We've just got our first Rams. All very exciting but it's only day two and problems already. We got them from http://www.harrogateaquatic.co.uk. Bit of a drive but they seem to have pretty well cared for aquariums and it was the only place I could find Rams local to us (apart from ballon rams).
Ideally I was after a Paired couple as I'm not planning on getting nay more and would like to attempt breeding. Was advised thier stock was still to juvinile and had not begun to pair off but they could definately pick out a male and female whitch would do me fine. If they don't pair up its no big deal as these are our first but there's always hope :)
Got them home but I'm not convinced they are opposite sex as they both seem to have the same fin lengths and body shapes. I can notice a pink belly on either. The only main difference is that one has a slightly more vibrant Orange hue from nose to middle. This fish is supposedly the male.
Got them settled into a mature 60ltr tank that is also home to 8 WCMM, 2 Amano Shrimp and an Apple snail. Amonia 0, NitrIte 0, Nitrate 20, pH 7.4
OK So my first mistake is the tank is too small? These guys are about 1&1/4 inch long nose to tail. The tank is temporary and will be upsizing to at least 100ltr in the neer future. Also the pH is up. I know Rams should be more acid to neutral. I got the LFS to test the pH they were keeping them at and they were 7.2 so I figured perhaps it would be ok... (yeah, I know, I know - I', in denial)
OK So no real problems so far other than the slightly less bright Ram (supposedly female) Is Bullying the Brighter (supposedly Male) Ram. I'm guessing this is because of the tank size. There's quite a lot of plants in there and slate caves etc but no matter where the "male" decides to hang out the "female". It's a pretty one sided teretorial battle so far. I've switched off the lights. Should I split them up until I can get a bigger tank up and running or should I just leave it a few days and let them get it over with? Are they fighting because they are two males in a small tank or is it the female thats the agressor? Any Ideas?
In the mean time I might just make a few more hidy holes and I'll get some pictures uploaded if anyone can help with the sexing. All advice welcome. Gunna have a look through Tetra Linz's posts for some pointers. Get a picture up later tonight. Thanks :)
jonnyunlimited wrote: Gunna have a look through Tetra Linz's posts for some pointers. Get a picture up later tonight. Thanks :)
I feel famous now
OK. Males and females - quite a few differences. Females have the pink belly area, and blue dots inside the black (not sure if that's only in mature females or not). Males are generally larger than females.
Sounds like you have 2 of the same sex tbh, and the aggressor is asserting his dominance over the subordinate. Not good in cichlids. I'd get that bigger tank up and running ASAP. Or even better, take one of them back and get a definate female. In the meantime, over-decorate that tank. The more plants, caves, plant pots that you can fit in there, the better. The subordiante needs the visual barriers to get away from the dominant.
What's the tank temp? Rams prefer higher temps than some other tropical fish (and definately more than WCMMs). Ramses' tank is running at 26*C.
Watch out for the subordinate staying under the filter, or in hiding and never/hardly ever coming out. It'll probably happen over the course of no more than a week. If this happens, the fish is highly stressed and you have to act fast before the fish dies. Start planning that bigger tank now.
Temprature was at for the minows 22. Recently I added the shrimp and apple smail. I eased it up to 26 over a couple of days with a veiw to adding the rams. Never really intended to push the minnows up to tropical temps but since I'd read this was fine and minows made good tank mates for the rams.
Since I upped to 26 the minows have been egg laying like crazy. At a squeeze I can always temp. rehouse them in the 150ltr with two addolecent fancies and 5 meteor minows but they seem to be fine at 26.
I'm going to add the extra decor and keep an eye on the rams over night. If needs must I can make a 1/3 perforated enclosure for the agressor ram and bung a powerhead in there to keep the circuation going but its a last resort.
Can't get back to the lfs untill the weekend but I'll be on the phone to them in the morning! I've a spare 150 ltr but it has a small crack neer the top left corner and dare not fill it for fear of a burst. Perhaps I could re enforce it with glass patch and plenty of gaffer then only 2/3rds fill. I'll get some extra filtration maturing Tomor at least...
At the risk of sounding like I'm only repeating what LHG told me, Rams stay stressed for weeks. They don't fully get over a move for 3 weeks or more. I don't think you can fully grasp that until you witness it for yourself. I certainly couldn't. My point is, don't move them to a substandard tank that could explode with the water pressure. Get them another tank that's fit for use. The less you have to move them, the better.
Don't enclose a Ram. They don't take it too well. If you must seperate them, put a tank divider right down the middle of the tank. That would be 30ltrs on either side. Even that's too small, really. Ramses survived in the Q Tank (30ltrs - as it happens), but he wasn't really active. He didn't have the room to be - and he was on his own.
Tbh, I'd just provide as many hiding places as you can, and keep a close eye on them. The minnows might distract the aggressor's attention long enough to give the subordinate a chance to escape.
Last night I split the tank with a glass divider leaving room for water to circulate. Added a powerhead (i'll get an extra filter today) that should help the circulation and put a 50w heater in each side. Used all the plants to create a visual barrier. There are plenty of hidy holes on either side.
The Aggressive ram can still see the other from time to time and when he does, he/she immediately tries to find a way through. The subordinate backs off from the partition and chills out as best he can at a safe distance. I know this situation is far from ideal for either of them but at least the subordinate can escape. I haven't had to move them. I'm going to stock up on plants at lunch time to make a thick hedge and call the LFS where the rams came from about a possible swap. Long term I can't see how much better they will be in a 100ltr - I guess there will still be bullying but as you say the fish are stressed out from the move. Perhaps they will establish their own territories in time and before one ends up stressing the other to death.
Could go on but I'm at work - not had chance to read LHG's advice to you on your rams yet, do you have a link to the thread pls. Thanks :)
Here's a quick picture of the pair if anyone can sex them. Neither seems to have pink belly nor either pronounced spikes at the front dorsal. Could be opposite sex both male or both female... who knows! Anyway the less colourful one at the bottom is the Aggressor (and supposed female). However since all the battles they have both bright end up and are almost the same now. What do you think guys? Let me know if you need more detailed pictures.
Just spoke to LFS and they said (she sounded "busy") that was normal behavior and that it was probably because one wanted to spawn and the other didn't! She did say it was fine to bring them back in and swap them if I was not happy but it would be nice if they showed a bit more interest or offered some help and advice regarding the welfare of the fish. I'll try and get hold of the manager later.
Meanwhile just got back from little petshop down the road with 10 quids worth of jungle! The lady in there was showing me how content her their rams were &*$@!
In the meantime, you've done the right thing in getting the visual barriers and seperating them. If nothing else, the subordinate is safer from the dominant. He just has to realise the other Ram can't get to him now.