Blue Ram Water Condition - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Blue Ram Water Condition

Well The other day I irrationally bought a pair of Blue Rams while I was down by my LFS (I blame the all nighter I had just pulled for a project, but thats beside the point). Anyhow, Ive got incompatible water conditions for these fish, they seem to be doing fine in the QT with a ph of about 8 (crazy, I know), but I really want to get things right for these fish so I don't have to return them (I don't think I can) or have them die due to water quality.

I do not know the hardness of the water, (Ive got a test coming in the mail). All I can monitor is ph currently. What can I do to help these guys out? Is peat moss a stable form for adjusting water quality? I have read of people using ph lowering powders and water changes with RO water, this seems unstable, and I would like to adjust the water using more natural, stable methods.

If anyone has any sugestions or threads I should read, that would be great. Also if anyone could tell me some signs of stress or health issues in these cichlids I should be watching out for that would be really great as well.

Thanks for any help,
Sean
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post #2 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 09:06 PM
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No need to fiddle with your pH and hardness if your rams are doing absolutely fine. Keep everything simple and steady IMO with blue rams. They're already sensitive to fluctuating changes.

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post #3 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 09:11 PM
Rams will appear fine for a while but I have never heard of someone keeping rams in a pH that high for a long period of time. I would use Acid Buffer to lower your pH. They also prefer temperature between 80- 86F

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post #4 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 09:19 PM
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Their lifespan is very short so you cannot expect them to survive for a long period of time, however long you meant it to be.

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post #5 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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I am very hesitant to mess with ph and hardness as I have never tried before. I am kind of nervous I would alter it too fast or that once adjusted it would swing back too quickly.

I purchased some peat today and placed one pinch in my 10g serpae tank's filter to see how it affects the water.

I have also considered purchasing a used RO unit if I can find one. I really like these rams and would like to keep them around for as long as I can, as well as try my hand at breeding some. Do yall have any sugestions for signs indicating poor health/water quality in rams ie: fin placement, eating, breathing, vivid/dull stripes and or color, etc.
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post #6 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanmiller09 View Post
I am very hesitant to mess with ph and hardness as I have never tried before. I am kind of nervous I would alter it too fast or that once adjusted it would swing back too quickly.

I purchased some peat today and placed one pinch in my 10g serpae tank's filter to see how it affects the water.

I have also considered purchasing a used RO unit if I can find one. I really like these rams and would like to keep them around for as long as I can, as well as try my hand at breeding some. Do yall have any sugestions for signs indicating poor health/water quality in rams ie: fin placement, eating, breathing, vivid/dull stripes and or color, etc.
Rule of thumb is to not try to keep soft water fish in hard water, but rather keep fish that enjoy the water you have from tap. The Rams are soft water fish and judging from your pH, you have hard water I would imagine.
Best chance for the fishes would be a mixture of 70 percent R/O water and 30 percent tapwater mixed before use in a five gallon bucket and then use this water for water changes each week.
The Rams when young don't have much color until they reach around one inch. Faded colors on fish larger than an inch,clamped fins,labored breathing,and or gasping at surface would all be indication that the fishes are uncomfortable.
Drip acclimation of fishes ove a period of an hour (or longer) is best method for acclimating fishes but even then,,I would not expect these particular fishes to fair well for long, in hard alkaline water.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #7 of 51 Old 02-23-2011, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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I used an extremely slow drip from my main tank that took about 36 hrs. Haha. Not that I usually spend so much time its just that I didn't have time to mess with them at that moment due to my midterm presentation being the following morning.

I think I am going to buy an ro unit as I hate the water in Knoxville, and it will help get the water where it needs to be without having to worry about fluctuating conditions. When using ro water, does one need to do anything else to it before adding it? What is the purpose of blending it with tap water? Just to add a little bit of mineral content back to the water?
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post #8 of 51 Old 02-24-2011, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Seanmiller09 View Post
I used an extremely slow drip from my main tank that took about 36 hrs. Haha. Not that I usually spend so much time its just that I didn't have time to mess with them at that moment due to my midterm presentation being the following morning.

I think I am going to buy an ro unit as I hate the water in Knoxville, and it will help get the water where it needs to be without having to worry about fluctuating conditions. When using ro water, does one need to do anything else to it before adding it? What is the purpose of blending it with tap water? Just to add a little bit of mineral content back to the water?
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Yes ,tapwater or buffers must be used to provide minerals that fish need and stable pH.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 51 Old 02-24-2011, 12:42 PM
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Previous posts have offered good advice, but I would like to expand a bit before you (Sean) jump into something.

Do you know the source of the fish, by which I mean, are they the true Mikrogeophagus ramirezi and wild caught, or are they tank-raised (as one of the varieties would be, and perhaps wild stock tank-raised by a local breeder for example)? This makes a significant difference.

This species is highly sensitive to water parameters and conditions; it must have stable water. The parameters should be those in which it was raised, hence my previous question on the origin of your fish. These fish do not tolerate fluctuating water parameters/conditions, and they will not last in such a state.

Their normal life span is 4 years. But in my experience, and from cichliid breeders who have raised them, this only occurs when water is stable and close to their preference (where they were raised).

Temperature also figures into this, as well as hardness (this is critical) and pH. These are warm-water fish, no lower than 80F. Tankmates obviously must be able to manage in warm water.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 51 Old 02-24-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I contacted the LFS and they had been quarantined at the store for 3 weeks with a ph of 7.2 and a temp of 78-80.

The manager I spoke with could not release the breeder's information to me, but he is going to contact them tomorrow and ask them what water conditions they keep their rams in.

So I will hold off on any changes (other than water changes) to the tank for now. Although I still want that R/O unit, mainly for me
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