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Shell dwellers

Hague1982

New Member
Thank you for your suggestions.
The julidochromis transcriptus are a great looking fish!
I can see why you chose cyprichromis. They seem to offer great harmony with in the tank by hanging around the top half.
This will give a breather to the bevis.

As for the brevis Each pair will be positioned on opposite corners of the cube with a centre pillar of lava rock that will rise like a tower in the centre.
Considering their territories range i would not be surprised if they never see each other.
I can't advise putting Cyprichromis leptosoma or any other Cyprichromis in a 2 foot cube, If you where after taking up that open space Paracyprichromis nigripinnis could be an option. you'll be suprised how much of a territory 1 male Brevis holds.
 

Mongbean

Member
With all the reading i have done i have noted that they require 10 inch radius around the shell? In any case they will have more then that.
They will have a half tank each. I was planning on having borders using the lava rock to define the territories.
 

Hague1982

New Member
I had a male ocellatus gold that thought he owned a 4 foot tank so you will see the males locking with each other quite often I guarantee you that. Also If I was setting it up I wouldn't be using lava rock, ocean rock and no coral sand either again IMO it doesn't belong in a tanganyikan or malawi set up. I find unipac to a brilliant range of sands and as for rock borrow them from your local stream river trust me you'll thank me later. It's not a shellie setup but i'll post a pic of my tanganyikan set up just to show you what i mean about the rocks. I borrowed mine from a local stream that ran into a reservoir took me a while to carry them down on my shoulders but it was worth it.

here it is last year: even though there are shells in the bottom there not being used on that set up, It''s the top tank i'm on about the rocks.

 

Mongbean

Member
Brilliant setup!

I was considering play sand but i did find a very fine crushed coral substrate.
Any reason you advise against the coral? How are you buffering your water?

My layout has to be tall as the tank is not long but high. River rocks would be difficult to stack.
Would love using them as i already have large stones in my 3 foot planted tank that i collect from a stream in the mountains. it would be hard to stack them.
 

Cooder

Member
I actually did use a very fine coral sand i collected myself off a barrier reef island, and all my tangs and shellies are fine with it, i think he discourages the use of conventional marine style coral sand because it is quite rough and sharp being crushed coral, so it can harm shelldwellers when they want to dig in it, and it isnt really tang biotype either.

If u can find a fine grade coral sand it is fine to use with your shellies and helps buffer and will not hinder their digging, however if your going for the more accurate biotype style substrate, darker river sand goes well, not black but a darker colour. I found the sand off typical Aussie beaches works quite well, if its not blindingly white, just cant legally take alot :p a bucket or two i dont think they mind

Stones are preference aswell, something that matches or is distinguished from your sand works nicely IMO. i like to go for a more natural look so i dont STACK them as such, sort of lay them and pile them as they look in the lake. I used what i think looks to be dark granite or something that i nicked out of the exit to a culvit pipe near where i live, looks quite nice IMO with dark rocks, white sand, and some stands of vals if thats your thing...
 

Mongbean

Member
Do you have a picture of your layout? I would love to see it...
The crushed coral I have found is super fine and is very very white!
I have dark brown substrate in my three foot tank and it looks great.

with such a veriaty of substrate options available colours will not be such and issue. and I can easily match them to my rocks.
 

Mongbean

Member
how would Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate do in this tank?
Substrate is a fustrating option as it's hard to find the ideal one for the fish as people tend to choose substrate for the look.

If I choose to use sand would be a benificial idea to put some aragonite substrate in the canister filter to buffer the water?

and would beach sand be to salty? as opposed to play sand?
 

Cooder

Member
Sorry i dont have any pictures, my gold occies are all gone now anyway.

I dont know about that Eco complete planted substrate... it sounds like a soil based substrate which would probably buffer your water to acid. MOST planted tank substrates are like this, so im guessing it wouldnt work. putting some aragonite in your filter would buffer, and even better rough crushed coral in bits, quite good for biological filter media, much like bio balls and stuff.

I asked the same question when i collected some of mine but after rinsing it through until the water is clear it would have no real effect i think. if it had a tiny bit of salt still there, it would help rather than hinder. so no it isnt full of salt and wont kill your fish :p

Play sand from bunnings i have the feeling it is neutral so doesnt effect either, worked well for both my apistos and shellies so that is an option as well, its really really good for sand sifters aswell, soft and light, xenos and enantiopus love the stuff.
 

Mongbean

Member
Thanks for this you have given me something to contemplate.
My cabinet arrives next week and i will have to stain it my filter will arrive soon after then i will cycle my tank.
Got to love the hobby that has a million process that all take weeks to complete lol.
 

Hague1982

New Member
Brilliant setup!

I was considering play sand but i did find a very fine crushed coral substrate.
Any reason you advise against the coral? How are you buffering your water?
Hi Cooder pretty much covered the reason why I don't like coral sand. As for play sand I had nothing but trouble with it because it was so fine it used to clump together and grow a carpet of algae over it plus over time it really used to stink thehouse out, so it had to go. I tend to use unipac products I don't know how readily availabe they are in Oz.

Also with the question of buffering my water I use a 200litre water butt in my kitchen (very understanding missus) I leave a heater and airstone in for a minimum of 12-24hrs before adding Epsom salts for GH and sodium bicarbonate for KH to the water I used to add a little at a time and measure both GH and KH constantly but i've pretty much got used to how much is needed. I still measure KH and GH everytime though just incase the water board change my supply or mess about with the water you never know.
 

Hague1982

New Member
have you found you have PH or KH swings making the water unstable using the bicarb?
No, When just adding sodium bicarbonate by itself then that will happen, but because I add epsom salts to raise the GH then it stables it out. I don't know the science behind it all but I was told once. Memory like a sieve.
 

gerald

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Something to keep in mind if using Epsom salt for GH is that it contains Mg but no Ca. If your water source is very low in Ca, your fish and plants could be suffering from Ca deficiency even though your GH hardness measurement looks OK. Soft-water fish can probably get the Ca they need from food, but hard-water species may need some Ca in the water too. GH tells you the total of Ca+Mg but doesn't tell you how much of each.
 

Hague1982

New Member
Something to keep in mind if using Epsom salt for GH is that it contains Mg but no Ca. If your water source is very low in Ca, your fish and plants could be suffering from Ca deficiency even though your GH hardness measurement looks OK. Soft-water fish can probably get the Ca they need from food, but hard-water species may need some Ca in the water too. GH tells you the total of Ca+Mg but doesn't tell you how much of each.
There is that, I always check my local water suply reading online. I have a link saved a while back if this helps you understand any better:

http://www.malawicichlids.com/mw01011.htm

I don't know what it is like in OZ but this is mine:

http://www.unitedutilities.com/waterquality.aspx?postcode=pr25+1xh
 
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