Can I add a german blue ram in my 32g tank? Overstocking?

neofyt05

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Hello everyone,

Went to the lfs the other day and saw some beautiful (small) german blue rams and I totally fell in love with them. I am wondering if I can add one to my 32g tank.

About my tank:
32g, with plenty of filtration, live plants
1 Angelfish (raised from baby)
2 male mollies (one black and one white, I call them yin yang :yinyang
10 harlequin rasboras
10 neon tetras
4 bronze cories

Also can rams and live plants co-exist?
 

CatfishJack

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What is the temperament of your angel like? I've no experience with them but I hear some of them can be pretty nippy towards other fish?

That is the only conflict I see happening, unless you got a breeding pair of rams, then when the spawn happens they could pick on the smaller fish.

As for the stocking levels, I am thinking you could do 1 or 2 rams.
 
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neofyt05

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My angel is peaceful, it usually minds its own business. It might "scare" the mollies during feeding time every now and then but nothing serious.
 

AmazonPassion

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I keep Angels and Rams together in a planted tank with zero issues. However, I think size of your tank will not be able to house another fish (not the best stocker here so just giving a personal opinion others will chime in).
 

CatfishJack

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I would imagine they would all get along well enough. My Bolivian Rams pretty much ignore anything that is not their own species. I understand GBR to be similar.

AmazonPassion said:
I keep Angels and Rams together in a planted tank with zero issues. However, I think size of your tank will not be able to house another fish (not the best stocker here so just giving a personal opinion others will chime in).
IMO 1 ram puts the tank at full and 2 is slightly over stocked. But I'm not the best at the stocking bit either.
 
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neofyt05

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Is it bad to have only one ram? do they prefer to be in pairs?
If my tank will be overstocked i will definetely not get any.
 

trevorh1

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i've kept a ram by itself, i had a male alone for about 3 months with 12 black neons and 5 otos, 3 mollies, and a bunch of live plants and he was fine for those three months. but i did kind of feel bad for him so i got a female and they are always together now never see them apart. but i think they are fine by there self. but it sounds like your about stocked up unless you are over filtered and are religious on you water changes.
 

featherblue

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What kind of light? Plants? You not that overstocked with a pair.......add some nitrate devouring plants, likebpurple cabomba......its keeping my puffer tank at 0 nitrate
 
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neofyt05

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I have 50W of cfl (spiral) and a 57 led bar, I am using flourish excel and DIY co2/ I have very good filtration. I have some amazon swords, Alternanthera reineckii 'rosaefolia' and a very fast growing plant that I can't recognize (maybe you could help with that? XD). I change 25% of my water at least once every two weeks. DSC_0954.jpg DSC_0534.jpg
I have an internal filter (tetra in800+ for tanks up to 40g and the one you see in the photo in which i recently added some peat). The plants are trimmed in the photo, they usually are bigger

I won't get the ram if my fish or the ram itself will be unhappy
 

CatfishJack

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If I am not mistaken the GBR are much like the Bolivian Ram that I am more familiar with. I am thinking they will like to hang out towards the bottom of the tank. looks like there is enough room and cover for them. I would either get two females or if going to try for a breeding pair, you may have to look into relocating them into another tank for the spawn or be prepared for some chasing of other fish who get to close.
 

Eienna

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You could get ONE ram in that setup, or possibly a breeding pair (but there's not a whole lot of room for anyone to get away if they get nasty defending eggs or fry, so....)
 
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neofyt05

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I will go buy ONE then tomorrow morning I am sure this fish require very slow acclimation. I will upload a photo when everything's done
 

Siggi

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I have had a couple of Ram's and where one is, the other is close by - it's funny to see such small creatures with such pair-bond.
The stocking question is endless - some will say you are overstocked, others will say there is room for more fish... IMO you can compare the stocking of an aquarium to walking over a precipice: the more fish you have, the narrower the passage. A wide passage gives more margin for errors, even bigger errors - a narrow passage (more fish) gives a little margin, and only forgives small mistakes; if you walk on a knife's-edge (many fish) the slightest error will be punished.

My opinion is that cichlids never should be alone: they are social beings with some intelligence; at least a pair should always be kept. Wheather or not your specific aquarium can house a couple of rams... my guess is it can. And if it can hold one without being overstocked, it can hold two as well! Yes, they will need more space when the defend a nest of eggs or a batch of fry, but your bottom layer is understocked (you only have a handful of cories) and Rams normally stay close to the bottom.

Watch your ammonia and nitrite closely, like twice a week; get a few more pieces of wood to add more complexity to the bottom. If you want, I see the possibility of cutting down some of the tall background plants and use them around the back wall, like spreading out the planted area - that will be good for the fish. The ones you have now will be busy investigating the change, and the Ram's will have more places to hide and feel secure.

Good luck!
 

CatfishJack

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I think Siggi is right on with the above post. Different people have an idea of what is considered overstock and I personally think that 'overstocked' is not necessarily a bad thing depending on what kind of fish they are and just how 'overstocked' the tank is.

Thinking about my bolivian rams... there is no way I'd want to keep 1 alone. They are just too fun to watch and mostly seem to enjoy each others company (I do have a loner ram but even he sometimes comes out to play, so to speak)
 
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neofyt05

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I get your points friends but I will get only one. I agree that just because some fish can be kept alone it doesn't mean that they should. I know a pair of rams would be better for them but it's too risky here. In the store the fish don't show real coloration due to stress and also they are juveniles making it difficult to sex them. So if I get 2 there's a chance that they will not be female and male and ending with same sexes can result to nightmare with most fish. Also if I do get a male and female and they do pair off I really don't want them to reproduce and I know they will become aggressive towards the innocent and naive cories.

I don't know how big the rams usually get so I can't guess how much they will add to the bioload. Those I've seen at the lfs are at the size of a dwarf gourami but how big do they get. That's why I am not sure about overstocking. IMO a black molly has the same bioload as a small school of neons.

P.S. Apart from the angelfish i have never owned a cichlid before.
P.P.S Thank you all fellow fishlorians very much for your help and your time. I appreciate it very much.
 

CatfishJack

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I would not worry about doubling sex with the Rams. They aren't violent fish in terms of injuring others (the fighting you do see them do is generally harmless). Even if you ended up with two males, you'd likely see them hanging out a bit and worse case is doing some liplocking and chasing to establish hierarchy and then establishing their own little territories. From everything I've read the male rams being mean really starts happening when you have multiple males fighting for the female.

Additionally aggression can be mitigated by offering more places for it to hide.

All in all, again, every case can be different.

One thing not considered, that I am more worried about than possibly getting two of the same sex is water condition. GBR are much more finnicky about the water they are kept in and less hardy than their Bolivian cousin. It is generally recommended that GBR be put in a well established tank and are more sensitive to nitrates in the water and such.
 
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neofyt05

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@ Bonefish " ...GBR are much more finnicky about the water they are kept in and less hardy than their Bolivian cousin."
I know, that's why I am so worried. But since I can keep neons that's a good sign. hehe
 

eltoro

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Honestly, don't even worry about the water "quality". Treat it like any other fish, a cycled tank and weekly water changes is all you need.

I had/have bolivians, germans, and even electric blues. Did not have much luck with the single bolivian I had, died in a month-2 months. The german has grown a nice plump belly and colored up nicely. Quite aggressive to my angel though, even though my angel is quite docile, not to much twice the ram's size.
 
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