Breeding Altolamprologus calvus

4 years 3 days ago #36097 by Midknight
-- The time frame differs, Jason. It is usually after the two week time frame. Sometimes before, but usually after. Several times I have lost them shortly after transferring them from the breeder box to a small tank (usually a 5.5 gallon). Do you feed them those pellets right off? I am typically feeding them something really tiny like micro-worms or crushed flake/powdered food.
-- I am beginning to suspect that perhaps the "dirty bottom" thing is what I need to shoot for. The batch that I had the most luck with was kept in a mulm heavy breeder box. Maybe I am just not feeding them enough.
-- Thanks to everyone who has offered advice.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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4 years 4 days ago #36086 by scubadiver
Todd,
I am not sure when you are losing them is it in the first 15 days or later. I put them in the breeder box and throw in Nls small fry pellets or Kens Super growth pellets. I have found that they do well when their is lots mulm on the bottom. They can survive in the breeder boxes for about 90 days but then need to go to a tank. I think they need food on the bottom of the breeder box to scavenge on or basically due well when its a less clean environment. I also feed them when they are pretty young.


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4 years 4 days ago #36085 by Midknight
-- Jason, what do you feed yours? I ask because I basically do the same thing. I siphon out the wrigglers/ free swimming fry - sometimes in excess of 50 fry at a time - and move them to a breeder box. They do well for a time, but then suddenly start dying off without any ascertainable changes.
-- I know Don had some similar issues with his Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell'. It's a real head scratcher for me.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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4 years 5 days ago #36084 by scubadiver
I just take the shells and do several actually many dumps into a container and the fry eggs or wiggles come out. I find the eggs and wigglers to be extremely hardy and put them in a breeder box.

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4 years 1 week ago #36071 by mikeg2929
When I raised calvus and comps, I followed the following process.

Siphon free swimming fry (or move the breeding cave)
If necessary extricate the female
Keep the fry in a small tank - 2.5 gallons or so.
feed large amounts of BBS and other small food. If the food isnt right in front of the fry, they wont pursue.
Large quantity and frequency of water changes.
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4 years 1 week ago #36070 by Midknight
-- I am bumping this thread again because I still have this trio of Chaitika calvus and, though I have managed to raise a small number of fry to sub-adult size and sell them, I have been continuously frustrated by disappearing fry. The group has spawned for me quite a few times and I have pulled a great many free-swimming fry from the main tank only to ultimately end up with one or two survivors. I have never been so frustrated with fry because I can't tell what the problem is. The fry will be doing fine, growing, eating, and then they will start disappearing until only a smattering remain. It seems to happen at different stages of development as well. I could easily be wrong, but I suspect it may be the fact that they are simply not eating enough. I do not hatch live brine and I think that may be a distinct disadvantage with this species.
-- :pinch: I guess I really don't have a question, I'm just venting my frustration. Kudos to those of you who have spawned any of the Altolamprologus species with success.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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5 years 5 months ago #35088 by Midknight
-- An update on the calvus: this evening I siphoned out a batch of fry from one of my females. I'd guess there are between 30 and 50 newly free-swimming fry. I moved them into a Marina hang-on-the-tank breeder box. Crossing my fingers that they survive and thrive. I also have the second female sitting on a batch of eggs inside a shell in the 50 gallon tank. The first female laid her eggs in a hole in a large piece of driftwood, hence my reason for siphoning the fry out instead of moving their home to another tank.
-- I'll try to take and post a few pictures in the near future.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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5 years 6 months ago - 5 years 6 months ago #35041 by Midknight
-- I did a large water change and redecorated the entire 50 gallon, so I decided to place the female sans eggs back into the aquarium. I placed a number of shells throughout the tank to entice the females. Here are a few low quality photos of the A. calvus Chaitika in the new layout.










Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Last edit: 5 years 6 months ago by Midknight. Reason: just adding a little text

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5 years 6 months ago - 5 years 6 months ago #35017 by Midknight
-- Thanks so much, benthic. That is the kind of info for which I was hoping. I did pull the eggs (yes, there were eggs) and the female and put them in a 5.5 gallon tank. The eggs did appear infertile, but I was told by others that calvus eggs can appear that way because of the milky color of their eggs. Turns out they all fungused over, so they were probably infertile to begin with. This was the first spawning I've seen from them, so hopefully the future brings more eggs and better results. Thanks again for the wonderful insight. :)

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Last edit: 5 years 6 months ago by Midknight. Reason: grammar

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5 years 6 months ago #35016 by benthic
-This is based upon my experience (I have kept and bred Calvus/Comps on and off for the last 10 years)

Calvus and comps breed regularly with regular routine maintenance and feeding. In order to trigger them to spawn I usually do heavy feeding for 3 or 4 days in a row with my regular flake or pellet. They don't even need a water change to get them going. I change the water in their tank twice a month with 20% changed each time. The problem that I always have seems to be with young pairs. It typically takes them 3 or 4 tries before the eggs are properly fertilized. These fish usually breed in a small crevice, cave, shell, or breeding cave which makes it a bit more difficult for the male to fertilize the eggs. The male, and possibly the female, have to fan their fins the right way to allow for the males milt to reach the eggs. My only confirmation of this is that I get impatient after about 10 days of the female guarding and I end up pulling out their shell. I would then dunk the shell in a cup of water until eventually a clump of fungused eggs came out. The female will continue to guard fungused eggs for days. If you want to collect the fry I would use the same technique. If the female has wedged herself in the cave/shell it takes a while, but is possible. It is a lot easier if you can get the female away from the cave/shell. If you have viable eggs and fry you will see them start to come towards the opening of the shell or cave at around a week or two. If you don't see them at this point I would assume that something went wrong. At around 2 weeks of age the fry will slowly start to leave the spawning site. If you want the fry I would say remove them before this as you will most likely never see them again. Calvus/comps do very little in terms of fry care. The fry just seem to disperse. After a couple days I would guess that the parents see them as food.

The fry look like little slivers of glass as they are extremely small and have very little pigment. The fry will cling to the substrate moving very little. As the weeks and months pass they will become more active. I recommend that the fry be kept in a small tank as they will have a hard time finding food. I usually keep a "dirty" tank up an running for these fry. The tank is 10 gallons with lots of algae, snails, and a large sponge in need of cleaning on the intake of an Aquaclear mini. The condition of the tank allows for the fry to find other alternative food sources. The substrate consist of natural sand with a few small rock dug into the sand. The fry are very difficult to see so the décor should be kept to a minimum. I feed them crushed flake and decapsulated brine shrimp. I believe the fry to be sensitive to water changes and/or chlorine so I often change the water using water form another tank that has recently had its water changed. I do this based upon the experience of losing a few tanks full of calvus/comp fry following water changes. The worst part is that if the fry die you really never see any dead fish, they just seem to disappear. The fry grown extremely slowly and take nearly a year to reach a saleable size. This is the reason that you really don't see much of these amazing fish for sale.

Right now I have one male black calvus that breeds with two different females. They are housed in a 20 gallon tank with no other tankmates. Each female breeds with the male about every two months alternating between the two. There is no real aggression with my group and I have seen very little aggression in the past with my other comps/calvus. When I had a group of mostly males they would go after each other fins flaring, but they would never injure each other. Anatomically calvus/comps are well suited to defending themselves. When being approached upon the defender will present its flank while it curves its body backward. Due to the shape of their scales they actually create a sharp raised surface. My tank contains a decent amount of plastic plants to cut sightlines which seems to do the trick.

-If you would like to really find out what is going on with fry and eggs I recommend a Boster breeding bell or similar breeding log/cave. After the eggs are laid the female will block the eggs not allowing you to see them. You might catch a few glimpses of the greenish eggs if you catch her off guard. After the eggs hatch the fry will pile up in the end of the breeding cave. At this point the female will become more relaxed allowing you to peek a bit more before she covers the fry. They will breed in whatever you give them. You just have to remove all other breeding spots for them to use the one you want.
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