Aquarium fish: Neolamprologus multifasciatus (Neolamprologus multifasciatus)
Size: 4.5 cm
Water temperature: 24-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 40 l
Neolamprologus multifasciatus (Neolamprologus multifasciatus ) – the smallest known fish among the large cichlid family with an interesting disposition and character.
Africa . Endemic species, occurs only in Lake Tanganyika. It lives in deep waters (10-25 m) along the shores of the lake. These areas are characterized by soft, sandy soil and lots of empty snail shells.
Characteristics and disposition
The male of this small cichlid is up to 4.5 cm long. The female is smaller and grows up to 3.5 cm. Cylindrical body, slightly flattened laterally, beige in color. On the sides there are numerous vertical, bright stripes. The odd fins are light, slightly ribbed and yellow-edged.
The gender of the young is difficult to distinguish. Adult males are larger than females, they also have a more intense coloration and their dorsal fin is colored red. Compared to the similar but larger species Neolamprologus similis , the light stripes widen slightly towards the top. In Neolamprologus similis the dark stripes are more massive and the light stripes are much narrower in the upper part. Multi-ringed seashells live in abandoned shells of Neothauma snails.
The male picks a small area near a few shells and encourages the females to settle them, over time creating larger colonies in this area. In their shells, these fish rest, sleep, hide in case of danger and also reproduce. They are mild-mannered, only males show intra-species territorialism and there may be scuffles or snouts between them. Despite their small size, they fiercely defend the houses against even much larger intruders.
Nutrition and feeding
In the wild, multiform shells feed on zooplankton and small invertebrates.
In the aquarium , the basis of the diet should be frozen and live foods , e.g. artemia, daphnia supplemented with good quality dry food in flakes. It is best to feed the fish 3 times a day in small portions.
Steam can stay in a small 40 liter tank. However, they will feel best in a larger group in a sufficiently large tank.
They require a layer of at least 5 cm of sandy substrate , which they eagerly and actively dig, and a large number of empty shells. Alternatively, you can use Winniczki, Ampularia or artificial PVC pipe elbows. The appearance of the tank is less important because the seashells will arrange them as they see fit in just a few days. It is not for nothing that they are considered by aquarists as the best builders digging the ground. They can be combined with fish living in other parts of the reservoir.
Good company will be, for example, the Princess of Burundi , smaller cave ( Snakehead , Dickfeld ) and fish swimming in open spaces, for example, the genus Cyprichromis . In a species aquarium they should be kept with a predominance of females.
Breeding is relatively easy . Reproduction can take place even in social aquariums, but if we want to raise a larger number of fry, a separate spawning tank will be necessary. Conch shells should be provided with shells in which the female can lay eggs.
The water should be hard and alkaline around 8.0 – 8.5 pH at a temperature of 24 – 27 ° C. Breeders recommend the advantage of females, as males may clash with several females at once and it will reduce their aggression a bit. We mainly feed fish with live or frozen food. The female tries to attract the male’s attention before entering the selected shell. As soon as the male shows interest, the female flows into the shell where she lays eggs.
The female slowly withdraws from the hiding place, sucking in the dandelion released by the male with her movements. If the size of the shell allows it, the male can also swim into it and fertilize the eggs there. After fertilization, the role of the male comes to an end and he is not welcome in the vicinity of the female. The female covers the entrance to the shell and introduces fresh water into the shell with the movement of her fins. Hatching occurs within 24 hours.
The larvae begin to swim freely after approx. 6-7 days. As they grow, they gradually start to swim further and further from their home, exploring the aquarium. The fry after leaving the shell are quite large and can be fed with brine shrimp larvae or a micro nematode. Parents do not eat the young.