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Christople 06-22-2011 10:25 PM

Shell Dweller set up? Is it okay
Hi all I plan on setting up a 20 gallon for a colony of Multifasciatus, Neoprologus Multifasciatus. I plan on having around six with a fine sand that is gray. My tap water comes out like this for the following things: pH 7.6 and dGH around 5. I know the dGH is low but maybe I could buy buffers or something for the GH . How about the pH too. Too low or is it okay. I planed on buying a calcarous rock to perform two tasks. For six fish how many escargot shells should I get for them.

Christople 06-22-2011 11:00 PM

Could I do six in a ten gallon?

1077 06-23-2011 12:01 AM

I would go with 20 gal long tank for six shellies ,one male and five females with perhaps a dozen shells.
Would not try to keep them in ten gallon tank were it me.
Get the water right BEFORE getting the fish.

Christople 06-23-2011 12:25 PM

Yeah I would go with the twenty gallon. Does it matter if it is the long version or normal. And on behalf of the water I would def wait until its right. Could I get 2 males 4 females or 1 male and 5 females is the way to go

Byron 06-26-2011 01:55 PM

The water hardness must be increased substantially, and pH will naturally rise with that. These fish come from Lake Tanganyika, which has some of the hardest freshwater on the planet, and a pH around 9 to match.

The easiest and best way to achieve this is with dolomite either in the filter or the substrate. A substrate of crushed coral sand would be ideal to help in this and be natural. Limestone rocks will also help, but tend to dissolve very slowly. Crushed dolomite is better and more reliable. I've used it with water even softer than what you have for a tank of rift lake fish.

If you go with the coral substrate, adding some Magnesium sulfate [pure Epsom Salt] will add the magnesium and balance everything out. It takes very little added each week after a water change.

You can read more about hardness in this article I posted last week:


lorax84 06-26-2011 03:41 PM

There is no reason to raise the PH for tank bred Multies. At most I would throw a bag of argonite or crushed coral in your filter. I currently have a multi tank it's a 20H, play sand and a few rocks, about 20 escargot shells, the PH of my water is about 7.6-7.8 and mine breed like crazy. If you are buying adults I would try and get one male and two females, if you are buying juveniles get 6 of them.

You can keep multies in a 10 gallon but it will get cramped quickly. I have only had my multies for about 6-7 months and without me doing anything extra (fry feedings, harvesting fry, etc.) I have about 20 fry ranging from 1/4" to 2/3", if I had been trying to keep the fry alive I would probably have 40-60 fry. They are very hardy fish and a lot of fun to watch.

Christople 06-26-2011 05:07 PM

well see I have soft water but I guess the coral/argonite would take care of it. I also like the look of argonite is the thing

rrcoolj 06-26-2011 05:46 PM

Multies are colony breeders and you will soon be swarmed with babies. I have seen colonies successfully kept in a 10 gallon tank. You could do 6 in a 20 but once they pair off I would remove the rest. They are pretty prolific and the tank will soon be swarming with babies. Make sure you have Tons of shells to cover the whole bottom and you should be fine. I agree about not changing the pH. Tank raised multies should be fine in your pH.

Byron 06-26-2011 08:10 PM

There is not sufficient hardness and the tank will acidify. This is not good for any fish native to the rift lakes, tank raised notwithstanding. Some of you responding may have medfium hard or fairly hard water, that is a very different thing from the very soft (at GH 4-5) that Christople has, and it will not work. The ph on its own is not the issue. The fish need the mineral in the water or they will not be healthy long-term.

Christople 06-26-2011 10:04 PM

...What Byron said. And I tested it about sixth months ago but might be able to get it checked with my water providers or lfs

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