1 blue ram dying? at top of tank not using bottom fins.

immaman1992

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 36 gallon bow front tank
How long has the tank been running? since February 1st
Does it have a filter? 20-40 aqua-tech power filter
Does it have a heater? 300w adjustable heater
What is the water temperature? 79.6F-80.3F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 4 hifin black skirt tetras, 3 bronze cory catfish, 2 green cory catfish, 2 crown ruby bovilian rams, 3 blue mickey mouse platys, 4 assorted endlers, 1 clown pleco, and the 2 regular blue rams.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every 2-3 weeks
How much of the water do you change? 10%-30%
What do you use to treat your water? PRIME "seachem", proper pH 7.5 "api", potassium nitrate powder "green leaf aquariums"
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? sometimes ill do my gravel and sometimes ill just do the water

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? not a full cycle no, just half way.
What do you use to test the water? api master freshwater testing kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate: 0-15 (been struggling here, goes down to 0 and then back up to 10-15) not sure whats happening
pH: 7.5

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? twice a day with omega super color flakes
How much do you feed your fish? 1 or 2 pinches of flakes
What brand of food do you feed your fish? omega
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? omega frozen blood worms and omega frozen brine shrimp
i also feed them small omega super color sinking ram pellets and omega shrimp pellets

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 3 weeks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 2 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? both blue rams lost all of their color. 1 of them is chasing the other all the time. now 1 is swimming to top of tank endlessly.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? i have been trying paraguard and api melafix and pimafix. i also been trying various water quickstarters to try to get nitrates up.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? not sure but the guy said all the fish were stuck in extended shipping periods because of the winter snow storms down here.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? lost most of its color, pale, only has the little bit of black mohawk left. and thats for both fish. one of them is constantly swimming towards top of water, kind of slightly turned to its side. feeding wasnt an issue it ate all the time before this.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
so far ive had 1 hifin black skirt tetra die, 1 assorted endler die, 1 red bushynose pleco die, 3 peacock gudgeons die, and then the sickly acting blue ram. just so yall know i didnt have all of these fish together all at once. i chocked it up to bad shipments from the different LFS's i was going to because all of them were delayed by winter storms at the time so the stress of the fish were probably really high at the time when i tried transitioning them to my tank. i guess its a bad time to buy fish when shipments have been delayed cause you never know the condition of the fish if there is no apparent physical damage to them. i went back to these fish stores i went to and i found dead fish in their tanks from the tanks that i bought from. i had a ich outbreak one time after adding fish and white stringy poo which could be a number of things. these 2 things probably affected the rest of my tank and on top of me not finishing my cycle a lot of the fish experienced extra stress. I'm just wondering what I can do for those 2 blue rams because i know those specific ones are really sensitive to things like that and are also sensitive to many treatments for freshwater fish. especially for the one that is currently swimming up top to the surface of water. the LFS's were not really any help and probably just gave me info to sell fish but not to help me. the red pleco died suddely after falling to bottom of tank, stiffened and stopped breathing altogether. the peacock gudgeons refused to eat for a whole week, they just mated laid eggs and all died. the one endler swam endlesly to the glass and i woke up this morning to it dead. the hifin blackskirt hid under the filter the whole time and laid on its side until it passed. im not sure if i have a major outbreak in the tank or if i just need to clean it more effectively, but this is all bumming me out. again i didnt have all these fish together at once i been swapping them out after others have died because my LFS's didnt advise me against it. I am a new aquarium owner and spent hundreds on my tank already. it is planted with 3 common plants, has African driftwood, and some pots and caves in there all are unpainted and super natural. i have artifical blue colored gravel and some natural stones i put in as well. I am wondering what i can do for these fish that are still in there especially for the one blue ram that is struggling currently before more fish die on me. i will not be adding anymore fish until i can figure it out. i forgot to mention i have a 40 gallon sponge filter with an air stone in there as well. and a uv filter rated for 55 gallons in there as well.

thanks in advance sorry for the long story!
 

Dunk2

I’d start by dealing with your water quality by doing larger and more frequent water changes.

Based on the water parameters in your post, your tank isn’t fully cycled. At 10% - 30% every 2 - 3 weeks, you’re not changing out enough water, even for a fully cycled tank.

The title of your post says Blue Ram, but your stock list says Bolivian?
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

Welcome to Fishlore!

The ammonia and nitrite levels are too high suggesting that the bacteria colony isn’t large enough for the tank to be considered cycled. You mention only cycling it “half way” which isn’t recommended.

The nitrate is alright at 15ppm but I’m not sure what’s decreasing it. Are there live plants?

I think you should do water changes more often. I prefer 30% weekly rather than 10-30% every two to three weeks. Your tank still isn’t cycled and this could be a reason for the fish being weak or dead. During a fish-in cycle you should change the water whenever ammonia or nitrite creeps to 1ppm.

Any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.
 
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immaman1992

I’d start by dealing with your water quality by doing larger and more frequent water changes.

Based on the water parameters in your post, your tank isn’t fully cycled. At 10% - 30% every 2 - 3 weeks, you’re not changing out enough water, even for a fully cycled tank.

The title of your post says Blue Ram, but your stock list says Bolivian?
i have 2 bovilian and 2 blue for rams. i have everything listed there in my post. sorry for confusion
Welcome to Fishlore!

The ammonia and nitrite levels are too high suggesting that the bacteria colony isn’t large enough for the tank to be considered cycled. You mention only cycling it “half way” which isn’t recommended.

The nitrate is alright at 15ppm but I’m not sure what’s decreasing it. Are there live plants?

I think you should do water changes more often. I prefer 30% weekly rather than 10-30% every two to three weeks. Your tank still isn’t cycled and this could be a reason for the fish being weak or dead. During a fish-in cycle you should change the water whenever ammonia or nitrite creeps to 1ppm.

Any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.
ammonia is always sitting at 0.25 and nitrite is always sitting at 0.25. the nitrates fluctuate. yeah i do have plants in there but not many only 3 of them.

i have all the info in my rant on the thread lol sorry its really long but all the info is there. thank you!
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

I agree with Dunk2. You’re undergoing a fish-in cycle and you aren’t changing the water enough to complete it. Even after the cycle finishes the frequency of water changes wouldn’t be enough.
 
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Dunk2

i have 2 bovilian and 2 blue for rams. i have everything listed there in my post. sorry for confusion

ammonia is always sitting at 0.25 and nitrite is always sitting at 0.25. the nitrates fluctuate. yeah i do have plants in there but not many only 3 of them.

i have all the info in my rant on the thread lol sorry its really long but all the info is there. thank you!

Unfortunately, you also have some temperature incompatibility with your stock.

Given how long your tank’s been running, your tank should be fully cycled. Did you add more fish recently? If so, how many?
 
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immaman1992

I agree with Dunk2. You’re undergoing a fish-in cycle and you aren’t changing the water enough to complete it. Even after the cycle finishes the frequency of water changes wouldn’t be enough.
should i do 50% water change like everyone usually recommends? and should i clean the gravel while im doing the water change? or would that disturb the good bacteria too much? thank you for the info just trying to save my little ones.
 
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Dunk2

Not sure if you saw my last post?

Were the water parameters in your first post before or after a water change? What are you using to test?
 
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immaman1992

Unfortunately, you also have some temperature incompatibility with your stock.

Given how long your tank’s been running, your tank should be fully cycled. Did you add more fish recently? If so, how many?
recently within the last week ive added the 5 endlers 1 of them died this morning. and the week before that to replace the other dead fish i added the 3 platys and the 2 bovilians. my local fish stores didnt really help me much and dodged my questions when i asked. i gave them a water sample when it was 0.25 ammonia 0.25 nitrites and 10 nitrates. they didnt know what to tell me. I told them it was fish in cycle but they didnt give me any extra info.
 
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Ouse

You might want to vacuum the gravel at some point. Vacuuming the gravel can remove some bacteria but water changes don’t. Is there media in the filter?

I’ll advise you do change the water by at least 50% once the ammonia and/or nitrite level reaches 1ppm.

No adding more fish. If they all die then I’d continue to cycle fishless.
 
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immaman1992

Not sure if you saw my last post?

Were the water parameters in your first post before or after a water change? What are you using to test?
the water parameters stayed the same before and after the water change. im using api master freshwater testing kit.
 
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Ouse

You just changed the water by 50% now or am I reading wrong? If so that was quick!

Did you test before and after?
 
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Dunk2

It’s possible that the fish you‘ve added were too much all at once, so now the tank needs to grow more beneficial bacteria to catch up.

You should be testing your water parameters every day and doing water changes to keep the combined level of ammonia and nitrites safe for your fish. When I’ve done fish-in cycles, I always tried to keep the combined level right around 0.50. That said, and no matter your test results and even after your tank cycles, you should do no less than a 50% water change every week in my opinion.

Have you cleaned your filter at all? If so, can you describe what you’ve done? Also, I’m not familiar with your filter. . . Do you know if it’s large enough to be effective for your tank?
 
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immaman1992

You might want to vacuum the gravel at some point. Vacuuming the gravel can remove some bacteria but water changes don’t. Is there media in the filter?

I’ll advise you do change the water by at least 50% once the ammonia and/or nitrite level reaches 1ppm.

No adding more fish. If they all die then I’d continue to cycle fishless.
so dont do the huge water change now since those levels arent at 1ppm? should i do smaller water changes then like before? i added prime like 2 hours ago to the tank and now the ram is swimming on the bottom normally. im suspecting fluctuating levels im not seeing on the tests through out the day. but im not sure if levels fluctuate that harshly only within a few hours. i dont think they do?

any advice on what type of water changes i should do now or any recommendations to changing my feeding schedules?
You just changed the water by 50% now or am I reading wrong? If so that was quick! :eek:

Did you test before and after?
no i havent touched it yet lol. i was just asking what i should do
It’s possible that the fish you‘ve added were too much all at once, so now the tank needs to grow more beneficial bacteria to catch up.

You should be testing your water parameters every day and doing water changes to keep the combined level of ammonia and nitrites safe for your fish. When I’ve done fish-in cycles, I always tried to keep the combined level right around 0.50. That said, and no matter your test results and even after your tank cycles, you should do no less than a 50% water change every week in my opinion.

Have you cleaned your filter at all? If so, can you describe what you’ve done? Also, I’m not familiar with your filter. . . Do you know if it’s large enough to be effective for your tank?
in order to treat the ich from a week ago i took the carbon out of my filter media and just left the pads on the medias and put them back in. do you suggest putting the carbon back? i have refillable medias and my filter takes 2 of them. i didnt clean them just took the carbon out.
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

Ok. You might want to do a smaller 25% water change using Prime as the conditioner. I want to advise you never to use Prime in place of a water change. You should only use it when doing a water change otherwise it’s a waste and isn’t effective on it’s own.

Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrite but won’t remove it. After 24 hours minimum this effect will wear off.

With feeding schedules I’d feed the fish once every other day to cut down on waste production.

Hope this helps.
 
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Dunk2

If it’s been 2 or 3 weeks since you’ve done a change, you should do one now. You lose good things and gain bad things in the water over time that most fish keepers don’t test for.

And you saw my comment about water temperature incompatibility? That could also be affecting your blue ram. Unfortunately, and given your other stock, I wouldn’t increase the temperature at this point.
 
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immaman1992

If it’s been 2 or 3 weeks since you’ve done a change, you should do one now. You lose good things and gain bad things in the water over time that most fish keepers don’t test for.

And you saw my comment about water temperature incompatibility? That could also be affecting your blue ram. Unfortunately, and given your other stock, I wouldn’t increase the temperature at this point.
yeah i saw it i figured it would be okay since blue rams are recommended 80F-86F
my temps never go below 79.6F and never above 80.3F. I bought a bigger heater to ensure it would stay stable.

is 80F not enough for blue rams?
Ok. You might want to do a smaller 25% water change using Prime as the conditioner. I want to advise you never to use Prime in place of a water change. You should only use it when doing a water change otherwise it’s a waste and isn’t effective on it’s own.

Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrite but won’t remove it. After 24 hours minimum this effect will wear off.

With feeding schedules I’d feed the fish once every other day to cut down on waste production.

Hope this helps.
thank you! i will do that later on today.
 
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Dunk2

I always recommend 82+ for Rams, other than Bolivians that are cooler water fish.

I keep my Ram tank between 83 and 84. Don’t raise your tank as you’d likely create issues for your other fish.
 
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immaman1992

I always recommend 82+ for Rams, other than Bolivians that are cooler water fish.

I keep my Ram tank between 83 and 84. Don’t raise your tank as you’d likely create issues for your other fish.
i tried to create a happy medium for all of them hoping they would get used to it. most of my other fish have ranges that go up to 82F and the rams low point of 80F. if anything happens to the blue rams ill lower it to 79F and keep the tank how it is now without adding any extra.
 
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immaman1992

Well bad news is i left this morning with a healthy school of endlers and my tetras ate them all except the one i had in there alone. all of their bodies are missing and there is one half eaten left. I also caught my tetras bullying the blue rams and trying to fight the platys. i caught the tetras eating the 4th to last one just now. Could my fish dying just be the group of tetras bullying them? I'm for sure set on taking the tetras out and returning them to petco so they dont kill anymore of the fish. the only ones that seem to be doing good are the tetras which i found strange. the 4 of them are trying to kill all the fish that are smaller then them. all the other healthy fish are hiding from them seemingly. they seem traumatized.
 
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Dunk2

Sorry about your fish.

Fish can definitely die as a result of stress/aggression. But even if that’s the case here, you still have water quality issues that need dealt with.
 
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immaman1992

Sorry about your fish.

Fish can definitely die as a result of stress/aggression. But even if that’s the case here, you still have water quality issues that need dealt with.
I'm aware I'm dealing with both issues. The tetras have been in there since the start and don't seem to like any of their tank mates. I did a water change already.
 
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Dunk2

I'm aware I'm dealing with both issues. The tetras have been in there since the start and don't seem to like any of their tank mates. I did a water change already.

Awesome! Keep this thread updated to let us know how it's going.
 
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immaman1992

Awesome! Keep this thread updated to let us know how it's going.
I took the two blue rams out and returned them to my local fish store. The 1 original endler that's left in there is schooling with the platys they don't bother that one specifically. So right now everyone else is getting along. It just comes down to getting the nitrates to a normal level and keeping the ammonia down and the water clean. For now the 3 platys, the 4 tetras, the 5 corys, the clown pleco, the 1 endler, and the 2 bovilians are doing good. No fighting or aggression so far.
 
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Dunk2

I took the two blue rams out and returned them to my local fish store. The 1 original endler that's left in there is schooling with the platys they don't bother that one specifically. So right now everyone else is getting along. It just comes down to getting the nitrates to a normal level and keeping the ammonia down and the water clean. For now the 3 platys, the 4 tetras, the 5 corys, the clown pleco, the 1 endler, and the 2 bovilians are doing good. No fighting or aggression so far.

For whatever it’s worth, I think returning the Blue Rams was the right decision.
 
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immaman1992

The crown ruby bovilian rams that I have 2 of....I am wondering how exactly do they eat? Because I throw omega brand small sinking pellets in there for them to eat but they don't seem interested in them right away? The tetras and platys poke at them because the rams don't eat them right away. But the rams seem to rather pick off the food from gravel and sponge filter once it's softened up. Is that an indication of anything particular? Or is that just how they eat? The bigger one is a little skittish but the smaller one is bolder. Just wondering for future reference.
 
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