Ideas for a tank with German Blue Rams and Cardinal Tetras
Well, I've already got the tank set up and settled actually, it's my nursery for my livebearers until I get the move done, hopefully tonight. It's been used as a nursery since last December and was my livebearer tank for several months before that.
Anywho, I am converting it for my male and female German Blue Rams. I was wondering, what kind of substrate is best for them? It currently has gravel and a few live plants, yes I know they may tear them up but it's a risk I'm willing to take. xD
I'd like them to breed, so I want settings just right for them in a light community type. I also intend to have some cardinal tetras with them, five of them. So something that would look good, something not too expensive since I'm really not very well in the pocket book with four tanks behind me already and ferrets, dogs and cats...yeah lol...would my current gravel be fine for them? Or is something better for them?
Oh yes, it's a twenty gallon tank. I currently have my pair of rams and three cardinal tetras in a 55 gallon(I used to have more tetras, but I had rescued them when they were sick, only three lived and a tank of mollies, platies, swordtails and guppies is just not right for them, they need different water parameters), I intend to get five cardinals eventually, but for now it'll be the three and the two rams until things settle...or are they not a good choice with them either?
Regardless, the tank will be for my two rams, if nothing else. Maybe a second female, if that's an ok idea in only a twenty gallon tank, what do you think? I'd like that if it's something they'd be ok with.
I'm new to cichlids, though I have done a bit of research so far. I wanted some rams eventually, German Blues if I could find a good deal, but I didn't intend to get them so soon(they're expensive here, thirty+ dollars in most places, more in others, mine were mis-labeled at Petsmart and were six dollars LOL). So I need ideas! I want a nice healthy set-up for them that's comfortable and good for breeding them if they decide to.
What you add, driftwood? I have some in there and a few plants, an umbrella, some stem plants and a couple young anubias along with a sword plant. The tank itself has been up and running well over a year now, I did make changes last December, but I didn't mess with it too much, I just moved most of the water and substrate to a bigger tank, along with the fish that used to be there. It's nice and settled as is...but I don't know if gravel is best for them, what do they prefer? And what colors would help them stand out more?
I'm excited, if you can't tell. lol
I also did provide malaysian driftwood, which mine put their eggs on. They will spawn on smooth rocks or any surface they choose. I had a number of cardinals with mine. Live plants are always a good idea, so I'd say yes on those. Hope that helps. Mine spawned, but then my male killed the female, I tried another female, they spawned, but again over time the female didn't make it. Sadly, my lone male died, after I tried putting a Gourami in the tank, he got Hole in head disease (stress) that I didn't treat soon enough, and that was my end to trying German Rams, after spending $23 a piece for them :(
Oh, also you need pristine water - 0 nitrates
How unfortunate. =( I'm sorry to hear about that! They're such nice little fish, but they are cichlids. lol They can BITE for something so small, I was hand feeding since my female is so shy and also newer. The male came to get some and missed, got my hand, yeah...they could do some damage, though he didn't it still hurt. And he's only about...little more than half grown. The female is very much smaller, and so I'm guessing at least one or two months younger. I'm hoping they'll stay close as they grow.
Well, the majority on it seems to be sand, I've asked in a couple places, so I guess I'll do that. I have a tank with sand substrate, and I like how it looks, liked how it was and all for the first few months, but then it got difficult. LOL
I'm thinking I may just sell my cardinals and neon. As much as they seem to like being close knit, and don't mind a bit less space than the smaller neons do...if they're too delicate, I may just do a species tank for my rams. I already have them, I just want them in their own place, they seem fine for now, but I know over time the harder water my mollies like will harm them. =/ We'll see how it goes with the Cardinals first, if it doesn't look to be working out, I'll sell them or give them to a good home, and -maybe- get a second female. I haven't heard any yay's or nay's on it yet, so I'll wait and see before doing. The male was and is close to the female I got with him. I had initially accidentally gotten two males, exchanged one the next day for the girl my current male likes, he likes to guard her which I took as a good sign, she's less stressed when he's around her. He does chase sometimes though, but then they pretty much cuddle.
I concur with Gwen on sand substrate. The scientific name of the ram genus is Mikrogeophagus, which is from the Greek for small eartheater; the name refers to this fish's substrate eating method, which is to take up mouthfuls of sand and sift out food. They are bottom feeders for this reason. And sand will always work better than gravel for such fish.
I also agree that having dither fish is more likely going to be successful. The dwarf cichlids, in spite of being "cichlids" are very shy fish, and having other fish out and about is always best to calm them. The eating of eggs/fry can be due to various things, often water parameters (GH and temperature are both significant here). Or sometimes the pair are just not compatible; rams must select their own mates, and they form what we term a bonded pair which is almost always for life. Fish that are just put together may seem to get along and even spawn several times, but if they are not bonded they may eat the eggs/fry or kill each other in time.
Cardinals make excellent dither fish, because they do well as the higher temperature the blue rams require. Neons would not.
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My only concern would be that the OP mention's livebearer's were in the tank previously.
With few exception's,, water suited for livebearer's often is too hard for the german blue ram's.
Bolivian Ram's might be better choice.
I have kept many of the German blue ram's in moderately hard water, and maybe three out of a dozen may do well.
Some say it is more likely poor stock ,but after trying over and over with these fish,I am convinced that mixture of tap,R/O would be what decides how well the fish does over the long haul if one has hard water such as suit's the livebearer's.IMHO
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