Lamprologus Multifasciatus Breeding

Marijn Lange

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I have been trying to breed multies (lamprologus multifasciatus) for the past two months. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck.

I am trying to breed them in a 54 liter (14 gallon) aquarium. It is stocked with three females and one male. The water temperature is 25,5 degrees celcius (78 F). I feed them pellet food three times a week and frozen white mosquitoes mixed with frozen brine shrimp three times a week. The substrate is sand and there is a total of 22 shells in the aquarium.

I do a 25% waterchange once a week.

The fish move the sand to the corners and move the shells around the aquarium. But after a while they stop moving the sand and shells. I flatten the sand and move the shells around. They start moving the sand and shells around again but after two weeks they stop. Do I flatten the sand again and do I move the shells or do I leave them? There is not much action going on in the aquarium right now.

I don’t have a bright LED light on the aquarium. I have a regular yellow-ish “warm” home light on the aquarium. It looks natural in my opinion. Could this be the reason why they are not breeding?

They haven’t breed yet. What is causing this? I thought about adding one female and one male but I am not sure if this will help and if the aquarium is big enough. If anyone has any experience on breeding multies then please leave some tips :)

If people want to see pictures or information about the water perimeters let me know.
 

chromedome52

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When they stop moving things around, that means that they have them where they want them. At that point they can start thinking about breeding. If you go in and undo all their work, they have to redo it all over again. Just leave them the way they want them! When the action stops outside the shells, that's when it gets started inside. Once they stop moving things, you can start watching for fry to show up. Still might take a couple of weeks, just be patient.
 
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Marijn Lange

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Thanks! Too bad I flattend out the sand and moved the shells a couple of days ago...

What is you’re opinion on adding another male and female? And is there a change that the lightning is influencing the breeding?
 

chromedome52

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Given the tank size, I wouldn't add any more males. And I wouldn't recommend adding any more females, either.

It is unlikely that the light is affecting their urge to breed. Moving substrate and shells is already an indication that they want to breed.
 
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Marijn Lange

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Alright thanks. I geuss it is just a waiting game then.
 
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Marijn Lange

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I did some more research on breeding fish and I read that increasing the temperature can affect the breeding in a positive way. I could increase the temperature from 25,5 degrees celsius to 26/26,5 degrees celsius. What do you guys/girls think?

Again, if anyone has tips or tricks on breeding multies let me know :)
 
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Marijn Lange

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The wait is over! The multies made babies! I noticed two insanely small fish swimming around near the substrate :) I think that they are not much bigger then 1/2mm (not even an inch). They are almost impossible to spot!

I have a couple of questions. I only see two. Is it possible that there are only two because it is the first time breeding for them? Is it possible that the rest of the fish are still in the shell? Or is it possible that I just don’t see them because they are that small!

What is the best good to feed them? Again, insanely small. And is there anything else I should know regarding maintenace, feeding etc?

If anyone has experience breeding multies, please give me some tips :)
 
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Marijn Lange

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And, is it bad to go near the aquarium? To look at it? Will that scare the babies or harm them?
 

Demeter

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I believe females only lay a handful of eggs at a time but they do it frequently. I noticed a whopping 3 fry, then a few days later 4 more smaller fry, then more and more. All different sizes all from the same pair, there’s around 20 little ones and mom looks plump again.

Watching them does no harm, just don’t mess with the shells. Try to get tiny foods down to the fry with a turkey baster and all will be well. I feed crushed brine shrimp flakes, bug bites, HikarI fancy guppy micro pellets (high protein), micro worms and baby brine shrimp. The foods don’t have to be live, they happily pick at any tiny thing that passes by the shells.
 
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Marijn Lange

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Demeter said:
I believe females only lay a handful of eggs at a time but they do it frequently. I noticed a whopping 3 fry, then a few days later 4 more smaller fry, then more and more. All different sizes all from the same pair, there’s around 20 little ones and mom looks plump again.

Watching them does no harm, just don’t mess with the shells. Try to get tiny foods down to the fry with a turkey baster and all will be well. I feed crushed brine shrimp flakes, bug bites, HikarI fancy guppy micro pellets (high protein), micro worms and baby brine shrimp. The foods don’t have to be live, they happily pick at any tiny thing that passes by the shells.
Alright thanks! I love watching them :)
I don’t think the fish will eat at this point as they are almost as big as a sand grain haha. I will crush some of the pellets and feed and stop by the fishstore anytime soon!
 
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Marijn Lange

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Does anyone happen to know how long it takes for them to grow up? They are so tiny and I’m wondering how long it will take for them to be full grown.
 

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My one survivor from their first batch is almost a year old and he’s definitely a boy and likely of breeding age now. I would say about 8-10 months is the average age.
 
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Marijn Lange

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That is a long time... I expected them to be bigger much quicker. I can't even see them at this point haha.
 
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Marijn Lange

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Can anyone tell me how to feed the fry? They are the size of a sand grain and they hide almost all the time. I often see them but they immediately go back into the shell when I make any movement. I tried feeding them crushed pellets and flakes but they don't come out of the shell to eat. Do they even need food at this point?

I just bought some tetramin baby food, I heard those might help as it is very fine and small. But again, they don't come out of the shell to eat and I don't want a lot of leftover food in the aquarium.

Below is a picture of one of the fry. Hopefully that will give an impression of their size.
 

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For my guppy fry, I feed them HikarI First Bites powder that sinks to the bottom. Your multI fry seem to be a bit bigger than guppy fry. I also have a few mystery snails and shrimp to eat the leftover food.

I don't know if the same goes with multi's, but I would definitely try HikarI First Bites anytime it comes to newborn fry. The adults can also eat it too, so it's a win win!
 
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Marijn Lange

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JtheFishMan said:
For my guppy fry, I feed them HikarI First Bites powder that sinks to the bottom. Your multI fry seem to be a bit bigger than guppy fry. I also have a few mystery snails and shrimp to eat the leftover food.

I don't know if the same goes with multi's, but I would definitely try HikarI First Bites anytime it comes to newborn fry. The adults can also eat it too, so it's a win win!
I don’t have any snails or shrimp in the tank as I don’t think they are compatibel with multies.

The hikarI is a bit finer then the food I got. Not a big problem as I can grind it. Should I mix the baby food with the regulair food? That way the other fish get to eat as well.

And how much of the baby food do I feed? There are only two fry’s.
 

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I believe you are over thinking it a bit much. All I do for my group of adults and fry is feed a bit more than I was before they had fry. When the parents are out and about the fry usually are as well. The smallest bits the parents don't bother going after are what the fry end up eating. All have fat bellies after each feeding and I never notice any deaths. If yours have survived this long then they must be eating something. Mixing the fry food with the other food isn't a bad idea, I'm sure it will be fine.

If you are worried about left overs then maybe thing about adding trumpet snails. They hide during the day in the sand then come out at night. My multis don't seem bothered by them.
 
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Marijn Lange

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Demeter said:
I believe you are over thinking it a bit much. All I do for my group of adults and fry is feed a bit more than I was before they had fry. When the parents are out and about the fry usually are as well. The smallest bits the parents don't bother going after are what the fry end up eating. All have fat bellies after each feeding and I never notice any deaths. If yours have survived this long then they must be eating something. Mixing the fry food with the other food isn't a bad idea, I'm sure it will be fine.

If you are worried about left overs then maybe thing about adding trumpet snails. They hide during the day in the sand then come out at night. My multis don't seem bothered by them.
Perhaps I am over thinking. I just fed them their regulair food mixed with some of the fry food and the fry came out and started eating. I also noticed four fry instead of the two I saw before :)

I will take a look at the trumpet snails.
 
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Marijn Lange

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Just an small update. I noticed that there are eight fry in the tank. They seem to be doing well, they have grown a tiny bit and they are very active eaters :)
 
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Marijn Lange

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Another small update. One of the females jumped out at night and died :( I have one male and two females left. Luckily the breeding female is still alive. I am currently looking at a aquarium cover. The fry is doing well.
 

JtheFishMan

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Yes, a tank cover is always a good idea, even if the fish aren't known as "jumpers".
 

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Hope everything is going fine with your tank of multi's. I've a 30gal long tank only for Multi's. Here is something I gained out of my experience with these cichlids.

- 100% they need a tank bigger than 10gal, coz I started my multies tank with 10gal & I know it was small for them.
- As everyone suggested, never move the substrate/sand or the shells. Just leave it to them to handle their real estate however they want.
- Good water conditions/feeding/temperature will trigger breeding, I waiting almost 6 months to see the first batch of new-borns.
- But my first batch had approx 12 fry's. However, as many have stated here there can be 2 in a batch to 12 or more. As I have seen other females in tank have just 2 to 4 new-borns.
- I fed then HikarI First Bite for the first 2 weeks, then next 2 weeks with crushed flakes. Later on I crush/grind 0.5mm pellets & feed them.
- I have had no jumpers in my tank. I my first 10gal tank one fine day a female got banished out of the colony on no reason & she was pushed to the surface, I had to take her out & I put her in a breeder box and left her in the same tank for while think they will accept her back after a while but they never did. Had to give return her back to my LFS. At some point of time none of us can understand the dynamics of these fishes.

Recently I have new thread started in this forum where I have voiced out my concern about by females dying one after another without eating, I am still getting a lot of help from the fellow hobbyist. As "Demeter" said, we have to stop over reacting & let them be & do our best with our limited knowledge to see they thrive in our tanks.
 

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