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Old 06-19-2006, 08:50 PM   #1
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Buying German Blue Rams...Need Expert Advice

Hi. After not having fish for a couple of years, I think I am ready to get another aquarium back up and running. I would like to have a breeding pair of GBR's, which I would like to make the "centerpiece" of the aquarium, but first I need some help in deciding a few things.

1. What size tank would be ideal for housing the pair and any fry that may survive? I was thinking about getting a 55gal tank but I am not sure that I have enough room? Would a ~40gal work or possibly even a 29 if it had just the rams and maybe a pleco?

2. Should I stay away from a pleco? I have heard that they may try to eat the fry but I need expert advice here.

3. Should I remove the babies from the tank or possibly just take out the male and/or female so that they are not eaten, if so when? I heard from an owner at a LFS that the male may try to eat the little guys around 3 weeks after the spawn because he may feel threatened. Anyone have this experience? I thought cichlids in general were very good parents.

4. How often do they spawn? The same owner at the LFS told me about 3 weeks apart. Is this true? It seems kind of fast if you ask me but I am NO fish expert, that is why I am asking you guys.

The reason that I am wanting to know all of this is because I would like to be able to breed GBR's and sell them to the LFS because they will give me ~$2.25/ea. after 4-5 months once they mature. Doing so would help me to keep the aquarium up and running to its optimal condition.

Also, if I were able to breed GBR's or any fish for that matter, is it bad for "brother and sister" fish to become a mating pair. It doesn't seem right to me that it would be "okay" but I guess even in the wild this occurs once in a while. Maybe it is not as big of a deal as I thought it is, especially if there is not much genetic diversity within the species to begin with, but I would like to know for sure from an expert. Please feel free to give me any suggestions/helps/tips/or advice that you may feel I should know. Thanks in advance for any help that you guys are able to give. : )
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
1. What size tank would be ideal for housing the pair and any fry that may survive? I was thinking about getting a 55gal tank but I am not sure that I have enough room? Would a ~40gal work or possibly even a 29 if it had just the rams and maybe a pleco?
A 40 gal breeder is an excellent choice.

Quote:
2. Should I stay away from a pleco? I have heard that they may try to eat the fry but I need expert advice here.
Bottom feeders are great at scarfing up anything edible...eggs will not survive a pleco.

Quote:
3. Should I remove the babies from the tank or possibly just take out the male and/or female so that they are not eaten, if so when? I heard from an owner at a LFS that the male may try to eat the little guys around 3 weeks after the spawn because he may feel threatened. Anyone have this experience? I thought cichlids in general were very good parents.
Starting them out in a breeder will make them good parents. They usually eat the eggs if they feel threatened or if they feel the spawn was unsuccessful. Cichlids are indeed good parents if given an opportunity to do so.

Quote:
4. How often do they spawn? The same owner at the LFS told me about 3 weeks apart. Is this true? It seems kind of fast if you ask me but I am NO fish expert, that is why I am asking you guys.
It is not unusual for them to spawn every three weeks. This will slow down once they begin having successful hatchings.

Yes, having siblings spawning does dilute the gene pool. It is true that over-breeding with siblings has weakened this gorgeous fish.

Somewhere on this forums main page is a thread called "German Blue Ram Discussion", it is a worthwhile read...there is also a German Blue Ram profile in the profiles section at the top of the forum.

Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:46 PM   #3
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1. 40G sounds fine. Also, a 29G would do well too for a pair.
2. No plecos. If you want something for algae, Otos will work, but definitely not plecos.
3. If you have other fish in the tank, then I'd transfer the eggs to another tank. But if no other fish, then you can go either way, moving the eggs or the parents.
4. Mine have been laying eggs every 2-3 weeks, 4 at most. But I wouldn't guarantee it that often all the time.
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:33 AM   #4
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I agree with everything above, except for the part of breeding siblings causing dilution of a gene pool. Beginning a breeding program with poor quality stock is where the dilution comes from (rams are a perfect example of this).

The many varieties, strains, and colors of certain fish (guppies, bettas, discus, and so on) are created and maintained by breeding for a particular trait and then "inbreeding" that stock to maintain the specific type. Although it's true that you do eventually need to add new stock to a breeding group from time to time, there is no problem.

Be patient and selective when purchasing your rams: if they look like inferior rams, they'll breed inferior rams. Wait on some nice looking specimens to begin your program.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:35 AM   #5
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I too agree with all that is stated above but just want to comment on the length of time between spawns. I had a female who spawned every two weeks or less, it was incredible but she didn't survive for very long and I've always wondered if this had something to do with it. The male would always be the one who stood guard over the clutch of eggs with the female not relieving him at all, as the female I have now always does. They would usually end up eating the eggs after a day and a half or two tops!
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