01-08-2010, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
One thing glares out at me, the vastly different water parameters for some of the fish in your list. I am of the thinking that a successful and healthy community aquarium is one in which the fish all share relatively similar requirements respecting water parameters (as well as environmental issues like hiding places, plants, rocks, whatever) and obviously have compatible temperaments.
The common ram, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, requires warm water, minimum 82F, which should work for the others although the Bolivian Ram, M. altispinosus might be more comfortable a bit lower, around 78-79F. I mention the temp because M. ramirezi is very fussy with this; in normal community tanks they do not last long.
The other parameter issue is the hardness and pH. M. ramirezi is very sensitive to water that is hard and basic/alkaline. In their native habitat, they occur in streams and ponds that have no mineral content whatever that can be measured, and the pH is in the range of 4 or 5. In spite of being tank raised now, this fish seems to have retained its preferences more than some. It does not adapt long-term to harder water. The gourami would love similar conditions, but not the swordtails. These fish are live bearers and should have water that is slightly basic/alkaline with some degree of hardness. Livebearers and the other fish you mention are actually on opposite sides of the water parameter issue.
The Bolivian Ram can tolerate either, and are found in varying habitats from soft acidic water to slightly basic water.
There may be behaviourial issues with the gourami amongst themselves; I have not kept these particular species so will leave this for those who have to comment on.
+1 Couldn't have said it better
With the gouramis im by no means an expert but anytime I had two gouramis in the same tank one would get picked on and ended up dying. Now in a 55 they will hae more room and again im not expert on gouramis but that's my experience.