Bolivian Rams Not Eating

ginkgomw

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Hi! I posted about this in a separate thread a little while ago, but things are getting desperate now. I got two Bolivian rams from a big chain store a couple weeks ago, and one of them still isn't eating. The other has eaten frozen blood worms, nothing else that I have seen, but today isn't even eating those and is looking stressed. I treated with General Cure a couple weeks ago, but didn't really see any effect, nor did I see any worms poking out, so I tried to just keep the water nice and clean and hope they adjust well. They are in a 29 gallon that currently just has them in it. Ammonia and nitrite have been 0, nitrates have been around 5 or 10. The pH has been around 7.2 and GH is 4 (I use a buffer because my water is really soft). Could the stress of transport with the big box store have been enough to do some kind of damage to them, or could it be something else? Could they even be stressed from being the only fish in the tank?
 

SanDiegoRedneck

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ginkgomw said:
Hi! I posted about this in a separate thread a little while ago, but things are getting desperate now. I got two Bolivian rams from a big chain store a couple weeks ago, and one of them still isn't eating. The other has eaten frozen blood worms, nothing else that I have seen, but today isn't even eating those and is looking stressed. I treated with General Cure a couple weeks ago, but didn't really see any effect, nor did I see any worms poking out, so I tried to just keep the water nice and clean and hope they adjust well. They are in a 29 gallon that currently just has them in it. Ammonia and nitrite have been 0, nitrates have been around 5 or 10. The pH has been around 7.2 and GH is 4 (I use a buffer because my water is really soft). Could the stress of transport with the big box store have been enough to do some kind of damage to them, or could it be something else? Could they even be stressed from being the only fish in the tank?
I dont use them but I have heard with people using buffers that they get ph swings. Does your ph swing over a few day period? Or have to dialed to science where always perfect 7.2? Just a thought that this could easily stress them.

Also what is your tank temp? Are you over 84 with summer heat?
 
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ginkgomw

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SanDiegoRedneck said:
I dont use them but I have heard with people using buffers that they get ph swings. Does your ph swing over a few day period? Or have to dialed to science where always perfect 7.2? Just a thought that this could easily stress them.

Also what is your tank temp? Are you over 84 with summer heat?
It can tend to swing, but typically not anywhere above 7.4 or so - nothing too drastic. The good news too is with the start of the school year I will be moving back to an area where the pH stays neutral to slightly acidic, so the buffer is only temporary.
I keep my heater at 77-78 - don't want to burn the poor guys!

I noticed yesterday, then again today, that the otherwise healthier-looking ram is looking particularly stressed and not eating, but it appears the one that has not been eating is feeling good enough to claim the entire left side of the tank... Not that that would have likely caused them to not eat in the first place, but could that new dynamic be causing problems for the ram that has otherwise been looking okay?
 

SanDiegoRedneck

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ginkgomw said:
It can tend to swing, but typically not anywhere above 7.4 or so - nothing too drastic. The good news too is with the start of the school year I will be moving back to an area where the pH stays neutral to slightly acidic, so the buffer is only temporary.
I keep my heater at 77-78 - don't want to burn the poor guys!

I noticed yesterday, then again today, that the otherwise healthier-looking ram is looking particularly stressed and not eating, but it appears the one that has not been eating is feeling good enough to claim the entire left side of the tank... Not that that would have likely caused them to not eat in the first place, but could that new dynamic be causing problems for the ram that has otherwise been looking okay?
Is there enough hiding places in tank? Two Male rams will get territorial and if not enough hiding will cause stress
 
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ginkgomw

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SanDiegoRedneck said:
Is there enough hiding places in tank? Two Male rams will get territorial and if not enough hiding will cause stress
I think so? I'm still in the process of redoing this tank, but I have a driftwood structure, a few fake plants (I love live ones but they do not love me), and a couple rock stacks and caves. There was actually less cover when I first got them because I was waiting for the rocks and driftwood to arrive, but I'm strangely hoping the aggression means they're feeling a little better.
 
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ginkgomw

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So as of today everyone is alive, but the ram who was eating and looking okay before looks terrible - just sitting in the corner panting - and the other is out and about, but still has stress stripes and has yet to eat anything in front of me. I was thinking about running another course of General Cure until either nothing happens for an extended period of time or their symptoms go away. Thoughts? I just did a 50% wc last night to remove some uneaten food and checked the pH this morning and it's right at 7, so if water quality is an issue I would be pretty shocked.
 

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Sorry to hear, but I don't think medication will help. I've seen this play out too many times and is typical for BRs who are bought because of bad advice that they are "social". Being cichlids they're really NOT all that social with their own kind, especially as they mature. They get stressed and two males will typically result with one dying. Some have gotten lucky with a male and female who will form a pair, but more frequently they won't.
 
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ginkgomw

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Kjeldsen said:
Sorry to hear, but I don't think medication will help. I've seen this play out too many times and is typical for BRs who are bought because of bad advice that they are "social". Being cichlids they're really NOT all that social with their own kind, especially as they mature. They get stressed and two males will typically result with one dying. Some have gotten lucky with a male and female who will form a pair, but more frequently they won't.
Interesting! Definitely something to keep in mind, but I just got these guys a couple weeks ago, and they weren't eating when they were first introduced either. They actually got along really well up until the last couple days or so, and since I made this post it seems like the ram who was being territorial has been nicer. The main issue at this point is the ram who was eating initially now looks terrible (breathing in the corner, rarely if ever moving), and while the other is more active, I still have yet to actually see him eat or put on any weight.
 
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ginkgomw

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So sad news... The (lately) more shy ram who was eating a little initially passed away sometime last night. The other is still displaying stress stripes and not eating that I have seen, but has been picking through the sand and looking curious and engaged. I have some Prazipro in the mail that is supposed to arrive today (General Cure is out everywhere in my area, plus it isn't available online with reasonably fast shipping). I'm hoping that a dewormer may do the trick since General Cure didn't seem to help much the first time around, but I also don't have any experience with Prazipro - just the name rang a bell so I ordered it. Anyone have any thoughts? I'm going to try soaking some food in garlic again and see if I can get the remaining ram eating.
 

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