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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've got 4 calvus (I'm pretty sure I have two males and two females, though I'm not 100% on one of the females). Three of them get along fine with each other and the other tank inhabitants (3 leleupi and 1 julidochromis) and then there's the big calvus. He quickly dethroned the julie and took over half the aquarium. There aren't any big fights, and there are no fish hanging out in the top water column corners (though one female usually sticks to one area in the bottom corner). I'm getting some calvus caves and boester bells, but they do have plenty of caves and crevices in the meantime. The problem is, two of the calvus look like they've been trying to pair up, they some times swim together, don't fight, feed together, etc. Unfortunately any time the big calvus sees any grouping of the other calvus he will zip on over from his cave specifically to break up the pairing and harass the calvus until they spread out. If he were the alpha calvus trying to get the females I'd understand that, but he shows zero interest in the females. Is this common behavior anyone else has noticed? Might he show more interest in the females over time? Will having more specifically ventricle caves help carve out the zones better? Or is he just possibly a difficult calvus that might impede pairing/breeding?

Thanks for any tips or advice!
 

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Remove him. Expect to end up with 2 calvus. Extra caves are not likely to help.
 

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I've been having issues with my Calvus too. I got 3, 1 male 2 females wild caught. The big male is attacking both females and females fight between themselves. So far noone died, but it is just a matter of time. need to move 2 out of 3, which is a shame. I was hoping in a 125 with lots of hiding spots they would be able to coexist and maybe even breed. The **** fish refuse to read the cookie cutter, so they don't realize they should live together.
 

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They should live together if you start with six and let them choose which two will be the pair.
 

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I am almost tempted to buy another 3 females and have 5 females and 1 male in the hopes that the pair will be created. Ofcourse I don't know what to do with extra 4 females. An expensive experiment for sure.
 

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Rehome them. Usually they will have grown a bit by then and you can sell them for the same or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I actually think the caves did end up helping. Either that or the constant liveliness of the leleupi made the calvus surrender into a better state of calm. The big brutes' territory has slowly shrank, and today I was shocked to see him sharing his cave with one of the females. They still bicker at feeding time, but I've got my fingers crossed that they're starting to form a pair. Once the brute started to calm down, the other 3 have been a lot calmer.
After having more time to observe I'm pretty sure I do have 2 males and 2 females. Once that one female who sat in the corner all the time got her cave, the smaller male was able to take over the large double decker rock structure I have, then as I said the other female has been hanging around the brute a lot. I have a feeling the leleupi and julie's behavior has aided a lot in calming the calvus down. That and good constant feedings 3-4 times a day.
 

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The trick will be to get the 2 males to tolerate each other over time. Glad it is working out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just another quick update for any other calvus keepers looking for tips: Adding additional caves and strategically breaking up territories with branches and boester bells has in fact calmed the aggression between the calvus. In fact, all four of them seem to get along fine (aside from feeding time). Two pairs have formed so I am 99% sure I do have 2 males and 2 females. One of the females even laid eggs already in one of the bells. Unfortunately as a new and young mother she lost the first clutch. From observing it seemed as though she had wedged herself too well to protect the eggs, but never fanned them.
Fingers crossed though since they are still barely sexually mature, they still have some size to put on so I'm keeping an eye on the two males. One is significantly larger than the other (the sub dominant male is even smaller than its female partner) so that size difference may have helped with curbing that aggression.
 
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