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I was at petsmart today and came across some really nice german blue rams. Nicest ones I've seen in years. I had a spare 15 gallon set up so I figured I'd buy them. I ended up with 1 male 3 females. The females look like thier ready to pop (fat).

I've never alterd my water chemistry before and would like to lower my PH. Right now it's 7.6 but I have a brand new RO unit. I've never used it though.

I've kept rams in the past and even had them lay eggs but they never hatched because my PH was too high.

How do I lower my ph? gradually? water changes with half tap half RO? What do I put the ro water in?

Do rams raise there fry or do I have to seperate them?

Any tips or sugestions would be appreciated.
 

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I use Discus buffer to lower my PH.. My water natural is about 8.2 with the discus buffer I get it down to 6.4 without much effort.. I've found that for a 30% water change two tblsp seems to be the perfect amount in a 55.. You will just need to see what works best with your setup. You should have done it without the fish though so you can play around with water conditions.. That is what I did to see what effect each change,ph reducer,temp had on my water until I got it perfect. Those German blues may be tough, they are so sensitive to water conditions. It will be interesting to see if they survive.. I would lower it gradually , don't make huge PH changes.. How big are they? Also, *** found around 82 temp seems to work perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cromak said:
I use Discus buffer to lower my PH.. My water natural is about 8.2 with the discus buffer I get it down to 6.4 without much effort.. I've found that for a 30% water change two tblsp seems to be the perfect amount in a 55.. You will just need to see what works best with your setup. You should have done it without the fish though so you can play around with water conditions.. That is what I did to see what effect each change,ph reducer,temp had on my water until I got it perfect. Those German blues may be tough, they are so sensitive to water conditions. It will be interesting to see if they survive.. I would lower it gradually , don't make huge PH changes.. How big are they? Also, I've found around 82 temp seems to work perfectly.
Ok thx
 

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RO water can be mixed with your tap water to lower the PH (and tds). Anyone who uses an RO unit should really keep two types of tanks. Half the tanks can be for soft water fish, and the other tanks can be used for african rift lake cichlids that need higher PH and tds levels.

Lowering PH and tds is may only be half the step, you may need to acidify your water as well. You can use a few different products to do this, aquarium safe peat, Canadian sphagnum moss, or certain leaves such as Oak or Ketapang.
 

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Since you live in warren, I would skip on the Petsmart rams and make a trip to Either Anchorbay Aquarium in New Baltimore or out to Fantastic Fins in Livonia, they will have better quality fish that were bred and raised in tap water, and will easily do so for you. Then all you have to do is either wait until they stop eating the spawns or master artificial hatching :thumb:
 

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IME, pH is not as relevant with Rams as TDS (total dissolved solids) and temperature. I would recommend cutting your water with R/O to the point where the total hardness is below 200 ppm, or about 11 DH. Saying "cut with 50% R/O" is irrelevant because the hardness of tap water can vary from one area to another. If I cut my well water 50%, it would only drop the hardness to about 700 ppm right now. Other times of the year, it would not even bring it below 1000 ppm. On the other hand, if I lived in town and had municipal water from Lake Michigan, I would not need to cut it at all, as that runs about 150-175 ppm.

Contrary to popular belief, cutting your water with R/O by itself does not reduce pH, you have to add an acidifier to do that. While I don't consider it a necessity, it does help keep down the number of eggs that fungus up. What does happen is that soft water goes acid from pollution faster than water with high KH buffering in it.

And Pestmart does not sell GERMAN Blue Rams. They sell COMMON Blue Rams, from Asian farm raised fish. German Blue Rams are a particular form that was line bred in Germany for decades, with very heavy black markings that almost never fade out. Asian fish tend to be fairly weak, as they are raised in crowded tanks with lots of antibiotics to prevent disease. The result is fish that are highly susceptible to disease when they go out into the "real" world.
 

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Hey Fishguy28 you will know your local LFS and hobbiest breeders, but are you sure the locally bred rams are bred in straight tap water.

My local (Brisbane) tap water is usually pretty **** for keeping soft water dwarf cichlids, PH 7.6, TDS flucuates between 600 and 800 depending on how much lime is added to the water at the dams. However, many homes have large rain water tanks in thier yards (my father has two 5000 litre [1315 gallon] rain water tanks), so we use a lot of rain water with our fish.

There are two large scale Blue ram breeders locally, and both use a lot of rain water in thier setups. So while the rams are bred locally, they are not bred in straight tap water.
 

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I am good friends with both store owners, and have worked with both them and the local breeders that they get their stock from on breeding projects on several occasions, so I am well versed in their techniques and wouldn't dare recommend anyone I was unsure of :D
 
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