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Help a Ram beginner
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BARBy
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Joined: 04 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.01(Sun)13:24    Post subject: Help a Ram beginner Reply with quote

Hi, I'm looking for a new fish(s) to keep my angel company after I gave away his silver dollar friends. He really liked watching and interacting with them and since they're gone he just hangs motionless all day in one corner of the tank. I don't want to add another angel.

He's always been a docile fish. Someone suggested a few rams so I'd like some info and opinions about them. My tank is 29g with these residents: 1 adult angel, 1 oto, 2 khulis, 5 H&TL tetras, and 2 cherry barbs. I have a great driftwood tunnel/cave, pea gravel and plastic plant decor. I have soft water, but since it's a bit alkaline (8.0), it was suggested that Bolivian rams would be better.

Can I keep just one? or do they need other rams to be happy? Would rams be compatible with the above fish? Would adding ram(s) overstock this tank? Are they active enough to keep my angel's interest? I would like several opinoins before making a move, but my angel's so bored that I need to make a decision. Thanks!
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dr_fosg8
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Location: central Illinois

PostPosted: 2005.05.02(Mon)20:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeping one Bolivian Ram in there shouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't expect too much interaction between the angel and the ram though. Rams tend to hang at the bottom of the tank to mid water.
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Boydy
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)0:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

BARBy, I have kept Rams and Bolivian Butterfly's (closely related to the Ram family) for quite some time now and I think they are a great fish! I keep mine with a range of other fish including Khuli's, tetras and Angels too. I have never had any trouble with them except losing a couple baby blue rams due to a lack of plants for them to hide in while they were small. Plants are something you could look into now that your Silver Dollars are gone (vegetarians), they make any tank look great if you follow the right steps.
The only compatability I cannot comment on is with the Cherry Barbs, I have never kept them with rams before and I have no idea whether you can or not - however I'm sure the people at your LFS can tell you this. Other than that you can most certainly keep rams in your 29gallon, adding one would not overstock the tank by a long shot and you could add 4-6 if you continued regular maintenance and water changes. Rams are not IME a particularly fast moving fish, however mine are always active and entertaining. I agree with dr_fosg8 though when he said that Rams hang towards the bottom and Angels are normally towards the top. To overcome this I would buy 2-4 rams and another small bunch of common tetras to entertain your Angel in mid water.

I would also recommend trying to neutralise your pH a bit and bring it back into the 7's range - your Angel and tetras will thankyou.

I think that has covered it all. Keeping posting as I would like to see how you go with your Rams.

Boydy
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)8:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boydy wrote:
...you could add 4-6 if you continued regular maintenance and water changes. Rams are not IME a particularly fast moving fish, however mine are always active and entertaining. I agree with dr_fosg8 though when he said that Rams hang towards the bottom and Angels are normally towards the top. To overcome this I would buy 2-4 rams and another small bunch of common tetras to entertain your Angel in mid water.
Boydy


IMO, adding any more than 2 Rams into your tank would be pushing it, certainly six would be. In light of the fact that you have an angel and kuhlis in the tank, there will certainly be some territory issues if you add too many. While what boydy says about Rams being fairly docile is true, but if they aren't given ample space, that rule could easily break.

Here's what I would do-
Add 2 Bolvian Rams, 2 more HTL Tetras, 2 more otos and then call it a day
Also, planting out the tank will go a long way to making all of the fish you have happy. Rams do particularly well in planted tanks.
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BARBy
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Joined: 04 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)11:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone! Your opinions and experience have been very helpful, and I feel much better having that to go on. My only concern is that my angel may not be stimulated by fishes on the bottom level, but if I can return them, I may just give 2 rams a try and see how everyone interacts. They seem like great little fish. Again, it's so great to get friendly advice here Smile .
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Boydy
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Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)19:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

benedictj I agree with your smaller recommendation of 2 Rams... I was commenting on my experience with Rams and I have always had very sufficient filtration and maintenance, so larger numbers have been fine for me. However we don't know what sort of setup BARBy is running. So yes, I agree smaller number would be best to start off with anyway! BTW I have never had territorial issues with my Rams because I have only ever kept males.

Boydy
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BARBy
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Joined: 04 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)23:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a store over an hour away that has the Bolivian Ram in stock! I might actually get just 1 if that's OK. I'd like 2, but I'm scared a pair might feel crowded and nippy in this tank especially if they bred; this is the craziest, most active group of tetras I've ever seen. Although most activity is now at the mid to top range---except the khulis.

Boydy, I'm worried about my khulis a bit. Someone on another forum mentioned that the rams might see the khulis as territory invaders. My khulis are such gregarious characters (they are out in the open all day and even swim along the top of my driftwood log) that I'd hate to see them eaten or nipped into hiding. You noted keeping them together; Is your community tank larger than 29g? Did the rams ever nip at the khulis at all?

Yeah, I might see what java moss and java fern this standard fluorescent light can support (can't afford re-doing this set-up for an all-out planted tank) at this depth. So it would be a mixture of live and plastic.

The more I read the more I want at least one of these cuties! Thanks!
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