Kribs, Rams and Tetras?
I have a 29 gallon Biocube that right now is an outgrow tank for some larger cichlids. I will be moving them into a 55 as soon as my 90 is here as the fish in the 55 are going into the 90. ANYHOW...lol....
I recently got a Krib and I really like it. I would like to get a few more to go into the 29 gallon. I also really like Rams and have been contemplating them as well. Do Kribs and Rams get along?
Would a shoal of tetras...likely cardinal, black or neons do well with the Kribs and/or Rams as well? There are a lot of hiding spots.
Thats not a mixture I would try, especially in a 29 biocube. Kribs are quite a bit more aggressive than the rams and neons. Now, if you wanted to try rams and neons, that could work well, just be sure the neons have a suitable sized school of their own kind (8 - 10).
Thanks...I couldn't find much info on the Kribs and what I did find was very conflicting. Many sites seemed to indicate they were very peaceful, yet the LFS has them stocked with Jacks and Firemouths. I will move the Krib into the 55 along with the yellow labs he is in with now. They are getting along fine.
I think I will go for a pair of Rams and a shoal of neons.
Not sure I would mix them with jacks long term, but they can work well with firemouths if the tank is large enough. Kribs, especially when spawning, can get very aggressive, plus they top out at about 5 - 6 inches when full grown, so when kept with smaller peaceful fish that only makes the others easier victims.
Best of luck to you.
When you are talking about rams you have to take the exact species into account. I once new nothing about rams until Byron helped me out. You could try pm-ing him if you have more questions about rams. This is what I know: There are different species of rams blue rams and bolivian rams. The blue rams (or german blue or balloon, etc... there are different variations due to captive selective breeding (aka inbreeding)) German blue rams require soft acidic water and if they are not provided with these conditions thay deal with a lot of stress and will eventually die within a year. Bolivian rams however can tolerate slightly harder more alkaline water. If your water is soft and acidic LUCKY YOU, you are very fortunate and many discus keepers will envy you, anyways... then you could go with the german blue rams. If your water is more alkaline (basic) then I would strongly suggest the bolivian ram. I find german blue rams look better, but that is just my opinion... bolivian rams are also gorgeous fish. You also mentioned you want to keep neons. If you decide on german blue rams then I would suggest to get cardinal tetras instead. They are almost identical (I find cardinals nicer since they don't hav gray on them just solid red and neon blue), however cardinals like warmer water than neons as do the rams (as in 82-86). I hope this information helps :)
Something I feel I need to add is that where the fish are coming from makes a huge difference, especially with the rams. If you are working with wild fish, then the above suggestions are important... but if you are working with captive bred fish, the water chemistry requirements will depend on what they were spawned in. If you take rams that were spawned at a pH of 7.6 and put them into much softer water... you are sure to kill them quickly. I say this from years of experience. When it comes to the german blues and golds, this is even more important. Bolivian are a bit more tolerant, but not much.
Many of the lfs's that order rams are getting fish from fish farms in Florida where they are being captive bred in tap water with pH of 7.6 - 8.0. When those fish are then moved to pH of 6.8 - 7.0, they die quickly. Always best to try to find out where they have come from before arriving at the lfs and then accommodating those conditions at home.
I am going to have to wade in here with some disagreement on a couple of points that have been raised in this thread. First is the question of neon tetras with rams.
The issue is temperature. If you are talking Mikrogeophagus altispinosus (Bolivian Ram), then Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetra) will work because neons prefer cooler (relatively) temperatures than some tropicals, by which I mean 20-25C or 68-78F. I do not recommend keeping them warmer. M. altispinosus has a preferred temp range of 22-27C or 72-80F, but does best in the upper half of this range. So neons and Bolivians could be housed with a temp of around 25C/78F.
M. ramirezi on the other hand has a preferred temp range of 27-30C or 80-86F. When maintained below this they do not seem to last long. Neons would burn out at such high temperatures. Cardinals would be an excellent choice with M. ramirezi, as they are with discus that also need warmer temperatures.
I have kept both rams; I had successful spawnings with M. ramirezi in soft (zero hardness) acidic (pH 5.5) water. Sadly, I did not then realize the temperature was as critical as it is, and this was in my 78F community 90g and they did not last beyond a few months. I have known aquarists who have attempted to keep M. ramirezi, tank-raised fish too, in slightly basic harder water, but again they do not seem to last. Maintained in soft acidic and warm water, they will live for four years. I know a breeder on Vancouver Island who has had them now for almost 4 years and they are still going strong. In spite of being tank raised, this species seem to have retained a preference for parameters close to their natural habitat.
M. altispinosus has a slightly wider tolerance in water parameters, due presumably to its natural habitat. It has been captured in very soft, acidic waters and in basic but still soft waters (pH 7.6, 4 dGH and 4 dKH) within the Guapore and Mamore river systems. Mine currently is doing very well with 2 dGH , pH 6.0 and temp of 25.5 (78F). I've only had him for 18 months so far, but I expect he is happy.
I wouldn't risk this mixture in a tank of this size, personally. I've tried it before. My male krib, who is the more docile of the two, didn't really like the ram at all but "tolerated" his presence for about a month or so. At that time I had my krib pair separated in two different tanks so I swapped the male for the female...that was a no-go. The female krib flared up and went straight for the ram as soon as she saw it. It would have resulted in a dead ram quite quickly if I hadn't intercepted her with the net. In other words, even if you luck out and get a krib that's on the less aggressive end of the scale I'd still say you would need a larger tank than that to give each fish its space, while if you had a more aggressive krib you'd need a very large tank (something with the footprint of a 75g or larger, if possible) to keep them away from one another.
Now, Bolivian rams and some sort of apisto might be an option.
Bolivian Rams may well indeed be bred in alkaline waters on fish farms in Florida or other areas, but too many of the german Blue (M.Ramirezi) die within weeks,months,in alkaline waters for me to believe there are those breeding them in these waters with any degree of success. I wish it were otherwise.
They just don't do well in waters with even moderate amounts of total dissolved solids such as found in even moderately hard water.
I have had success with 70/40 mix of R/O and tapwater but even then, few eggs were viable and fry that did develop were prone to unexplained bacterial pathogen.
Have had better success with those shipped from Europe ,but many of the online places that offer these fish confess to them being imported from Asia,Thailand ,and other east locations when pressured for their origins. I have near no confidence in their survival rates from these areas based solely on my own expieriences and the expieriences related to me by numerous others.
If alkaline water was what I had ,it would be the Bolivian Rams that I would opt for.
Anyone who can point me to a source for M.Ramirezi bred and raised in alkaline waters with pH much higher than 7.0, ,,please feel free to P.M. me with the location .And I will happily inquire while also being secure with the Knowledge ,that many dealers of these fish will tell you anything if it will help them sell stock.
Its a long story to go into detail, but my claims of the blue rams in harder water is something I have experienced first hand at the store where I worked for many yrs.
We ordered german blues from a fish farm in Florida, somewhere we had not ordered them from before. When they arrived they were acclimated to our soft water section with a pH of about 6.5 - 6.8. The tanks had held german blues previous, and all had always been fine. This shipment went into the tank and within 48 hrs the entire shipment of them had died, with no obvious reason to why. The boss called the farm who offered to replace them with the following week's order. The tanks were checked, everything was made perfect for the next shipment... and again, the entire shipment died within 48 - 72 hrs, no symptoms we could see.
The boss tried a 3rd shipment. The day the 3rd shipment came in I chose a young pair before they went into the store tank, bagged them for myself (on O2 to last til the end of my shift) and took them home. The rest of the shipment went into the soft water, the 2 I took home went into harder tap water with pH of 7.8
The next day at work the majority of the rams had died overnight, the rest to follow later that day. At home the 2 I had taken were colored up and settled in nicely. My 2 rams lived over 2 yrs (til my ex killed them).
Because my 2 fish survived and were perfectly healthy in the harder water, the boss put in a call to the fish farm yet again, where he learned that these rams were all captive bred at the farm and the pH was 8.0
Giving it one more shot the boss ordered 1 more shipment of them, and put them into tap water conditions with pH of 7.8 - 8.0 and all the fish thrived and colored up within a couple of hours after arrival.
We learned the hard way, and since then the store checks with whoever the rams come from to find out where the fish were bred, and then puts the fish into the proper tanks accordingly, and there hasn't been a problem since then... which has been years. Upon checking with each shipment that is ordered, some come from soft water and some come from harder water depending on who they are ordered from.
So please, don't dismiss this so quickly. Knowing where the fish are coming from is vital to their survival, and not just with rams.
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