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Info Needed On German Blue Rams And Gold Rams Please

Author Topic: Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please  (Read 3871 times)

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Offline Zo75

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Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please
« on: October 22, 2013, 11:18:03 PM »
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I've fallen in love with Rams!  What can you lovely experts tell me about them please?  Can I have some in my tank?  It's a 165l with 1 Betta, 1 Platy, 1 elderly Pentazona Barb (last remaining of shoal), 1 elderly Oto, 3 Gold Neons, 2 Cardinal Tetras, 12 Rummynose Tetras.

Do they have to be in a male and female pair?  Could I just get females and if I did could i have female gbrs and gold rams?  Would they be aggressive towards each other if there were no males in the tank?  How many would you recommend?

Water paras Amm 0, Nitri 0, Nitra 5-10, ph 7.6, filter currently a Supafish Aqua Flow 200 soon to be a Fluval U4

Any advice greatly appreciated, many thanks  ;D

Zoe x

Offline Sue

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Re: Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 09:10:46 AM »
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Rams can be tricky to keep alive. By rams, I mean blue, gold etc, but not Bolivian rams, which are a different species.
Rams have been bred in captivity for years. Individuals which have not had a wild caught fish in their ancestry for generations are less tricky. But breeders often introduce wild caught fish to improve the strain, and if any particular fish has a wild ancestor within a generation or two, they are more delicate. The problem with shop bought fish is that you don't know their ancestry, and neither will the shop.

Wild caught, or captive bred with recent wild ancestors, need very soft, acid water at 28 to 30oC. These fish cannot cope with med-hard water or a pH over 7. Temps below 28C slows their metabolism and their immune systems. They often suddenly decline and die after a month or two.
Fish that have not had a wild ancestor for many generations can cope with slightly harder, more alkaline water but it should not be very hard or over pH7. They can also cope with temps down to 26C.
Rams are also on the list of nitrate-intolerant fish - with your water parameters, at least your nitrate is OK for them.
Since you won't know if there are any recent wild caught ancestors in the rams in the shop tank, it is safer to assume there are and treat them accordingly.

Of the fish you have, cardinals can cope with the temps needed by rams. Neons, platies and rummy noses all prefer it cooler.


Rams don't have to be in a male/female pair but two males could fight over territory. Multiple females are a safer bet. And buying just a male and female doesn't mean they will automatically get on. These fish mate for life and are very picky when it comes to chosing mates.
Gold and 'ordinary' rams are the same species so there is no problem mixing the colours, subject to what I've just said about the sexes.




The alternative would be Bolivian rams. They can live quite happily at higher pH and hardness and prefer the same temps as your other fish. They don't look much in the shop tank, but they do colour up when they have settled in your tank. I have had some.

One thing I will warn you - the first part of the Latin name for both species is Mikrogeophagus, which translates as small earth eater. They eat by taking a mouthful of substrate and filtering it for food before spitting the substrate back out. With sand, this is not a problem (it even comes out through their gills). But gravel that is small enough to go into the mouth can be a problem, I learned that the hard way. My female Bolivian ram got a piece of gravel stuck in her throat. She got it out several days later but was never the same again. If you have large gravel that is too big to fit, that's fine. But if you have small gravel, be very careful. This is the reason I now have sand in all my tanks.

Offline Zo75

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Re: Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 11:18:21 PM »
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Thanks Sue, that's all really helpful  :)  I don't think I could get my water below ph7 though so maybe it's not such a good idea.  Do you have any other ideas of fish I could add instead?  My Betta seems fairly chilled out, he sometimes chases my platy but nothing terrorising and he's not bothered by my other fish.  Would like something else in there that's pretty and not too tiny, having trouble thinking of something that will work though!  Any suggestions gratefully received  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 09:23:47 AM »
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The main problem will be your betta. They often mistake brightly coloured fish, especially those with long tails, for other bettas - this is why he chases your platy on occassions. The other thing to consider is the hardness of your water.

You can't have any type of gourami in the same tank as a betta. Some do get away with it but in the majority of cases they will fight.

Do you know how hard your water is? Your water company's website should have that info somewhere. A lot have a box where you type in your postcode to access it. Hardness is actually more important than pH. My tank pH is 7.4 but my water is med to soft so I can keep some soft water fish. For instance, I have no problems with cockatoo cichlids Apistogramma cacatuoides. Mine get on with my honey gouramis, but I don't know how your betta would react to them. The apsitos do stay mainly in the lower half of the tank, but the female can be aggressive is she is guarding eggs and other fish get too near. There are a few colour variations of cockatoos. Though if your water is very hard, apistos would not be suitable.

Offline Zo75

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Re: Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 08:38:11 PM »
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Hi Sue

According to the local water board website my water is classed as 'slightly hard'.  I have today bought what I thought was an Albino Bristlenose Pleco (after AGES umming and arring over German blue Rams - they only had males, platies, plecos and cuckoo catfish).  However having got home and investigated it looks like I've got a Black eyed Lemon Bristlenose instead.  Will post a pic on the species forum to see if someone can confirm  ;D

Guy in fish shop said the German Blue Rams would be fine in our water, if we lived 10 miles in either direction no good but ok where we are apparently (although I do take what lfs staff say with a pinch of salt!).

So am waiting for him to get more females in and will research further whether they are an option, what do you think if my water is 'slightly hard'?

Thanks for all the advice  :)

Zoe

Offline Sue

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Re: Info needed on German Blue Rams and Gold Rams please
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 08:46:21 AM »
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If it is slightly hard, I would avoid rams. According to my water company, my water is 34mg/l calcium which falls at the upper end of the moderately soft box. This converts to 5 german degrees and the API GH test kit comes out at 6. I have tried to keep rams over the years but they've never lived more than a few weeks. Your water is in the next band up from mine, which is why I would not keep them in your tank. Trying to soften water chemically is not an option as all most of these bottles do is add even more minerals to the water.

But, you would be fine with fish like bolivian rams or cockatoo apistos - although now that you have a plec, you might be better avoiding bottom dwelling fish.

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