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geesus69 03-21-2011 11:35 AM

single ram and agassizi pair

I am new to the site and come from the UK

I have read and searched alot about this but would like a concrete answer if possible

I originally bought a male ram on it's own from one of the local fish stores, when buying i asked if they needed to be in pairs but the answer was no.

he has been very happy in my community tank for a good few months, getting on very well with all the other tankmates (even a dwarf puffer!)

i have recently moved to a 180 litre tank and as a new addition bought a pair of agassizi cichlid's as the lfs explained they would be better in pairs

now the ram and male agassizi are showing off to each other and the agassizi will nudge and nip the ram

my ultimate question is, if i get a female ram, will this make the male feel more at ease and less bothered about contesting with the agassizi? or is it still likely to continue?

also, the current batch of ram's at my lfs are very small in comparison to mine, is this going to be a problem when trying to pick a female for my male to bond with?

many thanks for any help and suggestions


Christople 03-21-2011 02:12 PM

the female would only make things worse. From my experience adding a younger female to a older male results in the females death. The agazzi male and the male ram are trying to dominate each other and establish the boss. You may have to seperate them.

Christople 03-21-2011 02:14 PM

And welcome to TFK

geesus69 03-22-2011 04:22 AM

thanks for the welcome and the advice :)

do i have to watch out for them damaging each other? at the moment it seems very playful more than aggressive, most of the time they will show off and then very gently nudge each other on the side?

i also currently have ocean rock on one side of the tank and a planted section on the other side, my plan is to build up the ocean rock (or find taller pieces) to cover up to half of the tank depth (or more if possible) to provide lots of hiding places as currently the rock only covers the lowest level of the tank

hopefully this will provide the ram with somewhere to call his own, fingers crossed

sik80 03-22-2011 06:33 AM

decor such as rocks and plants are good to help territorial fish establish their own spaces. My tank is pretty full of plants, rocks and wood but my 2 male rams still test each others territorys and fight occasionally. They have thier own ends of the tank to retreat to though

be careful with the ocean rock - I think it can be calcareuos - meaning it might raise your pH. Keep an eye on this as it might not suit the rams. Inert rocks such as slate won't have this effect. wood is another attractive option for hardscaping

geesus69 03-22-2011 07:32 AM

yeh i was told about the ocean rock, i keep testing to make sure the PH isn't rising, but it is pretty consistant, and my ph was pretty low to start with

this is an overall pic of the tank, i've got some slate and a large piece of bogwood that i am going to add and create more caves/shelters. i may also expand the planted section to take up more of the tank space

Christople 03-22-2011 12:34 PM

yah definitely get those rocks set up and put some plants test your pH weekly because those rocks might bring it up and check the dgh also. Rams like soft acidic water and I bet agazzis do to. And now that I know 180 litres is 50 gallons you might be able to put a female but it is a fat chance the male would get along with the female

Byron 03-26-2011 07:22 PM

Christople and sik80 have both provided good advice. I just came across this thread, and from the photo I've noticed something I'd like to address. I don't like to interfere in how others arrange their aquascapes, it is your tank after all, but in this case I think your fish have an issue.

The majority of fish are all on the right side, and there is good reason for this; the substrate and the plants. The fish I can see and what is mentioned all occur in forest streams and flooded forest. The substrate is dark, near black, due to sand, mud and leaf litter. And very little light penetrates the forest canopy, so the water is usually dimly lit during the day. Forest fish have a feeling of insecurity over a bright substrate, such as the white sand on the left of the tank in the photo, which is intensified by the light shining directly on it. This plus the lack of plants will cause them to remain on the right. Now they may venture over from time to time, but if this were me i would seriously consider removing the left substrate and extending the right side material all across. I can assure you the fish will be happier, and that means healthier due to less stress.

Once a male cichlid is settled into an aquarium, he views the domain as his. I had the same issue as Christople mentions occur with my Bolivian Ram. The introduced female spawned with the male several times, but within about 5-6 months she die from the aggressive attitude of the male towards her. Even though they were in my 5-foot 115g heavily-planted tank, she could not fully avoid him, and he was relentless.

Also, adding more rams would inflame the Apistogramma further.

Hope this is of some benefit. And I certain extend my welcome to you; glad you found and joined us.


Christople 03-26-2011 08:15 PM


geesus69 03-27-2011 03:16 PM

Thanks for the info and advice, I really appreciate every bit of it to make my fish happier and healthier.

I have since added the bogwood and slate and added more plants to the left hand side, i would like to add some more plants to both the left and right but this was the only thing the lfs had at the time.
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