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Calvus info and opinions wanted


Priscacara
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G'day, I've recently thought of trying to keep and breed calvus and have read up a bit about them. The info says they are slow growing and can take 2 years to breeding stage from fry, not sure if I'll be at my current place that long but you never know.

I have a 50L tank on my kitchen bench that has kept smaller shellies and now houses 2F and 1M lf bristlenose and quite a lot of cherry shrimp. I was hoping to breed the BN but no sign of interest to date so considering moving them on and replacing the tank on the bench with a standard 3 footer. LOL I grabbed a ruler to measure the BN and of course the male and biggest female are inside a cave! I've had them for about 1 year, size of the male is around 11cm, biggest female about the same size.

The calvus would do nicely in a 3 I think but the slow growth rate might be a set back if I'm after something to breed ............. the usual wanting something that provides interest but also get a bit back for food etc from LFS with the juvies. I'm open to opinions on other fish so feel free to comment. Its a high traffic area so would have to be something with a lot of curiosity, anything timid might stress too much or just be out of sight a lot.

Cheers, Les.

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les, i have 3 calvus. yes they are very slow to grow. they are however not afraid of anything and not jittery at all...at least not my ones.

they don't hide and spend time middle to top of tank. their unique defence mechanism of turning to their side when confronted by much larger cichlids means they dont get beat up on or harrassed. mine are in with mostly mbuna and i would say they are the least harrassed fish in my tank.

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Hi Les

In my experience the Calvus will hide a lot if they have rocks and caves (which they should have) to do so. However, while they are young they tend to be more daring and will be seen a lot.

They probably would take two years to breed from fry. I reckon that if you buy a male Calvus at around 6cm, it could breed after another six months. I think the female will take longer though. I also think that if you only have a few in a large tank and feed them well, they'll grow faster from say 3cm size onwards.

I'd gotten a growth rate of about 3cm over 8 months from spawning. But Id raised the fish in a breeding net and when I placed them in my main tank their growth rate appears to have accelerated. Point is though that if you want to breed for sale, you've got an 8 months wait (and there's a lot of lessons to be learnt with raising Calvus along the way).

Having said all of the above, adding a few Calvus to your tank would be great; they are really interesting to watch and rarely bother any other fish. They "push" my cuckoos and nigripinnis around, but never really cause any damage (I've read that their not designed for fighting - only for defending themselves and ambushing fry). And, if you do get a pair to breed in a shell, it's so easy to remove the fry after two or three weeks. Raising them isn't easy, at first.

If I had more room I'd give the "Sumbu" shell dweller a go. But, with what ever variant you buy, there's no doubt that if you want to sell later, you will get your money back!

Cheers

Glenn

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Hi Les, ditto what Glenn said above. I just bred my calvus after 4 years of trying which was really rewarding. They are really slow to grow. I reckon females mature more quickly than males, but it's a long wait no matter what.

Bruce

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Tx for the replies, always appreciated! I'm in no rush to get another tank underway so will give things a lot of consideration. I rent a unit and have pretty much run out of room for new tanks, the last one with C. leptosoma and J. reganni is in the bedroom..........they have settled in very well even if its an odd spot :-).

I've changed what fish I've kept in a couple of the tanks quite a few times over the past 2 years and I think the guy I get them from is not so much annoyed but wondering if I'm ever going to settle for something. The 50L on the bench had shellies but the dom male killed all but 2 females out of a mix of 10 males and females. My Ar 980 had a community of African dwarves but I made the mistake of getting females as well as males and my P. saulosi especially bred like rabbits. The number of fish in the tank got out of control so they all went to the shop and I now have T. duboisi in it. They are fairly agressive and I've lost 2 of them over the past 4 or 5 months, great fish and always on the move but maybe not what I'm after (again!) I dont think they have enough room to get away and I only have 9 so maybe not enough spread of aggression.

Just so people know where I'm coming from when I keep asking abut fish for various tanks :-).

Tx again for the replies.

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Hi Les

because of the diverse reasons people keep fish there are so many facets to the hobby

and yours is one of these ........ a man just has to know his limitations, Dirty Harry :p

if everyone had the same reason and the same questions you would loose the challenge

to progess in your limits and knowledge

Alto's have always had a special place and challenge to cichlid keepers, you just have to

search the posts on here

Growth is slow initially but frequent water changes and copious amounts of high protien

food are the answers to maximise growth rates

it does take 8-9 months to reach a sellable size for LFS (min 3 cm) but breeders sometimes

sell at a smaller size for quicker turnover through classifieds and club auctions

size is a sexing factor in spawns so always get small and large ones unless you want one

gender :p

breeding can start at approx 7cm for males and 5 cm for females they just need to be approx

that size and happy with the tank so keep an eye on behaviour

females prefer a spawning site that is defendable by using her body to block any threat

so spawning sites can be shells and jars with small openings are accepted and easier to remove

the spawn when hatched for raising in a fry tank

rocks with tight deep niches are also readily accepted by usually harder to remove from the

tank with the spawn

sub adults are available at times but prices are approx 4 times the price of fry for the extra

2-3 cm in growth which equals about 6-8 months growing time

what ever your starting point is they are an enjoyable species

Chris

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Tx Chris, they sound like a very interesting fish to keep. Had a chat to the guy I'd be getting them from and they are around 3cm and $70 each from a wholesaler in Qld. Given my budget I'll have to make sure before I go for it.

Cheers, Les.

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Les

IMO $70 @ 3 cm isn't wholesale even if freight is included :angry:

it's dearer than LFS retail in Sydney

send Chilli Powder a PM ........ Arj should be able to help you with Alto's in Melb

consider joining the VCS

Victorian Cichlid Society

the next VCS major auction is October 2nd and well worth attending :thumb

Chris

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Hi Les

Yeah, $70 for a 3cm Calvus is ridiculous!

Fishy Business in Blackburn use to have some nice Calvus, but then there is that breeder in Ballarat who has good prices.

Finally, you shouldn't have to wait 4 years for them to breed from fry. Mine wouldn't have been that much older than two or two and a half years old when they bred.

Cheers

Glenn

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Tx Glenn, I have a line on the guy in Ballarat I think from Chris so will be contacting him.

My middle of the night musings came up with an idea to save a bit of cost, instead of setting up a new tank I could add more rocks to my AR 980 tank that I have T. duboisi in. I have 9 of them along with 4 leftover P.saulosi (biggest sauloisi 3cm) and 1 sailfin gibbiceps (approx 20cm). I also plan on getting an internal power filter (fluval U4) to replace the built in one which I havent thought good enough from day 1.

If keeping the duboisis with calvus is a huge mistake please let me know, they have never bothered any of the saulosi juvies that were in there so size wise there shouldnt be a problem but I dont have the knowledge to be sure.

Cheers, Les.

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Plenty of good advice above,But if your losing interest in you Bristle nose to spawn then your going to have a longer wait with the calvus, not to mention the slowwwwwwwww growth rate of the fry when they do breed.

11cm & months old your b/n should be pumping out the fry.

WTB will maybe get you a reply. The search button above right will tell you who has them etc.

Hope helps

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Tx for the replies! I've seen the pics of Craigs tanks they look awesome.

Not so much losing interest as its not a very cost effective tank with the BN. It has the 3 BN and tons of cherry shrimp and all I get to see is the shrimp.......they are good fun :-). The idea of the tank was to breed BN to cover some of my food costs etc and the market down here for them now is very low with some places selling 3 to 4cm bn for $10 so its not going to be worth the lfs getting them. I love BN, all of my tanks have had them and I'd pop them in my SA tank but I already have a near adult male and 2 females in there along with an L002, a Platydorus costatus, a "clown pleco" and 6 cories so I dont want to overcrowd it.

If they could go in with my T. duboisi I would save running costs of another tank but if not thats ok as I think a tank on the bench with just calvus would be fun to watch.

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