Multi Shell Dwellers / Shellies (Neolamprologus multifasciatus)

Imported European Fish

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From Lake Tanganyika in Africa, you will find some of the most curiously-evolved fishes on the face of the planet. Because the Lake is so remotely located, geographically cut off from the rest of the world, the fish from Lake Tanganyika exhibit hunting, courting, breeding, social and nesting behavior not seen anywhere else. One of the most well-known fish from this lake is the tiny Neolamprologus multifasciatus, or "Multie".

Well-known and much loved in the hobby for its bright blue eyes and its many vertical rows of thin red stripes, the Neolamprologus multifasciatus is also called a "shellie" or "shell-dweller" because these tiny, feisty fish quite literally need to have a house to live inside. You probably guessed from the name that these fish prefer to live inside of large snail shells. In Lake Tanganyika, there are snails known as 'Neothauma tanganyicense' which these tiny fish covet and use for housing. The fish will even drag and move around these empty shells, partially burying them in the sandy bottom of the Lake. Because of this curious evolutionary behavior, it is absolutely vital that you provide these fish with large empty snail shells in their aquarium so they have refuge. Empty escargot shells make excellent homes, and some hobbyists even use short pieces of PVC pipe in the bottom of the aquarium to provide refuge. We have noticed that these fish DO NOT LIKE saltwater conch shells or other similar seashells, so please use clean, unused escargot shells.

These fish also have water requirements that need to mimic the water in Lake Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika cichlids require very hard water, with a Ph of 8.0 or higher. The temperature should be anywhere in the range of 72F degrees to 80F degrees, and they do not appreciate much water flow at all. If you are a USA-based hobbyist and are located in the Southwest, Texas, much of the South or are located in Southern California, chances are excellent that your tap water is already close to the correct conditions for keeping these fish, however we ALWAYS recommend adding several handfuls of crushed coral to the bottom of their fish tank. This crushed coral will act as a Ph buffer, adding Carbonate Hardness (KH) to your water, which increases the hardness and keeps these tiny fellows healthy and happy.

It is also very important to keep these fish on a sand-bottomed aquarium. These fish like to move their little shell homes around the aquarium, often partially burying them in the sand. They're also known for excavating little furrows and valleys in the sand of aquariums, sometimes stealing each others shells or sand supplies. This often leads to a small shell dweller skirmishes which are always harmless, but quite hilarious to witness. We always recommend getting these fish in a male/female pair to start your little colony, and so we are offering these fish in sexed pairs so that you can your own happy little multie family! These fish ship individually bagged, one fish per bag.

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Imported European Fish

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    1 Reviews

  • Posted by Unknown on Apr 27th 2024


    New fish

    The fish I received are in good health I also got 2 extra it was a great experience thank you: )