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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know these fishes are slow growers but how long does it take for them to atleast reach 4 or 5 inches? I've had mine for almost two years, had them when they were an inch, only grew not even half an inch. I feed them flakes, frozen, pallets and what not.
 

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Most of what I have read on this site by those with more knowledge than I indicates several factors other than feeding that are very important to fish growth and health.

As I understand it, water circulation and "clean" water obtained by frequent water changes are key.

I also understand from many here that a varied diet is unnecessary. The NLS brand is recommended widely by many here.

What specific species do you have and what are your tank parameters. More info on your tank and water parameters would be beneficial for others here to help you more specifically.
 

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Clean, warm (80 degrees), water and power feeding (More frequent small feedings, not to be confused with overfeeding. Also the clean water is more important than is the powerfeeding so if you can't perform a couple water changes a week than just wait til they get bigger.

A large tank helps, what size is yours. A male can take up to 6 years to grow to 4 inches. Most Males will reach at least 4 inches in a normal captive life span. Genetics seem to play somewhat of a role in the speed of their growth and the overall growth reached. Thus, I have a 10 year old Male Calvus which is barely 4 inches if that and a Wild caught which is 6 very big inches. The wild females I have are large too but I have several F1 and 2s which are big so I think most of it has to do with clean raising and stock

I have noticed that when I leave the fry in 10 gallon fry tanks for too long (I usually try and switch them to a 55 gallon or at least a 30 at or before 5 months. When I wait longer they seem to have stumped growth, especially the females. This is just observation in my fish room however.

I'm pretty sure breeding stock is the main factor because when I breed my WC, black pectoral pair (They are my biggest at 6 and almost 4 inches) their fry grow FAST. Maybe caps wasn't necessary they're still calvus! :roll: But fast for a calvus. I have raised three broods from them and they all have hit over an inch in the first six months. I usually sell or trade at an inch and more but of the ones I kept for myself the males are almost 2 years old and pushing 3 inches so...

They also seem to grow in spurts although I can't be sure what triggers. for instance although 3 inches at 2 years is very big for a Calvus they seem to slow or stop their growth for a year or so, right around the 2 year mark, then once you've given up trying to watch them grow or make them grow lol, you, all of the sudden see that your Calvus has gained an inch inside of 6 months.

One more thing. I did an experiment long ago with these fish because I was noticing that everytime I moved some Calvus to a new setup they would grow rapidly for 3-4 months and then slow growth continued. I did 2 things (In the end their were too many variables for a proper experiment but my observations were interesting still I thought. :D )

First I did the moving Calvus every other month thing to see if I could establish stress and/or new territory as a trigger for growth. They seemed to grow rapidly after the initial move but subsequent moves failed to produce discernible results.

Second, with a different group, (Both groups were sexually mature and about 2 years old, also both groups were comprised of 12 fish although I think the second group had more males. Note: the only reason I had multiple males in these setups was because they were raised together for sale or trade and there were 12 or more intheir original setups. So plenty of aggression to go around. I say this because, unless you crowd them, multiple males is a bad idea.) Anyway... I rotated dominant fish out of the aquarium for 6 months or so at a time. Basically I would remove the Dominant male and the dominant female (The largest anyway) to another setup, then when the next dominant pair emerged I removed them...

This produced what I consider to be positive results every time! when placed in a different setup the old dominant pair would settle in and their growth slowed. Soon the new dominant pair left in the group of 10 would not only catch up to the old pair but out grew them! and so on and so on until the experiment repeated.

Like I said though too many variables to be sure, but if you've got a bunch of tanks than I would love for someone else to try it!

Sorry for the long response. I wrote out the study like an article for my own enjoyment if anyone is interested.
 

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Good read BioG and some very interesting thoughts & observations. I shall be saving a copy of your article :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't have the luxury of having multiple species tanks but I have three community tanks, two 125 gallon tanks that house malawi and tanganyikan's separately, and a 80 gallon grow out tank which is where the fishes in question are. All tanks have enough filtration, and clean, clean water to go around. Started off with a 10 gallon tank 20 years ago and 20 years later african cichlids is my life. So I just have to be patient with the growing process of these fishes and that I'll do so thanks...
 

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I got 6 Alto. Comp Lufubu that were one inch in size. Now, a year and a half later, they are two to two and a half inches in length. They were raised in a 45 gallon tank by themselves until this month when they were placed in a 90 gallon community tank. Definitely slow growers. I do one-third water changes every ten days.
 

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The rule of thumb with altolamps (especially calvus) is weekly water changes at a minimum. You will get into trouble with calvus if you regularily push it beyond 7 days - comps are a little more forgiving. If you want to speed up growth rates: increased water changes & feedings.
 

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It is sometimes worth it to treat fish for internal parasites Even with seemingly healthy fish (Sometimes there system is managing the bug more than it's beating the bug) because sharing food and nutrition internally will definitely slow down growth. I wouldn't go beyond dosing the tank with Praziquantel though if the fish shows no other signs of illness other than being small.

Praz won't hurt fish even a little, you can't really OD with it and it's very gentle and Highly toxic to all worms (Except Anchor worm cause it's not a worm.) :)
 
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