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Old 01-31-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Question new Bolivian Ram hiding & refusing to eat

Last Wednesday I purchased two Bolivian Rams from a local chain fish store with whom I've had nothing but good experiences (i.e., no sick fish). The fish I'm concerned about is male. In addition to these 2 new fish, I also have 3 other Bolivian Rams in my 55gal tank, 2 males and a female. Since I brought him home, the new male addition has shown no interest in eating and spends most of his time hiding underneath driftwood or leaves. I've offered Tetra floating crisps, Omega sinking pellets, and frozen brine shrimp, but he's not left his hiding spot for any of it. Other than occasionally being chased by my convict, I haven't noticed anyone harassing him.

I've had problems in the past with one of my males exhibiting similar behavior and have found that going through a few treatments with Tetra Parasite Guard seems to get him back to normal, but so far that hasn't worked with my new little guy.

Water parameters:
Temp ~ 79
Nitrate ~ 10ppm
Ammonia & Nitrite = 0
pH ~ 7.2

The store has a 14 day return policy on FW fish and I know I could take him back, but I don't think they'd take the time to treat him, though if there's nothing I can do I'd prefer to exchange or return him rather than have him die on day #16. Can anyone recommend other treatments or have any idea what might be wrong with him?
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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Is your substrate sand or gravel? When I first brought my bolivians home and fed them the sinking omega pellets they just let it fall into the gravel. I found out they prefer to eat off the sand and sift through it so I switched my substrate to sand.

They will now eat the pellets before they land on the ground but at first they wouldn't.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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I have gravel substrate with a sandbox area in one corner for the cory cats. I've seen some of my other rams digging through the gravel, including the other new little one, but not him. Even when the food falls all around him, including a flake landing on his nose, he seems oblivious and disinterested. I know the store feeds them a low-quality flake food but surely it can't be so different from what I'm offering that he doesn't realize it's food, right?
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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So, you've had him for 2 days or 1 week and 2 days? If it's only been 2 days I'd give him more time to get used to his surroundings, but if it's a 9 days like it sounds I'd say that is a long time to go without eating, but it could be he only eats when you're not around.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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It's been 9 days, the rams were purchased on the 23rd of January. I typically feed them twice a day so it seems unlikely that over this many days I've still not seen him eat. I was most suprised when he showed no interest in the frozen brine shrimp, the other much smaller ram that I purchased at the same time was in fighting with the larger rams for bites.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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UPDATE: When I fed everybody this evening, he briefly sucked in one of the Omega pellets off a piece of driftwood but spit it out as soon as it crossed his lips. My current plan is to fast everybody tomorrow and then try offering frozen bloodworms on Sunday, so hopefully if I have just not been around to see him eat he'll be to eager to resist. Also saw him briefly challenge one of the other rams too, but then he quickly went back into hiding.

Any other suggestions or advice are welcome
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:41 AM   #7
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Good luck, I've never seen a fish turn down frozen blood worms. I'd say there's definitely something wrong if he does especially after a fast.
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