Author Topic: Multi. ?s  (Read 764 times)

Offline HSakhi

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Multi. ?s
« on: October 24, 2016, 10:01:47 AM »
Hello, everyone. I am new to this forum and relatively new to cichlid-keeping (I have an apistogramma cacatouides in my 29 gallon planted). I have wanted to keep neolamprologus multifasciatus in a biotope. I want to breed them. I am willing to do a  tank of 10-20 gallons for these fish. What plants would go in the biotope? I will either get escargot shells or snail shells from petsmart and/or petco. Should I consider putting rockwork in as well? Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks.

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Offline Graphix

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Re: Multi. ?s
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 11:01:31 AM »
I keep multis in a 10 gallon, didn't have the room/money to get a bigger tank for them, they mostly stay put but I can tell you they will fill out the tank eventually thru breeding, and I'll have to rehome fish regularly. A bigger tank will allow you to keep more of them, and more room is always appreciated. I'm thinking of doing plants as well, and I would consider plants like Anubias and Java fern that latch onto rocks/driftwood, that way there's no chance of them getting dug up by the multis(They dig ALL the time).

I believe you want to maximize the amount of shells in your tank, basically layers upon layers, do as much as you can. But personally I can say that they will appreciate some rockwork as well, especially if you have multiple males, you'll need sight blocks so that the males aren't constantly going at eachother.
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Offline HSakhi

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Re: Multi. ?s
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 08:49:30 PM »
I keep multis in a 10 gallon, didn't have the room/money to get a bigger tank for them, they mostly stay put but I can tell you they will fill out the tank eventually thru breeding, and I'll have to rehome fish regularly. A bigger tank will allow you to keep more of them, and more room is always appreciated. I'm thinking of doing plants as well, and I would consider plants like Anubias and Java fern that latch onto rocks/driftwood, that way there's no chance of them getting dug up by the multis(They dig ALL the time).

I believe you want to maximize the amount of shells in your tank, basically layers upon layers, do as much as you can. But personally I can say that they will appreciate some rockwork as well, especially if you have multiple males, you'll need sight blocks so that the males aren't constantly going at eachother.
Thanks for the feedback. What type and model of filter do you recommend for this setup? Also, would corkscrew vallisneria and aponogeton be suitable for the biotope? How many snail shells per fish do you recommend? Finally, what species do you recommend for a dither fish(would 3 synodontis longirostrosis work)?

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Online jerrytheplater

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Re: Multi. ?s
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 11:01:55 PM »
Too bad I didn't see this post first before I replied in your other post. Its nice to have the information all in one place.

Edit: I added my post from another of your posts into this thread to keep all the information together.

If you want a strictly accurate Biotope, you will not have any plants. Multi's live in the massive shell beds in Lake Tanganyika. No plants live there. Very few plants are found in the lake and usually only near river mouths in the sandy/muddy areas or the shore line nearby.

No rockwork should be there if you want to stick to the Biotope. Buy or borrow Ad Konings book, Tanganyika Cichlids in Their Natural Habitat. http://www.cichlidpress.com/books/details/tc3.html You will see many photo's of the fish in their habitat. Or search for them.

Go with the largest footprint you can. Bottom area is what counts.

Neothauma shells are the shells these fish live in in the lake. They are very hard to get. Some Apple snails are a close shape. You need a slightly elongated helix. A lot of folks use Escargot shells, but they are not authentic and don't look like Neothauma at all.
Jerry Smith
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Multi. ?s
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2016, 10:55:55 AM »
Hi, and welcome to the forum. I'll add a bit to the great points already mentioned and your questions.

Filter: You'll find successful multie tanks with every kind of filter. Most important is that it can handle your bioload. From a biotope perspective, you certainly don't need racing water and heavy currents; well oxygenated water circulating throughout the tank is good.

Plants and Rocks: A lot of this is going to depend on how you define your biotope. Is it Lake Tanganyika or the niche your multies evolved to occupy--the shell bed itself? I think most folks end up with a mixture of both. A few rocks and a few plants can help a tank feel visually interesting and balanced and your fish will use them as sight breaks and territorial landmarks--but neither are features of the Tanganyikan shell beds. As Graphix mentioned, multies are industrious diggers so you'll need to be thoughtful about how you deal with any plant that needs to be rooted in the substrate. 

Shells: You've probably come across 4-5 shells per multie as a standard starting point. If you are going biotope, you really want most of the bottom covered with shells layers deep. I currently have 10 multies with three females on spawns using 65-70 shells and I don't feel like I have enough. So as you are budgeting your aquascape, plan for a lot of shells. Your multies will be happy you did. Find a place where you can get appropriate shells in bulk--lots of threads on this. Buying them as individual units at a pet store is generally neither efficient nor cost effective. For biotope standards, neothauma shells aren't all that easy to come by and tend to be quite pricey. Even folks trying to stay as close to the biotope as possible tend to fudge on this point just for practical considerations.

Dithers: I don't feel they are strictly necessary for multies, but if you like the idea go for it. But you want to minimize competition for territory. Think open water shoaling fish or rock dwelling fish versus other fish that are going to compete for space on the substrate. Again, from a biotope perspective, your options are limited to say the least--even more so given a 10 or 20 gallon tank. (As far as the particular Syno you mentioned, I had to look it up since I wasn't familiar. If I found the correct fish, it gets to like 20 inches which would make it way too big for even a 20long. One would be too much, let alone three. I'd reconsider.)

Good luck and keep us posted.