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Do My German Blue Rams Need Couples Therapy? 😂


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Hey fish friends! Have you guys ever had a pair of rams bond and then suddenly “break up?” I'm new to rams and had my pair for a month now. They were inseparable, cleaning off rocks and her belly was so pink and large I thought she might explode! Now, the male is overzealous about breeding and is stressing out the female to the point where her head turned black and she was hiding behind the filter breathing heavily. I think she re-absorbed the eggs because she's barely bloated anymore and the belly is only slightly pink. It might be worth mentioning that I brought home the female with a male she'd been bonding with at the store, but he passed shortly after; she became really restless and constantly glass-surfed until I got this male for her. 
 
I separated her in a mesh breeder box and she recovered pretty quickly once she realized he couldn’t get to her anymore. The next morning she was trying to swim to him, so I released her. They were fine until nighttime and I had to separate again. What can I do? Would adding another female/pair help? I can probably do that, if so! I have a spare 10 gallon I can set up if separation is the only option, but when they're separated they act so restless! I've attached a pic of her being normal and a pick of her when she turned super dark hiding.
 
O wise ram gods, give me some wisdom! 😂

beauty dark.JPG

beauty normal.JPG

Edited by Gaby
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I had the same thing happen with two pairs of black rams.

The first pair I never really expected to pair off. I had just removed them from the tank once I saw the other pair pairing off. They were pretty prolific and spawned several times and did a decent job raising up their fry. They seemed fine until one day, I noticed the female hiding and looking sick/injured while the male chased her around. I separated them entirely by putting her in another tank. Just last week, I started introducing them again by moving him from the tank he was in into her tank, but keeping them separated with a mesh basket. I think I may have kept them separated for too long, though because I think that she actually laid eggs while he was in the basket and he obviously wasn't able to fertilize them and they are looking pretty fungus-y. She even seems to be chasing him around a bit to try to get him to fertilize the eggs, but he doesn't seem to be having it. They can at least be in the same tank together, though. I'm thinking the different environment probably helped. I'm hoping keeping them well-fed and doing some cooler water changes will trigger them to spawn again. I've been calling them Monica and Chandler.

The other pair on the other hand... They can't seem to be in the same tank together. They had initially paired off when I got them, so I put them in their own tank together. The spawned quite a few times, but always ended up eating their eggs or their fry. I finally end up removing the eggs and attempting to hatch them myself, with fairly catastrophic results. I couldn't ever get them past that first week stage until I finally did and a dead snail in their little grow out box fouled up the whole batch and killed all but one. Around that time, the male was constantly chasing her around and being really aggressive, even after trying to move them to a new tank hoping that a change of scenery and some dither fish would help. It didn't, so now they are separated, probably for good. I might see if I can pair up the fry from Monica and Chandler with one or both of them, but I'm still waiting for them to grow out. I've been calling this pair Ross and Rachel and their one, single surviving offspring Emma. Still hoping he'll run to the airport and they'll end up together, but right now, I'm not holding my breath...

All that is to say that yes, you're not alone. I've been struggling with it for a couple months. At least in the case of Monica and Chandler, a change of scenery seemed to help. If you don't have any other tanks to work with, you might try seeing if you can catch the male and separate him out in the mesh box and let the female recover in her natural environment. Then, once he's in there, rearrange the tank a bit and Jedi mind trick him into thinking he's in a new tank. You could also try some dither fish if that's not already happening. Otherwise, you unfortunately just might be out of luck.

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That’s a hard call.  You might want to condition them separately.  Let her recover.  I would move the male.  So when you rejoin them she has home field advantage.  Are they young fish?  Sometimes it takes a few times for them to get it correct.  Also maybe put them together on a day when you can watch them.

Good Luck 

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On 5/10/2022 at 1:42 PM, B1gJ4k3 said:

All that is to say that yes, you're not alone. I've been struggling with it for a couple months. At least in the case of Monica and Chandler, a change of scenery seemed to help. If you don't have any other tanks to work with, you might try seeing if you can catch the male and separate him out in the mesh box and let the female recover in her natural environment. Then, once he's in there, rearrange the tank a bit and Jedi mind trick him into thinking he's in a new tank. You could also try some dither fish if that's not already happening. Otherwise, you unfortunately just might be out of luck.

Hahaha I love your naming scheme, that's awesome! And thank you for the suggestion to trick him and give the female an edge by rearranging! I went ahead and did that, while adding a bunch more caves to the tank in the hopes that she'll find spots she can rest in - if need be. He's currently in the breeder box and he is SO MAD 😂 How long should I keep him in timeout? He's been trying to bust out for a while now, I feel bad for him 😅 What's even funnier is that she has been having a great time exploring, but every now and then will notice him in the breeder box and swim to him! She's like oh! it's you! and he's been trying to swim at her the whole time, bless him 😆 They have dither fish in there with them, 9 female cherry barbs! Hated the male cherry barbs; talk about pushy, my goodness! 

On 5/10/2022 at 2:21 PM, Brian said:

That’s a hard call.  You might want to condition them separately.  Let her recover.  I would move the male.  So when you rejoin them she has home field advantage.  Are they young fish?  Sometimes it takes a few times for them to get it correct.  Also maybe put them together on a day when you can watch them.

Good Luck 

She recovered fully and is now behaving totally normal again, thank goodness! I rearranged the tank with him in the breeder box and she's been exploring happily. Tons of new caves just added, and she even swims to him in the box lol; maybe there is hope! They are pretty young; what I think may have happened is that the male is a little smaller and wasn't in great health (only LFS here kinda sucks tbh) and he either a.) was too young when she was pink-bellied and ready or b.) was too busy being sick with parasites (that have since been successfully treated) to do the job. How long would you say he should be in timeout? He's PISSED 😂

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He's gonna have to stay in there til she's either ready or has another female to back her up; tried releasing him but I think being in that box made him even more aggressive and within 10 minutes her head turned black and she hid for an hour upon putting him back just to be sure he was gone. What's even odder to me is that she was the feisty one! She taught him to be feisty and to bite my fingers when I clean the tank, and now she's being intimidated by her own production LOL

I am trying to find a local breeder by me to get another female but am having little luck. There's no clubs here that I've been able to find either and the LFS kinda sucks. I miss living in Florida sometimes 😕 Also trying to condition the female for breeding, maybe that'll help. If none of this works, I might just swap the male for another female so she isn't alone or stressed.

 

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