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A. Calvus Question

11 years 6 months ago #3375 by rm-slover
Replied by rm-slover on topic A. Calvus Question
i added 6 or 8 julie ornotus i got at the auction and my calvus are more active already. i stacked up a pile of pots in the corner for cover but the julies never tend to hang out there too often.

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11 years 6 months ago #3372 by Hurriken
Replied by Hurriken on topic A. Calvus Question
I have the same exact problem with my A. Comps. I have them in a 29 with rocks. I had one Juli transcriptus that was in the tank first but she seems to have joined the Comps in hiding. I was told by several people to try Danios or Dwarf Rainbows. I thought about adding more Julies but I'm not sure if I want them to breed in there. But if I get what your saying they would cause the Comps to go into hunting mode and keep the population down. (I have three tanks of Julies already).

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11 years 7 months ago #2087 by Finnegan@large
Replied by Finnegan@large on topic A. Calvus Question
If the "toaster" worked in the past with this pair, then I would still consider it as an option.  You may want to consider putting a few hiding places in the tank and see what is preferred.  As you discerned from my comments though, I am a strong advocate of giving the female a space where the male cannot reach.  Once the breeding behavior starts, you will probably see why.

Also, if a goal is more activity in the tank and not just spawning, then you may want to remove the toaster all together.  Having them side-by-side almost certainly affects their desire to explore the tank.  Some of my favorite experiences with calvus involved watching the male go back and forth between his lair and the locations of the females.  You male lose this behavior with a single "toaster."

I hope all of this helps.
These are not terribly difficult fish to keep, and even spawn... but it may require a little creativity to see the behavior that you desire.  If you ask me though, it is worth it.  The males coloring and fin-use is very cool.  I am looking forward to finding some inkfin calvus again sometime soon.

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11 years 7 months ago #2079 by rm-slover
Replied by rm-slover on topic A. Calvus Question
the female was only in the open for the pics because i took out the pots to get a pic of her. she normally hides behind a large pot. I'll look today for a bunch of smaller ones that would provide shelter only for her and not fit the male.

the guy i got them from said they had already spawned once and would only spwan in the "toaster" because he said he tried other "caves" and got no results. he said after they spawned the femal took over one slot, and the male stayed in the other.

since the "toaster" is too large for spawning should i take it out and give him a large pot to hide in instead?

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11 years 7 months ago #2040 by Finnegan@large
Replied by Finnegan@large on topic A. Calvus Question
You should be concerned with the male in the cave like that, but probably not for the reason that you expect.  Those "toaster caves" are designed for breeding these fish... but as long as the male is in it, there is not any breeding going on.  Ideally, you want a small crevice that is small enough for the female to get in, but not the male.  The female will lay the eggs, the male will shoot the milt in, and then the female will wedge herself in and fan the eggs.  The male is the one who should be out and about.

I have bred calvus and comps using conch shells (which I don't recommend because the females wedge themselves in in such ways that they become stuck and die) and boester bells (see link below) for females.  For the males, I have always used terra cotta caves that are circular (when looking at them from above-see link below) and have a singular opening out the side, or in the case that I do not have one of these, I create a tripod with rocks that enables the male to hover in the shade created within it.

Boester Bell:
www.boesterscichlids.com/pricelists/miscsupplies.htm
Male Teracotta Cave- see top left picture:
www.thatfishshop.com/breedingsupplies.html

From what I see in your picture, the "toaster cave" that you have may be too big for breeding purposes at this time.  Because the male can fit in, he could easily get to the female and kill her when trying to breed.  You may want to see what kind of breeding supplies are floating around at swaps or auctions, and find one that would only allow the female to enter (a pic of one created locally can be seen below).

Female calvus alternative- see second pic down:
www.cichlidbreeding.com/products.php?cat=10&pg=2

To create multiple territories for females, try putting the female hiding spots in the rear corners, and consider creating something that blocks their ability to see one another.  The male's territory should encompass all female locations, but still be as far from both as possible.  In this case, I always put the male front and center so that I could enjoy his antics and keep him away from the females.  To this end, you may be able to begin to see why a 20g can begin to become crowded.  You still have plenty of potential though.  I recommend finding accommodations for the female first and getting her comfortable before adding dithers or another female.  Once she has a secure place where she cannot be reached by anyone, then it may be safer to start experimenting.  She is very vulnerable when out in the open, and in this case, the quicker the male becomes comfortable enough for her to breed, the more dangerous things become for her.

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11 years 7 months ago #2024 by rm-slover
Replied by rm-slover on topic A. Calvus Question
pic of female -



pic of male in cave



Should i be concerned that the male stuck himself in the cave like that?

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11 years 7 months ago #1993 by rm-slover
Replied by rm-slover on topic A. Calvus Question
i got the pair for $50. how do i establish multiple territories in such a small tank. also what do you siggest as othe caves for the female, sine you said to put the females cave in the corner?

i thought i saw some spawning activity this morning while playing Guitar Hero III (I beat EASY today). the male was in front of his "toaster" and the female was next to him nearer the toaster and he was trying to push her into a slot. he was also doing some twitching that resembled spawning behaviors exhibited in Apisto's and Demasoni.

later that day the female was hiding by a pot and the male was still in front of his toaster.

as for tank size since i dont have room for more tanks how about a 29? same length as a 20L an i can put it in the top of the double stand. It gives me more room to add dithers?

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11 years 7 months ago #1943 by Finnegan@large
Replied by Finnegan@large on topic A. Calvus Question
I agree, you have some great looking calvus.  You money for these fish pay for all of the gracefulness of a highly evolutionarily specialized predator of the crooks and crannies at the bottom of Lake Tanganyika (and the years that it takes for them to reach adult size!).  The recommendation of juli's in the 20 seems like a good one, with rocks.  Here are some ideas from my years breeding these guys:

A 20 g works, but don't expect too much activity in it.  Upgrading to something like a 40g/50g breeder allows you to easily add another female.  This may give you the opportunity to see much more activity from your male.  I always kept the females' breeding crevices in the back corners of the tank, and the male's cave in an elevated location in the front middle.  This way, he stalks back and forth checking on his females, while guarding his lair out in the open.  Separating the females' territories into the back corners should keep aggression between them down as well. 

This slightly larger tank also enabled me to keep some more 'robust' dithers... if you want to call them that.  I kept young O. lithobates "yellow blaze", A. calliptera, or Lethrinops sp."Mbasi Creek' (All Malawian Haplochromines) with them, and enjoyed spawns from all species... and plenty of activity to boot.  A thing to be concerned with here though, it that the haps can outgrow this tank.

Ultimately, you may be hard-pressed to get much activity from the females in any situation with a male.  A more realistic goal is to set things up to enjoy the best from your male.  What I have shared is how I began to accomplish this.  To this day, my girlfriend wonders when I am going to keep calvus again.  She loved the way that the male stalked around.  He looked amazing as he kept busy.

I hope that this helps.

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11 years 7 months ago #1775 by MbunaMan25
Replied by MbunaMan25 on topic A. Calvus Question
The do the 3 biggest ;)

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11 years 7 months ago #1769 by rm-slover
Replied by rm-slover on topic A. Calvus Question
between 1 1/4 and 2 1/2

All unsexed in a 10 gallon tank with no rockwork. There could be males and females but i dont have any idea since i dont have any caves or anything in the tank.

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