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Thread: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

  1. #1
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    Default Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Hi,

    I have a 75 gallon planted aquarium. I have 35+ cardinal tetras, three Otocinclus, 20+ amano shrimp and two Nannacara anomala (both male as it turned out). I quarantined everyone before introducing to them to the tank, including 4 Bolivian Rams.
    In quarantine, the Bolivians were giving me a hard time feeding. Towards the end of quarantine they were eating better, not fantastic, just better. I thought that might be normal for them because I had never kept these before. I heard they might be stressed due to spartan conditions in the quarantine tank, so I decided to introduce them to the big tank. The Nannacaras left them alone, but all too soon I noticed I could not get them to eat. One by one they starved to death, with the last one having died today. I have been working long hours so I noticed today that my Nannacaras are not their active normal selves. They are staying at the bottom and I think one has a cloudy eye. Not sure if this is all related or not.

    1) What happened with the Bolivians?? Were they wild caught? Were they sick???

    2) Should I be worried about the Nannacaras?

    I have only been keeping cichlids for less than a year.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Hi Cesar,
    Can you tell me about your quarantine procedure? do you deworm ?
    Could also use info on your tank and water parameters, and maintenance schedule.

    thanks,
    al
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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Hi,

    My parameters are
    82 degrees, I tested my GH and KH I find I only need 2 drops to get the green color and yellow color in the test tubes. It is probably just 1 drop each because there is no color change when I put in the first drops into the water. My pH is 6.6. By the way, the TDS in my tank is 77, and 49 out of the tap. I have 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, and 5 ppm Nitrate.
    This tank is participating in an Anoxic Filtration System experiment. I have not done a water change since mid August.

    CÚsar

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    This tank is participating in an Anoxic Filtration System experiment. I have not done a water change since mid August
    Honestly though I understand the principles of these systems when you start losing fish and others behaviors change your first course of action is to suspect your water quality. I would start doing water changes and see if it improves the fishes health. Its the most simple thing to try.We usually rule out water first.. then examine other things.

    No water changes since August is basically a month or so. Thats too long Imo.

    hth,
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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Mikrogeophagus altospinosus are an easy species. If they didn’t eat well from the beginning I would guess they were not well when you bought them. Water changes are definitely crucial with both species of rams — one thing that will send them downhill quickly is poor water quality. They do not handle high DOCs and nitrate well.

    It’s unlikely yours were wild caught. They’re a common species and rarely imported wild. Most are mass bred on farms. I just got some wilds but I definitely paid extra for them because of it.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    This species is very hardy but susceptible to camalanus worms. It is the only thing I have seen that knocks them around. They do have a preference for frozen blood worms, so hopefully you weren’t just giving them pellets.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    They should eat basically anything. Just remember they’re sand sifters like full size Geophagus so they like small foods that are easy to eat. I feed a soft micro pellet, I crush up good quality flakes into tiny pieces, and they also get live baby brine when I’m hatching it for other cichlid fry.

    Here’s a video of some of my ramirezi mixed in with Heros grow-outs, eating a meal of baby brine. Notice how vigorously they’re eating and chasing each other — that’s how healthy rams should act, regardless of which species. These rams have only ever had micropellets, crushed flakes, and brine. You can feed them other stuff but certainly a staple diet of prepared foods works.



    Here’s a video from last night of one of the same males in the video above. You can see how robust and large they are. All I provide are good foods and weekly water changes.

    Last edited by Ryan; 09-30-2018 at 11:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Recently dealt with non-eating fish with, of all things, a clown loach. Ended up reading about Cryptobia and how common it is. Three day dimetrinidazole bath and it started eating again after 1-2 months not eating.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Thanks all,

    Not sure what DOC's are. My nitrates never went higher than 5 ppm, not sure if that is considered high. Regardless, I did a big water change tonight, hoping it helps my Nannacaras.

    Ryan, thanks for the videos. I never saw my bolivians act like that. In fact I was at Petland Saturday (lfs) and they had a quartet of bolivians and the manager fed them for me. Super active alert and not shy, they ate right away.
    While mine were in quarantine I would feed the tank and walk away as fast as possible and sneak views at them eating from far because they would not eat if I was close by. Even so I never saw them that active.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Another consideration, if you had Bolivian Rams, mikrogeophagus altispinosus, their temperature requirements are quite different than m. ramirezi. *Not that this is what killed them, definitely sounds like had an issue on purchasing them.

    However, if you need to put them at temperatures above 79 degrees ( which is the highest temperature altispinosus experiences temporarily in a given season) it would be best to go with m. ramirezi which thrive in warmer temperatures above 80 degrees.

    I have my m altispinosus at 77 ( on the higher side of range, really. Their range is 72-79 degrees. But, of course, the ideal falls somewhere in middle numbers. ) due to a need to adjust for the warmer temperatures my geophagus sveni and neambi require.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    Thank you Discluv. I had not considered the temperature being a possible issue.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    It shouldn’t be that much of an issue. I keep mine 80 - 82 with other SA cichlids and they’ve spawned in that. They can definitely take dips into the 70s but low 80s shouldn’t bother them much. I still think if they were giving you problems they were sick from the beginning.

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    hey Ryan your Rams look awesome. I have a bunch with my Discus that are doing quite well. Sometimes I don't have good luck with Rams but I never give up with them. Where did you find those great sized keyhole cichlids? I've been looking for some around that size.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Bolivian Rams never ate well, now all dead.

    This is a wild caught pair from Jeff Rapps. It’s rare to get keyholes that are wild caught. Unfortunately mine hide most of the time. They used to come out and swim around but then for some reason the female went blind in one eye and now they stay hidden when I’m in the room. I love keyholes but I find it best to keep them in large tanks with multiple tankmates to make them feel more comfortable.

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