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.