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Zebra Shelldweller – Neolamprologus Similis


Common name: Zebra Shelldweller, Similar Shelldweller, Big-Eyed Multi

Scientific name: Neolamprologus Similis, Lamprologus Similis

Average Adult Fish Size: 5cm / 2 Inches

Place of Origin: Lake Tanganyika

Typical Tank setup: As the name would suggest, typical hard water lake Tanaganyika tank set up with penty of empty snail shells

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 100 Litres

Compatibility: Other African Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika

Temperature: 23-28 Deg C / 73-82 Deg F

Water chemistry:  pH 7.6-8.6

Feeding: Carnivorous – does well with frozen or freeze dried foods. Also may accept flake or pellet foods.

Sexing: This fish is quite easy to sex at adulthood: males are larger and have a distinctive, if small, nuchal hump.

Breeding: This shelldweller is fairly easy to breed, but with close-to-wild stock, keep an eye on the hardness and pH; if adult fish aren’t breeding, getting conditions a bit closer to those of the Lake is often all it takes. Fry will feed themselves on scraps but also appreciate live foods.

Additional Information: As with most of the smaller shellies, requirements are slight: sand, shells, and hard, basic, clean water. Somewhat more aggressive than the “similar” multis, they are better off in pairs for smaller tanks. Larger ones will allow for a colony to form, although it may never be as congenial as a multi colony. The species, although named for its similarity to N. multifasciatus, is impossible to mistake for the multi thanks to a few main differences. Similis appear to have light stripes on a dark body, where multis are the opposite; similis supposedly have larger eyes, hence the common name; and most useful of all, similis have additional stripes on the neck and head, where the multis’ stripes cover only the body