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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
I am new to the cichlid world and new to this site, so thank you in advance for whatever help anyone offers to me.

I have a show tank with all males, including one Calvus Black Congo. I have had the majority of the fish for several months and just picked up the Calvus with a few others.

When I do a water change, he and only he sinks to the bottom of the tank and starts gasping. No other fish are affected this way.

The water I am using is from the tap, but I make sure the temp of it is the same as what is in the tank. I know he likes the water cleanest of all my fish, but I find myself not changing water as often, so as not to have him negatively affected like this.

Please help! Thank you.
 

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How much water do you change at a time? Altos can be sensitive to large water changes. I have heard of problems with larger than fifty percent of the water being changed. I have had problems in grow out tanks for calvus when I changed more than that.
 

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In my tanks with alto's (40g and 55g) I change 10-15 gallons about twice a week. My gold head comps don't seem to mind larger changes (50%) but the calvus don't like it. I fill my buckets with water a little warmer than the tank, add the chlorine remover to the buckets, and check them with a digital meat thermometer. When the water has cooled to 81 degrees I add it to the tank(pour slowly) The tank stays at exactly 79 degrees through the whole process, and after a couple weeks the calvus didn't even hide while I do it.

If it is not temp. changes stressing your fish, it is probably a change in hardness, calvus can be very sensitive to this, and again, change smaller amounts , more often.
 

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shellies215 said:
If it is not temp. changes stressing your fish, it is probably a change in hardness, calvus can be very sensitive to this, and again, change smaller amounts , more often.
Agree with this, what is the pH of the tank versus your tap water? Check the tap water immediately out of the tap and also after sitting in a bowl for 24 hours.

I did not find calvus did very well in my all-male show tank. He survived, but he did not move around the tank like he did in an all-Tang community. I ended up removing him.
 

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Jesseschu said:
I find myself not changing water as often, so as not to have him negatively affected like this.
I think you'r shooting yourself in the foot there. If you allow more nitrates to build up in the water, you are altering the water chemistry even more when you do a water change. Drastically altering the water is not a good thing. My calvus does the same thing if I go to long before a water change, if I do, I do a smaller change and then another one a day or two later. I take about 90 - 100 gallons out of my 210 every weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi All,
What a great resource this is! Thank you for the information.

Based on what I read above, I will do more frequent, but less % water changes. I normally do a 30% water change and will switch to 10% several days in a row. I will pay close attention to the temp (which I do) and will check hardness and ph coming out of the tap.

In my all male tank, he is definitely holding his own. Provided I can learn to care for his kind well, I would like to create an all comp/calvus tank, but that will come later.

Thanks again to all.
 

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FWIW my calvus do fine even with 90% water changes.
 

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had a similiar thing happen to me but was with my multis for whatever reason started flashing during water changes(calvus acted normal) tested my ph from tap and tank and tap was 8.0 and tank was 8.3, so i let a cup of water sit out over night and ph was 8.4. I also changed my water conditioner to different product(prime) so now i let my water sit for about 12hrs before adding and heat it up and have not seen them flashing during water changes. if you do let it sit make sure to stick a powerhead or somthing in there so your not adding stail water with no oxygen in it
 

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I agree with the water conditioner comments. Try something different. Not saying it's the best but prime is working well for me. Had some trouble with other products...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you all. I am now doing 10% water changes, am careful with temp and add Prime to the tank when done. He seems to be doing better.
 
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