August 1, 2014
August 01, 2014 • Leave a Comment
August 1, 2014
Happy Friday, folks! It’s shaping up to be a lovely summer this year here in Oregon and I am planning to spend the next several days up in our coastal mountain range, playing with Cutthroat and Steelhead Trout fry in the rivers. Chelsea will be your main contact for the next week and you may also receive some communications from Anthony or Gabe.
I know that these aren’t trout, but we have so many beautiful Tanganyikan Shelldwellers that it seemed like a great idea to talk about them this week. I’ve gotten Anthony to take some beautiful new pictures of our available species as well. The so-called Shellies are some of the easiest Tanganyikans and generally stay small and relatively docile, can be kept in groups in a species tank or as a substrate dweller beneath upper-level Tanganyikans. Within the Shellies there are two genera, ‘Lamprologus’ and Telmatochromis. The ‘Lamprologus’ species shall be my focus this week, but rest assured, we also have some gorgeous Telmatochromis vittatus as well.
‘Lamprologus’ species in general are consumers of zooplankton and invertebrates in the wild. In your home aquarium, however, they will accept many prepared foods including flake, small pellets, and frozen fare. Aquarium décor of a sandy substrate and an assortment of suitably sized empty shells – at least one shell per fish is a good rule. Alkaline pH values between 8.5 and 9.5 and temperatures in the upper 70s suit ‘Lamprologus’ species as well.
For the most part, males reach just under two and a half inches, while females will top out at about one inch shorter. ‘L’. multifasciatus is the exception with an adult size of just under two inches for males and females of an inch and a half maximum. A ten gallon tank is suitable for a single pair of ‘Lamprologus’, whilst a group will need a larger space.
Bonded pairs of ‘Lamprologus’ brevis will share a single shell. Other species prefer to dwell on their own, each in their own shell. ‘Lamprologus’ multifasciatus enjoys communal living and is best kept in a large group with a big pile of shells. The other species prefer widely spaced shells about ten inches apart as they are comparatively territorial. Don’t be surprised to arrive at your tank’s front one day to find a cloud of fry emerging from the shell around their parent!
Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our Shellies and Anthony’s gorgeous photographs. I’ll see you back here in two weeks!
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