Author Topic: Rupert's N. multifasciatus  (Read 2822 times)

Offline Rupert

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Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« on: July 06, 2016, 01:09:54 AM »
When I purchased my multies they went into a 20long. I think I mentioned elsewhere that the tank was not in an ideal viewing position. In fact, it was horrible. Something had to be done. There's just no point in having a fish that's so much fun to watch if you can't watch them. And it was great motivation to tackle some changes I've been wanting to make in my tanks. I checked all my dominoes for alignment and toppled off a holiday weekend of projects.

A) $1/gallon sale. I've been waiting for this sale since the last one ended. I haven't bought a brand new tank in probably 20 years and I decided I was overdue. Since I'm on a budget, this sale is the ticket. I'd forgotten what a joy it can be to bring home a lovely, scratch free, no gallon of vinegar required, beautiful new tank. 

B) Tanks need a proper stand. Most stands are, I think, way overpriced. So I checked my lumber scraps and found enough 2x4 to just build my own. With the proper tools and a bit of experience, which I consider myself fortunate to have, I found the build both fun and incredibly rewarding. For $5 worth of bulk screws, a quart of paint, and some time enjoyably spent I have a new stand for the new tank. It's simple and functional, nothing more. But oh so extraordinarily budget friendly. The biggest win is that the tank is wonderfully situated for viewing.

C) Moving the multies to their new home. This was, without a doubt, the most stressful thing I've done in a year. Being new to multies and the whole moving them from one tank to another in their shell business, I was a nervous wreck. A clear storage container goes into the old tank, in goes a shell, out comes container of water with a shell (and maybe a fish, so I keep the shell oriented the way it was in the tank), and carry the dripping container and my dripping arms across the path of towels I put on the floor, submerge the container in the new tank, take out the shell, and place it in the proper orientation in the new tank--fifty some odd times. Oh, and all the while stressing about maintaining the shells in their original pattern.

D) Counting multies. Over and over and over. It took a bit for them to start coming out of their shells. Nine hours later and I was missing two fish. Are they trapped or stuck in their shell, are they in the old tank under an invisibility cloak, did a fish manage to jump out of the container during the transfer while I blinked, do I candle every shell and further stress every fish in the tank possibly losing more, did my desire for a new tank deal death to two fish? Too tired to stay awake any longer, I went to bed. Over my first cup of morning coffee, my fish count went up by one. Later--a full 20 hours after I finished transferring all the shells--the final fish shows up for accounting. Finally, huge sigh of relief, all fish alive and present in new tank.

Here's a quick pic. Still a couple things I want to take care of as far as hardscape; especially more shells. For now though, I'm giving them and me a break. Will add a couple pics as I grab some hopefully decent ones over the next few days.

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Offline Graphix

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 12:29:50 PM »
Nice job, definitely a smart move putting them where you get to see them all the time, what's your new tank's specs?

It's looking good. glad to hear they all survived the stressful move!
Fish are friends, and sometimes food.

Online deeda

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 12:49:19 PM »
Looks good.  I moved my multies all at once, just transferring shells into a plastic tote with water and placing the shells in the new tank.  Any fish that weren't in the shells I just netted and transferred.  No losses!  However I did add more new shells to the tank to help combat any stress issues.
Dee

Offline Graphix

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 01:35:59 PM »
Yeah my multis don't seem fazed by being moved around, when I was rearranging my aquascape I had to move some shells and some of them had fish in them, soon as things settled down they got out and continued as normal.
Fish are friends, and sometimes food.

Offline jerrytheplater

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 05:53:07 PM »
Looks good Rupert. You didn't say what size tank you bought. AND you didn't show us your stand!!

I guess its waiting for the better camera photos.
Jerry Smith
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 08:57:58 PM »
LOL :) Had I not succumbed to newbie nerves, I imagine I would have been able to visualize a much less painful process than moving them one by one. I had myself so wound up it was like walking a tightrope over a minefield. Having never moved a fish in a shell before I'm happy to say I now have that one under my belt. Once additional shells go into this tank, there is no way I'll be moving them one by one again. A tote or a fish bucket or something will definitely be the way to go. All my years, and still having new experiences with a fish tank. Love this hobby.

Putting up a few more pics. Like I mentioned, the stand is simple and functional, but it's solid as a rock and I'm pleased overall. Tank is now at a perfect viewing height as I sit on the couch. Can't see it in the pictures, but my desk is off to the left of the tank and a simple spin in the chair and I'm staring right at the tank. I've gotten in more enjoyable viewing the past couple days than I did in all the weeks leading up to this point. To say I'm happy with this new tank would be a major understatement. You'll see I still have the old lights. Haven't decided what I'm going to do for lighting. Leaning toward a simple LED solution. But I may just paint the old ones black and call it good for now. Speaking of painting, I wasn't quite thrilled to paint the side of the tank. But the window to the left of the tank gets full morning sun, and if that side of the tank isn't covered it's almost impossible to keep up with algae. The lesser of two evils was to paint and deal.

Fish are all no worse for the wear and back to normal with all their sand digging shell dwelling industriousness.

Thanks to all for the kind words. Oh, and nearly forgot, the tank is a 40 breeder.

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Offline Braden8558

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 10:48:27 PM »
Nice job Rupert! The tank and stand look sweet! I am digging the simplistic look of the tank as well. I wish you the best of luck with them and hopefully they start breeding for you soon too!

Braden  8)

Offline Jack Gilvey

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 06:25:39 AM »
Awesome, love 40 breeders. I bought one a couple years ago on a whim at the $/gal sale but don't have a spot for it so I use it to prepare/store water in my basement. 😀Stand is killer, too, nice work.

Offline Rupert

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 09:14:04 AM »
Thanks.

Certainly looking forward to fry and growing the colony. The fish are still getting up to size, but if I'm reading behavior correctly, there is definitely one male that claimed an area in the center of the tank and he's wrangling 3 or 4 females. There's another fish I'm confident is a male on the right. The rest are unknowns, but I'm comfortable believing there are at least a couple other females.

I really like the 40B too. Offers options if I decide to add another species to the multies down the road and if not it gives the multies lots of floor space to work with. On the $/gal sale, it's major bang for the buck. I was a little apprehensive about the visual volume of it overwhelming the appearance of the fish, but that hasn't been the case at all. Multies may be small, but they sure seem to know how to command their available space. 

Offline jerrytheplater

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 09:42:39 PM »
Really nice Rupert. I love 40 Breeders too. Great footprint. You don't need a lot of light for the Multi's. Yours are fine.
Jerry Smith
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http://www.njagc.net/wp/

Offline fish head

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2016, 06:44:52 PM »
Nice job!  New tanks for multies is right w/ their plan TO TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSE!  Thanks for posting!
fish keeper of 37 yrs
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 06:34:30 PM »
Thought I'd share a couple changes to the tank.

When I first set it up I put a small HOB stuffed with filter floss on the side of the tank to help clear the water and break surface tension. Because it's designed for a narrower rim, it sat kind of high. Result--constant sound of water trickling into the tank. The sound made me crazy so I took it off. Result--surface got that wonderful sheen that makes it look like a stagnant pond. Not only do I hate the look of that, but it makes me constantly worried that gas exchange is being compromised. So I dug out the fish box and grabbed some used airline tubing and a two way connector (an airline splitter that looks like a T). I ran a line from the pump to the connector. Then I took a small piece, poked a bunch of holes in it with a push pin, and made a circle by connecting it to the open ends. Works great. Breaks the surface tension and I didn't have to run to the store for an airstone. Not a fan of the hard water build up that happens on the rim of the tank from popping air bubbles though, so am trying a bit of painter's tape over the rim. Figure removing the tape has to be way easier than trying to remove the concrete that seems to develop almost overnight. We'll see....

I decided that the old faux oak light was pleasing as far as lighting the tank, but it looked a bit janky. Black tank, white supports, fake oak light...ick. So I took the old light out to the barn and hit it with white spray paint. Much easier to look at now. Black suit, white collar, I can deal.

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Offline Rupert

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2016, 05:17:47 PM »
My little experiment with tape on the top rim to help prevent hard water deposits concluded without the desired result. The tape got water logged and a line of hard water deposit started forming along the edge. Whether using the makeshift airline bubbler or an airstone, I found myself obsessively wiping down the rim. I tried a couple sized pumps from the Big-Box-O-Fish-Stuff, locations & depths of bubbler or just airlineógot no joy. Maybe Iím a little obsessive-compulsive, but after recently breaking down a couple tanks with air driven box filters I just donít want my first brand new tank in oh so many years to immediately develop concrete on the rim.
 
So I went back to the HOB to break surface tension. Iím getting experienced at convincing myself I donít hear the occasional trickle of water. Itís quieter than the air pump I tell myself. Itís awesome because I have media ready to seed a stand-by tank I tell myself. And, all in all, Iím back to where I started and happier than I was when I thought I needed to be somewhere else. Life I guess.

On other fronts, a fish died. I was counting fish at feeding, as always, and kept coming up short. I went on a hunt and found a fish dead, just inside a shell. I pulled the shell and fish and got a closer look. Iíd never witnessed any signs of illness and the dead fish offered no clues in that direction. The male who rules over the shell the fish was in can be a bit abrasive, but I saw nothing to indicate a mauling. Honestly, Iím not sure what happened. Disappointing. The remaining fish look amazing.

Offline Rupert

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 12:14:01 AM »
Quick update. Pic first.
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Went to the Fall sales gathering held by the local fish club today. Picked up some food, a few assassin snails, and a delightful piece of anubias barteri. Nice to have a bit of green in with the multies. I've got my fingers crossed to keep it alive.

No fry yet as far as I know. Best I can tell I ended up with a couple more males than females. Territories are clear. I think the females are ready to spawn. I'm starting to wonder if the males are showing up late to the party because they are investing so much time and energy in territorial maintenance. But at this point no one has been harassed out of the shells and they all know where they are supposed to be. And the males seem nearly twice as big as the littlest females. It's been stable for awhile actually. Downright peaceful in cichlid terms. Probably means all hell is gonna break loose any day now....     

Offline Rupert

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Re: Rupert's N. multifasciatus
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2016, 07:15:24 PM »
I've been noticing that one of the females has been spending an inordinate amount of time in and around her home shell. I sat down this evening to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail and feed the tank and I noticed that she wasn't allowing anyone but the alpha male within a couple inches of her shell. And she was seriously vigilant. I took this as a sign that she definitely had some business goin on that she didn't want anyone messin with. Feeling happy about the tank, I ambled off to rest the roast and finish up the gravy. Upon returning, I noticed she had her head down and tail up and she was definitely watching something, not just scrounging food. I was certain she was watching fry. So I sat and watched. Then I noticed a speck of a thing come out from the shadow of a shell just long enough for me to see it and then do an about face at lightening speed. So I stood up and stared at her shell from the top down and managed to glimpse two fry. Well, to be accurate, I saw two specks darting back and forth in the mouth of her shell. Fry for sure.

Very exciting. New fish for me. Their first spawn. Moments like this remind me why I'm so endlessly fascinated by the hobby after all these years. Peace to all. :)