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German Blue Ram won’t eat

Elodie Rose

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She’s only been off her food a couple days, but I’m concerned, something is wrong. She’s hiding in the plants and breathing hard. No spots or wounds. (These pics are from a couple days ago, she’s been hiding the past day or two.)
The details: 10 gal tank, pair of GBR male and female, a few guppies, I’ve had them since March, 85 F, sponge filter, live plants, tannins. Diet is live grindal worms, various flake and pellet foods - vibra bites, krill flakes, spiralina flakes, cichlid pellets, algae pellets, etc. They usually get dry food for breakfast, grindal worms for dinner. In the past frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, baby brine shrimp, but unusually, no frozen foods for a couple weeks.

Please help, this pair are wet pets and I’m exceedingly fond of them. I’ve been keeping mostly guppies and cories, cherry shrimp. 











Oops, almost forgot these. The ammonia test looks yellow to me, but I did a 20% water change last evening, and added a tablespoon of api aquarium salt. 







Edited by Elodie Rose
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Have you added an extra airstone yet?  That can be quite helpful when they are breathing hard.  The pH is very high which makes any potential ammonia issues worse.  If there was an ammonia surge at any point, your biofiltration has likely cleared it already but she could still potentially have damage to her gills.  Not all fish will be equally affected, she could be very sensitive to it compared to the others.  The GH and KH seem to be extremely high, also.  Any chance you can get some RO and mix some in?  I don’t usually see those causing an issue once the fish are acclimated to those levels but that would also help drop the pH closer to neutral for a species that prefers slightly soft and slightly acid water.  I would not do more than 25% RO, but you might consider doing future water changes with 25%-30% RO mixed into your tap water.

Have you done a dose of Prime just in case?  How often and how much water do you routinely change out?

Do you notice any redness around her gills?  I don’t see any in the pic but eyes on directly beats a pic every time.

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I hadn’t put an extra air stone in, but I will. I’ll also see how much clear water there is around the sponge filter. 

No, I didn’t dose any Prime, I did dose a little Stress Coat last night. I try not to do water changes or use dechlorinator in the mornings, aren’t those low-oxygen times in heavily planted tanks? I think that’s why I do them in the evenings. My routine change is 1 gallon each weekend.

That’s the typical ph, KH, and gh of my tap water, which she and the male have been living in and growing in since March.  It seems odd to me that it would start stressing her now, but I hear what you’re saying and  I will gather some information, and adjust my practices.

I will also ask GuppySnail about her RO water and routine. Maybe I misunderstood when I bought them. There’s always a catappa leaf or two in the tank, but it doesn’t seem to affect the ph much.

Don’t see a breeding tube, and don’t see any redness around the gills. Haven’t gotten to offering any food yet today, but tank lights are on morning light now (instead of dawn light, which is the reddish ‘ramp up’), and I can see her much better.

Thanks so much for your time. Very much appreciated, with all my heart.



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On 8/26/2023 at 9:04 AM, Elodie Rose said:

There’s always a catappa leaf or two in the tank, but it doesn’t seem to affect the ph much.

With kh that high you could probably put the entire tree in and still not affect ph. 

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Water change with mixed distilled water, with Prime. She swam away to hide when I opened the lid. Wouldn’t come to eat, so after changing water I put some blackworms into the corners of the tank, covered it and left. The tank light is on sunset setting.

It’s possible she’s eating off-menu… so as long as she isn’t doing that creepy, motionless panting at the top, I’m feeling better about her. I’m trying to minimize how much I’m even in that part of the room, and just leave the tank alone.
My anxiety is not going to be a positive connection to her, or any of them, so I’m doing some little projects and chilling with Penny the pupper. I’m learning about ostracods and copepods and all kinds of teeny critters. 

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Posted (edited)

She has eaten today. I’ve changed the water again, but I’ve let the light cycle through the day normally today. Simon is oddly solicitous. I can see them swimming around from across the room, but she’s skittish. 


Edited by Elodie Rose
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