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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade

This is a discussion on Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> Here's that vid I promised a few days ago of the rams guarding their eggs before they 'hatched'. I tried to get a bit ...

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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade
Old 02-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #441
 
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Rams with their eggs. . .

Here's that vid I promised a few days ago of the rams guarding their eggs before they 'hatched'. I tried to get a bit of everything in - fanning, pit digging, and the various ways in which they've been fending off the creatures in the tank. If you pay attention, you can see a some of the ways they signal to each-other when they're changing guard duty - it isn't always the same. Sometimes they 'flash' against each-other, sometimes they lip-lock, sometimes it's a fin flare, and sometimes. . . nothing that I can see. Very neat. . .

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Last edited by Chesh; 02-16-2013 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:09 PM   #442
 
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Oh my goodness! They are so gorgeous. It's so interesting how "gentle" they are when they protect their babies. They're pushing, but not biting or being overly aggressive. They seem like great parents! I'm so happy for you, I can just imagine you've got your face glued to the glass ;)


Also, about rams in general, have you seen much about Balloon Rams? Saw them at the LFS today and came home to do some research on them. Seems as though no one can say for certain if they're bred deformities or what, or how to take care of them.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:17 PM   #443
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Oh my goodness! They are so gorgeous. It's so interesting how "gentle" they are when they protect their babies. They're pushing, but not biting or being overly aggressive. They seem like great parents! I'm so happy for you, I can just imagine you've got your face glued to the glass ;)


Also, about rams in general, have you seen much about Balloon Rams? Saw them at the LFS today and came home to do some research on them. Seems as though no one can say for certain if they're bred deformities or what, or how to take care of them.
"Baloon" rams as with any baloon fish should not be acquired. This state is achieved by altering the fish's physiology and it does impact their internal organs. I don't have the biological expertise to explain this precisely, but I have read that they will not lead normal healthy lives. This sort of thing should not be encouraged by purchasing said fish.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:48 PM   #444
 
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That's what I had seen written somewhere, and it made me pretty sad that they would be forced to grow like that. Thanks for clearing that up :) I definitely don't want to buy them if they're unnatural.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #445
 
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JES!!!!!!!! BABIES!!!!!!!! Ah!! I've been out of the loop for so long!! But I'm so glad I caught up!! I'm so happy for you!
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #446
 
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Glued to the glass indeed, lol! Watching these fish care for their young has been one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen! They're being such GOOD and careful parents. . . I'm trying REALLY hard not to get attached to the pit of tiny squirmy creatures in there, because I know chances are high that they'll all be gone soon, but it's so hard, lol!!!

On a normal day, my shoal of 5 is fairly peaceful toward each-other. The do compete, but it's always been gentle aggressiveness, I've never seen any actual bullying from this group, and as a general rule, they completely ignore every other fish in the tank - even when a loach or frog lands on their heads, they pretend not to notice. . . I've always been a bit nervous about what to expect if/when breeding time came around, and I am very relieved to see these guys behaving true to form. They get the job done, keep the others away - but with no harm done. The frog has especially thrown them for a loop - he's NOT a fish, doesn't behave or react like a fish, and they sometimes seem confused as to what to do with him. His speceis-only tank is standing by should there be any problems, but he's doing great! Several times I've watched as they've pushed him clear across the tank - more or less carrying him on top of their heads - because he won't go away, lol. Love them. . .

Byron is right about the Balloon Rams (I've also seen them sold as angel rams and pot-bellied rams), and any other 'balloon' fish that you see in the shops. These fish are suffering from a genetic deformity of the spine. While a good breeder would cull any offspring that shows symptoms such as these, in the case of 'balloon' fish, it has been selectively bred into them to give them that 'cute' puffy shape. In general, these fish suffer from many of the same problems as some types of fancy goldfish - and for the same reasons. I've never kept them, and it makes me cry to see them sold in shops. . . From what I've read reported by others, the ballooned fish tend to live shorter lives and often suffer from digestive and swim-bladder problems. Poor little things. . . When it comes to ballooned Rams, I've seen Balloon Bolivians, but I more often come across German Rams with this deformity. I just don't get it. . . why take a fish that is sensitive and can be tricky to keep normally, and then balloon it to make things even more difficult? People are so upsetting sometimes. . .
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:40 PM   #447
 
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I had no idea honestly how they were created to look like that. I suppose it's always just passed right by me with how often I see "balloon" mollies in stores, I hadn't really thought about why they looked like that, and what it might do to their systems. Makes me think of pugs/bulldogs...bred to look cute, yet it causes problems with respiration. Thanks for the clear info, there were quite a few conflicting articles I came across on them, and no one explained just how they got the way they look.

I honestly can barely tell the difference between Germans/Bolivians. Most of them in the tank were gold, with a few 'normal' looking ones. Definitely going to be avoiding those fish.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:15 PM   #448
 
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Well. . . somehow, we've made it through another day and still have wigglers! Mom and dad have dug so many nursery pits since yesterday - they seem intent on uprooting every plant I have! They seem to have finally settled on the crypt wendtii as their ideal nursery spot - this may change, but they've been here for far longer then any of the other locations. It's fine with me, as it gives me an ideal vantage point from which to watch the show. They have a pit dug both in front of and behind the plant, and though they're spending *most* of their time at the front, they'll move the fry to the back periodically. . . only for a few minutes before returning them to the front again . . . silly creatures.

I wasn't able to get a good enough video to share because it's so shaded under the crypt, but I did manage to snag a quick photo of mom. You can just barely see a tiny orangeish patch just in front of the Crypt stems to momma's right (not the leaves in the foreground, lol)- that's the nursery pit, it's kind of hard to get a shot of something that is, essentially, a hole in the ground, so I'm not even going to try!



. . .wonder if they'll make it until tomorrow!!?
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:32 PM   #449
 
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How big are the wigglers, approximately? I doubt there's any way to get a close up shot of one, neh? :p
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:56 PM   #450
 
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Jen they're sooooo tiny, I can't even. . . I'd say about a millimeter and a half at most, lol. They're small, lol. I'd love to get a pic, but even if I had a macro lens for my camera, I don't think I'd be able to. The parents have been keeping their brood toward the back half of the tank, where they're easier to keep safe because the plants are thickest. And since they keep them in a pit in the ground, it's doubly difficult, because you have to be above the pit to see into it. If I tried to get a picture at a downward angle, the glass would distort it - you'd just see a yellowish blur, I'm afraid. Plus they're under my C. Wendtii, so the leaves would block my camera, anyway. :( If I'm lucky, they'll become free-swimming, and that should be something that I can get a shot - and a video of!!!

I do wish I could show you. . . it's so neat to see them. They're just. . . wiggling, lol! And they have SO MUCH ENERGY! You can see them and their little eggs just hopping and bouncing all around in there - the entire pit is basically a writhing mass of squeee! As if mom and pop didn't have enough to worry about defending their brood from the rest of the tank, they're really busy keeping the extra energetic ones in the pit, lol! Every few minutes or so one or more manage to wiggle their way right out of their little nest, and have to be put back into their place. It's so cute. Today C.Cat and Liz have been moving their brood back and forth between the two pits they like best, and while one of them guards the babies, the other has been working on deepening the other - in between shooing off random loaches that stumble too close, of course! I'm assuming the idea is that if the pit is deep enough, they won't be able to escape, and be safer in general. . .

Another cool thing that I've noticed is that. . . the fish are learning. The other rams were the fastest to figure it out - they know exactly what's going on in there, but the loaches also seem to have gotten the idea that, for whatever reason, they are NOT welcome in that area of the tank right now. Compared to day one, when the eggs were laid, the parents are having to spend far less time shooing off unwanted visitors. . . except the frog. He just . . . doesn't get it! Poor Freckles! I'm so happy that they're being nice to him. He can't help it that he's not a fish! So far the Tetra have showed no interest in what's going on at the floor of the tank, so that's good, too.

I swear this is about the coolest thing I've ever seen. . . it really has been such a wonder to watch these fish in action!

Last edited by Chesh; 02-17-2013 at 12:04 AM..
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