Bolivian Ram Cichlids

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17 May 2016 17:42 #1 by CG (K Lynch)
Hi all,

I have a 29 gallon community tank and I've been wanting to get a pair of Bolivian Rams since I started keeping fish in August of last year.
My water parameters:
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 6-7

I have an external filter for up to 45 gallons.

I bought a male and female just before Christmas and they fought for a bit (nothing too much) but one day I noticed the female was stressed so I brought the bully to my lfs.

So, I researched and researched and I gathered that it was the way to have two female and two males until a pair forms. I couldn't find rams anywhere for months until by chance Hanley's had some.

Last Friday, I bought two males and one female (one pair supposedly) and brought them home. When I introduced them, my original female went berserk and chased the three new guys around. They were very stressed so I tried different things,
I put the female into my 25 gallon for a while. Everything seemed fine until one died on Sunday (idk from what).

I now had two (one female and one male I think). The female has been hiding out for the past three days in a cave and won't eat. I tried tetra pro colour and soaked bloodworms.
After investigation, I discovered that the male is bullying her.

I have a large tree root to break up the tank but they are like chalk and cheese; he's aggressive and she's timid.
I decided to put him in a fry net to give her space to breath as such but I'm at a loss as to what to do.
I wanted Bolivians because they are said to be the more friendly of Cichlids and they pair but I never expected this.

I'm thinking about putting the timid one into the 15 gallon and returning the original female to the 29 gallon as they seem to have similar temperaments but I'm concerned about upsetting the timid one.

I'd appreciate it if anyone who has any experience with Bolivian Rams could help?

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17 May 2016 18:03 - 17 May 2016 18:03 #2 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Ive seen this behaviour numerous times with both Bolivian and German Blue Rams...They can be extremely territorial towards their own kind (especially in smaller tanks) and the result is constant chasing by an aggressive individual...

They are generally well behaved in mated pairs and on their own but when you start putting in 2 or 3 or 4 into a smaller tank it can cause trouble...

In all honesty it can be very difficult to stop the aggressive one picking on the others unless you remove him/her completely...

The answer is usually a bigger tank with more space for each fish...

You will find the fish that has been in there the longest has established its own territories and doesnt want any invaders....Hence the chasing and Bullying...

The best thing you can do is keep them seperated because the fish being picked on will eventually become exhausted from stress and stress leads to disease and illness...And you dont want that!

Another thing you can try is take the aggressor out for a couple of weeks and let the weaker ones establish their own territories...Then reintroduce the aggressive fish....This can be hit and miss and you need to give the new fish about 3 or 4 weeks to establish themselves and gain confidence before reintroducing the grumpy one...
Last edit: 17 May 2016 18:03 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered).

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17 May 2016 18:14 #3 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Thank you for your considered response.
I appreciate it.
I'd really like a pair but it doesn't seem possible unless I found a breeder who had a pair?
is that a possibility?

I had read that a 29 gallon would be sufficient for two but it seems not to be the case unless you're lucky. Unfortunately a tank upgrade is not practical at this time for me.

I'm thinking about returning the original female to the 29 gallon and moving the timid fish to the 15 gallon and investing in a tank divider tomorrow to give them time to establish their territories.

do you think that might work?

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18 May 2016 05:56 #4 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
I think if you take them all out of the main tank for a couple of weeks (2 or 3 maybe) then reintroduce them all at the same time that might just work for ya...

Your own plan sounds like a good idea...

BUT!

Honestly it is all down to plain old luck though......

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18 May 2016 07:09 #5 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
yeah, I figured...

I'm going to wait a day or two until they are a bit more settled and look at what I might be best for them then.
thanks for your help.

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18 May 2016 08:31 #6 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
With all cichlids I find changing the decoration and upsetting their territories can help at times too! Rams are beautiful little fish but can be a bugger to get them to stop fighting and bullying eachother

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18 May 2016 11:24 #7 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
I have 3 Bolivian Rams in my tank and I have never seen them fight. That being said I am not sure how to sex them so they could be all males or all females!!

Would it help if you turned the lights off for a few days after adding them, so they can't see each other? Just a guess.

Hope everything works out in the end.

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18 May 2016 12:44 #8 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Thank you. I came home and Unfortunately she died.
she had a cave that she was defending and I saw her do so successfully a few times.
Maybe they were poorly fish.
I got some corydoras and rummy nose tetras from seahorse and they're happy.
My parameters are fine and the tank is established.
this sucks :(

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18 May 2016 12:44 #9 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Thank you. I came home and Unfortunately she died.
she had a cave that she was defending and I saw her do so successfully a few times.
Maybe they were poorly fish.
I got some corydoras and rummy nose tetras from seahorse and they're happy.
My parameters are fine and the tank is established.


:(

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18 May 2016 14:01 #10 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Ha ha, posted twice...was that because of the badly gateway notice?
Sorry about your loss, I am starting to like Rummynose tetras, great colourful fish. And are good indicators of water quality.
If they lose the red nose then somethings wrong with your water.

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18 May 2016 14:12 #11 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
yes a 'bad gateway' message :huh:
and Thank you.
I have barely looked at the bully fish since but I will need to make a decision at some point.
He's really pumped all the time - never had a fish anything like him - like he's on hormones or something ..heh. He's now in the 29 gallon with my community fish and my original female fish is in the 15 gallon. I bought a divider so if I reintroduced her I would have that option but at the moment the bully is not on my mind.

yeah, the rummynose are stunning fish - their noses are flush red and they school tightly - very nice to watch and they seem happy.

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18 May 2016 15:03 #12 by paulv (paul vickers)

hammie wrote: With all cichlids I find changing the decoration and upsetting their territories can help at times too! Rams are beautiful little fish but can be a bugger to get them to stop fighting and bullying eachother

Like hammie said, totally reorganize the tank and put both fish in at the same time may be the answer.
It's tough losing any fish.

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18 May 2016 15:28 #13 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Thank you.
Yeah, I just might try that in a few days. I'll have the divider to hand in case.

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18 May 2016 15:37 #14 by robert (robert carter)
yep rummy nose tetras are a great fish I have a good few look great when they are schooling. Best things they are cheap

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18 May 2016 15:56 #15 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)
I think generally that is how it go s with South American dwarf cichlids I got a lovely pair of wild apistos for the life of me can't remember what type but fish were very healthy had them a week then the male started harassing the female then one morning found the female dead in the tank I was raging because she was lovely.

Going to try add 2 or 3 females see if it disperses the aggression.


Regards
Craig

at the end of the day it becomes nite

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18 May 2016 16:16 #16 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
I can empathise with you. Sorry for your loss.

I guess I was hoping that the Bolivian Rams would be ok, at least that's what I read but it's true that not every fish is alike. Even with platy's, I had to bring a bully back to my lfs. It seems some fish feel more threatened than others and respond aggressively. It's the old fight or flight response.

Good Luck with the apistos.

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18 May 2016 16:27 #17 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)
See the thing is the bigger the tank the better the chance of them pairing up if they have there own territorys in a tank and then when they become ready the spawn they will find each other then pair up its like they prefer when to chose to pair up and won't do it if they are living on top of each other.

Yeah might get take a spin out to seahorse and pick up some females on Saturday.

If you ask in a LFS they could probably get you a breeding pair that have already spawned that might work out better then trying to pair up your own.


Regards
Craig

at the end of the day it becomes nite

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18 May 2016 16:43 #18 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
That makes sense about the size of tank. I have about 31 inches by 12 inches floor space. I guess it's not enough for Rams but it might be for a pair.
I've asked the guy at my lfs more than once and he is not very helpful outside of his business - that's the vibe he gives me.

I'm thinking about giving away the bully fish and leaving it with just the female I have - she's pretty adorable - my hope was to find her a mate but after all's said and done we can't replicate the wild.

You're lucky with seahorse. I'm in Cork so I have a limited choice though there's a stockist in Kerry that are newish, APM aquariums?

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18 May 2016 17:06 #19 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)
Seahorse have a delivery service I am not sure if it's nation wide but worth looking into.


Regards
Craig

at the end of the day it becomes nite

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18 May 2016 17:28 #20 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Yes, I received a delivery from them a few weeks ago, some panda corydoras and rummy nose tetras. Both are doing fine. They didn't have Bolivian Rams in at the time.
It didn't occur to that they might be able to locate a pair that have mated.

On another note, John offered me wild caught GBR's which apparently are quite rare but they require
high temperature and wouldn't work with my community tank.

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04 Jun 2016 14:15 #21 by CG (K Lynch)
Replied by CG (K Lynch) on topic Bolivian Ram Cichlids
Hi,

I wanted to update you and thank you for your kindness.
I put the female back in my big tank and though she fought with the juvenile male for a little while, they pretty much get along. It doesn't look like they are going to pair but it's a happy tank :)

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