|Byron ||07-04-2009 04:59 PM |
Originally Posted by bhone20
ok,thanks for the info,now if we start over,what should the water peramiters be for the rams,I was told his daughter can take his fish he has now.so if we were to have an empty tank,what do we need? thanks
The German (Blue) Ram [Mikrogeophagus ramirezi] is quite sensitive to water quality and parameters. You can read several threads on this and other forums about aquarists with rams that don't live beyond a few weeks, and the reason almost always is the water. Even though most (but not all) rams purchased in fish stores now are commercially raised, they seem to have retained their natural requirement for soft, acidic water. Linke & Staeck reported capturing this fish in water that had a total hardness below 1 degree dH (can't get much softer than this) and a pH of 5.1, and the conductivity was almost undetectable. The water temperature was 28.5 C [83.3 F] at 10 am.
Providing the fish with soft, slightly acidic water at a temperature around 80 F is best. The fish prefer a well planted aquarium providing security through hiding places and to establish their territories; each ram in a tank will create its own territory and defend it to varying degrees. In their natural habitat they are found in small groups around emersed vegetation and branches that reach into the water, or in larger groups where submersed vegetation is present. They fare best in pairs (male and female), and are easy to sex.
The fish's sensitivity to water quality makes it a bad choice for a new aquarium which is more likely to have fluctuating water conditions, both in terms of the nitrogen cycle and the hardness and pH. The tank should be well established with a mature biological equilibrium before adding rams.
A 60g tank will provide water stability (once matured) better than a small tank, and will also provide opportunity for companion fish. As long as the tankmates are peaceful and somewhat sedate, the rams will feel comfortable and exhibit their natural behaviours. They are something of a shy fish, and with boistrous companions will be stressed. I've had a pair spawn in a 90g with about 100 fish, all small characins (tetras, hatchetfish) and Corydoras, and it was fascinating to behold. Remembering the warmer temperatures rams require, the accompanying fish should be able to tolerate these. Cardinal tetras, rummynose tetras, black phantom tetras, false neon tetras, loreto tetra, pencilfish, and hatchetfish all manage under these conditions, and all are shoaling fish (keep a group of minimum 6, preferably more). Most of the corys will do well, although there are a few species that will not thrive in the warmer temperatures.