Bolivian Ram Behavior?

  1. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    So I've got this pair of rams, I think they may both be male but I'm not really sure. There are some very subtle differences but I'm not experienced enough to tell if their really indicative of gender.

    Any ways, they don't really seem to do much, I rarely see them even eat. I've had them for about a month now and all they really do is just hover together at the bottom of the tank. Brine shrimp, Cichlid pellets, spirulina flakes, tropical fish flakes, algae wafers all pass them by and they show almost no interest.

    I do know that the PH is a little high for their tastes, its 7.8. I purchased some PH Down but after doing some research trying to figure out how much one dose will lower the PH all I discovered were many threads saying that PH Down will cause unhealthy fluctuation and that its better to just leave it alone and let the fish adjust. Orignally I chalked their lethargic behavior up to this but I figured after a month they would have adjusted.

    The tank is planted and there are many nooks and caves for them to hide in, none of the other fish have bothered them what so ever. Is this normal Bolivian Ram behavior or is some thing wrong?

    Attached Files:

  2. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    That isn't normal bolivian ram behaviour in my experience
    I have a bolivian ram and my Ph is around 7.8. He is pretty active though not as much as the rest of the fish in that tank (but that includes danios, dojo loaches, platies and other active fish). He eats well and loves frozen foods particularly. He eats like a little pig.
  3. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    Agreed. What temp do you have your tank at? Also I wouldn't mess with the ph with chemicals. Unless your rams are wild caught, they should adjust to your pH unless it's something ridiculous
  4. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    I didn't think it was normal, I use the frozen brine shrimp gumdrop shaped food and I haven't seen them go after a single loose shrimp or even attempt to get to the chunk that's floating at the top of the tank. Food literally passes right by them and they do nothing.

    The temp stays at 76 degrees. I've found a lot of inconsistent info on what temp they actually like. Some start at 72 and others start at 77.

    Yeah I need to return the PH Down to the store, I bought it before I did the research. I never added any to the tank.
  5. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    The ones that start at 77f are probably talking about GBR, not bolivians. GBR need 78-82f but bolivans do best from 72-77f.
  6. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    I think your temp is fine. Have you tested your water? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? What kind of tests are you using? Liquid or strips?
  7. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    I've got the API Master test kit. All readings appear to be normal, here is a pic of one of the readings I got after tank was cycled. Every single one has been identical to this.

    Edit: By normal I mean, 0 ammonia 0 nirite, 10-20 ppm nitrate... that one is a little tougher to tell.

    Attached Files:

  8. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    What are the other tank mates?
  9. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    (2x) 3- Spot Gourami
    (4x) Mollies
    (4x) Platies
    (1x) Farlowella Twig Catfish
    (3x) Mystery Snails

    And the Rams of course, in a 55 Gal
  10. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    Have you seen any aggression in the tank? 3 spots? Mollies?
  11. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    Not at all, not towards the rams. The gourami chase each other around a little bit, seems mostly harmless. I had to remove a Dwarf gourami from the tank I tried to put in because they were attacking him pretty aggressively but they've never bothered a fish of another species.
  12. KO_ Member Member

    That test does not look like a cycled tank, I know you said its not your most recent but you are not at 0 Nitrites and you also look like your at .25 ammonia. I would test again and post your results.
  13. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    well i'm out of ideas. How long have you had them?
  14. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    The ammonia I was iffy about, but the nitrite really? I don't see the slightest hint of purple in there. I've posted these readings before and nobody has mentioned the nitrites. I will test again when I get home today and post the results. All of my other fish are very active, voracious eaters.

    I believe a month or so.
  15. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    i didn't say anything about the readings because i'm color blind. So i don't trust myself with reading people's colors but the nitrite looks higher than 0 to me. But again, I would take my opinion on these things with a grain of salt.
  16. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    To me it looks like both ammonia and nitrite are a little above 0. Nitrite between 0 and 0.25 and ammonia looks like 0.25-0.5
  17. KO_ Member Member

    I do think its close its not much above 0ppm but its not 0ppm. 0ppm Nitrites is not a deep blue but more of a teal. Rams are sensitive fish and it would make sense they are the only ones reacting. I think eventually the others will show signs unless it gets resolved. Its either not fully cycled or under filtered (overstocked)
  18. Lance0414 Well Known Member Member

    My Bolivians acted the same way you describe yours as doing when i first got them, it took about a month for them to separate from each other and come out in the open. From the looks of your Rams they look like juvenile males. So far all of your information states that the water is good and the stocking is good, what type of filter do you have? The last thing i can think of is a illness(or parasite) or they are getting bullied.
  19. ILikeBigFishandICannotLie Initiate Member

    Well isn't this a disappointing discovery. May try some different filter media.

    They're definitely not adults, only about an inch, inch and a half. I spend a lot of time watching the tank and I've never noticed any bullying. I run a Fluval AC 70, with the media it came with(sponge, carbon, biomax) it filters 300gph so that's a little less than 6 times an hour for my tank, and I do 25% water change every 7-10 days. They make a media specifically for removing ammonia, maybe I'll try that. I was wary at first because I wanted to make sure the bacteria had ammonia to eat.
  20. Lance0414 Well Known Member Member

    All that sounds good, do you have a quarantine tank? If so i would put them in there and leave them there for about a month to see if there is any difference in behavior.