Author Topic: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony  (Read 728 times)

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« on: August 10, 2017, 09:32:16 PM »
Back in May I bought a used 55 gallon tank & stand off of ksl.com as a Mother's Day gift to myself.  Because my lone female Similis & 2  male Multies started having fry I wanted to separate them.  I finally found 6 juvenile Multies online.  When we brought them home from the airport we noticed that they were considerably smaller than the Multies I already had.  I figured I would give the new Multies time in their new tank to get used to it & possibly set up territories before introducing the Multies from the 46 gal.  I had 2 large Tonna shells about in the middle of the 55 gal tank that 3 of the juvies liked the area on the left side & the other 3 liked the area on the right side.

A few weeks ago we were able to get one of the Multies caught & transferred from the 46 to the 55 gallon tank.  There were very few shells on the far right side of the tank so I added more to that side before releasing the Multi.  He dived for those shells & basically stayed put for a couple days.  It was interesting to watch the juveniles interact with the older one.  At first it seemed like one or two of the juvies were trying to lead the older one to where the others were.  As the older one followed other juvies would nip at him & chase him off.  Which was actually kinda funny because of the differences in their size.  After awhile though he claimed a shell on the left side of the Tonna's in the midst of the juvies on that side.

Well this morning we were finally able to get the other Multi out of the 46 gal & into the 55.  He was a little bigger & I think he was the dominant male in the 46 gal.  I think the sub dominant male was transferred first.  The first male was not happy with the newcomer.  The two circled each other & nipped at each other for a bit after we released him.  Some of the juvies got into it with the newcomer as well.

As we were watching the fish my husband thought he saw a baby & then thought he saw one of the juvies eat it.  I started watching the sand & looking at the shells & I saw another baby!  The shells are turned such it's hard to see into them & around them to see if there are any more.

I'm so excited!!!! Because of the juvies size I didn't think they were old enough to have babies yet.  I figured I'd have to wait awhile for fry even after putting the known males in the tank because I didn't know if any of the juvies were female.  I don't know for sure if the older Multi is the father of the fry or one of the juvies, but that probably doesn't really matter.

Online jerrytheplater

  • Ornatipinnis
  • ***
    • View Profile
  • Location: Bloomingdale, NJ
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 09:40:46 PM »
Your colony has begun!! Great news. Photos?
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

http://www.njagc.net/wp/

Offline Rupert

  • Ocellatus
  • **
    • View Profile
  • Location: Missouri, U.S.
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 10:25:12 PM »
Congrats. They really are fun to watch. Glad it's all coming together for you. :D

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 01:09:22 PM »
Here's some pictures as requested.  The first one is the 55 before adding fish.  The second is after getting both Multies in it. The third is just of the left side because there were juvies & the older Multi.

Online jerrytheplater

  • Ornatipinnis
  • ***
    • View Profile
  • Location: Bloomingdale, NJ
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 06:43:47 PM »
A few suggestions.

See if you can lower the light levels. The fish don't need it and you don't have any plants that do. You'll cut down on your algae.

See if you can put some sort of neutral background on the outside back glass to hide the heater wires etc. I use black plastic. Some use blue.

You really don't need all that air circulation. You could cut it back, unless it really makes the tank look great for you.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

http://www.njagc.net/wp/

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 11:06:40 PM »
The light is one of the LED ones that has a blue light, "moon light" setting.  We've just recently switched from using biowheel HOB filters to canisters in our tanks.  We're still playing with how much aeration is needed with the canisters vs HOB's.  There are a couple little horned nerite snails in there too.  I personally don't mind seeing the airline tubing or electrical cords.

Online jerrytheplater

  • Ornatipinnis
  • ***
    • View Profile
  • Location: Bloomingdale, NJ
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 11:47:05 PM »
The light is one of the LED ones that has a blue light, "moon light" setting.  We've just recently switched from using biowheel HOB filters to canisters in our tanks.  We're still playing with how much aeration is needed with the canisters vs HOB's.  There are a couple little horned nerite snails in there too.  I personally don't mind seeing the airline tubing or electrical cords.
I won't stand in the way of what you like in your tanks!!! It is yours after all. I guess that is my personal taste coming through. I don't like to see the cords and all.

Canister experience. I use them on all of my tanks. No extra aeration. I aim the spray bar slightly up at the surface to cause a slight ripple. That breaks up the surface a little and provides good oxygen exchange.

Maybe air stones would have helped my Julies survive the lack of A/C at work and high heat. Don't know. All the other fish were fine.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

http://www.njagc.net/wp/

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 11:22:28 AM »
I haven't seen the fry in the 55 since I posted about seeing them :( .  I don't know if they're just hiding really well or they've died.

Offline Rupert

  • Ocellatus
  • **
    • View Profile
  • Location: Missouri, U.S.
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2017, 04:47:33 PM »
That's a bummer, Olive. You mentioned that your husband thought he saw one turned into a snack. I've learned to never say never in this hobby, but it's outside the norm for multis to eat fry. But if it's going to happen I'd say the chances go up when the tank is under stress. Now that you've got everybody in there they can wrangle out territory and hierarchy and settle in to normal bickering.

Unless you have other fish in the tank preying on your fry, you'll have plenty soon enough and your tank will be full. :) IME, multi fry are pretty hardy.

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2017, 04:40:23 PM »
I was watching the multies today & saw something I hadn't seen before with any fish.  A couple times the 2 males from the 46gal were "locking jaws."  The first time I saw it I gently tapped on the glass & they separated.  The second time was just a few minutes later & I just watched them.  They separated on their own & just chased each other around some more.  There are times that they seem to tolerate each other & other times they don't.

Offline Rupert

  • Ocellatus
  • **
    • View Profile
  • Location: Missouri, U.S.
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2017, 07:57:19 PM »
OMG, the first time I saw this I had the same knee-jerk reaction as you.... :)

curse-curse-curse-holy-curse....

sand flying everywhere, little fish having a bar brawl, I was certain one was going to break a beer mug and start slashing.

Seems so out of character for what, at first glance, appear to be such cute, harmless little fish. :)

You might separate their territories a little more if you can. Maybe put a rock between them. But they will work it out, nonetheless. They will still posture and dart at each other, but unless there just isn't enough room for them to settle on a DMZ, they will be okay.

And multis are considered low aggression. :) Everything is relative, huh?

Unless one is actually chased away from and out of the shell bed, it's normal. But putting your "god-like" fish keeper skills to use and separating them (space wise or with a territory marker) might make them and you less stressed-out. :D

Despite their "colonial" spirit, there are only so many males you can keep in a given space. Bar brawls are hardcore. If they are non-stop, you'll need to make decisions about how you want to shape your colony moving forward. FWIW, keep your eyes open for aggression between females as well. They want their space also and will take no prisoners if another sexually mature female is too much up in their business.

Amazing little fish for sure.

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2017, 12:18:02 PM »
My problem is I can't tell the males from the females.  I'm relatively certain the 2 I moved from the 46gal are males but I have no idea on the 6 juveniles.  Any tips on what to look for?

Offline Rupert

  • Ocellatus
  • **
    • View Profile
  • Location: Missouri, U.S.
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 10:48:11 AM »
To my eye, males are more evenly elongated; females have a bit more roundness to them. Females have a narrower caudle peduncle than males, not just because they are smaller but in a proportional sense.

As they age, males are larger than females. Both front to back and top to bottom. If a group of fish is of mixed age, size is not very helpful by itself.

If you see a fish in front of a shell, turning obliquely (like a 45 degree slant) and shimmying to flash her silver belly at a fish slightly above--the fish shimmying is a female, the fish receiving the display is a male. I have never seen a male display like this, and I've never seen a female make the display for another female. As you get more attuned to their behaviors you'll be able to make pretty smart calls on sex based on behavioral cues even though many of them are shared. But the oblique shimmy belly flash is only done by females for a male. I've never yet seen a single exception to this. Another behavior that I've found to be fairly consistent is that females tend to stay closer to their chosen shell and aggressively chase a smaller area. Males, on the other hand, keep a larger territory in general and are much more likely to take off and explore and/or throw punches outside their territory.

In a few more months I image you'll have no doubt telling your males from your females. The good news in the meantime is that you definitely have at least one of each. :) 

Online Olive

  • Brevis
  • *
    • View Profile
  • Location: Utah
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 10:45:26 PM »
I've seen "caudle peduncle" in relation to cichlids before.  This may sound like a dumb question but what is it?

Offline Rupert

  • Ocellatus
  • **
    • View Profile
  • Location: Missouri, U.S.
Re: Adventures in my new 55 gallon Multi colony
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 11:21:59 PM »
It might help if I had spelled more carefully. :) Should be caudAL peduncle.

It's basically the area between the anal fin and the tail fin.