New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 87 Old 06-18-2008, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Speaking of dwarf cichlids, I've been looking around and Blue Rams are nice looking fish and a good size as well.

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post #22 of 87 Old 06-18-2008, 10:55 AM
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The blue rams are small and for the most part peaceful towards tankmates except during spawning activities. They are very sensitive to nitrites and poor water conditions and thrive at temp. of 82 to 84 degrees. Sadly they are a short lived fish 3 maybe 4 years in ideal conditions. Tank raised specimens as opposed to the ones imported from the east seem to do better. I have never been able to sustain the imported ones for more than eight momths. Currently have seven of the tank raised specimens and for my money they have more personality than many people I have known. :D

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #23 of 87 Old 06-18-2008, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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That's pretty warm. I was planning on shooting for 78 degrees or so.

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post #24 of 87 Old 06-18-2008, 05:03 PM
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Bleach is good for cleaning. Just make sure you rinse anything bleached very thoroughly afterwards!

Blue Rams do tend to be very sensitive- not so much because they're a sensitive species but because of the breeding practices of them. They're mass farmed in asia with major hormones to they all come out male, and extra colorful. Consequentially they are quite prone to, um, dying.

I've read a bunch of different temperature ranges on these guys, anywhere from 72-85. The book I have, which I trust immensely, leans towards the cooler end of the spectrum. They are from a large range, and so occur in a pretty wide range of temperatures, which is probably why there's so many different reports. They should do absolutely fine in 78 degrees.

I have 1 Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus) whom I absolutely love. They're quite a bit hardier than the Blue Rams and known to be a little less shy. They may be a little less colorful, but mine has become gorgeous as he has matured. I keep him at 78-80 degrees and he's very, very healthy and active.

Also, a note on Rams, they are definitely a more docile cichlid than many, but they are still cichlids. If you keep a pair, and they decide to spawn, be prepared for carnage. Even if you keep a single one, they are territorial, and him and the RTBS may not share space well.
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post #25 of 87 Old 06-20-2008, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Well I'll just have to consider my options. I've still got a while to find something that swims at the top of the tank, won't get nipped to death by serpaes and can cohabitate with a RTBS.

In other news cleaning is proceeding, my biowheel filter and one of the power filters are cleaned up and ready to go. I'm only fixing up one power filter because three filters is two more than I need, and one more than if I'm paranoid. The other powerfilter is also pretty awful looking.



I pulled off the rest of the uptake tube for the photo.

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post #26 of 87 Old 06-20-2008, 04:59 PM
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More is definitely better :D You can't overfilter a tank (unless there's too much current for the fish to swim, lol). But I agree that if one looks nasty, and is probably noisy, there's no need to use that one. Two should be plenty.

Also, just for reference, Rams are bottom dwellers. I wasn't sure if you realized that.
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post #27 of 87 Old 06-20-2008, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Well, they're still interesting. Bottom dwelling would put the ram right in the RTBS' face and I'd have to hope they could get along. Well maybe next tank.

I cleaned more tonight and just for kicks tested my tap water. If I'm reading this right I have no ammonia or nitrites in my tap water but its hard as a rock.


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post #28 of 87 Old 06-20-2008, 11:05 PM
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Looks like you're using the API Liquid Master test kit... the next thing I would do is test your water with the high-range pH testing solution. With the fish you mentioned (with the possible exception of the ram) any pH up to about 8.0 should be within range for adaptation. As long as they're acclimated properly, you should have no problems. Look at it this way: with a pH above 7.0, at least you should have no problem keeping snails from getting shell erosion.

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post #29 of 87 Old 06-20-2008, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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I realized I should have done the high range PH right about the time the last of the water was circling the drain.

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post #30 of 87 Old 06-21-2008, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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So I did it this morning.



Using the API kit I tested for nitrates and high PH. Nitrates read zero so that's good. The pH reads about 7.9 to 8.0. Yikes.

I've had someone recommend using distilled water to help bring down the pH some. About 3 or 4 gallons of distilled water per 10 gallon water change. I've heard a lot of people say that anything between 6.0 and 8.0 is fine, but I'm bumping up against the upper limit of that range.

Oh, and my tank is now clean and inside. Time to wash sand.


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