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My experience in keeping Neolamprologus multifasciatus - By Rick Thng

Aquamoss Newsletter #1 - Sep 2006 ©



Fissidens fontanus

Fissidens sp. from Singapore

Flame Moss

Mini Taiwan Moss

String Moss (Japan Moss)

Neolamprologus multifasciatus

New dyed fish

Name the moss contest





Neolamprologus MultifasciatusNeolamprologus Multifasciatus

Neolamprologus multifasciatus is the smallest cichlids of Lake Tanganyika, in fact it is said to be the smallest cichlids in the world. It's cousin, Neolamprologus similus, is quite similar in size. Neolamprologus multifasciatus is not my first shellie though. Prior to keeping this, I had kept several other species like Lamprologus brevis, Lamprologus occelatus and also Neolamprologus signatus.

Equipped with earlier experiences of keeping shellies, I decided to look for this small shellie in LFS. I bought five pieces of various sizes as I was unable to sex the fishes. Neolamprologus multifasciatus is identified to be a harem spawner, so five should be good number for that purpose.

Neolamprologus Multifasciatus

They were housed in a two feet tank. I used small stone chips as first layer of substrate. Coral chips were then strewn over the stone chips. With these (coral chips), they would have increased the hardness of the water. The substrate was about two inches thick. There were two big rock structures in the middle and one side of the tank. The purpose of the rock structures was to create some kind of territory markings for the shellies. Of course, lot of shells were scattered in the tank. A normal internal filter cum air pump was used. I did not have any test kits for testing hardness and pH level of water. The water was just directly from the tap*, nothing special. With this setup, my shellie tank was done.

Neolamprologus MultifasciatusNeolamprologus Multifasciatus

I realized that there are two important things to note and to have when keeping shellies. First, coral chips to maintain a certain level of hardness. Two, shells. A lot of them with various sizes. Let the shellies have many options to choose. Eventually, each will settle with its own shell. Then, the fishes will “consider” to breed.

Neolamprologus MultifasciatusNeolamprologus Multifasciatus

My five fishes turned out to be three males and two females. There were fightings for territory. Two casualties. One male and one female. I was lucky that a pair was established. The male was about two inches while female was smaller at about one inches. There were signs that the pair was ready to breed when they started digging pits and the female turned to deep brownish colouration. Indeed, soon I noted some tiny fries swimming amongst the shells pits. There were about eight of them. Daphnia and microworms for the fries. No, I did not feed them with those (usual first food for fries). Just normal feeding with tetra bits (fine type) though I did feed the fishes with tubifex worms during weekends. I did not actually see that the fries were feeding on tetra bits or the tubifex worms. Oh, the lone male was still in the tank. I did not remove it. However, the fries were well protected by the parents.

Neolamprologus Multifasciatus

It was routine after that. I managed to raise quite a number of batches of Neolamprologus multifasciatus. Currently, I am maintaining two established colonies in a two feet tank and a colony in another two feet tank. I have ever breed Neolamprologus multifasciatus in a one feet tank!

My next challenge is to keep and breed other shellies from genus Telmatochromis.

- Rick Thng © 2005






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