Tanganyikan Shell Dweller – Neolamprologus multifasciatus

Tanganyikan Shell Dweller - Neolamprologus multifasciatus

  • pH: 7.5-9
  • gH: 8-25 dGh
  • Temperature: 24-26C
  • Maximum Size: 4.5cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 40 litres, 45x30x30cm

One of a number of similar shell-dwelling species’ from Lake Tanganyika, this tiny fish lives in colonies and uses snail shells as its home. Hard alkaline water is essential as they will fail to thrive in softer conditions.


“Multies” are aggressive and territorial, too much so for a typical community and so should only be combined with other fish from Lake Tanganyika.

Housing and Feeding

The tank size quoted is adequate for a single pair of male: female: female trio, but as they breed and a colony is established they will need larger accommodation. Provide a good depth of sand for them to dig in and at least one shell per fish. The shells used in their native environment are not readily available, but discarded escargot shells from the restaurant trade are an excellent substitute.

Neolamprologus multifasciatus will take flake, small cichlid pellets, granular food and they enjoy occasional feeds of live/frozen food.


Multies breed regularly, spawning and raising their young inside the shells. It’s possible to get a very large colony from just an initial pair and so a means of moving them on to new homes is a must unless housing with a predatory species for population control.


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