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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every time I do water change(twice a week) my calvus get really stressed out. I make sure the water is the same temp and I use dechlorinator right away. The water changes don't bother my Comps or Frontosas in the tank just the 3 black calvus. A lot of times they end up having their mouths stuck wide open for hours most of the time into the next day than they snap out of it. Does anyone else experience this. Any tips on how to avoid this?
 

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Try once a week. Then after a while try twice a week. They are very shy. I got a male and female Black Congo 2 weeks ago. He came out of hiding and went back after a water change. The female is more at ease than he is. I read in the library they take a while to adjust to a new tank. They can hide for 3 weeks and are sencitive to changes in water. The only thing that baffles me is the mouth lock you mentioned. Make sure they have enough hiding places. Someone on here with more Calvis experiance can be more detailed in helping with that issue.
 

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Experience shown me that the calvus are most sensitive to the water perimeter than the comps, although you have already put the dechlorinator in the fresh water but it still needs time to run out the chlorine by the water movement under operating of filter. So, I would suggest you can increase the time and reduce the volume of water change to suit this characteristic of the calvus.
 

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WHen you change the water are you dumping buckets in the tank in anyway that could be described as aggressively? For example: Does the substrate blow out of the way as you add your new water?

They will do fine on 2 changes a week but the stress of interrupting their living routine with algae scrubbers and water change tools etc. isn't worth it unless you're growing them out. How much water are you changing each time?

A twice a week (Again not necessary) should not exceed 15% 20% imo.

A couple things. The mouth open thing accompanied with aimless swimming is a sign that the dissolved oxygen of the new water has been expressed. This happens when the water sits without agitation for some time before adding it to the tank (Some folks sit their water to express chlorine, but the same folks usually or at least they should aerate or somehow agitate their change water while it sits.

secondly ammonia toxicity (as well as nitrite but I'm guessing you've got nitrites under control due to the fact that the others aren't acting stressed.) will cause them to gasp, opening their mouthes unnaturally, and struggle to compose themselves in general. If your local water is treated with chloramine, depending on the water conditioner your using to dissolve chlorine, you may be using a product which dissolves chlorine but does not handle chloramines (Basically ammonia and bleach). Or you may not be dosing it properly for chloramines.

Due to the fact that you've got Comps in their which are fine during and after changes I'm guessing that these Calvus which are showing signs of stress are juveniles and/or not sexually mature and/or as big in general as the comps in the same setup?
Calvus are a bit more delicate than comps (many comps are found near river tributaries which provide less stable (but still very clean) water conditions than those found at the depths and locations which Calvus are genetically accustomed to. However the largest difference in aquarium stress between the two species, and even within the same species, will be seen in juvenile Calvus. While large Calvus are a bit touchy to WC's juveniles are VERY.

The last things I can think of is perhaps your using a digital thermometer? All I know is that I have 2 digital thermometers, identical in brand and model, both with fresh batteries and yet one read 2 degrees high and the other reads 3 degrees low. That is based upon the mercury thermometer reading.

Drops in temp of 3 or more degrees can kill the young ones especially if you add sit water, or pour it on their heads or chloramines or any combo of the above.

The other thing that's dangerous is drops in PH. you may have unstable swings from water treatment, you may not be buffering with filtration elements or any number of those relative things. The bigger fish won't react as much to low ph swings (within reason. If you start throwing the water .5 or more lower than they're used to, you'll probably have a stinky fish room before too long :D ) but it'll kill the juvi calvus without much noticeable swing. If you must swing a ph it is much safer to swing up although both should be avoided.

Get yourself a "high range ph test" for freshwater. make sure it is a drop and vile test and not a dip strip test as they're not as accurate. If PH swings are your problem, your tap water will, most likely read lower than your tank water. make sure you sit and aerate your test tapwater before testing it, at least for an hour. because gasses and other buildup from pipes may skew your results. if it is swinging you can solve this problem by adding buffer for which their are pro, pre-formulated salts, or you can go homemade which is cheaper and equally effective imo. just check the forum for "homemade buffer recipe" for proper mix. buffering, where applicable, should make your water less susceptible to water changes at the chemical level so you'll effectively be presenting new water that is only different in the sense that it is cleaner since the buffers you've put in the water will absorb the acids which lower PH amongst other things.

I would check it in this order:
1. Sitting water. Do you sit your water un-agitated for longer than 30 minutes before adding it to the aquarium? Are you quickly dumping new water in? IF so stop it. :D
2.Temperature double check. Make sure all thermometers are accurate.
3.Chloramines. check local water supply on the web to see what they use to treat your water and make sure your chlorine dissolving agent is appropriate for your findings.
4.Get a drip test and compare ph. Buffer if it swings. might as well get an ammonia test too (also drip test) along with nitrate, nitrite just to be safe.

if you don't solve it with these tips. lemme know and we can discuss the exact parameters of your setup and get to the bottom of it. hope this helps and sorry for an extended response. I love talking fish and I type real fastso... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips. Well I don't let the water sit, but I do pour it in to hard/fast than. I have double checked the temp so that shouldn't be the problem. I've been using AquaSafe lately. I'll have to pick up a drip test and I'll let you know if I still am having problems. They are all small (1 1/2 inches). They are in a 125 and I only take out about 25 gallons at a time.
 

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tank that big with that small a change shouldn't be causing problems. "Aquasafe" seems to have chloramines and chlorine listed as chemicals it treats...

Keep us posted this one is making me a bit curious :)
 

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I had a bunch of problems with my first batch of Calvus every time i did water changes. After the new water was put in the Calvus would find a crevice to huff and puff in and the first few times i lost some cuz i didn’t know what to do. Once i switched to using Seachem Prime Water Conditioner my problems went away.

In fact, i had 2 small calvus in a 20gal with some other fish temporarily and i just topped off the tank with about 3/4 of a gallon of water that had been sitting for a day or so already and as soon as i did it the calvus started acting weird. I put in a 1/4 cap full of prime and they were fine 10 min later.

I am in no way affiliated with Seachem. But it is the only water conditioner i will use from now on. I’d suggest giving it a try.
 

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Once i switched to using Seachem Prime Water Conditioner my problems went away.
It does supposedly bind 'heavy metals', so there may be something in your tap that bothered them. It's not a bad idea to try these products if you're having trouble with stressed fish after a water change, and there are others besides Prime. I just wish they'd drop the slime coat stimulant'.
 

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+1 on the slime coat. You have to iritate the fish for a slime coat. But prime is the best all around that I've used.
 

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Yes calvus and comps are very sensitive to water changes. I learned the hard way twice. I found what works best is to minimize the volume of water you change at once. I change no more than 15 - 20% per week. That's all. And I test my water parameters before and after the water change to make sure that's its stable.
 

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I do up to 90% waterchanges on my calvus without problems but yep you need to match the GH, KH, pH and temp and use aged pre aerated water (dechlorinated if you have chloramines) to do this.
The main difference between this water and the tank water is it has lower nitrates and DOCs.

I thought Prime had slime coat promoters as well as HM binders it is Seachem Safe that has just dechlorinators and detoxifies ammonia?
I also thought the HM content of lake Tang is rather higher than the HM content of pretty much any tap water.

All the best James
 

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I would back it down to weekly water changes.

Also, when are you adding your conditioner? In the buckets before adding to the tank OR into the tank after the buckets have already been dumped in.

I let my new water set for 10 minutes with the conditioner in it before adding the water to the tank.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've cut the water changes down to once a week now. Last week they didn't get stessed out at all when I did it. Than this week I did one last night and the same thing happened. I haven't lost any and if I shut the light off and leave them alone for a while they calm down. This has been going on for the 2 months I've had them and I've yet to loose one (knock on wood). I'm getting a little less concerned about it.
 

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Kerricko said:
Here is a good review on Seachem Prime. A must read for anyone who uses it.

http://tbas1.wiredtron.com/index.php/topic,149.0.html
So we would be better using activated carbon to get rid of the chloramine. Rather than just covering it up using Sodium hydrosulfite Na2 O4 S2 (Sodium dithionite/ Reductone/Vatrolite/Sodium sulfoxylate/Dithionous acid, disodium salt/Sodium dithionite hydrate) in Prime etc?
And if using Sodium hydrosulfite be sure to use it before adding the water to the tank or you may deprive em of oxygen?! For sure does not say that on the bottle!

All the best James
 

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24Tropheus said:
Kerricko said:
Here is a good review on Seachem Prime. A must read for anyone who uses it.

http://tbas1.wiredtron.com/index.php/topic,149.0.html
So we would be better using activated carbon to get rid of the chloramine. Rather than just covering it up using Sodium hydrosulfite Na2 O4 S2 (Sodium dithionite/ Reductone/Vatrolite/Sodium sulfoxylate/Dithionous acid, disodium salt/Sodium dithionite hydrate) in Prime etc?
And if using Sodium hydrosulfite be sure to use it before adding the water to the tank or you may deprive em of oxygen?! For sure does not say that on the bottle!

All the best James
I was surprised to read about the oxygen issue as well.
 

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I'd take the forum post (which is all it is) with a huge grain of salt. It's not a scientific, peer reviewed document. I'm not a fan of Prime at all and don't use it any more, but once did. If Prime is guilty of dangerously reducing/removing oxygen, then why has no one reported having seen a problem with oxygen deprived fish after using it? Other than the guy a few posts down who claims it killed his fish. If he really had frequent die offs after using Prime, then I just gotta ask why he was still using it? Be skeptical of everything you read on the Internet. Don't make that post the final word for you regarding the effects of Prime on O2 levels.
 

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prov356 said:
I'd take the forum post (which is all it is) with a huge grain of salt. It's not a scientific, peer reviewed document. I'm not a fan of Prime at all and don't use it any more, but once did. If Prime is guilty of dangerously reducing/removing oxygen, then why has no one reported having seen a problem with oxygen deprived fish after using it? Other than the guy a few posts down who claims it killed his fish. If he really had frequent die offs after using Prime, then I just gotta ask why he was still using it? Be skeptical of everything you read on the Internet. Don't make that post the final word for you regarding the effects of Prime on O2 levels.
I still use prime and the statement is backed with scientific facts about the product. I haven't experienced any huge oxygen loses but I add water after the prime.
 

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I have one tank with 3 Calvus and another tank with 7 Comps. I have well water so all I do is match the temp and buffer it to pH 8.2 before adding to the tank. The fish take their weekly 20% water changes like nothing happened.....active and swimming around before and after.
Maybe a different story if my water was chlorinated and I had to treat for that? Don't know.

Tom
 

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I have used Prime for years with no problems (that I know of) but, recently, a friend gave me about 5 pounds of crystallized Sodium Thiosulfate (I think 5 lbs. of this stuff will create a couple hundred gallons of dechlorinator, needless to say I brew up about a gallon at a time.

Since my city uses Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach) as disinfectant in our water supply I actually think I prefer the simpler "ST" solution since I know it's indication is to detoxify chlorine only, no other bells and whistles to worry about. The fish don't seem to care and it doesn't stink like Prime did.

Just wondering but... Won't any "sulfate" which claims to dechlorinate tap water do so by somewhat reducing very small (atomic?) parts of oxygen via the reaction taking place? I'm no chemist but seem to remember something about this from awhile back :roll:
 
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