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German blue ram displaying odd behavior, potentially sick?


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Hi everyone.

When I woke up this morning and went to go check on my 29 gallon I noticed my female blue ram hadn't come up to the glass to check things out. Upon further inspection, she was hovering half an inch above the sand, gills moving quickly, and showing clamped fins, a big stress line, and faded colors. I checked on the other fish in the tank: 12 green neons and 6 otocinclus, who all seem and eat fine. The next thing I did was check all my parameters and came up with the following:

  • Temperature: 83F
  • pH: 6.0 (admittedly low, even for my tanks which tend to fall on the 6.4-6.8 range)
  • Ammonia: 0
  • Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: 40
  • gH: 175
  • kH: 2

I did a 5 gallon water change to try to see if things would improve without shocking the system and wait it out to see if things would improve. I also added an airstone that has been running all day as I wasn't sure if she just simply wasn't getting enough oxygen for whatever reason. Since then her condition has improved and has been swimming around the tank more, and is still eating luckily (she's been swimming over to an algae pellet to peck at it with the otos occasionally). I also noticed that when she comes to eat, her color returns a bit, her fins are no longer clamped, and she chases the green neons away from the meal as she always has (what you're seeing in the pictures). However, as soon as she's done with her meal, she becomes very skittish, clamped, and washed out again. I've also noticed that her mouth seems off somehow, I don't think it's supposed to look that pale, more on that in the next paragraph.

The only things that have changed within the past 48 hours have been another small water change yesterday, and an attempt to reintroduce the male that she has had a few clutches of eggs with. Long story short, they breed, he usually shoos her shortly after, and when I remove the babies to rear them or if I get lazy and they get eaten/die in the tank, he chases her around the tank either in a fit of rage for "killing his babies" or in an attempt to mate again. Needless to say I often separate him for a couple of days to a week and then reintroduce him to her where they get along for a few days til they breed again. Going back to the thing I noticed with her mouth, since this last reintroduction was a failure and ended up with him chasing her again, is it possible they may have fought which caused a prolonged negative reaction to his reintroduction, or am I just overthinking things? Thanks in advance if you've read this far, and any advice would be appreciated. 🙂





Edited by ChippDipp
accidentally added extra picture
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She looks fine to me. A video would be more helpful though. Sounds like you know your Rams well, and are tuned into  them enough to respond when they spawn.

We’ve been breeding Rams awhile now. I like the way they work in tanks with “bigger issues” than one another (i.e. where they’re not dominant)…


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