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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long fin german blue ram panting pretty heavily. He was trying to get out of the flow staying near the bottom so I turned it down and he went back up to the surface. So turned it back up and added small airstone. He's currently at the bottom.

His tank showed some ammonia at 0.1 48 hours ago. Liquid test kit. Test weekly but I tested again as he was at the top looking for air. Moved him to a different tank matching the water parameters and temperature first. This was 48 hours ago. Still drip acclimatised him maintaining temperature.

Parameters currently 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, nitrate under 5 (nt labs so api would be under 20). I added two IAL so just checking kh/ph/gh again. Added airstone but flow is high anyway.

New tank is 100 litre tank with 4 claro ancistrus, been cycled two months, then the claros were added first few days of July. U4 fluval filter. Had him 5 weeks, filter he had before was running 9 months with loads of fish so no idea why it crashed, was a U2 filter with just him in quarantine as new.

Water changes are 50% water change a week with small 10/15% change to remove waste mid week. Today did smaller change but around 20%.

Nt labs tap water conditioner as the claros are wild caught.

Fed bug bite, and frozen foods like daphnia, brineshrimp, mosquito larve. Nothing heavy like bloodworm although the shop did feed him that.

Photo won't show heavy breathing and can't upload a video but will try when I post back water test result.

What can I do to help? Be absolutely devastated if I lose him.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just to add if you read my original post I moved him to a diffrrent tank after a week or so as I didn't think 30 litres was enough. He got what I thought was a better filter as a result :(
 

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If there was ever a Cichlid that most closely represented as that proverbial 'Canary In The Coal Mine'? The freshwater aquarium equivalent would almost certainly be Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the German Blue Ram.
Sensitive to just about anything 'off' in the water of their aquariums, this species can make the demands and unforgiving rigors of Discus-keeping seem easy by comparison! :oops:
So... to begin?
- It's possible the filtration 'glitch' you recently experienced caused some damage to the gills and respiratory system of your struggling Cichlid. ANY detectable ammonia or Nitrite in an aquarium for this species, can have some dire consequences.
https://www.thesprucepets.com/ammonia-poisoning-1378479
Unfortunately, for a freshwater fish that has experienced ammonia poisoning, there is no treatment or 'cure' I'm aware of that will help heal any gill damage. Just remove detectable Ammonia or Nitrite from the water, and hope the fish is not so severely injured it can (hopefully) recover on its own.
- I am not confident in the municipal sources of water supply in your country. High measured Nitrate readings in the water provided from the tap, just begin to inform the difficulties of keeping aquarium fish in that water. For example, no one I've heard of believes the tap water is safe to drink from your area of England. To that end, what are you using as a source of water for the aquarium you are keeping the Blue Ram in? If you are RO filtering that water, have you done any testing of that water source before filtration to see what is actually in it? That is, what actually needs to be removed from your water source, to make it safe for freshwater fish?
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There are ways to fight and overcome marginal aquarium water sources. RO filtration is (usually) a key part of the solution, but may not be the only/final answer to solving water quality source problems. :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is no ammonia in my water source. Most people drink tap water here, I do not. I use 2/3 RO and 1/3 tap for rams which gives me a GH of 6, KH 4, PH 7.4. So the ammonia would affect more in that PH. Chicken and efg with PH and KH. Rams need KH high enough to maintain stability. I have ordered a custom HMA filter for the tap water element that will remove nitrates. Currently I keep them at 10-15, by doing 2 water changes a week, 50% at the weekend and 15-20% mid week depending on readings.
 

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Your water change and tank maintenance regimen looks good to me. Keeping the measured Nitrates down to 10 - 15 PPM is good work! :)
Have you installed foam pre-filters on your intakes? Rinsing those clean a couple times per week will help a LOT to reduce Nitrate buildup (Mechanically remove uneaten food and fish waste before it breaks down into those toxic organic compounds).
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Plants?
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Going more heavily planted, and even then adding 'supplemental' plants in the aquarium with immersed species is sometimes necessary. All of that to provide multiple levels of redundancy and ensure that organic, toxic chemicals remain at a stable, measurable ZERO in the aquarium. If plants are done right, your Nitrates will even slow down appreciably - sometimes never rising above 5 - 10 PPM. With no water changes! (Mechanical filtration cleaning must be maintained, however).
 
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