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About Me

  1. I’ve decided to keep a journal of breeding German Blue Rams this summer. Simply put, here is why: Just took this snap of our young male GBR. It’s not hard to argue that this is one of the most beautiful small freshwater fish. In addition, they have an intelligent personality. People are quite divided on how easy / hard they are to keep. When we first wanted to buy some, one LFS owner swore he’d never order them again. “They die, and require an advanced level of care. If I order them, you pick them up the day they arrive from our shipper here, and I can offer no returns or refunds whatsoever if they die on you.” We were newbies to the hobby — my oldest boy and I — so we left there discouraged. We stopped in at another LFS, just to see if there were any interesting fish. While there, we asked the other owner about keeping Rams. “They’re great!” he said, “I’ve got a bunch right there,” pointing to a 20 gal. tank. We bought a pair, and the rest is history. We’ve bred hundreds of them now — nothing on the scale of Dean, or other breeding specialists — but we’re confident in a certain approach. In this journal, my hope is to share everything in great detail, offer answers to questions (though hopefully others with even better answers will chime in) and above all to _learn new things_. At the end, I hope to wrap up the journal with a tank full of beautiful breeding age Rams that I’ve bred and raised from scratch, all documented here on the Forum. First off, I bought a female. She’s probably _not_ a pure color strain. It seems like she’s probably got Electric blue Ram color genetics in her heritage. This would bother a serious breeder, but it doesn’t get under my skin. She’s not a “hybrid,” just a slightly mixed color morph. I bought her a month ago or so at the Ram-friendly LFS mentioned above. She’s been hanging out in our Discus tank for awhile. Temperature is up around 84° F. That’s a key: Rams like temperatures above 80°. More recently, I bought a young male German Blue Ram (photographed above). I set him up in a 20 gal. long with a school of tiny Glowlight Pygmy Barbs as tank mates. Rams can be bred alone, 1:1 — some breeders stress this. But if they’re not stressed, they’ll breed in a community tank as well. There seemed to be a hint of Ich. I hit his tank hard with Ich-X, water changed, boosted temp... and it seems good. Tonight, I’ve added the female. First suspending her in a specimen container. It was so neat to see him turn up the interest. Once I added her, the romance really began in earnest. I’ve left the light on to see what happens. Here’s how their first “date-night” started off: Just a couple minor notes: (1) the rattling sound in several videos above is just an old impeller in a HOB. It’s an unnecessary piece. I’ve left it for flow. (2) But don’t Rams prefer _less flow_ you may ask? Yes. But I don’t care. If they’re interested, they’ll find a place to spawn. (3) If they spawn, I’m going to try to pull the eggs and hatch in an isolated space. If I can get fry over the 2-week threshold, I plan to break the internet by moving this breeding pair out to a mini pond, and trying to get them to breed and raise a batch of fry outside on the back porch over the summer. Stay tuned!
  2. At the end of January I received 2 male and 2 female German blue rams, they arrived on the coldest day of the year. Due to an excellent job of packing and insulating by the breeder they all were healthy and seemingly not too stressed out. you can see both males are showing decent color. After a few days they easily settled into the QT. after a couple weeks I moved them to a 20G high. the 4 GBR are the only fish in here so really they are still in quarantine. They became real comfy real quick, after 4 days there was FRY! I am not ready for them to breed yet but if they make it great but I was not ready to pull adults/ fry and nurture them. Unfortunately none made it. Positive take, one of the females has some experience now. I am not sure which female it was but the female that will be in group 2 was guarding them and being aggressive so I’m fairly confident she is the mother. Pic is with the father also group 2. And because of this aggression I had to separate them before I wanted too but only by 5-ish days. They have been quarantined for a lil over 3 weeks now. So, the competition begins! I have separated the two pairs into mostly different environments. Group 1 will be in a 125G community tank. Rummynose/ cardinal/ glowlight tetras, salt and pepper corys, peppered corys, bristlenose plecos, otocinlus, and a large colony of cherry shrimp. They will be fed as the tank gets fed, a variety of krill flakes, pellets, crushed algae wafers, and what I call “dank” (a good version of stank) it’s a mixture of the list above and a few other dry foods (very guarded recipe) I also feed this tank live blackworms and frozen bloodworms, shrimp, and daphnia. I do target feed the GBR when feeding these. There are no “caves” in this tank but a few cave like spots and it has a lot of medium sized flat rocks. The PH in this tank runs about 7.6-7.8. Group 2 will be in a species only tank. Will probably add some snails for a clean up crew when needed. This tank on initial set up (for these rams this tank has been running for over a year with other inhabitants) was seeded with a large portion of black worms. They were in the tank alone for 2-ish weeks before rams introduced.The feeding schedule will be exact same but these two won’t have any competition for food. This tank has a few caves and guarded areas, only a couple medium sized flat rocks will be added. The rocks will be placed in what I think to be good for them and still be visible and easily accessible. I cut the water in this tank with about 1/3 distilled water so the PH ranges 6.8-7.0 I think these tanks are both good conditions for the rams to breed. I’m interested to see if G1 in a much bigger environment can protect the fry but still co exist with the community. G2 will they learn to be good parents and raise the fry? In either tank the parents must raise the fry. If neither are successful I will change plans but I think both will be successful.
  3. Hi everyone! Welcome to my journal! I've been keeping fish for almost a year now, but I helped my dad keep fish in a 50 gallon bamboo-framed aquarium he got in the Philippines when I was a kid. I'm 39 now and I decided to set up an aquarium for my 4 year-old daughter Zoey when her baby sister was born last spring. Don't get me wrong, Z loves the fish, but the aquarium quickly became a Dad Project. I joined the Army when I was 17 and was mobilized twice during the Iraq War. I had a very hard year in Iraq in 2004-2005, and finding healthy things to keep me centered has been a struggle ever since. Over the course of 15 years or so, I've gone from being homeless to getting married, having two kids, and getting a great job in tech—all while struggling with PTSD, addiction, and all that jazz. Keeping fish and raising them up, from collecting and hatching eggs to growing our fry, has been one of the most cathartic activities I've ever found. It's so rewarding to take a group of tiny, shy, and stressed-out fish and build an environment for them that nurtures them to the point that they're natural behaviors and colors bloom before your eyes. I love watching all my fish, learning about their species, and getting to know their personalities. And there's nothing better than rearing a new generation of fish in a little world you created. But enough about me! Let's meet the gang! Celestial Pearl Danios These were the fish I've wanted since I first started researching what kind of setup to get my daughter. I've got a colony of 12 adults and 4 fry. These is the first species I've ever bred. These guys live in a planted 20 gallon long aquarium in my living room. I'm currently harvesting eggs for a second attempt at breeding. Amano Shrimp There's about nine of these guys in my 20 gallon long. I bought these on eBay when they were babies, and months later I've discovered that there's only one female in the bunch. We've named the female La Reyna, and he's berried at the moment. I'm hoping to be able to pull her in a couple weeks and try to grow out her babies in a brackish tank. The Great Snail War In November, I purchased some plants from a LFS and inherited an exploding population of ramshorn snails. This wouldn't be a problem except I have a feeling that they're eating the CPD eggs before I can pull them out and they're overrunning the tank. I've been pulling them out manually and giving them away to other hobbyists, but it's Sisyphean task. Last month, I hired some mercenary assassin snails to help me out, but they're having trouble keeping up. Here's a video I recorded the first time I saw one of the assassins hunting and eating a rams horn. German Blue Rams These are the newest addition to my household. They're currently living in a 10 gallon tank in the garage until I can get my hands on something a little bigger. I've only had this male-female pair for four days, so they're still a bit shying. I'm really excited about learning more about this species because, from what I can tell so far, these are very fun fish to watch. Plus, they're absolutely stunning. Here's a wide shot of their current setup (they aren't using the caves yet, but I've heard that can take some time). That's all I've got for now. Thanks for visiting my journal, and if you have any tips for creating a great environment for GBRs, please let me know!
  4. Seems my German Rams and 'schooling' with my bleeding hearts. Is this normal?
  5. *PROBLEM RESOLVED* Hello fish keepers! I have a bit of a problem. I have two german blue rams who are bickering/fighting in a 32G aquarium (see picture). They used to be just fine (see full story below) but they now recently seem to hate eachother. I want to seperate them but it's super hard to catch them since they are way too quick, tiny and hide really well in the aquascape. I wish to find a way that to catch the fish without stressing them too much or risk hurting them and without having to completely tear down the aquarium. Right now, I plan to get them used to the net when I feed bloodworms to be able to catch one ''easily''. Please help me if you have first hand experience with this kind of matter. Thank you in advance! Full history of the fish : A year ago, two German Blue Rams (marked as ''golden'' although they seem more of a mix of regular GBR and golden rams) were sold to me as a pair. However I am pretty sure that they are of the same sex (from my readings it's hard to reliably tell between F/M). The aquarium has multiple hiding spots with plants, deadwood and rocks (see pictures). They were getting along, sharing the same hiding spots, swimming next to eachother, eating from the same spot so I originally thought they were a pair, but sometimes (rare) one would lightly chase the other one. It bothered me a bit as this is not a behaviour I see with my other fish, so I tried to net one but they are super quick, tiny and hide really well in the aquascape. I deemed it impossible to net one without causing more stress/injuries to the fish during the process or riping the whole aquarium apart. Since the chasing was light and would end as soon as it started, I decided that I was okay with keeping things this way. However, it's now been a whole year since I purchased them and recently (since last week) they have switched to a more agressive behaviour. I decided to wait a bit to see if this would resolve itself and make sure it was not a one time thing. But the behaviour did not go away and so now I am seriously considering separating them because this time I fear for the health of the fish. They seem to openely challenge (see picture) one another (especially around feeding time) and it's not the occasional light chase as they now trade pecks at eachother. I have tried to feed differently by spreadind the food around to reduce agression over food but it does not work. I have tried increasing the amount of food/feedings but this behaviour didn't go away. We are now back to my original problem of catching them without causing more harm or totally ripping the aquarium apart. Since I can get the Rams to come to the surface when I am feeding blood worms with a pipette, I am considering to get them used to the net during feedings and hopefully I'll be able to catch one by quickly raising the net. Please help me if you have any experience with this kind of situation. Thank you in advance!!
  6. I’ve been busy breeding a few German Blue Rams this summer. Finally, a batch of 30+ is enjoying their grow-out 20 gal. long with a school of Glowlight Pygmy Barbs. They’re still fairly colorless and pale. But they are eating a wide variety of live, frozen, and dry good entrees. Colors should start showing in a month here. As an amateur breeder, I’ve found that fish do well when raised up in a group like this. (“Power of the Ram is in the School” and whatnot) Here is a short video. They’re small still. For reference, the scurrying Pygmy Barbs — immensely cool nano fish, by the way — are smaller than neon tetras. Enjoy! Once they’re around 3-months old, they’ll be large enough to move in with the discus…
  7. I Love the Blue Ram's and would like a few for my tank but I will NOT buy any from the big box stores. I suspect the LFS in the area gets them from the farms. Does anyone know of a good domestic source?
  8. I recently got into breeding the german blue rams and got a pair of Black rams. They have breed a couple of times but I don’t know how to keep the genes healthy and not excessively line breed them. Do I need to buy just black rams from a different breeder or can I breed the with regular rams and the breed them to black again? How can I do this?
  9. Came across some German Blue Rams that are locally bred for sale. My question is being locally bred think these might carry the same issues as imported? Gold Rams were a bitch with some fungus growing on them I culled 12 out of 16. Don’t want to go down that road again… personal opinions welcomed….
  10. Just moving the discussion from 1 inch per gallon thread. Keeping GBR's with neon tetras in a 65 gallon tank Moderately planted @ 82 degrees. Last post was someone keeping neons in a warm tank without any issues. Im looking for any long term effects and possible negative out comes with keeping a community tank with neons and GBR's.
  11. Hello I am having a tough time with cories? Can't keep the alive??? They are losing their Barbels? Treated the tank with FURAN 2, did not help. Most of the other fish are doing great, Angels growing and breeding. Denision Barbs, Rainbows great. A little tough time with the GRBs, losing a few here and there, but they are breeding??? The parameters are good, water is a little soft? Thoughts? Thank you
  12. Can I feed newly free swimming Gbr fry live baby brine? I have always feed paramecium first, micro worms and the baby brine shrimp because they are so small at the beginning. But I have seen some people recently who feed brine right away but I don’t know if they are successful by feeding brine right away.
  13. Hey all, I’ve been meaning to ask a question about one of my rams in the trio I have in a community 4ft planted tank. I have 2 who are dominant, have bold colours and territories within the tank that they spar over. I have another who I suspect may be a female, as there is little aggression from the other 2 towards this fish. Firstly, are there any good ways to sex rams? secondly, it has a pinkish tummy so I’m wondering if that’s got anything to do with anything. thirdly, I’ve noticed a bit of a spot on its head. It doesn’t look like ich but I’m not sure what it is,does anyone have any guesses? I freaked when something like his happened to my beta but it was just colour development in the scales so I’m guessing it could be this but I’m pretty new to the hobby so any advice would be appreciated :)) I tried to take a photo where you can see it.
  14. I am setting up a new tank and would like to get a pair of German Blue Rams. Does their color look best on light or dark substrate?
  15. Well I ust noticed this and I have no idea what to do next.
  16. DebD

    Bumps on GBR

    I have 2 males have been fighting despite plenty of hides. Noticed these bumps today over this guys eye. Can't identify it. They are raised bumps. Ideas treatment etc appreciated 6.6 pH 0 Nitrates 20 Hardness 0 Nitrite 0 Ammonia 20 KH/Buffer 80F
  17. Love this fella guarding his spawn outside the specimen container. (He’d eat them otherwise)
  18. Hey guys! I've had a heck of a time trying to get a male and female GBR. I bought four, wanting them to pair off naturally so I could see the other two - all 4 ended up being female. So I sold the other 3 back to the store, and picked out what I'm positive is a male - it's got some pretty ridiculously long streamers on the 2nd ray of its' dorsal fin and on it's pelvic fins. After introducing the male into the tank with what I'm pretty sure is a female, I'm seeing more aggression than i was expecting. No contact, but the male will chase the female into the corner, and keep her pinned there. He does turn sideways towards her, but I don't see him "flare" very much like what I've read online. This behavior seems different than what I'd describe as "indiscriminate aggression" since there's no damage being done, but it'd make me feel better to know if this is definitely a female or not. Thoughts?
  19. Like a handful of eager starters with pond season in the US, we suffered from the cold snap a couple weeks back. Lost a number of adult guppies. Only young seem to have managed through in 2 out of 3 mini ponds. I am curious what input the forum would offer on breeding German Blue Rams over the summer? Our ponds do get pretty warm - 70s-90s. Guppies make it through the temp cycle, but it’s warm for them. With the soft rain water, and lots of micro life, the Rams idea has begun to percolate. I know Apistogrammas are reasonably common to do in ponds. What about Rams?
  20. My ultimate dream one day is to visit and talk with@Dean’s Fishroom and ask a few questions. BUT I feel positive there are many others out there who can assist. 😉
  21. I was interested in some german blue rams but I'm not really sure what they can be kept with. I have a 20 gallon long with some corys and was wondering if I could maybe keep them with my venezulan corydoras. Is it possible to keep a breeding pair with corys? Its a planted tank with a good amount of cover. Also, does anyone have any tips on how to keep them and to breed them? Thanks.
  22. Hello! I purchased 6 GBR from an aquarium shop here in Indy. I had plans of having a tank with a few GBR because i fell in love with them once i saw them and aspired to breed them. Over the past month each one had died about 3-4 days after the other. Today the final one died and they all died in the exact same way. I read that it could be because of bad breeding because a week before i got the batch of 6 i bought 2 GBR at the same shop and those two are still alive and show no signs of stress or sickness. I also keep a pleco, pictus catfish, 3 guppies and one betta in the tank. The tank is 55g . Iv done everything i can. I keep my tank at 84 degree. Do water changes every 3 days. Ammonia stays at 0 nitrite stays at 0 and nitrate somewhere between 20-40ppm. I doubt its anything to do with water as they all die one after the other even after water changes in between. Iv medicated the whole tank just in case and still the batch of 6 all died. They breath heavy and stay still and slowly die. They dont exactly lose color but instead almost light up even more but with a grayish look to them. I couldn’t figure out how to post a picture on here otherwise i would have. Any ideas on what happened? I currently have 6 new GBR in a quarantined tank and am adding paraguard, general cure and maracyn. I plan on keeping these in there for about 2 weeks before i add them to the same tank the others were in but i want to get advice before adding them to my show tank. Please help thank you!
  23. I have a ten gallon planted tank that i have been cycling and i was wondering if i could keep a pair of rams and 5 cherry shrimp in the tank?
  24. Hard to tell from picture, but they had babies within 2 weeks or less since introducing them. I didn’t know they had eggs so I’m not as prepared. I have Hikari first bites, are those small enough to feed if I let them dissolve in a syringe and water? I had a whole set up coming to take eggs out when that time comes but they hid them.
  25. This is the third time they've done this. Ignored the flat stone and flower pot spawning sites and went for the easy planter in the middle. At this point I should just be planning on it
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