shell dweller tank feasibility
I was considering turning a 10 gallon into a planted red cherry shrimp tank - then I came across an article on Neolamprologus multifasciatus and other Tanganiyka shell dwellers...needless to say, in my mind I have abandoned the rcs project...
However, the water in my one community tank always has these parameters:
PH: 6.6-7.0 (difficult to read)
High range PH: 7.4
My tap water tests similarly, though I usually test it right from the tap without waiting - if that makes a difference?
Now I read that this species operates best in water with a ph of over 7.8. I was also reading about cichlid water buffer compounds that promise to do just that...what is the efficiency of these water buffers? How complicated or expensive are they to use?
I have similar water conditions, I use crushed coral and argonite sand as a substrate. The pH usually stays around 8-8.2 range. Which works well for the cichlids I keep. You could also keep crushed coral in your filter as well. You can keep a few multis in a 10g, they supposedly populate very quickly.
I used to use buffers, fairly easy to use, just add in the correct dosage, one thing about them though is your tank may end up prone to pH swings when doing water changes.
Then a coral/argonite sand/similar substrate plus the addition of necessary shells/rocks will likely be enough to raise the PH?
In the event I go down this road, the tank will be set up in advance so I'll have plenty of time to test the conditions.
Yes. Crushed coral in the substrate will do the job.
Okay, so far my supply list includes:
10g Aquarium (new)
All Glass Economy Full Hood $19.99 F&S Aquatics
Thermometer - $2-$3 - Petco/Foster & Smith Aquatics
Marineland Stealth Pro Heater - $20 - F&S Aquatics
Model 10 Whisper Air Pump - $7 - F&S Aquatics
Whisper Power Filter 20 - $19 - F&S Aquatics
All that's left it the choice of substrate - any brands that you would recommend? I'm guessing a thin layers of crushed coral/sand would be best. Does it have to be aragonite sand or would something like pool filter sand also work? How many pounds do I need for a 10g?
So far, I've found the following products:
Nature's Ocean Aragonite Sand - $6.74 for 10 lbs @Petco
Nature's OCean Coral Substrate - $12.79 for 20lbs @Petco
I have a bunch of shells and hole-filled rocks on hand (they will have to be cleaned/tested, of course) so decor isn't much of an issue.
I have a couple posts in this forum about my 10G Multi tank. Most recently (as of today and replying to this post) they're breeding and doing great in their 10G home. I do have a 20G long that's going to likely become their new home though as they do breed fairly quickly.
Originally Posted by Aude
1G Planted Betta tank, 1.5G Planted Betta tank, 10G Planted Swordtail Fry tank,
10G Neolamprologus Multifasciatus (Shell Dweller) tank. Empty/Work in Progress 135G, 40GB, 2 x 20GL, 2 x 10G
My aquarium (and more) videos on YouTube
Instead of buying the 10g hood, filter, tank separately, maybe just head over to walmart or petsmart/petco and get a 10g kit that comes with all that. Should be cheaper getting it as a kit, I think $25-30 range.
Pool filter sand would be fine as well. The choice of sand is up to you really. There is a cichlid substrate too that is pretty decent too. I just have the aragonite since I got it for a great deal. You can get crushed coral at any lfs, and then just mix it in.
For shells, I have plenty of turbo shells in the tank at the moment. Also I found some shells at the dollar store, a few good useful shells in each sack. You want to be careful with the shells you use, the ones that have too many rings inside the fish may get trapped or so I've read in some shelldweller forums. Escargot shells work well too. I recently bought 90 whale eyes (shells) from ebay for $13 shipped. You want to have a few shells for each multi. The more shells the better, the will feel more brave to explore the tank then.
Oh for a 10g, try to get one male with several females. The males are larger in size, other than that no real easy way to distinguish them.
Well I already have the aquarium on hand...so buying a kit is a bit redundant at this point.
I still have some time to shop around, though.