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Come into your shell with shell-dwelling cichlids

By Leonard Ho - Posted Apr 28, 2014 09:00 AM
It really doesn't take a second mortgage or PhD degree to create a spectacular and unique exhibit. Redditer Garrett_TheFerret laid down the foundation for his new "shell dweller paradise," and the results are simply gorgeous. Or as another redditer said: "Who knew a pile of rocks and some shells could look so damn nice?"
Come into your shell with shell-dwelling cichlids

Shell-dwellers paradise. Just add fish.

Garrett plans to stock his aquarium with Lamprologus ornatipinnis "Kigoma", a small African cichlid endemic to alkaline waters of Lake Tanganyika.  Lamprologus spp. are one of several cichilds known as "shell dwellers" because these fish spawn in empty shells.  After selecting a suitable shell, Lamprologus will "use propeller-like motions of the tail to bury the shells that they reside in." (Wiki)

Fascinating dwelling for a fascinating little fish makes for a fascinating biotope exhibit.  By using some rocks in your backyard, a few pounds of sand, and a bag of shells, you can create a exhibit so simple yet so beautiful.

Here is a photo of a trio of captive-bred F1 Lamprologus ornatipinnis "Kigoma" photographed by Ray Quennelle At Lake Tanganyika, L.ornatipinnis naturally occurs in single, pairs, or trios.


Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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