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About Me

Found 17 results

  1. I just got this bolivian ram in my 20 gallon aquarium as a centerpiece fish.
  2. Hey guys I’m really considering dipping my toes and getting a pair of Bolivian rams, I am not really familiar with them so want to get all the knowledge I can get. First what tank size do they need for just a pair and that is it would a 20 gallon work. Also is there any quirks about them I should know before I get them soon. thank you, stephen
  3. I started the fish keeping hobby in October 2020 and got fascinated by Dean's black rams really quickly. After they laid their first batch of eggs, it quickly turned my hobby from a purely fish keeping one to a fish keeping + breeding one. This forum has helped me a lot with raising black ram fry, thanks to the awesome members so I thought I should give back by documenting the mistakes I made and the things I learned along the journey about raising black ram fry. I hope that other newbie hobbyists like me can use this to avoid this mistakes or show a way of raising fry without having a auto water change system. I work a full-time job so I don't have time to water change everyday and try to have setups that are the least demanding as possible. Disclaimer: These are purely my experiences, what I have been doing and what worked for my setup/situation. It does not mean that it is the right way. I am still learning as I go. At the start, I would have batches that completely wiped, to slowly raising 14 fry, to having hundreds right now. My setup: 4 tanks 1 breeding tank where the parents lay eggs (around 81F): I keep my rams in my display tanks - 75 and 65 gallon but you only need one. I use Dean's trick of using pot dish as an area for the parents to lay eggs. I didn't need to provide any cover. The rams would lay in open space, just like Dean said. 1 x 40 gallon breeder tank to hold small/medium ram fry (~83.5 - 84F) 1 x 15 gallon tank to hold small ram fry (~85F) 1 x 5 gallon tank to hold tiny, days old ram fry (~84-85F) Specimen boxes to hatch ram fry (eggs on stone/dish -> wrigglers -> free swimming). You need an air stone for each box and methylene blue! I use dishwasher to wash them after I am done. Call me lazy 😛 TIP: Keep the tanks where you raise fry around the same temperature so they won't get in shock when you transfer them! Also get extra dish/flat surfaces so you can rotate them! Breeding/raising fry steps: Step 1: Get rams that are of opposite sex. There are lots of information out there about sexing rams so I won't go into detail here. Find a trusty fish store employee who knows how to sex black rams to help you out. They are dark so it is hard to identify those pink bellies. Long fins are not 100% guarantee as I have female rams with very sexy long fins Step 2: They form pairs and get ready to lay. How do you know they are paired up - mine will stay together, side by side or as a group (more on that later). The groups will face off the other group or lone ram. How to tell that the fish are getting ready to lay? First, the female with the wider belly will have an extended tube. The picture shown here is that the fish is ready to lay that day. If the tube is just peeking or not fully extended, you will have to wait for another day or so. Mine usually lay in the evening or at night and lay around every 8 days. When the ram-parents-to-be are picking a spot, you will see them chase out other fish that is "invading their zone" and they will clean (a peck-peck-belly swish/swoop motion) a designated surface like this: https://imgur.com/a/nT6aP6e This is your moment to "correct their egg laying site" if you will - aka. put the desired surface (dish or stone) there so that they will lay on top of that vs whatever they were cleaning before. Trust me, you do not want to be removing eggs from substrate or from a giant piece of wood later. I give the eggs a few hours before I remove them (for fertilization? IDK). Yes sometimes the parents will bite so remove after the lights go out so they are half awake. MISTAKES MADE HERE Leave the eggs in an inhabited tank over night - snails and other fish (super red pleco in my case) will eat the eggs when the parents are sound asleep Step 3: remove the eggs - my rams are terrible parents. I only have one pair of (gold) rams so far who have faithfully stayed by the eggs, fanned them and ACTUALLY ATE THE WHITE EGGS (this part is the hardest and the most unbelievable part for me)! White eggs are the unfertilized ones. If left unattended, they will mold and grow fungus. This fungus will spread and kill off the other developing eggs. What I do is grab a new specimen box (I do put up to two egg batches in the same container if they are laid on the same day. I don't do more since the extra dishes inhibit air flow and causes fungus to grow more in my experience), grab the dish and put it inside the box, with it almost full of fish tank water. Then you can, depending on your setup, put the box in a separate tank or put it in your current breeding tank. I put it in a separate tank since that tank temperature is higher (around 83.5 to 84F). Then hook up an air stone, turn the flow up to medium high, and drip in methylene blue (good fungus-inhibitor). I use the 3ml dropper from Co-op and drip three drops and then rinse the dropper in the box. Step 4: Wait for eggs to hatch to wrigglers and then to free swimming fry (takes about 5 - 6 days) You will usually see white eggs developing within 24 hours. It will be hard to remove them from a densely-laid dish, so I just wait until the wrigglers go off the dish and remove the dish all together. However, if fungus appears, use a device (the 3ml dropper for me) to suck up the fungus eggs. Wrigglers show up on day 3 for me. These are just wriggling orange dots. Do not feed them as they can't eat. I reduce the air stone flow so they are not constantly on a rollercoaster in the specimen box. Remove the dish carefully at this time (slanted) so you get the bad eggs/fungus out. Also a nice time to do a partial water change. Make sure you don't just dump the water in at once - be gentle. Step 5: Move the free swimmers to a tank (5 gallon in my case) I use a bare bottom tank as it is easy to clean and that the fry won't get caught in rough substrate when they sleep at night. Also it is easy for you to observe the fry without any obstruction. The java moss you see in my tank...I am not sure if it is doing much. The algae is doing a lot of the waste cleaning work. ALSO NO SNAILS - they will love a fry snack Day 5/6 - wrigglers will be free swimming. This is the time when I transfer them to the baby 5 gallon tank. I use a measuring cup so I can transfer them with minimum "damage". I use two kinds of food - Sera Micron and baby brine shrimp (BBS). You can get Sera Micron from Coop. However I find the Coop baby brine to be too big for the fresh fry so I get the San Francisco Bay strain kind and hatch those. For Sera Micron, using the same measuring cup, I get some tank water, dust some in and mix it. Once mixed, I use the 3ml dropper and dose it in the tank. For the BBS, I use the same Coop hatching formula and dose those in with the dropper. I try to feed the fry every two hours when the light is on when I am home. https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/baby-brine-shrimp For me, the first three days of free swimming fry is when the mass causality event happens. When they survive to day four of free swimming, they are likely to make it. MISTAKES MADE HERE (step 4 & 5) Not removing fungus in the specimen box/dish - they spread, populate the water and kill the good eggs/wrigglers. Put wrigglers or free swimming fry into a ziss breeder box. They are too small, will fall through and get eaten! Lost 99% of my wrigglers once this way! The breeder box also collects waste, especially egg yolk (stopped doing that). Since I didn't have the time to water change shortly after each feeding, my fry quickly died due to bad water quality. Raising free swimmers in a specimen box - wayy too many water changes for me and fry still died in the end 😞 To summarize, too much work and too much stress to keep the fry alive. It is best to use an actual tank (more water, more room for waste to be diluted) Keep floating plants like water lettuce in the free swimmer tank - fry will get caught in between or on the leaf and won't have access to food/water (aka. die) Observations: My free swimmers that only hang out at the surface is at risk of not making it. I am not sure why they do that. I like to see them swimming in the middle or at the bottom of the tank. Step 6: Move the now bigger fry into another tank so you can move free swimmers to the 5 gallon to rinse and repeat Time for an tank upgrade! If you don't, the new fry will be great food for the current inhabitants! I move mine to the 15 gallon. There are no other fish in there besides fry. Other inhabitants include shrimp and snails. I put lots of guppy grass in it to help eat up the ammonia/nitrate! Now that the fry are bigger, I transition them to Co-op BBS and Co-op easy fry food. I was even able to use the Tetra vacation food to feed the fry when I was gone for a week! There isn't a reason why I have snails and shrimp in there, other than that I need a tank to grow them for my other fish to eat. I didn't use a bare bottom tank here because that is how the tank was setup before. The fry are bigger here so they can avoid getting caught in the substrate or get eaten by snails during their sleep. Step 7: Move the inhabitants to a bigger tank if needed, to handle the increasing waste load AND cull during the move I transfer mine to the 40 gallon, again with lots of guppy grass in it. It helps to eat up waste and also provide a shelter for smaller fry. When they get bigger, I transition them to Xtreme Nano, Fluval Bug Bites and Replashy Community food (all sold at Co-op). I stopped the brine as they are getting too small for these teenagers. Occasionally as a treat, all my fish get frozen blood worms, brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. Black rams are harder to cull since their body isn't as transparent as the gold. I don't know much about culling but I remove the ones with twisted spines. You will see that the spine from the center to the body to the tail is crooked. This usually makes the fish body/tail in a "S" shape when looking down from above. Please cull them before they get bigger/suffer longer. Normal spine: You may be wondering how often I water change - the answer depends on the number & size of fish. For my five gallon, I rarely change water - maybe weekly. I don't feed a ton but I try to feed often and the tank has adapted to handle over 200 free swimmers. The water actually just cleared up from being green for a few weeks (green water is okay as it is food?? and it consumes the waste). ALGAE = my helper - they trap tiny food for the fry and clean the water. For my 15 and 40 gallon, since they got lots of fish in there at the moment, I change daily or twice a day. To summarize, my end goal is to have algae or plants to help me reduce the amount of times I need to water change! MISTAKES MADE HERE: Try not to suck fish up with your Python/water change device. Rams and their fry are small! This is ESPECIALLY a new idea if you come from keeping larger fish like blood parrots. Keep an eye out for bubbles forming at the water surface or panting fish - time to check those parameters! Often it means ammonia MY General observations and layman experiments: Black rams will produce gold rams (aka gold from black). The ratio changes for me but I will get 50% or less black rams from a black pair. Gold from black parents do not yield black rams. I only experimented with this a handful of times until I had to stop as there are just too many gold ram fry. Gold from black X black yield black rams: not sure if there is a ratio difference. This is also from a gold from black male X black female. I haven't tried the other way as the pairs didn't form naturally. Gold rams and black rams did not pair up until there isn't any other option from their own color: I have two gold female rams in a black ram tank that pair up - yes you read that right - they laid eggs together and chased other fish away (even a male ram attempting to pair) the black female rams only pair up with gold males when there were no other black rams around In my 40 breeder where I grew out the teenager rams, blacks paired up with blacks and vice versa for gold rams Now back to the group thing I mentioned earlier. I kept nine rams in a 65 gallon - seven black, two gold from black. There are only three male rams out of the nine. One male ram "PAIRED UP" with three female black rams. I believe Cory mentioned this in a video, where he said in the wild, the male ram will pair with different females. However, I am not sure if he is referring to pairing up at different times or together. The four rams act as a family and will chase off fish together. I had four mouths bite me when I retrieve eggs. Tonight the two females laid eggs on the same dish and the male was fertilizing them all (the third female laid a night before). Proof: https://imgur.com/a/0wk5p0D (you will see the second female joining in at 1/3 of the video. Lastly, if you are interested to learn a bit more in depth about the ram life cycle, I recommend watching this one: I hope I covered most of it here. Please share your thoughts and questions!
  4. anyone have thoughts as to what I can expect from the fry given the difference in the ram parents?
  5. Tried Bolivian Rams this month with a group of 6. Pair formed pretty much immediately and fry now free swimming. My plan was to leave them for a month or two, similar to the regani pike spawn, for benefits of parents care and assistance. Anyone have experience with raising these? Seem to be feeding on mulm, first bites, coop fry food, and possibly BBS 1 week past free swimming.
  6. Water parameters all good. Been doing frequent water changes. This is my second round with Gold Rams, first batch had fungus ended up culling them. This batch a couple have this white spot on fins or tails, this one is by far the worst in this batch. Varys with One spot or maybe up to three much smaller spots. I’ve Ich X them, currently using Maracyn on them in another day or two I’ll paraguard them. Had these Rams about 2 weeks. These fish must be acceptable to disease?? Everything I read on them is their hardy but couldn’t prove that by me. Anyone have any suggestions? If I cull this batch out I’m going with Appistos.
  7. So I have a batch of Ram eggs. The parents remain with the eggs in a secluded 20g. Question; I can see several eggs that don't look fertile. How on earth do I remove the unfertilized eggs without disturbing the parenthood now taking place? Those things are tiny! She laid them on a small piece of slate. It's mostly the male guarding the eggs, but they do seem to take turns.
  8. I Would like to breed my apistos in a separate breeding tank but all I have is a 5.5 gallon can I keep them in there for 1-2 months at most. Their eggs are getting eaten by the other fish. If I can't do that could I put the rams that are bullying them in the 5 gallon and have them breed?
  9. Hello , could this be male and female ? They do fight , head bumb etc.
  10. Bob V

    Unknown lump

    Can anyone identify the lump on my gold ram. It's the right side near his tail. Started to notice the fish tilting to one side at times but remains active and is eating well. He lives in a seasoned 30gal community tank. (About 2 years) pH 7.2 zero ammonia and nitrite. 40ppm nitrate, kh 120 gh ~100. Temp 78 degrees. Planted tank with 10 neons, 4 platys 3cory and 5 amano shrimp. No new additions for last year. Any ideas? Should I quarantine? Meds?
  11. I would like to do a 20 gallon ram tank. How many could go in there? And is it the female that has no blue specs in the black spot or is it the male?
  12. Always have had a soft spot for GBR's but scared to try with having ph lvls at around 8 living in Wisconsin. Am I just wasting money if I get them? If not would they ever breed? I keep my tank at 79 degrees.
  13. I have a forty breeder with 5 Cory cats, 5 blood fin tetras, and 1 baby bristlenose. Planted with a big amazon sword, a 7 inch java fern, and scarlet temple. Would it be okay to add 5 German Gold Rams. Temps 72-74 degrees. @Dean’s Fishroom
  14. Thought someone working on breeding might be interested in seeing a method for spawning and raising Golden Opal Rams (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi). We've tried many times to allow our adult Rams to raise their own fry without pulling eggs, but every time ended unsuccessfully. This way definitely can work, even if it's not the most natural. Hope someone finds it helpful!
  15. Hi Forums, I had this idea to setup a new 55 gallon "cichlid" tank, with these fish in the tank: Panda Cory - 12 Amano Shrimp - 2 Dwarf Cockatoo Apistogramma - 2 Blue King Tetra - 24 Bolivian Ram - 6 Marble Angelfish - 2 It's not 100% cichlid, more of a community tank, but the majority of fish are cichlids, so I'm calling a "cichlid" community tank. Could you give me some insight on if this tank seems suitable on paper, because obviously cichlids are SO unpredictable. Thanks!
  16. What are some common fish you find at your LFS that beginners probably shouldn't get? I'm thinking less about the species that get bigger than you think, get aggressive, etc. -- more so, the overbred, high-turnover species (or those inherently fragile) where the deathclock countdown has begun by the time they make it to the LFS, or just those species that have a higher chance of success in an established tank (e.g., neocardina). I've witnessed friends and neighbors giving up the hobby immediately after losing their first purchase of neons, cardinals, fancy guppies, etc. It's often difficult to figure out what to avoid when a google search gives you a list of common beginner fish -- and often the prevalence of that fish is the very reason you're more likely to get bad stock. Just from personal (and limited) experience and subsequent conversations with employees at my LFS, the tough ones around here include: - Line-bred fancy guppies - Neon tetra - Cardinal tetra - Rummynose tetra - Rams - Dwarf Gourami What else would you add to the list??
  17. Hey there community I’m sharing a couple images of my rams that I’m currently breeding both indoors and outside. Also be sure to check me out on YouTube and Instagram at Dammiguessaqua
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