50 gallon tank
I'm setting up a 50 gallon tank that I plan to plant heavily and then add German blue rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi). I imagine I'll go with one male and two females. An emerald green Cory is currently the sole occupant. Is this Cory going to be a good tank mate for the rams? I don't plan on breeding, but if eggs are laid I'd like the chance for the eggs/fry to survive. Would the Cory eat the eggs?
So, one, should I keep the Cory in this tank? Two, what would be other good members of a community tank with blue rams as the stars? I'm working toward relatively soft, warm water, with low pH. So I'm thinking in addition to the rams:
Scarlet Badis (Dario Dario) two or three
Red Cherry Shrimp two or three
Some schooling Tetras like neons, rummy-nose, or cardinals about a dozen
Any comments, corrections, or suggestions?
You can follow my progress (or lack thereof) here: Aquarium Blog
Thanks in advance!
Your suggested fish for tankmates to the rams is good, any of those will work fine. I haven't personal experience with the scarlet badis, but the sources say it is suitable in a community tank with smaller fish, and can be in groups. Corys are excellent, but there needs to be more than 1; they are shoaling fish (as are the tetras) and should always be at least 3 but preferably more (same or different species, they chum around together). Tetras should be in groups of at least 6. Those you mention will tolerate the warmer temperatures rams need.
It is important to have tankmates for rams to prevent them getting stressed from insecurity. Any of the above fish will eat the ram eggs and fry if given the chance. I have had rams spawn in community aquaria and it is fascinating to watch, even if the fry do end up eventually becoming dinner, and they will. No female will be able to protect a brood of fry from other fish for long.
Your emerald green cory is probably Brochis splendens, a different (but closely related) genus to Corydoras. Some current scientific thinking is leaning towards placing the Brochis into a new genus with the larger Corydoras, but I don't think that has occurred yet. Nevertheless, it is a large catfish (will reach 3-4 inches, and can live more than 10 years), and I personally would select smaller species; they will still chum around with the emerald.
You don't give your water parameters, but rams are sensitive to the quality and chemistry of the aquarium water. The tank should be matured (fully cycled, and running for a couple of months) before I wuld add rams. They also prefer soft and slightly acidic water, and warmer temperatures (79F minimum).
I don't personally own scarlet badis, but I do have a pair of Badis badis in a tank with a single male German blue ram. To put it lightly, the fish do not like one another, and when the badis are in spawning mode the male doesn't tolerate the ram's presence in the area. Byron stated that fish will, given the chance eat both eggs and fry but in my experience badis are predatory to the point where I would not want to keep them in any tank in which I am trying to breed fish. Not only would they relentlessly try to eat ram fry, they're also aggressive enough to chase off any would-be protectors of the fry in order to get at them.
So, in other words, these fish can coexist with relative peace provided adequate hiding spaces, but I wouldn't expect your rams to reproduce with any sort of badis in the tank.
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