Bolivian Ram turning "dark"??
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Bolivian Ram turning "dark"??

This is a discussion on Bolivian Ram turning "dark"?? within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> I got my Bolivian Ram less than 2 weeks ago. He has seemed to do very well, though I've had a difficult time getting ...

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Bolivian Ram turning "dark"??
Old 05-14-2011, 09:08 AM   #1
 
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Bolivian Ram turning "dark"??


I got my Bolivian Ram less than 2 weeks ago. He has seemed to do very well, though I've had a difficult time getting food to him, because the dwarf rainbows I have are such assertive eaters and he hasn't been. The other day I did see him eat one blood worm, but I have seen he looks thin. So yesterday I get home and notice he is what I'd best call, brown and dark compared to his previous color. He's out but showing more signs of withdrawing. I'm bummed. I don't want to lose him, but don't know what could be wrong. No ich or nothing visible. My parameters are okay - ammonia 0, nitrites 0 and nitrates 15. Temp at 80 degrees

Any ideas? Is this normal?

Gwen
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
 
sounds like he's starving. Rams will only eat from the substrate and aren't that quick to pounce when they do eat. Get a pipette and use it to place food near him or place it by hand if you can. Some sort of sinking pellet is also useful. My bolivians love bloodworms, chopped earthworms and also take hikari sinking pellets (broken up)
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
 
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Update. My bad. I've figured it out. I keep overfeeding to make sure everyone gets food, and I never can believe the impact that has on parameters. Since I just did a 40% WC on Tuesday, I guessed my parameters - so I went and checked them and did a WC. Things with the Bolivian Ram already look better.

I had ammonia at .25 which shocked me - didn't expect to have that. My nitrates were at about 30! So, I have to swear off feeding so much. Bummer. I wish I had a better way to get food down in the mid lower range to the Ram - because I can't seem to get food past the rainbows. Even sinking pellets they grab and hold in there mouths. They are pigs!

Gwen
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by sik80 View Post
sounds like he's starving. Rams will only eat from the substrate and aren't that quick to pounce when they do eat. Get a pipette and use it to place food near him or place it by hand if you can. Some sort of sinking pellet is also useful. My bolivians love bloodworms, chopped earthworms and also take hikari sinking pellets (broken up)

Thanks for that - I have tried hand feeding, but he doesn't come close enough. I'll try a syringe. I didn't know they fed from the substrate, thought they just needed to "see" the food more mid range - thanks for the advise!

Gwen
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:18 PM   #5
 
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Well, I'm back to being worried. Water parameters are fine now, I have twice used a syringe to put food near him. He grabbed a blood worm, but sadly spit it out. He's dark again, and seems not happy, though his fins aren't clamped. I'm not sure if he's just a weak fish and would die no matter who had him, or what? I'm afraid I'll lose him.

Gwen
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:01 PM   #6
 
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I'm entering this thread from a PM from Gwen. I'm posting now mainly to add this to be subscribed threads so I can follow it. But one thing does stand out here, the temp of 80F. Is there a reason for this high a temperature, Gwen?

Another thing occurs to me, Rainbows I understand are very aggressive feeders. Bolivian Rams are naturally very shy, retiring fish, esp for a cichlid. Might be an issue here, just a thought. Some suggest maintaining angels with discus, but the issue is similar there, the angels often out-compete the discus who retire and then refuse to feed. May be a parallel of sorts. I have more than once had to move fish from one aquarium to another solely because they would not eat in the presence of fish that intimidated them.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I'm entering this thread from a PM from Gwen. I'm posting now mainly to add this to be subscribed threads so I can follow it. But one thing does stand out here, the temp of 80F. Is there a reason for this high a temperature, Gwen?

Another thing occurs to me, Rainbows I understand are very aggressive feeders. Bolivian Rams are naturally very shy, retiring fish, esp for a cichlid. Might be an issue here, just a thought. Some suggest maintaining angels with discus, but the issue is similar there, the angels often out-compete the discus who retire and then refuse to feed. May be a parallel of sorts. I have more than once had to move fish from one aquarium to another solely because they would not eat in the presence of fish that intimidated them.

Byron.
This may be a factor I should consider before getting another, though I saw a post from another member that keeps him with dwarf rainbows, so perhaps he has found a way to feed successfully. The reason I keep my temp at 80 is I'm fearful of getting ich, and believe that will keep it away. Should I lower to 79? 78? Is 80 that much of a problem for a bolivian ram?

Gwen
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
This may be a factor I should consider before getting another, though I saw a post from another member that keeps him with dwarf rainbows, so perhaps he has found a way to feed successfully. The reason I keep my temp at 80 is I'm fearful of getting ich, and believe that will keep it away. Should I lower to 79? 78? Is 80 that much of a problem for a bolivian ram?

Gwen
Fish are evolved to live within a certain temperature range. There is diurnal variation in most tropical waters, more than some aquarists realize--several degrees in some watercourses. But this is quite different from fish being in a static temperature (our aquaria generally remain with a degree or two of the temp we set) and when this is outside their preference, issues may develop.

As examples, discus and the common Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) need a temperature above 80F, usually 82F is considered absolute minimum. Maintained lower, they develop health issues and frequently die fairly soon. Neon tetra should not be kept higher than 77-78F; at warmer temperatures their metabolism works too hard and they literally "burn out" sooner than their normal lifespan.

Aside from this, for any fish, the higher the temperature the faster they metabolize. More oxygen is needed to pump their blood, food digestion is affected because they need more food for energy, the immune system is weakened leading to other health issues, etc. This is why it is always best to keep temperatures lower but ensuring it is within the range suitable for the species.

Most tropical freshwater fish do well around 77-78F. Except for some as mentioned above that need warmer, or a few that need cooler (White clouds for instance should never be this warm). A suitable temperature means less strain on the fish, less stress, and thus better health.

A general guide is that active fish usually need cooler temperatures than more sedate fish (angels and discus). They will require less food, and be healthier. If your dwarf rainbow is the dwarf neon rainbow, the profile says a regular maintenance temp ranges between 74 and 77F. The Bolivian will do better in the mid-70s, the profile gives 80F as the upper end of the range. Select a temp that is mid-way of the range for each fish species, or closest to it. For these two, around 77F, but that may have to go up if you have warmer-requiring fish in the tank.

Ich will not be prevented at any temperature below 90F. Some have had success curing ich at 90F with no medications, but not all fish can tolerate them even short-term. Tanks kept at 82-84F for discus etc. often get ich.

Byron.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:58 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Fish are evolved to live within a certain temperature range. There is diurnal variation in most tropical waters, more than some aquarists realize--several degrees in some watercourses. But this is quite different from fish being in a static temperature (our aquaria generally remain with a degree or two of the temp we set) and when this is outside their preference, issues may develop.

As examples, discus and the common Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) need a temperature above 80F, usually 82F is considered absolute minimum. Maintained lower, they develop health issues and frequently die fairly soon. Neon tetra should not be kept higher than 77-78F; at warmer temperatures their metabolism works too hard and they literally "burn out" sooner than their normal lifespan.

Aside from this, for any fish, the higher the temperature the faster they metabolize. More oxygen is needed to pump their blood, food digestion is affected because they need more food for energy, the immune system is weakened leading to other health issues, etc. This is why it is always best to keep temperatures lower but ensuring it is within the range suitable for the species.

Most tropical freshwater fish do well around 77-78F. Except for some as mentioned above that need warmer, or a few that need cooler (White clouds for instance should never be this warm). A suitable temperature means less strain on the fish, less stress, and thus better health.

A general guide is that active fish usually need cooler temperatures than more sedate fish (angels and discus). They will require less food, and be healthier. If your dwarf rainbow is the dwarf neon rainbow, the profile says a regular maintenance temp ranges between 74 and 77F. The Bolivian will do better in the mid-70s, the profile gives 80F as the upper end of the range. Select a temp that is mid-way of the range for each fish species, or closest to it. For these two, around 77F, but that may have to go up if you have warmer-requiring fish in the tank.

Ich will not be prevented at any temperature below 90F. Some have had success curing ich at 90F with no medications, but not all fish can tolerate them even short-term. Tanks kept at 82-84F for discus etc. often get ich.

Byron.

Thanks Bryon for all the help. I've lowered my temps in both tanks to 78 degrees for now. I'll go check out each of the profiles for the fish I have and decide if I should change it from there.

Gwen
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:24 PM   #10
 
good luck
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