freshwater community4




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Scientific Name:  Neolamprologus multifasciatus      
Min. Tank Size 15 gallons     
Personality:   Peaceful     
Temperature:   75-81°F      
pH:   7.5-9.0/10-25°dGH     
Size:   1.5"      
Diet:   Carnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with other Lake Tanganyika species that occupy the upper levels of the tank; will form colonies if kept with others of its own species.


The smallest known Cichlid in the world, Neolamprologus multifasciatus are commonly referred to as "multies" in the aquarium hobby. These fish are endemic to Lake Tanganyika where they tend to inhabit the deep water around the shoreline. Multies are typically pale or white in color and may exhibit black stripes running vertically along their bodies from behind the gills through the caudal fin. These fish usually have colorless fins, though pale striping is visible in some specimens. Multies are notoriously difficult to sex because there is little difference in appearance between males and females aside from the male being larger than the female in some cases.

Tank Set-up

Keeping Multies in the home aquarium can be a rewarding experience because these Cichlids exhibit a variety of interesting behaviors. Despite being very small, Multies are extremely territorial and will vigorously defend their territory which may be an area as small as 6 square inches, centered around a shell. These fish prefer deep sandy substrate and should be provided with at least one empty snail shell per fish in the tank.


In the wild, Multies are carnivores so they should be fed a variety of live and frozen meat-based foods. These foods should form the bulk of the diet for Multies but high-quality Cichlid flakes or pellets may also be accepted as a supplemental food source.


Breeding Multies is fairly easy once you are able to establish a breeding pair. These fish are shell brooders - the female displays at the male from the entrance to her shell and once she catches the male's interest she retreats into the shell to deposit her eggs. After laying her eggs, the female leaves the shell so the male can enter and fertilize them. To encourage spawning behavior, the breeding tank should be kept at a pH between 8.0 and 8.5 and the temperature around 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Following spawning, the female takes over defending the eggs and the male is not allowed to enter the female's territory again.

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