Originally Posted by Aoibhell
Just a quick update. This morning, his color looks better, but he is still sitting at the bottom, with his fins all down. When my Festivum chases him away from his driftwood like he usually does, the Ram will dart away as normal, but then will go back to sitting at the bottom, pretty motionless.
The nitrate reading this morning was closer to 10ppm. The ph is a normal 8.0. I will perform another water change in attempt to get the substrate spotless. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
You mentioned using salt initially, and I neglected to mention this is not good with soft water fish, which the Ram is. Your water changes will get rid of salt, but don't add any more.
I probably missed this initially as nitrites, not nitrate, was mentioned and salt can help with high nitrite. But as we are actually dealing with nitrates, forget the salt.
The Ram may not recover; this is impossible to say. A fish that has been exposed to unfavorable conditions may begin to pull out of it, but if the physiology has been impacted, recovery may not occur. And here, just so you know, we have some dangerous factors. The high nitrate, then salt, and if there is any sort of bullying from another fish as has now been mentioned, this can add stress. A normally healthy fish can often (but not always) deal with light bullying, and cichlids are cichlids after all; but when the fish is under severe stress from other factors, this additional stress can be considerable to the fish.
The other point is that this species, Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, is highly sensitive to water conditions, both parameters and the nitrogen cycle. It shares this with its close relation, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi.
Again, more frequent water changes are the best remedy, and they will certainly help.