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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many 2.5" (6.5 cm) S. Multipunctatus could be successfully kept in a 4 ft. (1.2 metres), 80 gallon (300 litres) setup? How many could be kept at adult size?

Assume they are to be the only catfish species, and will only share substrate with a couple of smaller Bristlenose Ancistrus.

The cichlid component would be 2" (5 cm) Tropheus Duboisi that are being "grown out" for eventual sale. Breeding of the Tropheus in this setup is not a requirement.
 

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I have 5 adult S. multipunctatus in a 4ft, 55 gallon tank for about 3 years. I could easily house more, as they share caves and like to swim together. What is your goal... eventually breeding them? I'd think you could start with 10 safely, as long as you had plenty of dark cozy retreats. I suspect you could have even more, but I don't know how they would act in a larger group.
 

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I would like to look at working / breeding them maybe in 1.5 to 2 years time when I change things up in my setup a bit. For now, I have a chance to get minimum 8 fish, or more (if I choose) at a really good price and good size fish. I say minimum as the seller requires minimum $$$ order. Someone local (not the vendor) told me that this catfish was too aggressive to be kept more than 1 per 20 gallons, which disappointed me as the idea of a "school" of Multipunctatus grown out at 4.5" to 5" is really exciting!
 

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Heck, what was that guy thinking? Or, I wonder how bad his luck was with these beauties for him to say that. They can get aggressive, but fins heal quickly and I haven't seen them do any serious damage.

Additionally, S. multies do better in groups: if you only have a one or two, you will see them rarely. If you have a larger group, they are less timid and more likely to come out at feeding time. I started with 1, never saw him, and then picked up four more: now I regularly see all five feeding, chasing, playing, and otherwise appearing healthy and well adjusted.

Common experience suggests a group of at least five if you intend on breeding them. I've stuck a group of P. saulosi in the tank to give it a go, but they haven't started breeding yet. I've had the group of S. multies together for about 2 years now. On a different, but slightly related note: I finally have fry from my albino ancistrus this week! Perhaps they've been breeding for a while, but I never noticed. :D Hopefully my synos will follow suit this year.
 

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"A schooling fish that prefers the company of its own kind. We recommend keeping at least three and ideally five or more multipunctatus together. Prefers crepuscular lighting. Generally peaceful, but may eat very small tank mates. Can hold its own with most Rift Lake catfish and cichlids seen in the hobby."
http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/sp ... cies_id=95

I prefer lucipinnis http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/sp ... ies_id=103
(Often miss sold as petricola)
as you can have even more in the same space and eats less fry/young fish but nothing wrong with S multipunctatus.
 
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