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Old 03-17-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
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Bolivian Rams...Should I take the plunge?

Well, it seems that I've got a problem. I've fallen in love with Bolivian Rams. I spend my time googling them and rearranging my apartment to accommodate another tank.

My concern? I have just spent the past hour reading up on old Bolivian Ram thread, and am now a little more hesitant. Especially after reading about Allivymar's bad experiences (http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...t=bolivian+ram)

The tentative plan was to come home with a 10- or 20-gal tank (I'd prefer a 10-gal, considering the fact that according to building rules I'm supposed to have a maximum of a 10-gal tank in my apartment, and I'm currently sitting at far more than that), and a few Bolivian Rams. Either than size, my major concern is the pH...which sits at a basic 7.6. I've read that rams need a more acidic pH, but I've read that a few of you have kept them at more basic levels.

So? I'm looking for some advice, personal experience with your rams, etc., etc...

TIA! ...now back to googling...
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:34 PM   #2
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bolivians need more than 10... probably closer to 30. Germans can be kept in a ten, as long as they are the only fish....

i love rams of all kinds. once you get past their 2 mo. break in period, they seem to last... they can be really sensitive. they need CLEAN water...
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:36 PM   #3
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Get em!!

Definitely a 20g. A 10g is just too small; keep in mind they're cichlids and are territorial. 4 in a 20 is a good number.

Bolivians are more forgiving of pH then Germans, although they may not breed as easily in the higher pH. There are natural safe ways of lowering pH if you decide to go that route.

The issue I had with the rams initially was due to disease, either coming from the breeder or the store. Its no different a chance then one takes on any type of fish; rams are no more susceptible then many other types of fish, although of course there are species which can survive armegeddon. The crew I have now are a fertile, scrappy, healthy happy bunch. Page 2-page 7 are pics of some of my guys and their breeding experiences: http://www.myaquaria.com/gallery/Allis-rams?page=2 . As you can see, they are full of life and color I moved the breeding pair into a new tank weekend before last; they're already preparing breeding areas. Horny lil buggers really LOL
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:46 PM   #4
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Rams are typically regarded as sensitive fish, it you setup a tank for some new Rams I would reccomend that you use a filter from another established tank or at least use something like Bio Spira.
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies everyone! I kind of figured that I'd have to go the 20-gal route... And those are great pics Allivymar! Your tank looks great!

What about tankmates for the rams? My only qualification is that I much prefer small fish (1"-2"). Would panda cories work in that tank? What about any barbs or tetras? We've currently got Neon Tetras and Black Phantom Tetras, so something new would be nice.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:50 PM   #6
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You'd probably be looking at calmer fish, so I'd stay away from barbs. Pandas would definately work in there, and maybe a school of tetras too.

And I saw some beautiful bolivians at Big Al's in Edmonton. IMO they are the best in the city for fish selection but not the best on prices.

And have you found bio-spira anywhere in edmonton or nearby?
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Old 03-17-2004, 06:06 PM   #7
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Well, now I hear that my boyfriend would rather have a different type of bottom feeder, rather than Panda Cories. Any suggestions for small (close to 1") bottom feeders that would work well with rams?

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And have you found bio-spira anywhere in edmonton or nearby?
I wish! We had to order from Bernie. But everything worked out fine once we got it...
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Old 03-17-2004, 07:15 PM   #8
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Just to add a little more to my experiences so far (limited that they are):

To support grimmies suggestion: The mated rams moved into a brand new tank. No BioSpira, but I did add a sponge that had matured in their original tank. I have now likely destroyed most of the nitrifying bacteria with Maracyn during my cyano treatent *sigh* but they aren't bothered (the water testing and water changes are tonight). I do have a backup package of BioSpira, just didn't need it. I'd rather use matured sponges from my own tanks if I can.

How about otos? They DO need a really mature tank tho; they need the algae to survive properly, but will remain pretty small. You might want to look into some of the neat shrimp that are out there as well; I added 3 amano shrimp to the tank as algae eaters/bottom feeders.

My guys have 4 keyhole cichlids as tankmates. I've read they can get from 3-5 inches long depending on what site you look at. My guys are between 1" and 1 1/2" and have been that size for months (I was watching them at the lfs for ages LOL). They were fascinated with the amanos when they went in, but could care less now.
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Old 03-17-2004, 07:57 PM   #9
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I have marble hatchets in with my rams--its quite an interesting tank!

I wouldn't recommend adding too many bottom feeders with rams. That's where they hang out 95% of the time (mine rarely go higher than a few inches). Otos would be fine because they're really all over the place (as long as you have plants), but cories might crowd them.

I agree with the school of tetras suggestion, unless you're a fan of the marble hatchets. They really are interesting little fish--they be-bop around the tank in a funny sorta way.
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:43 AM   #10
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just about any small tetra will work... look at sites like www.liveaquaria.com for ideas and requirements... i have cardinals which seems to work out well. If your water is close to nuetral, there are some nice rainbowfish out there. I've had threadfin and celebes, among others. These are more sensitive than tetras, so avoid cycling with them. The threadfins and celebes are small and pretty. Look into they're water requirements first... HTH
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