My First Cichlid - Neolamprologus Multifasciatus - Here's The Scoop

Zach72202

Member
So I just brought home my first cichlid - the multi. Now I like the idea of them and I think they are really cool. Lets start with what I have them in first off.
Note - This was somewhat an impulse buy, I knew I wanted them and have researched them, but didn't expect to get them today.

I bought 1 pair of them, as that what I was 'allowed' to spend, and the store only had 3 of them.

40 Breeder tank: Yes it is cycled.
Fluval/Aquaclear 30 + Spongefilter
Black Diamond Sand - Black Color, grain is about the same size as pool filter sand
Heat set at 79F~
I have a few shells and some pvc pipe in the tank currently as a hide, but I will get more soon.
My water is about 8.2 pH and 6 gH and 6 kH, so I threw a wondershell into the filter for the help.

So I feel from my research, I think I will be able to keep them no problem, but this is my first Cichlid so I figured I could post about them.

First impressions - they gave me some shells with them as that was the only way to catch them at the store lol, and in the bag they both came out, but since the addition to the tank, the male is scootin' around checking stuff out, but the female has not popped her head out of the shell. I am beginning to think she teleported to another dimension or something. I literally saw her in the bag while acclimating, but now since addition, she's straight April level quarantining from her now previous boyfriend. She ain't leavin' the house for no-one apparently.

How long do they normally take to come on out, and at what point of not seeing her should I be concerned - could she be stuck in there?
Also, should I be concerned about them jumping?
Does my tank setup sound alright?

Additional information:
Fairly certain they are a breeding pair, one has the pointed fin and another rounded, the rounded fin is like half the mass of the pointed fin one. They were also guarding an area pretty furiously from the other fish. The guy who sold me them was actually the breeder, he worked at the store, and he is the one who told me that they are a pair, and I was able to spot one fry in the tank under all the shells.
 

Flyfisha

Member
Oh good news.
The set up sounds like it might work if the other fish get the message and stay at the other end of the 40.? Perhaps some terracotta pots or some such will allow a bit of territory around the shells.
As long as the shells are not facing down into the sand she will come out ( I hope) .

At some stage.
photos please.
 
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smee82

Moderator
Member
I have no idea about them but i might get concerned if she didnt come out 24 hrs
 

Sputnik

Member
Do you have other fish species in the 40 breeder? The only thing I keep my multies with are snails. Some people have success keeping them with other species, especially those that stick to the upper levels of the tank, but that seems to be rare. They are tiny, paranoid fish and I prefer to keep them as the only fish species in the tank. My multies came out to explore very quickly after settling in, so I would look to identify and eliminate potential sources of stress. Good luck!
 

BigBeardDaHuZi

Member
Sputnik said:
Do you have other fish species in the 40 breeder? The only thing I keep my multies with are snails. Some people have success keeping them with other species, especially those that stick to the upper levels of the tank, but that seems to be rare. They are tiny, paranoid fish and I prefer to keep them as the only fish species in the tank. My multies came out to explore very quickly after settling in, so I would look to identify and eliminate potential sources of stress. Good luck!
Sputnik Do dither fish work with them? I suppose something small enough to be non-threatening that also loves super hard water is hard to come by.

Nice thread and write-up OP. I'll be watching
 

MacZ

Member
BigBeardDaHuZi said:
Sputnik Do dither fish work with them? I suppose something small enough to be non-threatening that also loves super hard water is hard to come by.

Nice thread and write-up OP. I'll be watching
I know no dither species working with shellies besides Cyprichromis and a 40 is too small for these.
 

Sputnik

Member
I agree. I suspect the reason most dither fish wouldn’t work with this species is that they seem to dive in their shells whenever they notice sudden movements.
 
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Zach72202

Member
Wow this really blew up! Thank you for all the replies!

I do not have any other fish in the tank with them. It is just them!
I do plan to get more shells for them so I will post an image after those come in!

Also the female did come out! It took about 3 or 4 hours and finally late at night I saw a little head peeping out when I looked over, but anytime I came close to the tank she zipped back in, but by morning they are hanging out outside the shells.
 
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Zach72202

Member
So, update on this. I haven't really gotten them to eat anything. A few flakes but that's about it. Whenever I put my hand above the tank to feed them, they dart into the shells for at least 5 minutes, so all the food that is floating, sinks to the bottom and they don't eat...
I am hoping this is just a phase and they will get used to me over time, but I am not entirely sure what to do.

I have tried to feed frozen bloodworms, Omega One Flakes, and NLS Thera +A

Any tips would be appreciated! Thank you!
 

Flyfisha

Member
My shellies never got used to me not even those born and raised with my routine. They always darted to their own shell. As a group it takes just one to turn and run and they all run ( swim ).

A small fish with a small mouth, and a small stomach.

If you are really concerned about them not eating you could try life foods. Foods that move are always an irresistible temptation.

It’s early days yet. This behaviour is exactly what you should expect from cichlids IMO.
 

Sputnik

Member
Zach72202 said:
Wow this really blew up! Thank you for all the replies!

I do not have any other fish in the tank with them. It is just them!
I do plan to get more shells for them so I will post an image after those come in!
Any excuse to talk about multies! hilarious Can’t wait for the pics!:)
Zach72202 said:
So, update on this. I haven't really gotten them to eat anything. A few flakes but that's about it. Whenever I put my hand above the tank to feed them, they dart into the shells for at least 5 minutes, so all the food that is floating, sinks to the bottom and they don't eat...
I am hoping this is just a phase and they will get used to me over time, but I am not entirely sure what to do.

I have tried to feed frozen bloodworms, Omega One Flakes, and NLS Thera +A

Any tips would be appreciated! Thank you!
I feed mine Seachem crushed cichlid flakes in the AM and frozen baby brine shrimp/ daphnia in the PM. They rgeivecand reproduce on this diet. Good luck!
 

Sputnik

Member
Sorry thrive and reproduce on this diet- I am a lousy typist!
 

Leeman75

Member
I got 4 Multies back in June. They were somewhat timid at first and would dart in the shells when I came by, but all but one would come back out pretty quick. A few months later, the only time mine go into the shells is when I'm doing a WC. I do wish that they did more of the shell behavior, but I've also never gotten mine to breed either, so my 4 are just the anti-multies behavior-wise, I guess.

Good luck with your new couple! They are fantastic little fish and I absolutely love mine!
 
  • Thread Starter

Zach72202

Member
Sputnik said:
Any excuse to talk about multies! hilarious Can’t wait for the pics!:)
Pics are coming! I just ordered 4 dozen shells for them online so they will have plenty of hiding places! I am thinking that will help the situation! Once I add all the shells I will def add pics!

Flyfisha said:
A small fish with a small mouth, and a small stomach.
Yes this makes sense. I feed and walk away and there is no light on the tank currently, so I could be missing them when they nip a few bits up. I am thinking I will throw in some frozen cyclops tomorrow- something that stays in the water column, and see what happens.

Thanks for the replies!
 
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Zach72202

Member
I got the 48 shells in the tank about a week ago and here is what it looks like! I assume they will breed over time on their own, but how could I know if there are babies being made?
You can see the male and female above the light color shells in the center front of the tank.



I know the tank needs a cleaning, but it'll get done next time its 'cleaning day'
 

Sputnik

Member
Zach72202 said:
I got the 48 shells in the tank about a week ago and here is what it looks like! I assume they will breed over time on their own, but how could I know if there are babies being made?
You can see the male and female above the light color shells in the center front of the tank.



I know the tank needs a cleaning, but it'll get done next time its 'cleaning day'
You will know when you have them- if your tank is like mine, in about 3 to 4 months you will see fry darting around mom’s shells, and they will venture farther out and up in the water column as they grow. To condition for breeding and to ensure the youngest fry get enough food - use live or frozen daphnia/ baby brine shrimp along with some finely crushed flakes, since these easily drift inside shells. I bet you will be drowning in fry in a few months! Good luck and congrats!
 

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