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Discussion regarding only Lake Tanganyika species.
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Multi Shell Arrangement for Behavior

Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:30 pm

Just bought 4 multis a few hours ago for my 10 gallon, pictured below. I asked for an obvious male, and then three of the smallest ones the worker could grab - hoping that I’d hit on 3 females (there didn’t appear to be multiple generations in the tank). When introduced to the tank, the male instantly paired with a female in the back left corner, and the two other small multis settled in the right shellbed. As the fish started adventuring, it became clear that one of the small multis was not allowed into either of the shellbeds. The obvious male was fairly tolerant of it, but not the two other small multis. This fish has now taken refuge to the top of the tank. I don’t think the other dominant small multi is a male, as the obvious male has now begun to enact the same behavior as he did with the other female. I always thought males were more protective of their shellbed, and often had multiple females to spawn with? Should I reduce the size of each shellbed and make a third in the middle for the loner?

Re: Multi Shell Arrangement for Behavior

Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:51 pm

IDK if it will change the behavior of your fish, but multis like lots of shells (100 is not too many) and they like them piled up as opposed to scattered. Fry hide under the top layer...in the bottom layer.

Re: Multi Shell Arrangement for Behavior

Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:03 pm

It really doesn't matter how you arrange the shells, because once they settle in, the Multi's are going to completely rearrange the tank bottom anyway, whether you like it or not. Here is a pic of a small Multi colony that I set up in a 40L some time ago; originally the Aragonite substrate was of uniform depth, and the shells were sequestered into two piles at opposite ends of the tank. As you can see, the Multi's had other ideas; it's part of the fun of keeping these fishes. But for sure you need more shells in your tank, because they are going to bury most of them. Good luck! :thumb:

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