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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Kansas, United States

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    Default Can you keep a group of only female Shell Dwellers?

    0 Not allowed!
    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 keep only females, would 3-4 be a good number?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Western Maryland

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Wishing You A Happy New Year!!! - Jill   Happy New year - Celtic Fins   May the Anti troll force be with you. - Celtic Fins   2001 posts! - Northernguy   For your helpful fry advice - Cliff   


    1 Not allowed!
    Have you considered some of the "nano fish" for a 10 gallon? There are rasboras and even some loaches that are very small as adults. Not usually something you'll find in an lfs, but they are available online when the weather is suitable for shipping. The Hara aka moth catfish are also small enough for that size tank.

    Not sure how a group of female multi's would work out w/out a male, even the females have their own social structure/pecking order. I'd lean more towards a planted tank, maybe even add some sparkling gouramis with some suitable small schooling fish.

    ^^^^Please click the eggs/dragons, thanks...^^^^

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Kansas, United States

    Latest gifts & ribbons:


    0 Not allowed!
    I already have Rasboras, Catfish, Gourami, and Tetras in my 75 gallon - I like to give schooling fish a lot more room to move and most of the fish in my 75 gallon have a 10-20 gallon minimum tank size. I honestly feel like if I got more tiny schooling fish for the 10 gallon, I would feel like they were getting the short end of the stick compared to small schooling fish in my 75 gallon.
    I have thought about the option of a planted tank, but I've had planted 10 gallons for a few years, too.

    I'm trying to think of fish that I haven't had similar species to before. That's part of why the Shell Dwellers are so interesting to me, because I've never kept Cichlids. I'm also considering Peacock Gudgeons, Killifish (perhaps Aphyosemion splendopleure, Aphyosemion gabunense, or Fundulopanchax walkeri) or Daisy's Ricefish. But I'm trying to research one at a time, and since the Cichlids seem to be the furthest from what I've kept before and seem to have lots of personality I'm starting with them. I think they would be my preference at this point if I could just keep the breeding from being a problem.
    Last edited by Akeath; 02-08-2016 at 05:21 PM.

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