Bolivian Ram Behavior and Adding Fish

  1. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Wednesday evening, I added one Bolivian Ram to my aquarium. I've done some research on them, but I can't find anything about the experience I've had with this fish so far. Whenever I turn the light on, I find the Ram near or at the very top of the tank, in the corner. He's generally floating very still, looking like he's struggling. A few times, I actually thought he was dead. After a few minutes of floating, he swims off, and seems to be fine, and doesn't go back to the floating behavior until the next time I turn the lights on. This is the only fish in my tank who does this. Should I be worried, or is this typical? Maybe he needs more time to adjust to the lights than the others do?

    I'm also wondering if I can add just a few more fish this weekend or if I really need to wait the full week that's recommended before I do. My tank is stocked with 1 Bolivian Ram, 1 Krib, 1 Raphael Catfish, 10 Serpae Tetras and 7 Lemon Tetras. I'm planning to add 1 more Serpae and 2 more Lemons, and then top off my stock with a Blood Parrot. After finishing off the tetras, I'll wait at least a week before the Blood Parrot, but I'm hoping to add the Tetras sooner since they'll add so little to the bioload. My cycle was unchanged when I tested 24 hours + after adding the Ram.
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I think you'd be fine adding the Serpae and Lemons now. Hopefully the ram will settle in soon.
  3. Fishoholic23 Well Known Member Member

    How big is your tank? Maybe adding a ram of the opposite gender will help?
  4. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Do you guys think the Bolivian Ram's behavior may suggest it's sick or just that it's still trying to get comfortable in my tank? Truth be told, I'm unsure of the gender of the one I have. I also don't want babies and am pretty sure I don't have the room for a second one, either.
  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Hard to tell at this point since it's still relatively new to the tank. If the behavior doesn't go away, I'd think sickness, but I wouldn't jump there yet.
  6. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks, TexasDomer! The possibility of sickness is really the only reason why I'm questioning whether or not to get the last of the tetras yet. I doubt it will be too much on the bioload, but don't want to infect more fish if there is a sickness.

    Fishoholic23, I forgot to answer your question, sorry. It's a 55 gallon tank.
  7. Fishoholic23 Well Known Member Member

    I can't blame you for not wanting babies! There a handful. And I guess you would not want to overstock your tank anyways. You could always just let nature take care of the babies. Although some people may take offense to that.
  8. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    It doesn't always work that way for cichlid babies. They protect them (unlike livebearers where you can let "nature take it's course").
  9. Fishoholic23 Well Known Member Member

    I know, but there is also a chance that in a community tank that they may become stressed and eat there babies, and once the babies get to a certain size the parents stop caring for them too. But I see your point that lots o fry may/still survive.
  10. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    I definitely think getting another Ram would be a mistake. This is the same reason why I didn't get a second Krib. Not wanting babies has kept me to having just one of any cichlid species. I think this is the way to go for me. I just want to have a better idea that my Ram is well before adding anything else to my tank.
  11. Fishoholic23 Well Known Member Member

    I see. Sorry for cluttering up your thread. I think that if he starts acting normal after the light is on for a little he is good. Try turning on the surrounding lights on first for a little and then the aquarium lights.
  12. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Ok, thank you. I figured it could very well be something normal as I don't know much about their behavior, but wanted to get some opinions from others who know more.
  13. mschwegler Member Member

    Do you have places he can hide?
  14. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    I have some hiding places. I have about 7-8 artificial plants of various sizes. I also have a decent sized piece of driftwood, and a small rock cave as well as three small rocks laying on top of the gravel in spots. I may get some more rocks to build another better cave. I may also rearrange the plants to make them more bushy and get a few more.
  15. turtle14 Initiate Member

    I recently added a Bolivian Ram to my tank too. Mine doesn't go to the top, but does seem to hide when I turn the lights on. I don't have live plants so I just leave the lights off and he seems happier. Along with hiding, my ram loses his dark spots, but they return within minutes after turning the lights off.
  16. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Very interesting! Ok, thanks, Turtle14. Mine goes to the top every once in awhile, regardless of the lighting, but seems to stay closer to the bottom, more often than not after the lights have been on for awhile, and is definitely more active then, too.
  17. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Well, I decided that it was safe to add the three more tetras that I was planning after the advice I got on here! I also asked the guy I deal with at the LFS, who said he wouldn't be worried, and thought the fish may actually be sleeping when he's resting at the top of the tank when the lights first go on. So, thanks, everyone!

    They seem to be schooling more now with just one more serpae and two more lemons. Hopefully it lasts this time! Often, I've noticed more schooling when I increase a school, but so far it hasn't really lasted.
  18. Mitchellmaslin Member Member

    The ram may just be sleeping and when you turn the lights on it takes it a while to awaken.
  19. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    They'll school when they feel the need, so they're comfortable if they're not schooling. When you add the BP, I'd expect they'll school a bit more.
  20. JGombs99 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks again, TexasDomer! Unfortunately, there seems to be a conflict between the fact that it looks far more impressive when they do school and the fact that they're feeling more comfortable when they don't school!