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Old 03-07-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
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Keep losing Rams...

I've been having trouble keeping German Blue Rams... They always make it through the first few weeks just fine, are active, eating, and not taking any crap from any other fish in the tank (in fact they usually end up ganging up on my Red Tail Black shark), and even laid eggs one time, but they keep randomly dropping after 6 months or so. No outward signs of illness, they just start getting lethargic and die within 3 days. The last Ram I lost was from a local long fin breeder, the others were from another standard GBR local breeder.

Here are my water stats, taken when I found my last Ram dead:
Tank size: 75 gallons
Temp - 82F
Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates - 0/0/between 5-10? (taken using API test kit)
pH - 6.5
gH/kH tests - 3 drops to swap colors on each one

The tank has been running for several years now, is heavily planted with lots of potential breeding spots, gets 50% water changes weekly, and no one has been bothering the rams at all other than the pairs doing their normal territorial dances with each other (started with 3 young pairs in my last attempt).

I'm not sure if this is an issue with bad genetic stock or something else, but I'm at a loss on why I keep losing them... Should I try an online breeder? If so, does anyone know a good one?
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Following, I'm on the verge of losing my 2nd ram..
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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Rams are notorious for being sensitive, filled with hormones so their colors are bright and most stores carry very bad stock. I had the same problem myself many times to the point that I had given up on rams for about a year. I finally found some good stock through a private breeder on aquabid and have had absolutely no problems. They came to me in excellent shape, colored up beautifully, belligerent little snots and are actively spawning.

Here's who I got them through, I highly suggest you try them:

YUNITE | SDRAMS - Your No.1 Source of Quality German Blue Rams
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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Rams are notorious for being sensitive, filled with hormones so their colors are bright and most stores carry very bad stock. I had the same problem myself many times to the point that I had given up on rams for about a year. I finally found some good stock through a private breeder on aquabid and have had absolutely no problems. They came to me in excellent shape, colored up beautifully, belligerent little snots and are actively spawning.

Here's who I got them through, I highly suggest you try them:

YUNITE | SDRAMS - Your No.1 Source of Quality German Blue Rams
Nice, that was actually one of the breeders I was thinking about... I went with local breeders first because I was hoping they'd be better adapted to local water. I'm pretty sure these weren't hormone filled since they were private breeders here, but they still seemed pretty sensitive... I'll give Yunite's rams a try!
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:18 PM   #5
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I've had mine from him for 6-7 months now without any deaths *knocks on wood* I spent all day acclimating them when they arrived. About two weeks later they colored right up, paired off and have since been keeping my pristella tetras in line.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:21 PM   #6
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I have a male and two females from the same guy Dragon got hers from. Same. Healthy and active and I've had them 6 months now. They've spawned 4 times so far. The odd out female was a freebie they gave me for ordering the pair. OS.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:21 PM   #7
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I have had my rams for close to 5 months now and they are very bright and active. Temp is 78 with a pH of 7. You're not that far off, pH wise. Temp however, seems a little high. Maybe try lowering down to 79-80? That would be a better temp for them.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:08 PM   #8
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I have had my rams for close to 5 months now and they are very bright and active. Temp is 78 with a pH of 7. You're not that far off, pH wise. Temp however, seems a little high. Maybe try lowering down to 79-80? That would be a better temp for them.
recommended temp is 80-82, no? Thats what I've read in most places.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:25 PM   #9
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+1 on 80-82F. OS.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:37 PM   #10
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Recommendations I've seen has been a max of 78. The local breeder my LFS gets his from says 80 max. That's what I went off of
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:39 PM   #11
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Hey I bet that will work just fine. As they say with hydrogen bombs, "close enough". OS.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:51 PM   #12
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Hey I bet that will work just fine. As they say with hydrogen bombs, "close enough". OS.
And also in horse shoes and hand grenades.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:56 PM   #13
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Back to topic though, OS knows his stuff so I don't know. Are there any other parameters that may be a factor? Or tank mates that may cause problems? What else can you share?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:20 PM   #14
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OH gosh, let me see.....For Ram happiness. Mine are in an understocked 16g bowfront. Just them(one male & two females) and two Corys cats and an Otto. That way NO3 never gets above 15 ppm at weekly WC. Lots of Crypts and Anubias to hide in. Some roundish flat rocks to lay eggs on. Temp is 80F. pH is 6.8 and my KH is only 4 dKH. Pretty soft. That's it. I dose 6ml of 50:50 glut each morning for the plants and PPS-Pro ferts. Medium light LED. Aqua Clear 30 HOB and the WC is 60% every Sunday. I use Prime.
IMO most important is pH, NO3 and temp. ???? Don't know of any secrets other than that. OS.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:04 AM   #15
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Low nitrates and pH, my pH is 6.8 and trates 10 ppm, warmer temp 80-82-ish range, 0 trites and ammonia, lots of plants, woods and friendly dither fish. I have 4 pairs in a moderately heavily planted 40g breeder with Mopani wood, pressurized CO2, small terra cotta pots, black slate, otos, an ANB pleco and Pristella tetras.

I do small water changes weekly and feed them a food that I make myself that is 100% all natural.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:08 AM   #16
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HI Dragon! How are you doing young lady? Hope your well and warm.
I can't get my Rams to not eat the eggs. Been 5 spwns so far. I am going to do an intervention next time. OS.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:10 AM   #17
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Hey OS,

I'm hanging in there, staying out of the freak snow storm that's hitting here today. Saw this ram post earlier and since I love rams I had to pop back in
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:00 AM   #18
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Would a ph. of 7.5 be enough to significantly reduce their lifespan?
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:32 PM   #19
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Would a ph. of 7.5 be enough to significantly reduce their lifespan?
It shouldn't. Neutral is 7
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:35 PM   #20
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It shouldn't. Neutral is 7
ok thanks
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