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Fishroom “Tails”

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I only meant to spend 30 mins down in the fish cave tonight. Hand on my heart. But stuff happened, and nearly everyone was asleep when I resurfaced.

Every “fish-tail” is a story in medias res. Where to begin? Well, my Discus tank has been … struggling a bit of late. I do weekly water changes, but less frequent filter maintenance. Gunk was accumulating — particularly around my Indian swampweed (Hygrophilia polysperma). The Discus are normally friendly, but of late they’ve been cagey.


So several days ago I did a water change… ripped out the Hygro almost completely, which released a load of gross accumulates (molm, algae, whatnot)… then I started squeezing the sponge filters in the sink… which were in much need, inevitably releasing bio cloud into the tank… leaving me continuing the water change long past my normal 30%. I probably did a 70% WC.

Fish recovered fine. It’s a well-established tank, so I’m not worried about any soaring ammonia over taxing  a struggling bio colony. But then early today, I saw my GBRs in there who I’ve raised from last summer acting interested.


So tonight, I’m trying to locate the male GBR, and I notice him hovering over a stone with a little haul of eggs!

So, what I’ve been doing most recently to hatch eggs is floating a DIY flow-through fry tray in the tank(s) that eggs are laid in, moving eggs over, adding air… some anti fungal… and eventually java moss. This maintains the same water quality, temperature, etc and seems to help eggs hatch very well.




Earlier on today (or yesterday?), I’d moved my Southern Redbelly Dace fry out from this floating container into a new 10-gal so they’d stop escaping through the holes in the coarse sponge flow-through, plummeting into the open mouth of a young Rainbow Darter!

So this tray had sat dry on my floor all day. But when I added water to it, oh my! There were SRBD fry still alive!

So I tried to catch them out and move them over to the 10-gal. I might have been only partially successful.

Then I went to get the rock the Rams spawned on…

But there’s another issue: the DIY floating container was sinking just to the water surface, making it possible for fry to slip out…


This called for another DIY solution…




I cut another styro piece to fit under the lower lip edge of the container. However, it was too buoyant. So I solved that by cutting a portion out from the center. That lifted the upper styro collar about 1/2 inch above the surface. So far, so good 🤞

I dosed antifungal m-blue, covered, and we shall see! I cannot resist the thought of more Rams!


Now i just need to find something tall to go back where I cut out that Hygro!


Edited by Fish Folk
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I’m hoping these hatch. I’d love to raise another batch of Rams, and the floating container is the way to Go…


Here’s a batch that’s been going strong for a month and a half now. Maybe 75x GBRs. I can never have too many of these beauties!

They grow into gorgeous living gemstones…



Edited by Fish Folk
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We’ve kept 50-75 in a 55 gal here…

And 30-50 Golden Rams (growout) in a 20 gal here…

So… @ndfi78 yes. Many, many Rams can be kept together. They will spread out their aggression. Yes, dominant males may “spar,” but if there’s enough, with plants and structure to block some lines of sight, they thrive in colonies.

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On 4/27/2022 at 9:47 AM, ndfi78 said:

Oh, well then yes six would be fine 😄 😂

I'll mention a few basics that I wouldn't want to be taken for granted:

(1) If GBRs -- or any fish -- grow up together in a hatch, they're more likely to be friendly towards each other

(2) As with all cichlids, Dwarf Cichlids have a way to setting up a "pecking order." Males will spar until one is generally considered the "boss." I've watched closely over the years, and am not convinced that this male will be the only one to mate with females (as is the case with African Cichlids). I've watched plenty of times that the dominant male is so concerned with guarding the center that a subdominant male sneaks off into a corner with a female and spawns.

(3) Contrary to the entire internet, Rams do not "mate for life." A male will spawn with any female that turns him on. It is more the case that FEMALES will tend to punish any other females to try to turn on her chosen mate. So while there will be [a] male v. male aggression for dominance and [b] male -> chasing -> females who are not ready to spawn, there is also plenty of [c] female v. female to secure a male for mating.

(4) Rams, when healthy, properly fed, in a clean and inviting environment, can spawn every 2x weeks. More commonly, however, I find my Rams spawn at a rate of ca. 1x per month.

(5) If you crowd Rams in, you need to be weekly with water changes -- 50% is a good amount for a smaller (20-29 gal tank); 30% is sufficient for a 55 gal aquarium.

(6) Rams will thrive when kept WARM -- 83-87 degrees F. This is why they're so good to keep with Discus and Cardinal Tetras.

(7) If you keep them with Ancistrus, beware: Plecos, like all catfish, are nocturnal feeders: They will gladly gobble up Ram eggs laid on a rock during the night.

.... I could keep going .... but I've already kept going a LONG while over here:


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