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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a juvenile bolivian ram and was wondering when their bright red-ish fin highlights start to appear. right now my ram has the yellow belly/sides and some black areas near the eye but its fins are clear and......well......he needs more color lol. so does anyone know what age rams start to get red-ish fins?
 

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I don't know the ages that they color up, but I do know it is common for them to color down when stressed out. You just got them it so focus on getting his environment right, also they do better with a mate. When they are confident that their new conditions are stable and they are happy they will color up nicely
 

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A caution, before getting a second...what size is the tank? Have you got a male or a female?

Mikrogeophagus altispinosus and its close cousin M. ramirezi, the two "rams," form bonded pairs. The male selects his female and they bond, usually for life. If you have a male, or a female, and add a ram of the opposite sex, they will not necessarily "bond," with the result that the female (usually) will be stressed to actual death. And if you should end up with two males, they will each consider the tank "their territory" and if it is not large enough one of them will likely soon be dead. This fish seems to live in isolation in their habitat, except when they mate.

As for the colour, the fish has to be "happy" in its environment. And like most cichlids, they do not appreciate being moved, so they take time to settle, from days to weeks depending upon the individual fish.

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Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i have a 20 gallon long with 6 bloodfins, 4 julii corys, and 1 ram.i dont think i can fit another ram.....
 

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As Byron pointed out, these little guys DO stress easily, and it can take them quite some time to settle into a new environment. In my experience with these beauties, it is usually the coloration on their bodies that will be an indicator of stress - no so much their fins. BR usually have a dark black spot on their side, in a stressed fish, these spots will pale almost to invisibility, and the fish will take on an overall white and bland appearance in body - sometimes they get what is referred to as 'stress spots' which . . . kind of give the impression that someone has sprinkled them with a bit of pepper - it's hard to explain! Since you say that you can see the yellow on his belly, my guess is that he's still young, and time will bring out his reds! Can you estimate about how big the little guy is? Maybe a picture? I always love to see pictures of rams!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
yeah he is probably close to 2inches and he has this black spot on his side as well as yellow areas and i have actually started to see some red fins! :) only problem now is that i have an epedemic at the moment and that would be why im not on very often. i bought 3 more bloodfin tetras and they all had a disease and within 6 hours i have 1 dead already and 1 other cant even swim......:evil: i have had enough with Petco. if anybody could tell me what this disease is that would be great: the victims seem to have many small blue spots on them which obviously isnt a bloodfin marking......

EDIT: when i said 3 more tetras i meant that i didnt quite have 6 yet, i only had 3 and then i just got 3 more not that i have 6 and i got 3 more lol that would be alot of tetras.
 

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Well, yay that we were right and your little one just needed to settle in and grow up a bit! I'm so sorry about the Tetra! I wish I could help you - hopefully they're in a QT tank? You might want to go and post this on the health and illness board - hopefully someone more familiar with fishy diseases can help. . . :(
 

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A photo of the diseased fish would help. I would think it likely is ich, the "blue" might be due to the fish's colour and light.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thx guys for the info. all my fish seem to be doing better now that i removed the 2 unlucky bloodfins.....the third one that i bought actually doesnt look to bad and i think my fish will be fine from here on out. Also i have been watching my Ram more closely and it is fun to see him "play" with the other fish. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
well i just got back from the pet store and i have added 2 flame tetras into my tank as all of the bloodfins and skirt tetras they had were contaiminated with ich.....
 

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You should really look into the possibility of setting up a QT tank! Many fish shops have many tanks all running on the same system, which means that what illness you see in one tank, is often in the water of all of the others. I'd just hate to see your little Bolivian (or any of the others) come to harm because a new fish that you brought home was ill - and it sounds like this shop isn't exactly doing such a great job in keeping their fish healthy . . .
 

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Another good thing about a quarantine tank is you can do a preventive treatment with your new fish without harming the bacteria or stressing you other fish in your main tank, such as with pimafix and melafix. It is real easy to setup a sponge filter in your main tank and move it whenever the quarantine tank is needed, that way you wouldn't need to get a whole new filter with cartidges & etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
well it sounds like a great idea but i am REALLY short on money ( as in $2 lol ) so i cant really set up a QT. i looked at these fish very closely and monitered their behavior for 5 mins just to be safe and they all seem fine. If my ram or any other fish were to have caught this disease I would have noticed...
 

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There's some really good deals to be had on Craigslist, as well. Some tanks are even given away for free. Haggling helps, too. I've gotten all of my tanks from there... even got a huge 75G with stand for free.

Petco and PetSmart are awful (as you well know, now). I've heard horror stories from former employees. Try to avoid them at all costs!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
actually aoibhell, the petsmart near me has great employees and they have their own fish tanks and seem to care alot for their fish. every fish i have bought from there has done perfectly fine in my tank. :)
 

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actually aoibhell, the petsmart near me has great employees and they have their own fish tanks and seem to care alot for their fish. every fish i have bought from there has done perfectly fine in my tank. :)
That's great! Kind of rare, though, it seems. The girls at my local PetSmart actually blow into the bag when bagging a fish for transport... duh...
 
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