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Old 03-27-2023, 02:05 AM   #1
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:( Ram Cichlid not doing well..

Hello all, I just started a fresh water tank recently. About 10 days ago I got a German Ram Cichlid, and already she is upside-down and still on the bottom of her tank. I saw her swim for a moment, and it was in upside-down circles, like she cant swim forward or correctly.

Shes in a 20 gallon with another ram and two small corys. All of the water levels should be perfect, thats the first thing I checked. I am new to this hobby though and am not sure what else this could be caused by? Thanks..

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Old 03-27-2023, 02:25 AM   #2
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Please take a read through the "unhealthy fish" sticky and give as much detail as you are able. Things like " All of the water levels should be perfect" isnt helpful as we have no idea what you consider perfect. Give numbers.


I would be particularly interested in the water temperature. Temperature ranges for corys and german rams dont normally overlap. Do you know what type of cory you have? German rams like the water much hotter than most people keep their tanks. Set it up for the corys (<24c), too cold for the ram. Set it up for the ram (>28c), too hot for the cory. Set up as a compromise (26c), not suited to either.
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:24 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum

Can you post a picture and 1 minute video of the fish?
You can upload videos to YouTube, then copy & paste the link here.
If you use a mobile phone to film the fish, hold the phone horizontally so the footage fills the entire screen and doesn't leave big black sections on either side.

How long has the tank been set up for?
How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?

What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH in numbers?
What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?

If you plan on getting more fish, wait until everyone has been perfectly healthy for at least one month before getting more fish.


Spinning/ spiraling out of control is normally caused by an infection in the brain. It can be a bacterial, fungal, viral or protozoan infection and there's not really any way of telling which it is. Once the fish has started spinning, it usually ends up dying. You can try doing some big (75%) water changes and adding a bit of salt, but there's no guarantee on fish when they are spinning.


You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), swimming pool salt, or any non iodised salt (sodium chloride) to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
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cichlid, ich, ram, ram cichlid

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