Author Topic: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...  (Read 834 times)

Offline prog_frog

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Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« on: January 04, 2017, 06:48:54 PM »
Hi, everyone -

After a few weeks of waiting for someone nearby to have the multies we wanted for our 10 gallon shell-dweller tank, we finally were able to purchase 5 from The Fish Hut in New Jersey. They've been home for two plus days now and we are really enjoying watching them. Here are a couple of photos and



(taken on Day 1, just a few hours after adding them to the tank)
(taken on the morning of Day 3)

I have some questions at this point:

1) The store said the multies are juveniles, but now that we have them home, I'm not so sure. I'm not good at eyeballing measurements, but they seem all to definitely be over 1". The shells are standard escargot shells for scale. And while they're not all the same size, they're not drastically different either, so I'm not sure how many males and females we have and am hoping we didn't accidentally end up with 5 of the same gender. For those who have kept multies, what do you think, based upon the videos/photos?

2) You may notice that they have some fin damage especially on the tail fin and I think it might be a bit worse than when we got them first home. They are occasionally fighting/nipping and I wonder if that's why. Is this typical in the early days when they're working out their territories, or should we expect this in general? Should I be concerned about their fins or add something like Melafix to help repair their fins?

3) The store suggested I feed them New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula sinking pellets, but they haven't been super excited about them (they're also fairly large for their little mouths). It could be that they're still getting settled, but I wonder if I should try something else like frozen brine shrimp.

I'm also keen to learn what behavior to look for that would suggest preparation for breeding, though it's still very early days for us so that's not as pressing.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

~Doug

Online jerrytheplater

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 09:30:59 PM »
Glad to hear you found your Multi's. Did you stop in any other stores while you were down here?

I saw at least one male. He is a slight bit bigger than the others. Your fish are young, but they might spawn for you. As the males age, they will get bigger.

Fin damage is not bad. They don't normally fight with one another to cause any damage in my experience. I usually don't use medicines unless something is really serious. Watch the fins, I doubt you'll get fungus, but watch for it, then treat if you see any. I doubt you will. Let them settle down in your tank. They should stop serious aggression.

I use NLS Cichlid Formula too. Make sure you have the mini pellets, 1 mm size. Fits right in their mouth. They make a much bigger pellet that is for larger fish. Variety in feeding is always good. Brine shrimp is a good choice.

Your first video seems to show a large current in the tank. The fish seemed to be swimming against it. I would try to cut it back a bit. There are not a lot of currents in the lake shell beds. Pretty deep where Multi's live.

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to my colony and I usually notice the fry swimming rather than seeing any spawning. If you see a female really defending a shell extra hard. Thats a good sign.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

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

Offline prog_frog

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 04:53:37 AM »
Thanks for the feedback and advice, Jerry!

I'll check the NLS size. They can get the whole thing in their mouth, but then they spit it out, then take it in again, and repeat...

The tank is over-filtered for sure between the corner filter and the HOB. I am planning on taking out the HOB soon, which should reduce the current somewhat, but I don't think there's much I can do about the corner filter unless I get a smaller air pump, which I suppose is a possibility if necessary.

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 12:15:08 PM »
I would say its your HOB. I think I know what you have and you should be able to throttle back the flow by moving the intake siphon to the left. Aquaclear is the old name. Maybe move the filter to another part of your tank so its not near where your fish are living? A corner filter will not produce a huge current if its anything like the ones I used when I worked in a LFS in the late 1960's. But it will not scour the whole tank like a HOB. You may need to flush out debris from between your shells when you do water changes/cleanings.

I am pretty sure cichlids have teeth in their throat called Pharyngeal Teeth. These are used to crush food. Just searched and yes, cichlids do have these teeth, or similar structures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharyngeal_teeth   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cichlid  So the fish take in food and crush it a bit and swallow. They spit out the food and take it in again and crush it and repeat the process.



Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

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

Offline Rupert

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 01:28:09 PM »
Working backwards....

Haven't seen the guts of your corner filter, but if it's anything like I'm imagining, a few dollars of PVC would make you a simple and effective spraybar. I'd think about some DIY flow control before going to the expense of a new pump. Just my two cents on that one. You may get what you want when you remove the HOB at any rate. If the fish are always putting up a real fight against the flow in most of the tank, make an adjustment.

If you like the pellet you are using, but it looks like the fish are finding it unpalatable, grab a Dixie cup, put a bit of tank water in it, and put some pellets in there for a couple minutes to soften before you feed them. Don't let it sit too long or you'll get a pile of mush. You can transition them to eating unsoftened pellets as you get them on the routine you want. Also, I have yet to find an easier way to mash dry pellets than putting some in a ziplock and running a rolling pin over them. As Jerry mentioned, it's hard to go wrong with a variety of appropriate foods.

Also totally agree with Jerry on the additives for torn fins. Absolutely no need for medications or other supplements/additives in the absence of disease. Good water quality, good diet, and a chance to heal will mend fins beautifully. As far as the damage...shipping and handling can play hell on fins. So that may be involved. Were the fish in a species only tank at the store? I've watched my multies really go at it; including lip lock battles that sent substrate flying everywhere--and I've never had torn fins or fins with chunks missing. So, no, torn up fins are not the normal state in a colony of multies, IME.

Give the new gang a chance to settle in. Keep your water quality as good as possible and feed more than once a day if you can--these two things will help give your fish good conditions for growth and healing. But keep an eye on aggression. If you're seeing ongoing, continual harassment leading to torn fins (and/or a fish trying to get away, but can’t) you for sure want to intervene if you don't want dead fish.
 
Finally, congratulations on the new multies! I’ve only been keeping them since last May when I started with some little ½” to ¾” fish. I grew them up to breeding condition, saw my first fry in October, and it has been a blast. I really like these little fish. I started with 12, lost 2 before any spawning and had 7m:3f. After first spawn, my alpha male jumped tank and I now have 6m:3f. My ratio is way heavy on males. (I spent my fair share of time secretly piling hope on top of hope that one or two of the bigger fish were going to turn out to be really big females. The fish gods laughed at me.) As far as an opinion on the split of your fish, get them settled in, feed them well, keep their water quality as good as you can, and see how things shake out in a bit (like two or three months). In the meantime, if someone knocks on your door and asks if you can please give a bag of female multies a new home -- do not hesitate. :D Just sayin’.

Online jerrytheplater

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 08:48:56 PM »
Rupert's comments on aggression made me think of something else to look for: If you see a fish always up in a corner of the tank, get it out into another tank. It is being severely threatened and can't escape. It may jump.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

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

Offline prog_frog

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 07:49:31 PM »
Thanks, Rupert, for the detailed thoughts (and Jerry as always!). I'm planning on moving out the HOB tomorrow. I'll have to monitor the water quality a bit more regularly to make sure that going down to 1 filter doesn't have an adverse effect on ammonia and nitrites.

Anyway, that should help since the HOB outflow points downward at an angle, while the corner filter with "jet lifter" (it's from Swiss Tropicals) outflow is parallel to the ground (shoots across the water surface, not down into the tank). I now have a smaller air pump but the spraybar idea is worth checking out if it seems they are still fighting the current.

Letting the pellets soak in water first is an obvious fix that I hadn't thought of so thanks for that! It did help assist them in breaking the pellets down more quickly.

I've seen less aggression in the past few days which could be due to the fact that I've added some rock work in the middle of the tank to break up the territories a bit. Even though 4 of the 5 are on one side and the 5th on the other, it may have helped. And/or they are just now starting to settle in and are more at ease. In the week that we've had them I haven't seen a fish being tormented continuously or without means to escape. Every one is in among or just above the shells (none of them forced to the top) so that's a good sign.

I'll just be patient in terms of m/f ratio and enjoy the ride. Right now, I'm just happy that they seem to be doing well overall.

Online jerrytheplater

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 06:22:18 PM »
Currently in my tank I have a lone fish on one side of the tank. I'd have to guess its a male waiting to lure a female to his side of the tank.

I have about 4 fairly large sized fry that look like they are escaping the Synodontis!!! I am happy about this.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ

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

Offline prog_frog

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Re: Our new 10g multies tank! Plus questions...
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 06:37:15 PM »
The one alone on the other side of the tank is one of the smaller ones, so perhaps a female. It does get regular visits from one of the other four, but I'm not sure what that means...