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Blue Ram slowly wasting away?
Hi, About 2 months ago I noticed my lone blue ram (the other three had died of old age awhile ago) was growing slowly thinner. I treated him repeatedly with metronidizole but to no avail. About two weeks after he died. (Seeing no other symptoms of illness in a tank of many delicate fish) I purchased a lone, very healthy looking, blue ram in a LFS. I have had her for a little under a week. Already I see that she has lost her color and is starting to look thin. This whole situation is mystifying to me, does anyone have any ideas? I thought internal parasites but the meds should have taken care of that, and seems like 1 week is a little soon to be affecting the fish. I have seen her eat well. The tank is 29 gallon, nitrates under 10 ppm, no nitrite or ammonia, well planted, all peaceful fish with one dwarf puffer who never bothers anyone. Tank does have a DIY CO2, but pH is so buffered that it is stable at about 8.0. I feed them bloodworms, chopped frozen spinach, and flake. I dose once weekly with flourish.
How are you acclimating the ram? It will be worth asking your lfs which source they are using. There is another med, Levamisole hydrochloride which should be able to battle out possible intestinal flagellates.
How are you buffering the PH? 8 is very hard water and rams are better suited to soft water so thi may be the problem. Fish are usualy adaptable to different PH values but only if acclimatised properly.
Also if you are using chemicals to keep the PH "stable" this would be my first guess as the problem. However, assuming that you are not then I think the PH is simply too high for the rams and they may not have been properly acclimatised.
The rams I had before did fine in this pH, as the fish store I buy them from is local and does not adjust their pH. I do not add any pH chemicals to the water, I just meant that it is naturally buffered. I wanted to make it clear that the CO2 was not causing pH swings. I know people keep rams in hard/alkaline water so I have a hard time believing this is the cause, thanks for the suggestions though, and keep them coming I am stumped.
When you say that is it getting thin, is the stomach sunken in?
Does the fish appear any different or is it doing any odd behavior? Such as frayed fins...white blotches...cloudy eyes...sluggishness and laying on the tank bottom.
Any pictures of the fish?
Yes, the stomach looks sunken in. My old ram, (Jose, the one that died) did develop frayed fins, and he got very thin. As a side note, he had been on the thin side for a long time (a couple months at least). I would see him eat a lot, and his stomach would never fill out. The new girl seems to be doing sort of the same thing. Her fins look fine, and she does not have cloudy eyes (neither did Jose). She is more pale than she was at the store, but as I am looking at her now right after I fed her I see that she is more colorful again. She is still very active (she was just chasing the puffer and trying to get the bloodworm he had hanging out of his mouth). I don't know if internal parasites are a possibility? It seems pretty fast (less than a week) for those to be taking hold in her. I know in mammals they dont work that fast.
Same thing happened to me. I had some Blue rams, had them for about 6 months, then one day I notice one of them losing color, not eating, he died a day later....then the next one, then the next one...from doing well to all dead about 48 hours....none of the other fish in the tank (Discus, neons, Oto, Khuli, snail) showed any problems...
I kept them out for a while now, but I got a good deal on 2 more babies, boy, they are small, smaller than the neons, but so far, so good. No idea what happened to them. All tank parameters were good, no water changes that day, etc....
After googling a bit, I saw a couple of other people seeing the same thing with Blue Rams...maybe there is a Blue Ram disease out there??
i would also asks your LFS where they get there blue rams. alot of stores import them from asia and if this is the case i would avoid them and tell your LFS to find a local supplier. in asia they are pumped full of hormones to give them a better color "out of the box" which leads to alot of health problems and premature death. its not uncommon for asian bred blue rams to last only a couple weeks in a new tank under the best of conditions.
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