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longfin blue rams
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krt
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)3:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's funny... algae wafers were the only thing in my arsenal I didn't think they would take to.

are your cichlid pellets predominately meat? they seemed to like the tubifex worms and the discus food (although it's red dye enhanced so I would like to switch out)

I've still had them less than a week, but they are now swimming at the front of the tank and a whole lot less scared of me (the female is the braver of the two)... been doing casual maintanence of the tank like cleaning the glass, fertilizing and co2. - hear that they prefer shade so I am trying to grow plants up that will block some of the light

Cathy- do u have a species tank or r your rams mixed w/ something else?
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)9:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I've had community tanks with them in the past but have gotten into the breeding thing. So, they are in species only and grow out tanks all over now. I have some rainbows I use as dithers in with my Bolivians, but until I get an empty tank I won't buy any fish for dithers. (I QT everything, including plants).

So, in most of my tanks there is at least a pair or two, and then LOTS of juvies. The juvies serve as dither fish, there are so many of them that my rams aren't afraid/shy anymore. However, they get no privacy either!

I have them in fairly simple tanks, with minimum substrate to make cleaning easy and lots of floating plants to shade them. I also use lots of dritwood and anubias/java fern. When I need to catch fish, or do a thorough cleaning, I take out all the driftwood and put it back when I'm done. They have lots of shade and hiding places. Here is a pic of my blue ram grow out tank. There are probably close to 100 fish in it now. (50% water changes every 2-3 days!)


You can't see the fish - but they are there!
Cathy
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krt
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)10:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

your tank looks very nice Cathy (20,50 g?) I had never used the term dither fish before (cause I didn't know what it meant till now) I guess my hillstream loaches are my dithers (though poor ones). though the rams are less shy by the day....

is your water kinda yellow/green from the peat moss or the lighting?

I'll post a pic of mine when I find my camera... Embarassed
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)16:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its a 50g long. A perfect size for rams - 48in foot print, 12 inches wide and a depth of only 16 inches... I hate having to reach down into the deeps...!

The water appears to be green because I have a white wall behind the tank and it is really filled with Najas grass (Or guppy grass as some call it). Plus, I can't take pictures worth a penny...

I also have 2 20g longs, 4-5 10's - can't remember now... and another 50g long with Bolivians. I make lots of use of the najas grass because it catches the fish food so they have to spread out to hunt for food. It also prevents them from seeing each other! Not to mention it uses up nitrogen and helps keep the water quality better for all those fish.

Dither fish and target fish are terms used interchangeably but kind of mean a little different things. A target fish is a fish put into the tank to give the cichlids someone to go after a bit. For example, if you put an extra male or female in with an established pair, then during spawning time that pair sees the extra as a threat and will therefore stay focused on protecting their young and working together. I don't believe in letting target fish get hurt though, so if the level of agression is too high, I'll pull the target fish.

Dither fish are used to help the pair feel more comfortable and confident. Sometimes cichlids can be rather shy and feel afraid so they don't come out of hiding. If you add a small school of something, usually tetras, raspboras or the like, then as they fish swim back and forth the cichlids think 'O, all is well, those fish aren't having any issues...' and they come out of hiding and act more naturally.

So, in my parent tanks, I have left bunches of the youngsters who still school around and haven't learned about nets and scary things, so they are still brave and natural in their behavior. It is kind of amazing what a ton of tiny fish do for their scaredy cat parents.

Cathy
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krt
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)17:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did my first pH test on 2 of my tanks; my angel tank read 7.0, my ram tank read 7.2 oddly enough (same water) I think that is because over the last couple of days I've over-fed them.

I put more plants in the tank today and skipped their feeding so I'm hoping in a few days it will return to 7.0.

I really enjoy clear water, is there a way I can lower the pH w/out tinting it yellow w/ peat moss (something relatively easy though as I want to be lazy but I just can't find the time)



it's only a ten gal, when they grow I'll move'm to my 29 and move the angels to my 46...
the lil buggers are hiding, of course u can see their tankmates the hillstream loaches. the background and one side are papered w/ a metallic blue so u can see my reflextion a little. there's a a whole mess of different plants in there, I use 2 ten watt compact fluorescent bulbs.....

I'm not sure if I'm more excited about the plants or the fish anymore.
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)20:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your gh/KH? If your water is harder than say 4-6 gh/KH, you can soften it by adding some RO water. (You have to find a source locally or buy an RO unit - they are around $150.) As you soften the water, your pH will come down. BUT your pH is NOT too high for the rams now...

Overfeeding will not effect the pH, but perhaps you have some kind of gravel or stone that is adding hardness and therefor raising the pH?

When your plants fill it, your tank will be very pretty. It looks good now in fact. I hope you enjoy your rams as much I do!
Cathy
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krt
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)0:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cathy G wrote:
When your plants fill it, your tank will be very pretty. It looks good now in fact. I hope you enjoy your rams as much I do!
Cathy


thanks. and thank you for sharing your experience Cathy, I've certainly learned a lot... but I've still got a long way to go (I skimped on the test kit and didn't get the super duper one that measures everything... my lfs said they would give me a full analysis of my water though - I guess I'll take it from there...)

thanks again
-krt
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flyjawn
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Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Location: toronto

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)19:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to add that I've had a pair of bolivian rams in my 20 gallon for about 2 months now and only just discovered that they LOVE spirulina flakes. they gobble them up as fast as they can...

also I've read that they like discus food but is there one brand or type that is better than others?
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krt
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)20:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been giving them sera discus color enhancing formula granules -it's got a red dye to it so I give it to them sparingly (I know they make a "blue" also)... says that it contains spirolina enzymes that aid in digestion and stabilized vitamin c to stave off disease (also vit A, B, B2 D3 & E). most of the package is written in what I believe to be japanese though. my rams seem to like it so I will see about getting a substitute that does not contain any dye.

the predominate food I am giving them is sera vipagran which contains fish meal, wheat meal, wheat protein, wheat germ, mussels, krill, gammarus, yeast, as well as spirolina, marine algae, cod liver and sunflower oil, stinging nettles, spinach, vitamins (A, D3, E, B1, B2 & stabilized C) and colorants. it does contain some ash which the discus food does not (at least it doesn't say it)

besides that they share (w/ the loaches) shrimp pellets and FD tubifex worms.

the only problem I am having w/ the rams is that they are hiding too much for my tastes... I think I need a better dither fish than the hillstream loaches that are in there, I have a single "veiled" black tetra that I will put in there as a dither/target fish... I've had him forever and all the rest of his kind have died off over time (yet I can't bring myself to give him to my lfs' retirement tank). do u think he will make a good tank mate? -I know tetras can get nippy
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