Bolivian Ram Behavior?

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

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?
 

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BottomDweller

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.
 

tyguy7760

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
 

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

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.
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.

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
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.
 

BottomDweller

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

tyguy7760

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

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

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

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tyguy7760

What are the other tank mates?
 

tyguy7760

Have you seen any aggression in the tank? 3 spots? Mollies?
 

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

Have you seen any aggression in the tank? 3 spots? Mollies?
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.
 

KO_

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.

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.
 

tyguy7760

well i'm out of ideas. How long have you had them?
 

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

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.
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.

well i'm out of ideas. How long have you had them?
I believe a month or so.
 

tyguy7760

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.
 

BottomDweller

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
 

KO_

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.

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)
 

Lance0414

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.
 

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

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

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.
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.
 

Lance0414

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.
 

KO_

My suggestion would be to leave them be. Rams are an easily stressed species and if they are not 100% healthy I don't see a risk in another two moves. Your water may not be perfect but its not that bad. Just keep an eye on it. Stick with the water changes, I would use Prime if you are not already. Your filter and stock look okay to me, and should sort itself out.

How long has the tank been set up? How did you add your stock? How long ago did the stock get put in?
 

Lance0414

You might be confusing Bolivian Rams for German Blue Rams, Bolivian Rams are Hardy and easy care for while GBRs are easily stressed and harder to take care of.
 

KO_

You might be confusing Bolivian Rams for German Blue Rams, Bolivian Rams are Hardy and easy care for while GBRs are easily stressed and harder to take care of.

Not confusing them, I know the GBR are much more sensitive but I find the Bolivians to react to there environment still. They can survive less than ideal conditions but they will act reclused (in my experience) to these types of conditions. That is all. Like I said, I think the situation should sort itself out which is why I don't think moving them is the right move.
 

Lance0414

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie could post a picture of the whole tank, That could help us decide what's wrong.
 

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie

My suggestion would be to leave them be. Rams are an easily stressed species and if they are not 100% healthy I don't see a risk in another two moves. Your water may not be perfect but its not that bad. Just keep an eye on it. Stick with the water changes, I would use Prime if you are not already. Your filter and stock look okay to me, and should sort itself out.

How long has the tank been set up? How did you add your stock? How long ago did the stock get put in?
Ok so I started the tank roughly 3 months ago. I ran the tank for like 3 days before I put a few of the mollies and platies in because I knew nothing about the nitrogen cycle until I googled why my water was cloudy and I found this lovely place. I know, bad girl, and I feel bad for the fish. I added some gravel and a large rock from my turtle tank that has been running for a year hoping it would help with the BB. So about a month later after I was getting the water results that I posted earlier, I added the 3-spots and then about a week later I added the Twig Catfish and Rams and it has been about a month since then.

ILikeBigFishandICannotLie could post a picture of the whole tank, That could help us decide what's wrong.
I don't have a pic of the full tank after it was planted, but this is before. I will have to take one later.
 

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Lance0414

How well planted is it? Is it enough to break line of sight between all the fish?
 

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