Recently my son and I were in Austin TX, and we stopped by a usually pretty cool LFS
. Knowing that I wanted a shell dweller species, I let him pick them out. He chose Multi's and I am happy with the choice. I love their personality. Alone in a tank were 5 of these cute little fish. I told my son that we could have 3 (the largest and the 2 smallest). At $9.99 per fish I thought that I was getting a good deal. The deal got a whole lot better when the fish keeper told me that he would through in the other 2 for FREE! So home we went with our 5 first shell dwellers and a dozen shells. I couldn't wait.
So here is where "the good deal" turns sour. It turns out that all 5 of them were male! Not 4 male and 1 female. All male! "How do I know this " you ask? Because female Multies do not get to be almost 2 inches long. Females max out at 1 inch. Males get to be 2." All 5 are now the same size. Almost 2 inches! Last week I ventured into another LFS
and just happened to come across a tank full of Multies. Man, can you really see the difference in sexes when they are all full grown and together in the tank. So, today I pulled 2 of my males (tried to get 3) out, brought them to Austin, and exchanged them for 3 females.
So now what did I learn after thinking that my Multies were acting weird? That a subdominant male will go through the motions of a female with a dominant male. They do that whole tail wagging thing, and even guard the shell the way that a female does.
But now I have 3 males and 3 females. They have been together in the 80 gallon tank for about 3 hours now. And I have never seen them act quite like this before. All 3 females have taken shells and 2 of the males will not leave them alone.