Got a long finned german blue ram on Monday. Put him in a tank with a relatively new filter although ammonia and nitrite were at 0 for 2 weeks prior, and nitrates above tap level. He was breathing qiite heavily in the shop, improved on day 2 at home. Tanks been running 6 weeks first as a quarantine for 16 ember tetras and 3 corys, then moved them to my display tank, and put 4 claro ancistrus in fhere. Upon adding the claros got a nitrite reading under 1 but not 0 for a few days but it disappeared without me doing anything. 2 weeks after that added the long finned GBR. Ammonia and nitrite stayed at 0, but after seeing day 2 massive improvements from his shop condition on day 5 he started panting with his gills going. I checked parameters again using a liquid test, all still zero.
Decided as he wasn't doing well, and I know GBR's can fade away quickly, that I would put him in a 30 litre tank on his own as the filter was much more established (running sinxe October). There were 6 cpd's and 3 threadfin rainbows in there, I moved them to the claro tank.
48 hours on he is doing better, coloured up beautifully, food begging etc so hopefully ok. But he is breathing quite fast. His gills aren't going, and he seems calm and interactive. He's very chilled out for a dwarf cichlid. Is breathing faster than other fish normal for a gbr or is it telling me the waters not soft enough?
He was in the shop for 3 weeks in GH 11 ph 7.5. My GH is 9, ph 7.6 in that tank. Next water change I am going to just use RO to bring it down further to a GH of 6. Ideally don't want to lower GH below 6 as KH will be 4, particularly in a small tank need to monitor KH closely.
I've not had rams before, have keyholes and apistogramma. So would welcome any input from experienced keepers as I know they are super sensitive.
He's beautiful so hope I can keep him healthy for a few years!
PS photo was in the shop