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Black calvus eye hanging...

1129 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BioG
I have a breeding group of 6 black calvus. They seem to fight a lot lately even though there are plenty of hiding places. They will turn completely black, or just the head will become dark black and the body will go light. Now I just noticed one of the females eyes is almost tore out. I tried netting her out but cant get to her. Anything I can do besides adding salt to the water? Is it likely she'll die? She's keeping her bad eye against the back glass of the tank.

Also, I'm wondering if 6 calvus is too many to keep together in a 55gal.
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It would be good if you could QT until she heals up, but they will usually be ok with one eye damaged
beachtan said:
I'm wondering if 6 calvus is too many to keep together in a 55gal.
Sounds like it is given the aggression and injuries thus far. How many male and how many females in the tank? I'd limit it to just 1 male and 2 or 3 females to, hopefully, calm things down.

As far as treatment for your injured female, I agree that a quarantine tank would be a good idea if you have one available. Also, I’ve never used it, but from what I read, Melafix and clean water is a good treatment for physical injuries.
Eye should heal or get torn out cause if they're fighting now, they're not going to stop. If she's not permanently hiding you could catch her with a tiny barbless hook. (Before you judge me, consider what you would rather go through: a lip piercing or having the hand of God tossing mountains aside while chasing you all around your home town! :lol: )

I much agree with the 1 male law with Altos. Females can be quite hard on one another too. They seem to do best with me when I organize them by size, i.e. 3 females offered to a male at 3 different sizes. The smaller ones tend to know their place and avoid hanging too close to the male evoking the jealous rage of his preferred female (Which is usually the largest female).

I find female fighting so frustrating because I love harem setups and sometimes removing the dominant female and starting over with different sizes is all that settles things. Smaller females may get in a few tussles but will quickly cut their losses and retreat whereas an equal size female will fight to the death for whatever reason. I had a couple females who would just be liplocked 24/7 until I found a new home for the grumpier of the two. Good luck.
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this is amazing - I had added quite a bit of aquarium salt and the eye is completely healed!! I dont know how this is even possible! there was ragged flesh all the way around the eye and it was all white!! crazy! I purchased these from diff sources to get quality fry, and besides size (which wont work for me cuz they arent all same age) how can I tell m vs f? they look the same to me!! :roll:

BioG: I'm on my first batch of fry from this new group - was able to salvage 32 out of the tank and while 5-ish died, and 15 escaped into the main tank to be eaten, the 10 left are now over 2 months old!! yee-haw!! I've been hatching baby brine every day like you said, and now am supplimenting cyclopeeze and they are eating it ... I made this "fry saver" with its own uplift tube etc last week and its working GREAT!!! if i had this right away I think i'd have a lot more fry right now - next batch...

Have your black calvus turned white body with a dark head ever? what does this mean vs. turning all completely black (body & head)? one way is fear and the other way is pissed? just curious...
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Congrats on the fry! only 2 more years to go! :lol: Seriously though you should be out of the woods here pretty soon and then can't treat them like normal, very small, fish that don't grow :D . I propose we change the name from A. Calvus to A. Peter Pannus, since they never growup.?

I have found all variants of Calvus to be quite complicated in the variety of coloring arrays that they display for one reason or aNOTHER

A couple theories I have gathered from studying my tanks over the years:

I have a White Calvus male who will go all black if there are more females present the aq than he would prefer. This same type coloring is displayed when excess subdominant males or excess subdominant females are present (i.e. when they get pushed up into the corner of the tank.

When females fight I have noticed the coloring you've described. Body goes white/gray, bars obscured but head, lips and pec fins go black. The black seems to be prominent right in the middle of the gill plate as well. My humble theory is that the to fighters are obscuring their faces as one whole rather than a surface facial area with visually discernable vital parts (Like eye balls!). I think it simply increases their chances of not becoming vitally injured in the face.

When breeding you'll notice that AWESOME, pretty coloration where the black is at it's finest, the pearls are glowing, the bars are defined, the head is green/yellow (depend on variant of course), and finnage is showing its defined white trim, and lastly that gorgeous blue lip gloss (The blue, In Zambians for instance, is more or less prominent depending on variant although all variants display blue lips). That is my only gripe against the beautiful "Black Pectoral Calvus", they are so black that the blue in the fins rarely shows, it does a bit in the ventrals still but nothing like a Zambian. Still the "BP" Calvus is my fav.

Going all black can mean many things imho, But I would say "all black" much of the time (Assuming Substrate is of neutral coloration as black sub can make them darker generally) equals either stress, or at least dissatisfaction. This is of course assuming they're displaying all black minus the blue. Add the blue and you've got mate rivalry or romance.

Black head and white body usually means something violent is about to go down. :thumb:

I haven't kept many males together to observe them fighting because once they're big 3"+ it's just not worth damaging or losing one since they're so pricy/take so long to grow so I haven't seen a lot of the male rivalry poses, or fighting colors though I assume they're pretty relative. Just can't recall for sure off hand.

That's cool that you've got those fry going. I told you the first batches always seem to fail no matter how careful you are. It's like all the sudden, magic and they start surviving for you. weird. I got like 12 from my first spawn ever and the next 25 and so on... Now for whatever reason I am able to keep 2/3rds of ever brood if I wish although I have very much slowed down my raising of Alto fry. Now I'm raising one brood from one variant each year. This year is WHite Calvus year!
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