Fatten up my Bolivian

Chris1212

My poor guy (or girl) doesn't seem to eat much. I've tried various types of food without a whole lot of luck. In the pics he/she looks a little too skinny, any ideas on fattening up my poor ram?

Fluval bug bites - nibbles one as they fall around him but largely I think he loses them in the gravel
Cichlid sinking pellets - does not seem interested
Algae wafers - meh (I saw an amano shrimp take a piece right next to him)
Brine shrimp and bloodworms - gets excited but I am terrible at getting them to the bottom before everyone else in the tank eats them up

20g cycled with a handful of mid to top swimmers (platies, skirt tetras) but he's the only guy at the bottom. Occasionally a platy or swordtail swims down to pick at the food he ignores.
PXL_20201116_130446021.jpg
PXL_20201116_130249044.jpg
 

NoahLikesFish

Add live plants and put the food in a cup then push the cup to the bottom then lift the cup so it is at the bottom for them
 
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Chris1212

Not going to add any live plants, but thanks for the reply. I don't know how the cup thing would work. Wouldn't the food just float out of it?
 
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AggressiveAquatics

Just create a distraction by adding food on one side of the tank and while those fish are eating out the fish to the bottom on the other side
 
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A201

The B. Ram looks sick to me. Possibly intestinal parasites.
Once fish stop eating, it's usually too late for meds. Try upping the WC's to a weekly 50% if not doing so already. Adding another B. Ram might perk him up. Hope things get better soon.
 
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Chris1212

Thanks. The problem isn't getting food to the bottom (pellets and bug bites), he just doesn't seem interested.

A201, that's what I'm worried about. Definitely doing weekly water changes. Was thinking about dosing the tank with hikari prazipro but I'm also on the final couple days of treating the tank for ich (successfully) with noxich so I'm afraid to put too much medicine in the tank at once
 
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A201

It's not good to blindly medicate. IMO
most intestinal bugs are present in fish before we bring them home. A weaker fish will succumb to the parasites due to the stress of transport & introduction.
Watch the Ram closely and if things don't improve soon, consider removing him.
I've kept Bolivian Rams. They are usually aggressive eaters.
 
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Chris1212

Totally agree about the meds. Maybe I'll try and give him some extra shrimp/worm treats but I would prefer he ate the other food consistently
 
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Chris1212

The B. Ram looks sick to me. Possibly intestinal parasites.
Once fish stop eating, it's usually too late for meds. Try upping the WC's to a weekly 50% if not doing so already. Adding another B. Ram might perk him up. Hope things get better soon.

A201 just from your perspective, what looks sick about the ram? He/she gets pink along it's fins when it gets excited for food.
 
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AcornTheBetta

My poor guy (or girl) doesn't seem to eat much. I've tried various types of food without a whole lot of luck. In the pics he/she looks a little too skinny, any ideas on fattening up my poor ram?

Fluval bug bites - nibbles one as they fall around him but largely I think he loses them in the gravel
Cichlid sinking pellets - does not seem interested
Algae wafers - meh (I saw an amano shrimp take a piece right next to him)
Brine shrimp and bloodworms - gets excited but I am terrible at getting them to the bottom before everyone else in the tank eats them up

20g cycled with a handful of mid to top swimmers (platies, skirt tetras) but he's the only guy at the bottom. Occasionally a platy or swordtail swims down to pick at the food he ignores.
PXL_20201116_130446021.jpg
PXL_20201116_130249044.jpg
Is the ram just hiding/lying on there bottom? That could be a sign of sickness. Using my new ability to sex Bolivians (taught to me by Feohw and jmaldo) I am going to say that it's *drumroll* girl. Feohw can correct me if I'm stupid tho
 
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A201

Judging from the pic, the Ram's stomach looks concave making the head look a bit out of proportion.
You're at ground zero. Viewing the Ram from that vantage might lead to a different conclusion.
 
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Chris1212

A girl huh? She swims around the bottom third of the entire tank, sometimes climbs a bit higher. Sometimes hides but seems to claim a different part of the tank as hers every few days - under the roots, inside a house, then a cave, etc. She always comes out when the lights come on and I feed the fish, she just doesn't seem to find the food that makes it to the bottom.

I agree, her stomach seems a bit sucked in. Tomorrow I'm going to try and find something to sit on the bottom to put her food in and see if she eats.
 
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Dave125g

I think your little ram(looks female) is getting out competed for food. I would quarantine the little lady for a few weeks. If you can. Fatten her up a bit. It could very well be sick. Either way quarantine will help in both cases. A 5 gallon would do for a few weeks for a single ram.
 
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jmaldo

It's tough when a fish stops eating, so many variables to consider.
You have gotten some "Good" advice. Not much to add and "Agree" with stopping the meds and continue with "Water Changes" and monitor. May need to move to "QT" if available, this way no competion for food, but the stress of the move may make it worse. It has worked for me.

Good Luck!
 
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Chris1212

Thanks all. This morning I out a little glass bowl in the tank with some of "her" pellets and she went right in there, took some bites. Not as much as I was hoping but maybe it is a start.

She didn't do great during quarantine when we first got her and my wife isn't keen on the qt being setup to begin with, lol.

It's not so much competition because plenty of the cichlid food makes it way to the bottom (right in front of her). I think the issue is the color of the pellets and the gravel all blend together, plus the micro pellets fall between the gravel often. Maybe the food dish will work.

These skirt tetras are crazy eaters.
 
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Chris1212

Thanks. Will look for those. She definitely enjoys the food bowl concept, swims right into it to get a couple nibbles. Of course it doesn't take long for the alpha platy (never full) to come along. I almost wish she would go all cichlid on him and push him away.

I can't for the life of me get freeze-dried worms or brine shrimp to stay down at the bottom of the tank for her. I soak them for a long time, they still float right to the top where the platies and tetra go nuts.
 
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A201

IMO, the freeze dried stuff is comparable to pretzels & chips. Lol.
 
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Chris1212

Wow that's quite a difference in the eye coloring. I wonder if that is typical in sick vs healthy. I also noticed your healthy fish had a much better looking belly than your sick one (and mine). So far so good on getting it to eat a little bit out of the bowl (it's like a sick puppy) but we'll see.
 
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Chris1212

Got another good meal in her today. She's a big fan of the glass feeding bowl, gets right inside it and eats. Hopefully it was just poor survival instincts on her part and unable to find food in the gravel.
 
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Dave125g

If you get a chance try Omega One small grain sinking cichlid pellets. My African Cichlids, Barbs & Loaches really go after the stuff.
Omega1 and north fin fish foods are the healthiest I've ever found. No corn or garbage fillers.
 
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