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Old 06-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
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Neolamprologus Multifasciatus

Can anyone give me some advice about the care of these shell-dwellers? Any information would be appreciated! Thanks..
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
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This fish comes from tanganyika and stays under 2 inches. It is not a picky eater but is highly territorial
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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Multies are really neat little guys with big attitudes. I have a species only 20 long with 12 multies, but I think they have spawned bc the females are not coming out of the shells much, so hopefully I will see some fry soon!

Multies are colony fish which means that they welcome several generations of fry without much issue, but they are territorial of their shells. They have a small territory but I have seen them seriously defend it. Based on my extensive research on these fish, plus my experience keeping them, this is what I think is necessary (this is my opinion of course and you can do what you want):

You can keep several multies in a small tank. A 10 g is okay, but I prefer the 20 long so they have more space to grow their family (and boy, will they!). Like I said, I have 12 so far and they still have plenty of room.

Sand substrate is necessary bc they will "rearrange" their home constantly. It's really fun to watch these little guys create their own perfect home.

SHELLS! These guys are shell dwellers, so they need shells! Some people have suggested 2-3 shells per fish, but I found that mine were a lot happier once I put lots more in. They have probably at least 4 apiece now. You can use several different types of shells (even making your own fake ones out of PVC). I actually ordered a bunch of large escargot shells from amazon for really cheap. I think I got 3 doz for about $15. Another great one is whale eye shells.

They are not the pickiest eaters, but I will just tell you what mine like to eat. They HATE every cichlid food I've tried, so they eat regular tropical flakes (I crushed them a little bc their mouths are teeny), Hikari micro pellets, dried tubifex on occasion, and some frozen treats like brine shrimp and bloodworms. Plus some blanched veg. They just like a variety.

Water conditions: Multies are cichlids, so I tried to replicate Lake Tang as much as I could. Luckily, I have hard, alkaline water in my tap so that was a good start. I used buffers to slowly raise the pH even more. I think now's it's at a stable 8.6, but they were doing okay when it was lower too. I also use the Seachem trace minerals and cichlids salt, and the aragonite sand which seems to help buffer the water as well.

It seems like a lot, but it really is easy to care for these guys. They can be pretty shy unless you make their home feel really secure (dark background, lots of shells, etc.). When they feel safe to come out of their shells, they are really interesting to watch, and they can breed easily.

Hope this helps! Enjoy your multies!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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Thanks..What exactly do you add to the water?
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:29 PM   #5
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Candacecook covered it well. One thing I will say is a fairly deep sand bed because its amazing how much sand they will rearange. Mine are in a 15 witch is better than a 10 its 24long by 12 wide and they have sand going up one corner about 6 inches. Its realy simple to keep and breed them. The hardest thing for me was to find them for sale.
I dont recomend keeping anything else with them Just the multis. They realy are awesome fish
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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I add Seachem Prime, Seachem cichlid trace, Seachem cichlid lake salts, and API buffer max. I will switch to Seachem Lake Tanganyika buffer once I get the pH as high as I can with the API. It does seem like a lot, but it's super easy once you get used to dosing these things.
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