? if so does anywhere know where i can get some around castle hill or the city area?

also i found that lake tang water recipe. what do you guys think of it? Does anyone out there use it? is it a complete salts and buffer recipe or do i have to add anything else to the water besides water conditioner?

also because theres gonna be salt in the tank do i have to worry about rust? or buy a certain heater type?

one more thing, what varied diet do you guys use to feed multis?

sorry for all the Qs! i hope it made sense... just want to get things right the 1st time thumb.gif

thanks in advance for your help

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Hi Carlos,

Regarding buffering the water, due to the tank being small, the quantity in litres of your water changes will be minimal, therefore my advice would be rather than go to the trouble with the DIY recipe, invest some dollars in Seacham Lake Salt and Seachem Tanganyika buffer. These products can be purchased from your LFS in small quantities, and without sitting down and doing the maths, you would be looking at no more than a dollar a week to treat your water.

I believe this to be a small price to pay for piece of mind that your fish have decent water parameters in which to live.

If and when you get more, larger tanks, sure it would be worth while experimenting with the recipe to save some money.

I am sure there are many members who swear by this recipe.

Personally, I change 500 litres per week in my Tanganyikan tanks using the Seachem products, and although the cost is certainly a factor, I have never lost a single fish, including my colonies of Tropheus.

Also, don't forget to use an ager to remove chlorine and chloramine (Sydney water is loaded with these nasties). I use Seachem Prime for this.

Unfortunately I have not kept this particular species so cannot give any specific advice on these guys.

What I can say though, is treat your Tangs right (ie excellent water quality) and they will reward you for years. smile.gif

P.S. I do not work for Seachem laugh.gif

Regards and good luck with it all,


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hi carlos

I've gotta agree with murray about the seachem being the easiest way to do the tank and also use a water ager. Also tangs can be a bit funny when it comes to water changes so make sure the new water is at the same temp or slightly warmer than the tank water. N multies are a ton of fun, I have 2 males and 3 females breeding constantly and my tank is set up with a mix of very fine white sand and shellgrit and they move heaps of it around the tank constantly. there are about 40 - 50 shells in my tank about half are escargot the others are an assortment in all sorts of sizes. With regard to filtration I would go with a couple of air driven sponge filters because when the multies start spitting sand all over the tank they will play hell with mechanical pumping equipment such as impellers. To feed multies i use microworms because they are constantly breeding and both parents and babies love them, and Sera san flakes crushed up to a small size, and a bit of dried krill and bloodworms about once a week. They will eat pretty much anything that fits in their mouth. If you start with a breeding trio you will have 50 fish in the tank within a few months.



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Hi Carlos -

While I agree Seachem make good products - I've had very good success with a number of shellies (N. multis, N. ocellatus, N. hecqui etc) without any powdered buffers whatsoever.

Here's what I recommend - 1. setup your tank using crushed marble (buy it from Mini-crete, there is one at Lakemba and perhaps one closer to you). You can get pool dust - which is as fine as sand - and is all the buffer you'll ever need. Most shells are fine for multis - I've always just used daggy shells from the beach and these work a treat.

N. multifasciatus is the best choice IMHO for someone starting with shellies - contact BaZ or Cthompson (or better still, both) to buy some fry.


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YeW speaks the truth wink2.gif

I have pool dust in with mine. It helps to buffer the water and the fish love it because it is nice and fine.

I also use a selection of shells, mostly from the beach but some also came from the craft section of 'Go-lo' a few years ago.

I use seachem cichlid lake salt with mine, which Kinerata was kind enough to buy in bulk for us all to purchase at a reduced price clap.gif , however until recently I always kept mine with no additives except some water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramine.

I think I have had my colony for around 7 years now, and they are still one of my favourite fish thumb.gif

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thanks guys for your advice, i will get some seachem cichlid salts wink.gif

i ended up getting this stuff called "marine lime sand" made by hi-tek aquariums for substrate. not really by choice tho, the guy who i bought the 2' off gave it to me for free rolleyes.gif

is this substrate ok as a buffer?

so u reckon i should get some corner filters instead of the aquaclear?

iv got a pair of multis comming in a few weeks but i should get about 1-2 more females right?

baz, Cthompson , anyone? do u have any for sale and know where i can get some?

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