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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 3 Bolivian Rams in my 55 Gallon tank, I have tried to put Blue Rams in there as well but I can never keep them. I have gone through 5 now and I'm done trying. Are Blue Rams THAT much more sensitive then Bolivian?

PH- 7.4
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrates- Varies, never let to go above 30

It's a planted tank with big pieces of driftwood and some smooth river rock. I'm thinking about getting more Bolivian Rams, specially since the 3 I have are kinda ugly (They are Bolivians, just very poor specimens in regards to coloration and shape).
 

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It's most likely the pH that is making your experiences with the blue rams a tough one. If you knock it down to something like 6.8 and keep it stable that would probably make a world of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, they're a beautiful fish but dang...I've lost a lot of money on those little guys (around here they go for $12-$15 a piece).

Oh and I wanted to add that the Bolivian's and my Apisto pair I've had no issues with the higher PH. I have extremely hard water which is great for my African tank, but this SA community is proving a challenge.
 

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Your Bolivians will make up in personality what they lack in colour to the Blues... In a 55 I think a group of 6 would be great. Maybe post in the BRC thread (that's Bolivian Rams Club as now there is a compettitor ;) ) and get an idea on sex ratios... It has been my experiance with Bolivians that 1:1 ratio is fine - but you may see more interesting behaviour if you go 2m : 4f or something like that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh I've seen some pictures of other people's Bolivians...the three I bought aren't nearly that good looking. Hoping to find someone who has some nice blood lines with shape and color.
 

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My first guess is either bad stock for your blues ... or the nitrates ... blues seem to be one of the more nitrate sensitive species available ... and 30 ppm I would consider high for other dwarves, let alone gbr's ...
 

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blue rams and bolivians like different water conditions.

bolivians, like a pH around neutral or a tinny bit higher, and some water hardness.

blue rams like the water to be as soft and acidic as possible.

The bolivians may be able to tolorate a wider range of conditions, but the blue's cannot.

One other note, blue rams can be difficult to establish, often times one or more just wont take to the tank, even under perfect conditions.
 

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What's your KH?

NitrAtes are too high for Blue Rams, how frequently do you change water? What are the nitrAtes from your tap?

If the Blues were bred locally or have been acclimatised to the pH in your area then they'll do fine, the only real difference you'll see is that they aren't as vibrant and spawns aren't usually successful (also dependant on your KH).

It is obviously better to meet their requirements - pH 5-6, KH 2, temp 30C, very frequent water changes (with matching water) and really importantly - keep those nitrAtes at a max of 10 (that's as high as I would recommend, above that and you start having less chance of success.)

Kept in appropriate conditions you will enable them to thrive and you will get the most out of them, but to keep them with other fish (ie your Bolivians) means you're already going to have to make compromise - not many fish tolerate that temperature, KH or pH.

I always find it better to keep Blue Rams to a species tank, all of their own, perhaps with a few hardy dithers that can tolerate the high temperature without burning out.

FWIW I've kept my Bolivians for probably near enough two years in pH of 5.5, KH 2. Bolivians are very capable of tolerating a wide range of conditions BUT I do not advise that they are kept below a pH of 6.5 unless you are already really familiar with them - it's a fine line to tread but it can have advantages (like massive spawn success rates).

So in other words, I don't advise mixing Bolivians and Blues, the Bolivians will always dominate the Blues, whether you see it or not, Blue Rams do not handle stress well at all, so this on top of compromised conditions = the probable cause of your issues here.

If you really are keen on Blue Rams then why not set up a small 15 gallon with a nice pair, they can live quite happily like this and it also means you can really accomodate to their every need.

Here are mine in a 10/15:
http://blairo.moonfruit.com/#/videospg1/4528876316

First video of that page.

Oh yes - I would certainly advise you get more Bolivians, have you sexed them? Do you know if you have 2m/1f, 1m/2f? Either way you have an outcast fish in there that will be getting stressed (again you don't have to see aggression for it to be there). I would recommend you check out my sexing guide here:
http://brc.moonfruit.com/#/sexingguide/4528902946

If you still have trouble post some pics in the BRC thread. Really you should be looking at stocking 1m/4f or 2m/3f, that or a pair, but no third wheel!

Do you have any other Cichlids in this tank? What are the general tank mates?

Blair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First, I said they have never reached higher then 30...99.9% of the time they're between 5-10 ppm. I said 30 as a very extreme high end. None of my tanks have ever been above 15 when testing...I just didn't have a reading at the time of the post so I wanted to error high rather then say "My Nitrates are perfect!" type of thing.

And I think I'm just going to stick with Bolivians, they have done extremely well in my tank and I now just need to find someone who has some good lookin ones.
 

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If you say that nitrates reach 30 ppm, then expect to get suggestions based on that. But don't feel you need to get defensive, we're trying to HELP, not judge.

If your nitrAtes never go above 15, great, but I still say to you keep them below 10. Between 5 and 10 is fine, the lower, the better. You said you never let them go above 30 - which suggests that at times they may creep up that way - regardless of whether this is norm or not if they go above 10-15 max for any amount of time, you're risking problems with these fish.

The only way I can see you having variable nitrates is if your water changes aren't as frequent as they perhaps could be. In a well planted tank you should be trying to keep the nitrAtes up as the plants use them - unless you have high nitrates out the tap, or a very heavy fishload that pushes the nitrAtes up at a faster rate than they can be absorbed by the plants. So I find this a little odd.

So, how many waterchanges a week? What percentage water change?

And if you can be more specific about your KH that would answer a lot too.

:thumb:

Edited to edit after your edit, I think? If not, time to edit? Geddit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Geddit inc!

Didn't mean to come off defensive, sorry :oops: Just when I can't test I prefer to over shoot then under.

KH has been a battle with this tank but with some help from the guys over at the Planted Aquarium forum I have gotten that in check (my water is naturally hard...my Africans love it! :thumb: )

I think I'm just going to look for some nice looking Bolivians, they seem to do really well in my tank and if I can find some better looking ones I'm good to go.

Yes my Bolivians are kinda fugly, not their fault they come from poor stock!
 

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No need to apologise bud, I just wanted to make it clear that no-one is here to give you grief or judge you based on what you do, not unless you really deserve it :p.

It's also better to think worse than to think it's all ok, you've got that right :lol:, no surprises then eh.

If you've read even a third of my posts you'll understand that all I'm going to do at the sign of someone considering more Bolivians, is push you.

Go on, get more.......

Now!

In seriousness though, I suggest you do some reading on the Bolivian if you haven't already:
www.brc.moonfruit.com

Go to the articles section where you will find our (written by Ruurd and I) general Care and Maintenance article and my sexing guide.

The other article you really should read is by Ed, regarding breeding (highly detailed) and it's fantastic:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/b ... sa_pt1.php

Blair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I already have the BRC site bookmarked :D

The Bolivians that are pictured there are some good lookin fish...I hope I can find some with those markings/coloration.
 

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Yeah, I doubted you had it at 30ppm all the time. :p

Also temps for blue rams, they are found in very warm water. One collection data had the water temp at 91F though I doubt it stays that through out the year. I would go higher than 82F with them though, more discus like 84-86F ... unfortunately few other fish can handle that temp though. I had no problem with gbr's once I cranked the temp to 86F where had lots of problems when it was 82F and below. Just some thoughts ... cuase well a 20 long with gbr's and cardinals is an awesome sight.
 

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I agree with you Cook - some of those people in the BRC have fantastic looking Bolivians - Katierose, Blair, Edburress, and Dutchdude are the ones that jump to memory for me anyway...

With the Blue Rams I agree with what dwarfpike is saying - Temp plays a big part. Bigger than I expected really - considering my run-o'-the-mill Blue rams were several (at least 3) generations tank bred... Once I upped he temp from 79f to 82f their overall being improved... Because I have a sort of community tank (I tried to pick fish that are good in the low 80's) I don't want to push the heat too much higher than that...
 

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Hey, stop trying to push Blue Rams!!

We've already converted Cook

Mwaaaaahahahahahahahahaaaaa!

:lol:

Hey I concur, to quote myself:
It is obviously better to meet their requirements - pH 5-6, KH 2, temp 30C.......

Kept in appropriate conditions you will enable them to thrive and you will get the most out of them, but to keep them with other fish (ie your Bolivians) means you're already going to have to make compromise - not many fish tolerate that temperature........

I always find it better to keep Blue Rams to a species tank, all of their own, perhaps with a few hardy dithers that can tolerate the high temperature without burning out.
Who can blame them, they're hot little fish :D.

(Thanks D - for your nice words bud.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah German Blues are amazing looking fish, but I've seen some pics on the BRC site of some hot lil Bolivians!

Now if I can just find some like that...
 
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