German Balloon Rams- Male or Female?
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German Balloon Rams- Male or Female?

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German Balloon Rams- Male or Female?
Old 09-29-2010, 08:08 PM   #1
 
German Balloon Rams- Male or Female?

Hello!

I am new here and this is my first post. This is a great forum and so informative!

My question: I picked up some Balloon German Rams at the LFS last week. (I've never owned rams or cichlids before) and since these guys are Balloon Rams and not typical German Blue Rams, I am unsure how to tell if I have a male or female.

Any guesses are welcome! I suspect I have one of each, but it's quite likely I am totally wrong.

Here is a link to my video on youtube if anyone is interested in taking a look!
YouTube - Brittms77's Channel

Thanks!
Brittms
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:29 AM   #2
 
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I've never heard of Balloon Rams of the top of my head, though there are plenty of color variations of your standard German Blue Rams. I'd expect that you can't really tell, especially if they're juveniles the same way you can't with your typical German Blues or Bolivian Rams.

Sorry.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #3
 
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I've never heard of Balloon Rams of the top of my head, though there are plenty of color variations of your standard German Blue Rams. I'd expect that you can't really tell, especially if they're juveniles the same way you can't with your typical German Blues or Bolivian Rams.

Sorry.
Thanks burnsbabe. Being new to the cichlid world, I didn't realize they were a variation of a German Blue Ram until after I had purchased them so I wasn't sure if they followed the same set of rules. I will wait and watch.

I appreciate the feedback!
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:31 AM   #4
 
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If it is a "balloon" ram, that means it has been genetically enhanced. Keep a close eye on him. Fish that are genetically enhaced have a much higher rate of having major problems down the road.

After watching your video, I see that one seems to be chasing the other. This is a territorial issue. These fish are territorial. One way to resolve this issue is to add tall plants in the background (eg, Amazon Sword) and shorter plants in the mid-ground and foreground. Also adding hard objects like driftwood will allow each to establish their own territory, which in turn will cut down on aggression. This is usually done by adding plants and driftwood, as my suggestion states. I have 3 Bolivian Rams in my 120g well planted tank and have no problems with aggression. Just a word of advice

As for sexing the fish, it would work the same way as a normal ram. You'll be able to tell much better once he reaches maturity.

Good luck with with your tank and your new fish!

Last edited by LisaC144; 09-30-2010 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaC144 View Post
If it is a "balloon" ram, that means it has been genetically enhanced. Keep a close eye on him. Fish that are genetically enhaced have a much higher rate of having major problems down the road.

After watching your video, I see that one seems to be chasing the other. This is a territorial issue. These fish are territorial. One way to resolve this issue is to add tall plants in the background (eg, Amazon Sword) and shorter plants in the mid-ground and foreground. Also adding hard objects like driftwood will allow each to establish their own territory, which in turn will cut down on aggression. This is usually done by adding plants and driftwood, as my suggestion states. I have 3 Bolivian Rams in my 120g well planted tank and have no problems with aggression. Just a word of advice

As for sexing the fish, it would work the same way as a normal ram. You'll be able to tell much better once he reaches maturity.

Good luck with with your tank and your new fish!
Thank you! I will get some additional plants in there to cut down the aggression. I''ve got a pretty hefty piece of drift wood in there now. Very much appreciate your advice.

I wish I had known these guys were genetically enhanced when I saw them at the fish store, I wouldn't have gotten them now that I have seen what a true German Blue Ram looks like. That's what I get for an impulse purchase, I suppose. Now I know better.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
 
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Lisa is quite correct. I would add more plants to break up the tank. "Out of sight, out of mind" is a true maxim for these fish. The chasing of one fish by the other can get serious depending upon the temperament of the fish, and environmental factors (like the plants, hiding spots, etc) can affect their respective temperaments.

While some "pushing and shoving" is normal and usually tolerable, sometimes a fish particularly a male will become very aggressive and hound the other fish literally to death. Keep an eye on them, try to ascertain if the chasing is all by the same fish, and how far it goes. The male and female of a mated pair will sometimes become annoyed with the mate, so this is not just a male only issue. My Bolivian Ram pair behave like this regularly; between spawnings the male will sometimes really push the female around, other times she fights back, even locking jaws. They are in a 115g planted tank.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:55 PM   #7
 
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Byron and Lisa have covered what I didn't. I didn't notice the video link. They're both quite right.

What I noticed is, you haven't told us how big this tank is. While breaking things up with plants and wood will usually work, if this is an exceptionally small tank (20g or under probably) then they may just not have enough room even with things to establish a territory around. Just a bit more from me.

I just added Bolivians recently and I'm more an more sure I have a male and female since they're together a lot with very little shoving.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:38 PM   #8
 
Thanks again for all of the advice! The tank is only 10 gallons so I am sure that is half my issue but I added more plants and flipped my driftwood over so it created a cave and also allowed it to be much more elevated in the tank. There is much more peace now! I will keep an eye on these two and if it looks like the pushing and shoving begin again, I will trade one or both back to the fish store for something more suited for a small tank.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:44 PM   #9
 
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I'm glad to hear things have settled down. These rams are going to get too big for that tank one way or another though. In a ten gallon, even if the fighting has stopped, two males will stress each other out terrible. On the other hand, on the off chance that you have a male and a female and they're happy enough in there that the spawn, they'll defend the whole tank (since it's so small) and your other fish will be VERY sorry.

I'd be looking for a new home for these guys eventually. One way or another. Either get a bigger tank for them (I'd go really big and get some other fish too) or find someone who can love them for you.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:54 PM   #10
 
I am thinking a bigger tank! :) How long til they reach maturity? Just wondering how long I have before I need to get a bigger one.
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