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Old 10-20-2017, 11:35 AM   #1
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Ram aggression

A few weeks ago I was looking for a centerpiece fish for my tank and was asking around my local fish stores for ideas. Against my better judgement I let my local fish store talk me into a single German Blue Ram for my tank. My tank is a 20 gallon long and currently houses: 7 pygmy cories, 9 harlequin rasbora, 1 nerite snail, and the female ram. Until just a few days ago I had two massive ghost shrimp but I suspect that she ate them; only surprising because I didn't think she was big enough yet.

She is beautiful, full of personality, and comes right up to my hand when I feed the tank. However, she also thinks the entire tank is her territory. She chases and pecks at the little cories while they are searching for food. I don't mind her telling off the rasboras because they would never share food otherwise. I was told that she would only do this if she had fry, which is why I only got her. So do I just happen to have an especially aggressive ram? Should I take her back to the store? I feel terrible taking a fish back to the store but I also don't want her to kill my cories. Some of them have grown from fry in my tank :/
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
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I wouldn't worry too much about the Cory Cats, they are fast swimmers and durable. Regarding cichlids, it's really not aggression unless damage occurs to others. In the wild, FW shrimps would likely be a natural food of most cichlids. IMO, your ram is the best, most interesting fish in your tank. Maybe the addition of a male ram would elevate your enthusiasm regarding those beautiful dwarfs.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:00 PM   #3
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Interesting; so you think she wouldn't become more aggressive with a mate in the tank? I would love to see a pair of them together but I would be worried they would actually attack the little catfish instead of just nipping at them if they had fry. She does seem to only chase and nip at meal time and ignores everyone the rest of the time.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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Females can be as tough as males...
I would think she may settle in?
Cories are known to be too stupid for their own good and have been killed by breeding fish like rams and apsitos....
I also believe that cories are toxic besides being protected by their spines?
I know they excrete a toxin when stressed /fear that keeps large #'s of them from being shipped together..
The Poison of the Corydoras[edit]
Many species of Corydoras have a poisonous self-defence mechanism against being eaten by much larger fish. All Corys have very sharp fin spines and some seem to give off a low level toxic chemical into the water when frightened or highly stressed.[2] This toxin is believed to be only mildly irritating to people and only if the person is stressing and handling the Cory with their bare hands and is stung.[3] [4]
Self-Poisoning[edit]
A rare but recorded event is that at least some some species of Corys appear to be capable of releasing a poisonous mucus from its gills when alarmed which causes itself and other fish in confined volumes of water to rapidly die. Species believed to show this trait are C. adolfoi, C. arcuatus, C. melini, C. metae, C. panda, C. robineae', C. rabauti, C. atropersonatus, C. sterbai and C. trilineatus. This ability is poorly researched and other Corydoras species may be affected. [5][6]
Taken from ;
https://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Category:Corydoras
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:34 PM   #5
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I think that if you added a male German Blue, you likely would get hooked on cichlids. Their bark is far worse than their bite. It's been a while since I've kept Germans or Bolivians but my experience with them was good. I don't remember any of my dwarf rams killing any tankmate.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:34 PM   #6
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I want to warn you it is not necessary that the male and female will pair up. It may work out or it may not. Its always good to put three four rams to spread the aggression. One ram certainly not a good idea. They like to live in numbers.

Rams will never spare any shrimp. If its big enough they will make him fit into mouth by attacking them. Same they will do with small snails.

German blue ram is by far the most beautiful fish and with very nice personality but as I said keeping them in numbers will work and you will enjoy there true bright colors.

You can try a male ram. Let's see how it goes. Give them many plants to live.
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:03 PM   #7
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Hrm. Well now I am not sure what I should do. I definitely want my fish to be as happy as possible. I don't want the ram to be lonely. I typically research like crazy. I admit that she was an impulse buy so I had not thought out the best situation. Should I try adding a male and two other females and see if a pair forms? Or I am just asking for trouble? I don't want a pair to terrorize the tank. I will post a picture so you can get an idea of the setup.

On a side note my purple harlequin rasboras have been trying to spawn so that is kind of cool.

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Old 10-21-2017, 11:28 PM   #8
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Nice tank. Don't worry about stocking that many, your tank is not that large. One male and female is okay, or add one male and two additional females. Four total. Not a good idea to stock two males without a harem. Either way and to the point, your current ram more than likely won't cause any harm.
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:35 PM   #9
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Like I said no matter what yoy do your rams will be dominant fish in this tank. Even if they pair up still its in there nature to dominate. About impulse buy I can understand. No denying the beauty of this fish. Looking at your set up is you have some hiding spots which rams like. You just need to add some more plants if you can. According to my experience they do well with plants. Please let me know if your German blue ram started to eat already or not? With rams any small fish they will bully but according to me they won't continuesly chasing other fish. Mostly they are territorial to there own kind. I know what the stats say but I believe you can put three rams in your 20 gallon. Again choice is yours. They are beautiful but need warm water and also finicky and picky eaters.

Mine are not accepting anything than bloodworms so I give them bloodworms in morning and pellet food at night which they hardly eat and spit out mostly. Spitting out is there natural behavior too but mine love bloodworms most. If your ram is accepting flake or any other food I say keep them. Just try or you can return to store. I kept my rams with bigger fish like angels and they doing great. They do great with small fish like neons even even so I think they won't kill any of your fish. Probably your ram is angry because alone. I say put two more rams and see how it goes. Put two females and one male and you will be good most likely. I so far never seen rams killing any tank mate really.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:18 AM   #10
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Thanks Yeah, I definitely didn't mean for that many fish to stay in the tank. I just know that they need to choose their mate. What would be the best way to attempt a pair when you already have one ram? They definitely do have big personalities for little fish.
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