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What to do with the rejects...a third wheel GBR


Brandy
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I have a little female GBR. The intention was to have one male and 3 females in a heavily planted 29g. The hobbyist I got them from had some issues, and long story short I ended up with a mated pair and a third wheel. I am super torn, because she is getting picked on, but she isn't injured, just rejected and chased on sight. This doesn't really seem to deter her, and she will try to insert herself into the pair, and seems to be getting enough to eat. For a week there was a bump on her had that seemed like she had injured herself, but it resolved without meds.

This is the dilemma--I have many other tanks she could move to, and be the single cichlid show piece, but none are at 83degF. For instance, she could hang with adult guppies...but the water parameters are just too different. I have a beautifully aquscaped mostly empty tank with a mature bonsai planted with nana petite...but the plants in that tank might melt at that temp, it is currently unheated, and it is not technically mine, but one I am holding for a friend. Killing their scape would be a grave transgression, though they would love her in it. MOST of my tanks are unheated.

I can't decide if she is happier where she is, getting picked on --just the way cichlids are?-- or if I need to make her her own tank, very inconvenient, or try to house her at a lower temp which is trading one problem for another, or find her a new home with someone else...

You can see in this pic that she is colored up a bit, but sometimes she is pale and washed out, trying to lose a pursuer. It was constant at first, but things are maybe settling down?

PXL_20201001_155843589.jpg.8abb7420f970425276d9fbc166ca4421.jpg

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1 hour ago, Brandy said:

I have a little female GBR. The intention was to have one male and 3 females in a heavily planted 29g. The hobbyist I got them from had some issues, and long story short I ended up with a mated pair and a third wheel. I am super torn, because she is getting picked on, but she isn't injured, just rejected and chased on sight. This doesn't really seem to deter her, and she will try to insert herself into the pair, and seems to be getting enough to eat. For a week there was a bump on her had that seemed like she had injured herself, but it resolved without meds.

This is the dilemma--I have many other tanks she could move to, and be the single cichlid show piece, but none are at 83degF. For instance, she could hang with adult guppies...but the water parameters are just too different. I have a beautifully aquscaped mostly empty tank with a mature bonsai planted with nana petite...but the plants in that tank might melt at that temp, it is currently unheated, and it is not technically mine, but one I am holding for a friend. Killing their scape would be a grave transgression, though they would love her in it. MOST of my tanks are unheated.

I can't decide if she is happier where she is, getting picked on --just the way cichlids are?-- or if I need to make her her own tank, very inconvenient, or try to house her at a lower temp which is trading one problem for another, or find her a new home with someone else...

You can see in this pic that she is colored up a bit, but sometimes she is pale and washed out, trying to lose a pursuer. It was constant at first, but things are maybe settling down?

PXL_20201001_155843589.jpg.8abb7420f970425276d9fbc166ca4421.jpg

As long as she isn't getting visibly hurt, I'd keep her there. 

Another option would be to get her a male and have 2 pairs in the 29 gal, which should be able to house them 

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ok so this is my opinion, i breed all kinds of rams and have been doing experiments with tempature. i like to keep them much warmer like at 86-88 degrees farhenhiet. but i have done some experiments with them and found they can go down to 76 with no problem, i have even done fry that were 2 weeks old at that temp and found no problems with it. now they will act alot slower than normal but other than that no problem. hope this helps!!!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

Contrary to all my stress and most of the proffered advice, I decided to do nothing. I watched closely, and saw that there were no torn fins or injuries occurring. In the meantime my plants continued to grow. 

My tank is now so packed with plants that there are times when I can't find ANY rams. I see the rummy nose school, and maybe an otocinclus, but that is about it. The khuli loaches are invisible and the rams put in brief appearances, but can also disappear. Not bad for 29g. 

The little female has recovered her color and her moxy. She frequently challenges the other female for dominance, and only retreats if the male backs up his girlfriend, and then only momentarily. Nobody is being hurt, and everybody is fat and sassy.  A sudden darting "attack" is foiled by dodging amongst the leaves, and the pursuer loses interest in less than 3 fish body lengths.

The rams are gorgeous and I am very glad I stuck it out--I am also glad I had ready options in case things suddenly went south. Thanks all for the emotional support!

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I recently picked up a trio of Midnight Rams and have noticed the same thing. The person I adopted them from thought that the other fish in her tank were bullying the females, but once I got them home and in the 29g hospital tank I could see the bully is the male.

Thankfully, he seems to have claimed the cave I put in for them and has paired with the bigger female. Sadly, now they both chase her. I think I am going to take the same route and keep them all. I think adding the pair early to their display tank and adding in more plants while I fatten up the small female might work. Or, I will have to add a 2nd male if it seems to continue or rehome her. Daniel's option #3 is reserved for mercy reasons only in my house. 

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1 hour ago, Brandy said:

@Mr. Ed's Aquatics I think I might put her in the display tank first actually and leave the happy couple in the QT a bit longer. Let her fully scope out all the hidey holes and blind corners. Let her have the home court advantage. 

I would like to, but the happy couple are bigger and in perfect shape. She's much smaller and recovering from all the nipping. I'm afraid moving her out in a weakened state to a community might make her an easy target. 

I actually have an opportunity to trade her to a friend who has 1 little male (I tried to trade for his) for a mated pair of electric blues... so not sure what I will end up doing. 

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