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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I actually already have the tank setup it's going to be used for a grow out tank in the meantime for some white top hara fry.. Once I get my 1m 4f out of the large group of fry I'm going to sell the rest to my LFS.. I've considered starting a blue ram setup and am completely new to them but have done some minor research.

The tank is a 20 gallon long.. How many blue rams can I run in a tank this small? also, if i can run say only a pair of Rams, whatelse can i add to the tank or would it be wise to just stick with a pair of Rams and be done with it?

Thanks. :thumb:
 

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When you say blue rams, you mean german blue rams?

If yes, I might instead steer you instead towards bolivian rams. Very similar and not as finicky. Also, many GBRs are pumped full of hormones, so they look pretty when you buy them (they're also easy to sex this way), but often they die from the strain of it (usually in 2-4 months after purchase). It's happened to me 6 times (in my 20L), and it's very sad. Bolivians don't need as high a temperature (76 versus 84), so that way you can add some community fish.

If you're set on German blues, at least you know the risks. Make sure the water levels are stable. Be careful to always add the correct temperature water. They won't tolerate the use of many chemicals (to fix/alter water levels). They can be adapted to withstand harder water, but they don't color up well.

Now, in a 20, you'd be safest with one mated pair. But to get one, you'd need several females (to ensure male picks one). Just b/c they're in the tank together doesn't mean they'll pair up. I'd start with 1m 3f. You'd eventually sell off the excess. You could try 2m 4f (and sell extras). But males might beat up on each other (dominant females on weaker females too).

You could have 9-12 community fish (like tetras or guppies). Rams are shy and will like the tetras b/c they show the rams the water's safe--sounds dumb, but it's true. Also, with GBRs I wouldn't do certain tetras, like rummynose or pristellas. You could also have some bottom feeders. I had cories, though the rams would beat up on them (especially when trying to mate, killed two). A bristlenose pleco might be too big for that size tank, but will work better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Toume this is some great information.. The guy I deal with at my LFS also recommended to stay away from the German Blues and go with the Bolivians..

If i went with the Bolivians say 1m 3f how many tetras could I add, the 9-12 like you stated?
 

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toume said:
When you say blue rams, you mean german blue rams?
No, when he says Blue rams he means Blue rams, not German IMPORTED Blue rams. German Blue ram IS NOT the common trade name for Mikrogeophagus rameriz. Blue ram is the common name for Mikrogeophagus rameriz. German has been bandied around too much, that people mistakenly believe it is the common name, where as it actually indicates a particular line bred strain of Blue rams that are exported out of Germany.

Yeah, not a clear explanation, and I have read better on here before. Sorry for the rant and rave, but this is another of my pet hates.
 

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Oops, sorry. It's always how I see them labeled in LFS...so I just assume (but we all know about assuming :wink: )

9-12 tetras works. I have 9. I also had 3 M. Ramirezi, 1m 2f (whatever the common name).
My dominant female beat the sub-dominant female. The male beat on both, haha.

Just make sure the ideal temp for the tetras matches the rams. Bolivians have a generous range-- 72-79 (as seen in the profiles). Most tetras range 74-78, so you can pick any. But I would stay away from the more active ones. They are there to calm the rams, not upset them.

I hear lemon tetras and bleeding heart tetras work well. You could also get something like guppies, if you want live babies to feed to your rams--they will certainly appreciate it :thumb: Rams might be hard on them, but guppies are hardy. I wouldn't get barbs--they're too rough.
 
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blue rams die.. thats all they are good at doing... every single blue ram (except one left) out of idk say over 30 that *** bought has died.. they are a huge waste of money... bolivians stay alive... at least in my experience
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks like I will be getting bolivian with some tetras sounds like an interesting combo away from my mbuna setup. Last thing I want is to deal with dying fish.
 
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they need soft water with a low ph of under 6... which is hard to attain.. a planted tank.. and they still die.. idk im real annoyed with blue rams.. *** had electric blue rams, gold rams, balloon rams, "german" blue rams, (from online breeder) long fin rams they all die... you'll notice that blue rams always come in small.. why you ask? cuz they all die and there are never any at 2inchs.. bolivian rams always come in at at least 2inchs... at least thats my opinion i know some people have other experiences but not me.. *** spent over 300 on rams im sure and they all die... i must have been stupid to keep buying them.. i also have the same luck with kribensis however they stay alive longer but also inevitably die
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What about live plants? Since most of my experience is with keeping Mbuna I never really had to worry about live plants. Although in one of my mbuna setups i did have a bunch of live plants but mostly ferns,moss and anubius.. Since I know Rams love live plants, what are some must have plants with these fish? Looking for some back/mid and foreground plants..

I'm going with a driftwood setup with a few smaller rocks in the sand.
 

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m1ke715m said:
they need soft water with a low ph of under 6... which is hard to attain.. a planted tank.. and they still die.. idk im real annoyed with blue rams.. I've had electric blue rams, gold rams, balloon rams, "german" blue rams, (from online breeder) long fin rams they all die... you'll notice that blue rams always come in small.. why you ask? cuz they all die and there are never any at 2inchs.. bolivian rams always come in at at least 2inchs... at least thats my opinion i know some people have other experiences but not me.. I've spent over 300 on rams im sure and they all die... i must have been stupid to keep buying them.. i also have the same luck with kribensis however they stay alive longer but also inevitably die
I had one reach 2.5"--my male. He was beautiful with great personality too. But no female has ever reached over 1.5. Even if you get them without hormones, blue rams are very difficult to keep. You get best results with RO filters, but those are expensive. Despite their difficulty, I loved keeping them. You just need to get them disease-free, hormone-free, from online or home breeders.

You can get pretty much any plants you like. I like Anubis, anacharis, and swords. The rams I had left them alone (didn't eat them as previous fish have).
 

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if you decide on Blue Rams.. look for local breeders.

I have both Blue and Bolivian Rams..I find the Bolivians Hardier but the Blue rams are not that much more difficult.
I discovered the best luck is with good stock. Many of the Blue rams are imported and many have been exposed to Hormones(how do you think young blue rams get such bright colors)
if you find a local breeder you will find the young Blue rams will lack these vibrant colors..they often do not appear any more vibrant than Bolivian Rams. this color occurs with age and the natural release of hormones.
my local stock have aged nicely.. remember too.. blue rams are smaller than Bolivian Rams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I found some "supposed" good strain of Rams today they looked pretty nice. I think i may attempt them once and see what happens. Worth a shot for 12 bucks a piece..

Here is my current tank that I just setup, I am letting it cycle now as it will be my grow out tank for my white top hara fry, then ill put some Rams in it once I get the 1m 4f I am looking for out of those fry



 

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Gorgeous tank! Love the drift wood! Also, your aquascaping makes it look larger than a 20g.L :thumb:
For rams, I'd get some more leafy plants (ferns & anubias would be fine) & tie some onto the driftwood & plant along the sides. I'd leave the front mostly open, maybe a plant on each end of the front glass.
Question #1.
What kind of Rams did you find, that's suppose to be good strain? At $12.00 I'd take the chance on blue rams if they are suppose to be a good strain :wink: .
Question #2.
Are you getting them from a breeder or taking the word of a LFS? Not that that's a bad thing... if they want repeat business they shouldn't out right lie... just be very vague or say they don't know :lol: haha.
Question #3.
Do you have soft water? Rams are suppose to have soft, low pH water from what I understand. If you're getting them from a breeder they may be use to a harder or higher pH water than wild caught. The drift wood is a good thing for the water chemistry & putting peat moss in your filters is suppose to help too. I have hard water & lost a few blue rams but now have a couple rescued balloon rams that have done fine for close a year. I don't really know if they are hardier or if it's because I did better with the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1. Blue Rams , The funny thing is there is a sale there this weekend for HALF OFF :lol: so why not give them a try? dirt cheap

2. Its actually from an LFS but its privately owned so most of the stuff is from local breeders. I even sell some of my good strain fry to him for a few different mbuna I have.

3. Not yet, I am working on getting the water perimeters set by tomorrow before I add the rams. My tap water is like 8.2 it sucks, so I need to use some PH reducers..

I'm going to be adding the rest of the plants tomorrow. They have a new shipment coming in, so I had to wait.. Im putting some anubius and some of those floating plants, forget the name of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just put 6 bleeding heart tetras in, should be adding the Rams soon. :thumb:
I'm going to Attempt only ONCE a pair of Blue Rams, I seemed to find some 1 1/2" that look pretty decent aren't super colorful yet so that makes me think they aren't jacked with hormones, but we'll see what happens.. I'm getting them for 7 bucks each, so it's worth the risk.

I've got my water at about 6.4 ph and 82, tetras are doing well in it.. Still think 6.4 is to high for the Blue Rams? The place Im getting them from has them in 7.0ph water and they seem to be doing fine, they have been in there for awhile.. so who knows?? :-?





 

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I have 1 electric blue balloon ram and 2 gold rams that I've had since I started the hobby and they are fine, no problems whatsoever. I even had an ich outbreak and only one of them got it and he shook it off with no problem, however my german blue ram did not make it through the ich outbreak. :(

I would say try it. And stop messing with the PH, it's more important to have a steady PH rather than one that fluctuates from you trying to control it. My PH tests neutral and I do water changes every 3-4 days so it doesn't swing (and also because I am a bit over-stocked at the moment...oops).

I use blackwater extract to help keep the water soft as well as driftwood. You can also use Indian almond leaves to help with keeping the water soft and create a more natural habitat.

Don't let other experiences scare you from trying, take them into account and learn from them. If you are committed to water changes and a good diet you should be fine. I feed mine everything, frozen brine, cichlid pellets, cichlid flakes and they also eat the wafers I drop for my bottom dwellers. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the advice I will be trying for sure especially with the price. Going to wait a few weeks
 

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Mine are doing fine in a ten gallon (soon to be in a 29g) for like 2 months and the water is like 8.1 or some thing like that and they are fine doing normal ram stuff. I would say make your water P.H. what ever the stores is then slowly bring it down to 6 or 5.9 or what ever but don't change the P.H. by more than like 1 in a 24 hour period.
 
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