Shells for dwelling, breeding, and hiding revisited

Muffin snail shell (top) and Apple snail shell (bottom). Photo by the author.

Back in 2016, I posted about shells for shell dwellers. In that post, I showed a variety of shells that are readily available and in which your shell dwelling fish would take up residence. Since that post, I have discovered a few other things that might help your shell selection decision.

First, I have experimented with Muffin land snail shells. Second, I posted about Neothauma tanganyicense shell selection for multis (Neolamprologus multifasciatus) IN Lake Tanganyika. That post included a link to a recent scientific study that described the particular Neothauma tanganyicense characteristics multis prefer in the lake. 

No, Neothauma tanganyicense shells are not easy to come by. Yes, they are the preferred shell used by Lake Tanganyika shell dwellers. However, as I stated in the post, your tank isn’t Lake Tanganyika, thus you have many other options for your shellies. 

Back to Muffin land snail shells. I have used these in both ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus and ‘Lamprologus’ caudopunctatus tanks. In fact, in both tanks I have provided a variety of shells. The occies seemed to prefer Apple snail shells whereas the caudos were a mix. Some preferred the Muffin snail. 

Muffin snail shell (top) and Apple snail shell (bottom). Photo by the author.
Muffin snail shell, aperture side up. Photo by the author.

Apple snail shell, aperture side up. Photo by the author.

 

So what makes the Muffin snail shell different. Well, first of all it’s twice as large as most other shells (except the Apple snail). The aperture alone is quite large bWithout doing a cross section of one of the shells, it’s hard to say just how much larger the interior really is. Both adult caudos and occies are pretty small when compared to some of their shell dwelling cousins. So if you keep some of the larger species, you might consider giving Muffin shells a look. You might find that your shellies will prefer them. 

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