When snails and cichlids live together

 

These two pictures show photos que Pomacea bridgesi (golden apple snail) and Neolamprologus similis live together without problem.

Neolamprologus is a small cichlidthat dwells in shells endemic to lake Tanganyika; in this situation, it will only watch that the snail does not disturb its brood.  P. bridgesi will take all precautions to avoid suffering from any attack (the antennaes are retracted, only the strict minimum of the body is out of the shell).

Whereas these two species are not originally from the same environment, one may deduce that the cichlid does not attack gastropods that live in the same environment (for example neothaumas). One must specify that the balance between species cannot be reached unless  specific feeding needs are respected and satisfied. An underfed Similis will try to have a nab at the snail (opportunist predation) and an underfed apple snail will try to eat the eggs of the cichlid. 

It is quite amusing and instructive to observe the behaviour of this little fish when mellanoids intrude in its breeding territory.  If eggs are hidden in a shell, it will catch these little snails with its mouth and spit them out of the breeding territory. In all cases the mallanoids will come back and the fish will perform the same operation. An endless "game" that only finishes with the birth of the young similis.

It may be pertinent to specify that in the same aquarium are also Cyprichromis Microlepidotus.  These two cichlid species usually feed out of phytoplancton and do not disturb Pomacea bridgesi.  Furthermore, the aquarium is planted with Microsorum Pteropus, Elodea densa and Bolbitis.  Pomacea bridgesi does not eat these plants.

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