2 Year Old Bolivian Ram

  1. TinyT Initiate Member

    HI everyone, I am back with another question. Not sure what I would do without this forum. :)

    On Saturday September 30th I came into possession of a 50 gallon aquarium with 12 platy and one Bolivian Ram (not sure if it is male or female as it has all the male traits except the vent seems more like a females then males). The tank was cycled (has been running for 2 years)and today I checked water parameters and they are good, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 10. PH 7.2. For the first 2 days the Bolivian ram hid quite a bit. Tuesday he was out and about swimming around. When I got him his color was washed out but it seems to have come back a little. On Tuesday I also, added a piece of driftwood that I have been soaking for about a month and a large piece of lava rock. Today (Wednesday Oct. 4) the ram is hiding a lot again and when he does swim around(does not venture far from his hiding spot) he will twitch his whole body suddenly. Some times he twitches several times. Not sure what this could be as I have never seen this before. All the other fish seem to have acclimated well since Saturday.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
  2. Paradise fish Well Known Member Member

    Hi, Tracy!

    What is your substrate for your tank? How long has this tank been running? Are you aware that Bolivian Rams are shoaling fish and need to be kept in groups of six or more? Kept alone and they'll eventually die from stress. They're a social fish with high demand for water quality as prolonged exposure to any amounts of ammonia or nitrites will cause them to have the hole-in-the-head disease. They also require their water to have less than 20 ppm nitrates (so good job on that!), but they can't handle large water changes and require that you do multiple small water changes throughout the week. And even though they require high filtration, they can't handle high water flow, so very gentle canister filters or multiple small hang on back filters are recommended.
  3. TinyT Initiate Member

    Thanks for your reply Paradise fish.

    I was given this tank on Saturday from someone who had lost interest in the fish keeping hobby and I have to admit the tank was a horrible mess. The tank has been running for 2 years and the ram has been in it for the full 2 years. I lightly cleaned the aquarium as I did not want to lose too much bacteria. I left the eheim canister filter alone as the media was still good. I also added an extra HOB filter that has been running on my fully cycled 30 gallon for the past 3 months. There was another ram but it died the week before the tank was given to me. As for the substrate, the original owner had seachem flortite and has used that as the substrate for the full 2 years he has had the tank and the Ram. I have read that a sand substrate is much better for bolivian rams however I did not know this prior to resetting up the tank as I did not know I was getting the Ram until the day I picked up the tank.

    I also discovered today that a couple of the platy in the tank appear to have ICK so I have treated the tank with API Super ICK cure. I unfortunately do not have a quarantine tank at this time.
  4. Paradise fish Well Known Member Member

    At the very least, I thank you for being willing to adapt those fish into your own care.

    Quarantine tanks are very important and I think Petco is about to another $1 per gallon deal soon.

    Sand substrate will definitely help them feel at home as that's how they often eat in the wild.

    I hope you'll be able to get more of these guys soon.
  5. TinyT Initiate Member

    Thanks Paradise fish for responding. I figured out what was going on with the ram. Looks like he has a bad case of Ich. I noticed it on my some of my platies and began treatment right away. I am trying the no medication route and have increased the temperature of my tank and am doing more water changes. My ram has stopped twitching and he is swimming around the tank much more then before. Once I get this cleared up I will be getting more rams so Gordie has some buddies to hang with. :)