Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dickey_moe

Enjoying My Little Shell Dwellers

Recommended Posts

Guest housemouse
Eastie is one tough little fish. This is his third brush with death.

He now lives all alone in the tank. I am planning to get some new sand for him and set him up all nice and cozy again. I totally broke down the smaller tank that he was in , and all that was in it is being bleached and boiled to make it safe for re- use.

What kind of sand do you like to use? Is it playground sand, or is it from a pet shop? Have you continued to struggle with brown algae? Do you think it is possible that the sand broke your filter? I was planning to set up my first tank with sand but now I'm not so sure. I just read an article that said stuff in the sand called "silicates" encourages brown algae to grow.

Anyway thanks for this thread I really enjoyed reading about the little shellies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eastie is one tough little fish. This is his third brush with death.

He now lives all alone in the tank. I am planning to get some new sand for him and set him up all nice and cozy again. I totally broke down the smaller tank that he was in , and all that was in it is being bleached and boiled to make it safe for re- use.

What kind of sand do you like to use? Is it playground sand, or is it from a pet shop? Have you continued to struggle with brown algae? Do you think it is possible that the sand broke your filter? I was planning to set up my first tank with sand but now I'm not so sure. I just read an article that said stuff in the sand called "silicates" encourages brown algae to grow.

Anyway thanks for this thread I really enjoyed reading about the little shellies.

I know this is a late reply but I would like to answer it anyway.

When I said I "bumped" the filter, I did not mean it literally. I meant that I disturbed the biological filtration, probably by over cleaning. It then stopped working and the poor fish died from an ammonia spike.

The algae is no longer brown but has turned a nice green. I don't have too much trouble with that anymore.

The sand I use is marine sand. Beach sand really. It is very fine and perfect for my little landscapers. Shellies should not be given gravel or coarse sand. They like to burrow down with their whole bodies (It's comical to watch) and they could suffer injuries that would allow bacteria to enter through the wounds.

Sand can be rough on the filters. Fortunately, once the little ones get everything to their liking, they just do small amounts of digging to maintain it. I use a piece of pre-filter cloth over the intake to help keep out the finest particles.

I will have an update soon.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have an update soon.....

We are waiting :please

This was such a fun thread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much has gone on since I last wrote. This post is all about mommies and babies.

As you may remember I finally got my fish to the pet store, but still had about 15 in the tank, and Mumsy had just given me a whole shell full of young'uns, and Angelina had been hiding her own little secret in another shell- babies of her own!

Well, that big spawn of Mumsy's seems to have disappeared almost completely . There are still a few little faces peeking out at me from various shells here and there. I don't know that these are all Mumsy's babies or Angie's. But they know their best bet for survival is to keep a low profile. They are rarely ever out in the open. I have only named 2 of them: Folly and Peril. They lived close to Mumsy in the same shell, and unfortunately, Mumsy wanted the shell for herself because the shell she usually inhabits is full of babies at the moment. Their little bodies turned up over the space of 3 days, and I found Mumsy in residence in their former shell. Little shellies should leave home as soon as possible!

And now?.. Mimmie. This little girl has become a momma too! She lives close to Angelina, and I first noticed her when I saw her vigorously fanning in a shell and I got suspicious. Sure enough, she had been keeping secrets too.

I adore Mimmie! She is a feisty little thing, and seems to be a good mother, even if she is a little inexperienced . I saw her fan so hard she actually ejected one of her babies out of the shell!

Whoops.

Then mysteriously, her little ones were gone, either eaten or moved on to a good hiding spot. I saw some in the crevices for a while, but now I see none.

And as if that weren't enough?.

Little Ginny too! Ginny still lives near Mumsy and Rickey and just had 2 shells with eggs in them. I assume they are hers and not Mumsy's. This time I had the pleasure of watching the eggs themselves!

I have never seen the eggs before! But there they were in the mouth of the shell and they caught my eye because they were moving!

Shellie eggs are white, and big enough for you to think a bigger fish laid them. And they are busy little eggs! They remind me very much of Mexican jumping beans.

Without any external signs of the fish inside, these eggs wiggle and jump with enough strength to launch the egg in random directions. From what I can tell, the females do not round them up. The eggs are on their own.

I don't know when the eggs were laid but within 2 days I could see the little fish emerging! The eyes are the first things you see. Then the tail makes an appearance. When that happens the little eggs really get moving, I just missed one on camera (ran out of space) I had been filming the little egg and at the end when my card said "full" it gave one mighty jerk and flew out of the shell and into a crevice I thought I caught it but no such luck. A couple of days later, a tiny newbie appeared from inside the crevice. The little acrobat survived the incident!!!! And sadly?has not been seen since.

Angelina has had a second clutch at some point, there are two different sizes of baby in there. Another older fry was living in there and finally moved out.

And there's more?..My little Jenny has had a go at motherhood too. It was a dismal failure, but hey! It was probably her first time so who can blame her if she dropped them all outside of the shell. When last seen there were 4 of them clinging to the outside of the shell. I don't think they got fertilized, I never saw them move and then one day they were gone.

And??.

Joanie who lives behind Jenny has 2 tiny babies In one of her shells. She and Ginny belong to Rickey. It is still not clear who Jenny belongs to.

Oct 20th

More to add? all of the babies have disappeared! Mumsy seems to still have a couple, but Ginny's and Jenny's are gone.

Mimmie has lost her bunch but compensated by having another big clutch that seems to be thriving under her watchful eye. I counted to 12 easily and day after day they are still 12 or more. I feel they will survive very nicely. They have already grown and are showing well fed tummies.

Mimmie is a ferocious little guardian. She patrols her shell area as if she is on a racetrack. She laces herself through the crevices below her babies and will attack anyone but Brad who comes near. Over and over she patrols the perimeter , it would make you dizzy to watch her. She is quite mad. :rolleyes:

Brad has become the peacekeeper in the tank. Whenever a fight breaks out amongst the juvies in his area, he goes right over and puts everyone back in line There is one Juvie that seems to annoy him more than the others and I am daring to say "boy" on that one. I doubt he would be so annoyed at potential harem member.

Eastwood:

He was by himself until recently.

After the big tank crash, I left him alone for a while. He got weird. (ha ha)

In the first place, the grow out tank has nothing but glass globs on the floor, no nice cozy sand to dig in and secondly I did not give him extra shells to use. He had only his big green shell and nothing else. I first noticed his odd behavior when I found him under the heater which is kept low in the tank (that way I don't have to shut it off when doing water changes) He seemed to be making a home for himself under there. I then noticed the odd "clearings". Bare spaces In the tank that seemed to surround the areas he was in. Then I heard the strange clicking sounds coming from the tank and realized they were tied to the weird circles in the tank, so I started spying and sure enough I caught him! Eastwood was moving the marbles in the tank!

He could not pick them up and move them like a button, so he moved them by snapping at them. Each snap of his jaws moved them further away and produced the strange little "click" as the marbles collided together. He cracks me up! A fish who makes his own little Stonehenge.

I felt bad for him though? So I picked out 3 likely-to-be-girls and put them and some nice roomy shells into his tank. I also bought some sand, but I haven't put it in yet. I bet I will see no babies until it goes in.

This post has been written over a couple of months so the news is a bit old, and sadly I must update on the latest trajedy: Mimmie's babies are gone. she has stopped her mad dashing patrols and just hovers above the shells and only occasionally looks for the babies now. I am so sad to lose them. I must find out why this is happening.

I am thinking that their diet might be lacking something. they are carnivores and maybe the flake food I feed them is not enough and they supplement it with the young'uns. I am going to step up the frequency of my feedings, and the amount of live or frozen food I give them and we will see if my babies will survive. They were eaten for sure (I'm looking at you Brad!). There were signs of Mimmie's shells being disturbed as if a larger fish was determined to get at them. Bad, Bad Brad!! Bad Fish! (I am shaking my finger at him)

On a happy note...Eastie has everyone in line in his tank. The girls adore him. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woohoo! I have been waiting for an update! :)

I hope you get to the bottom of the fry deaths.....it does seem mysterious....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eastwood is a Papa!

I was cleaning the tank and found little babies hiding in between the marbles! They will all have to wait for the sand now. I can't get them to go inside shells so I can put the sand in for them.

there are well grown babies and some tiny newbies in the same spot, It seems Charlene is the most likely Mommie.

Eastie has 3 girls: Charlene Sherry and Terry (I can't tell those 2 apart). 2 of the babies were seen near Sherry but she seems to dislike them, So I would say she is not the mom. Charlene hovers around them and Terry does not come near.

Way to go Eastie! 'bout time buddy.

I know I have let this thread go a bit, I don't have access to the internet at home so I don't get to do as much writing as I would like. I do have some film of the eggs that I want to get on photobucket, hopefully that will happen soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I count ten healthy little Eastwoods :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...