Author Topic: New to fish - questions about my multis  (Read 189 times)

Online AsstToTheRegionalMgr

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New to fish - questions about my multis
« on: September 12, 2017, 10:30:59 PM »
I decided on multis for my first fish and got them a few days ago. I have 6 in a 20 gallon long. I believe they are juvies because they are all about 1 inch and some don't have those prominent stripes. I asked for 4 females and 2 males but I'm not sure if the guy who picked them out knew.

I noticed a few things about their behavior and am not sure it's normal..

1. I noticed 1 out of the 6 always away from the pack. Is this normal? Could he just be the dominant one?
2. The 6 occupy only half the tank. I've never seen any of them go to the other half. Could it be my strong filter? I have a 50 gallon HOB aquaclear that comes down pretty hard.
3. I see them fighting all day long. One chases another and vice versa. It's like a chain. The only one that doesn't get involved is the loner.
4. I got .5mm NLS Grow. I feed them 2x per day and add about 15 pellets. However, they don't sink. When they do, they fall one at a time and one snatches it. As they fall, it's common that not all get their portioned pellets. Also, if it hits the ground they pretty much leave it there. How can I get them to fall together?
5. Do multis start breeding when they reach adult age or when they're juvies? How long does it take for them to get to adult size?

Offline JarmFace

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 09:22:20 AM »
I decided on multis for my first fish and got them a few days ago. I have 6 in a 20 gallon long. I believe they are juvies because they are all about 1 inch and some don't have those prominent stripes. I asked for 4 females and 2 males but I'm not sure if the guy who picked them out knew.

I noticed a few things about their behavior and am not sure it's normal..

1. I noticed 1 out of the 6 always away from the pack. Is this normal? Could he just be the dominant one?
2. The 6 occupy only half the tank. I've never seen any of them go to the other half. Could it be my strong filter? I have a 50 gallon HOB aquaclear that comes down pretty hard.
3. I see them fighting all day long. One chases another and vice versa. It's like a chain. The only one that doesn't get involved is the loner.
4. I got .5mm NLS Grow. I feed them 2x per day and add about 15 pellets. However, they don't sink. When they do, they fall one at a time and one snatches it. As they fall, it's common that not all get their portioned pellets. Also, if it hits the ground they pretty much leave it there. How can I get them to fall together?
5. Do multis start breeding when they reach adult age or when they're juvies? How long does it take for them to get to adult size?

It is really hard to sex multies when they are so small that they don't have stripes. Just as an FYI.

1) This one is probably really passive. If it isn't in the chasing, it isn't the dominant one. It is possible that this is the only female in the tank.
2) If there are shells in the other half of the tank, then the water flow might be the culprit. Try putting a splash diffuser of some kind under the flow to redirect it or dissipate the impact. With more space, the aggression might subside. I'm not sure though, so someone else might have to weigh in on this.
3) This seems normal to me for cichlids. If they are newly introduced, they are trying to figure out where they stand in the pecking order and trying to get the "best" shells.
4) I feed mine a quality flake for their staple. I always pinch a tiny amount and release it below the surface so it distributes evenly in the water column. That way everyone gets some food. Perhaps you should pinch and release below the surface too?
5) If you are feeding them twice a day, they should grow pretty fast. They start breeding when the males are around an inch and females around 3/4". At least that when my colony started to pair up and breed.

Online jerrytheplater

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 05:24:23 PM »
Welcome to the site. Where in NY did you buy your fish? That is a very commonly asked question.

Ditto what Jarmface said. I will add my comments on feeding. I use NLS 1 mm Cichlid Formula Sinking Pellets for my Multies. Also for Synodontis lucipinnis. To get it to sink where I want I soak what I'm going to feed in tank water for about 2 minutes or so, making sure I still them to get them all wet so they sink. After soaking, I pour them into the tank where I want them. They go right down.
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Online AsstToTheRegionalMgr

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 11:07:57 PM »
I bought the fish from Pacific Aquarium in Chinatown. 3 for $20 so I got $6.

Offline Rupert

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 11:47:43 PM »
Well, congrats on your first fish! And congrats on multis. :)

I've seen multis head off by themselves and find a quiet place outside the group. Could be a male or a female, but it's likely not the alpha.

Multis do just fine with moving water, but they will avoid areas with too much. If your filter is on the back pushing water to the front it may well be creating too much flow. With a 20long, you might want to put the filter on the side so the flow has further to run across the top and dissipate a bit before hitting the other side and starting to circulate. Might be enough to do the trick. But there's plenty of DIY options out there for reducing the flow on an HOB. With a bit of experimentation you'd be surprised what a bit of polyester batting will do when placed at the outflow of your HOB. Or some extra sponge. You don't want to get things overflowing or backing up, but play with it a bit and you'll not only reduce your flow but also be adding mechanical and biological filtration.

A multi that's 1" but doesn't have strong striping is likely a subdominant male. Female multis will get their full striping before they get to 1" if they ever get that big at all. But don't prejudge how things are going to turn out too much. Reduce your filter flow a bit, give them the full tank to settle into, and see how it plays out.

Don't forget your water changes. :) Especially feeding twice a day. You want to keep those nitrates under control.

Finally, welcome. :D

Online AsstToTheRegionalMgr

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 10:50:39 AM »
If there are more males than females, will they still breed?

I will try putting the filter on the side but I may not have enough room. There are other furnitture in the way and my place is small. So I might opt for a DIY approach.

For a HOB, is the filtering power based on how much water is taken into the filter or the force of the water "crashing down" on the surface as the water leaves the filter? If the latter, wouldn't putting something to mitigate the "crashiing down" force of the water weaken the filtration power? Also, do you have a source I can use to try this? I'm having a hard time visualizing it

Online jerrytheplater

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 07:37:59 PM »
Regarding your filter flow. I suppose you know you can move the intake tube from side to side to reduce the flow. Moving it toward the filter chamber will reduce the flow into the filter.

Jerry Smith
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Offline Rupert

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 09:31:33 PM »
I started off with more males than females. Everything worked out fine. But the extra males were pushed away from the breeding territories.

If by "filtration power" you mean the power of the water flow to move detritus around the tank so it can get sucked up into the filter, then yes, technically you'll be reducing/altering it. Circulating the water in your tank at a really high flow rate will help move every bit of random fish poop toward your filter intake. But if the water is flowing too hard, it's like putting your fish in a blender--not exactly an ideal environment. :) We're talking about mechanical filtration here and the key is balance. You want to keep your water moving and detritus in the current a bit so the filter can grab it, but you also need to create a livable space for your fish. This is as much art as science and you'll quickly develop your own instincts. Some fish are designed for rushing water, others not so much.

The other part of "filtration power"--and the part that I would argue is most critical--is the ability of your filter to handle your bacterial filtration. You want your ammonia broken down to nitrite and your nitrite broken to nitrate. In this regard, slower flowing well oxygenated water is your friend. Get familiar with your nitrogen cycle--it's literally the life blood of your tank. But your nitrogen cycle absolutely does not rely on super high flow rates. Many fish keepers with say 40 or 50 tanks in a dedicated fish room run all of their tanks on nothing more than a huge air pump and sponge filters in every tank. Another example would be a matten filter which depends on slower flow rates for optimum performance.

So here's a pic of some batting on my AC70...
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I tucked some in to the inside, between the media and the filter wall, so it didn't just wash into the tank. I did this just for an example so you could see what I was talking about. But this bit of batting will radically change the flow out of your filter. Again, experiment a bit. Will it change the water circulation pattern. Yes. But if the point is to make your tank livable for your fish, that's the goal. There will be no negative consequences, however, on the ability of your filter to handle ammonia and nitrite.

I hope I answered your questions. If I didn't, tell me where I'm still unclear and I'll take another run at it. :) Most importantly, always ask questions.

Online AsstToTheRegionalMgr

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 09:36:49 PM »
My water is consistently at a GH of 7 even with cichlid sand and crushed coral in the filter. Do you think it's worth buying Tanganikan buffer or cichlid salt to boost the GH? I'm interested in breeding them.

Also, anyone know how to post a pic? I THINK my fish are juvies but can't tell for sure so I was going to post one up to see if anyone can tell.

Online scotty88

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 11:59:06 PM »
Don't worry about your gh kh etc. the key is stability of your parameters, most of these fish are tanked raised anyhow. Buffers can cause many problems with fluctuating parameters. Just my opinion by the way.

Online jerrytheplater

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Re: New to fish - questions about my multis
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 04:20:31 PM »
Posting photos

1 Click reply
2 Look under the dialog box for "Attachments and other options", click.
3 Look under "Attach" for the shaded box "Choose file". Click
4 Search in your computer for the photo you want in the open dialog box. Note file size restriction of 999 Kb per photo or a total of 999 Kb for four photo's.

I use picresize.com if the file size of my photo is too big. Save a reduced file size photo along with your full size one.
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