Many Banded Shell-Dweller (Neolamprologus multifasciatus)

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Many Banded Shell-Dweller

Neolamprologus multifasciatus-667.jpg
Many Banded Shell-Dweller

Neolamprologus multifasciatus

38 Litres (10 US G.)

3-4 cm (1.2-1.6")




7.8 - 8.5

24 -28 °C (75.2-82.4°F)

12-20 °d

1:2-4 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-8 years



This animal is available captive bred

Origin[edit | edit source]

Endemic to Lake Tanganyika, where it lives in open sandy areas with large quantities of Neothuma snail shells. The cichlids use these snails are shelter

Sexing[edit | edit source]

Difficult, but mature males are larger than females. Females are less than 2.5 cm in total length.They are also noticeably more aggressive.

Tank compatibility[edit | edit source]

Will get along with most fish that are not bottom-dwellers and which will not eat them, unless the tank is the minimum 10 gallon tank. Do not expect them to get along with other shell dweller species unless the tank is very large.

Diet[edit | edit source]

Carnivores that will eat most food available. Feeding live and frozen foods is an extremely reliable way to get these fish to spawn.

Feeding regime[edit | edit source]

The usual once or twice a day feeding regime will work.

Environment specifics[edit | edit source]

A harem of one male and three or four females will work well in a 10 gallon tank, but a much larger tank is needed if multiple males are to be kept. The tank should have at least 2 inches of sand and at least 2 shells for every cichlid: the shells should be fairly large, such as escargot shells. These fish does not take nitrates very well, and two 25% water changes a week are a good idea with any Tanganyikan cichlid.

Behaviour[edit | edit source]

Lives and breeds in snail shells. The fish will move these snail shells to their liking and will do a great deal of digging to accomplish this, so rooted plants may not be the best idea unless they are potted.

Identification[edit | edit source]

Very small cichlids which live in snail shells. They can easily be confused with neolamprologus similis, but can be distinguished by using their stripes - similis looks like it has light stripes on a dark body, while multifasciatus appears to have dark stripes on a light body. Similis will also not live as a harem in a 10 gallon and need to kept as pairs in such small tanks, so being able to tell the difference is important.

Pictures[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Adults and shells: Adults with fry:
Adults making a nest

External links[edit | edit source]