German Ram compatibility?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by loachaholic, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. loachaholic

    loachaholicValued MemberMember

    My mom really likes the Blue Rams (and I just saw the long-finned balloon variety, very cute even I have to admit) but we're not sure if they'd 'fit'.

    Her tank is a 25 gal with 4 Cardinal tetras, 3 Emperors and 2 Neons, along with 5 cories and a siamensis. Filtration is an AquaClear 20 and an air pump driven corner filter. Substrate is silica sand and colored gravel, some live plants and a few hidey-holes. Her local tap water is PH 7.0, but she's got a piece of Mopani wood in there to lower it some for the Cardinals (can't give exact readings as she doesn't have her own test kit).

    Would GBRs be able to go in this tank? I'm kind of worried about them harassing the tetras, being Cichlids after all. And on their profile it says they need 20g per pair, Mom's worried they need 20g all to themselves but I'm fairly sure that just means they need 20g period so they have enough room to swim around and escape so the male isn't constantly harassing the female. Which leads me to the next- do they NEED to be kept in pairs? Are they a fish that would get stressed or sick if they don't have another of their species to play with? I ask because she doesn't really have the resources to take care of a swarm of babies; she lives in a tiny house and no matter how much she wants more tanks, a grow-out for Rams is completely out of the question.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!
  2. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I'm not familiar with the 'balloon' variety you are asking about but if they are like other 'baloon' fish, they will probably have great difficulty swimming well. I wouldn't be worried about the Rams picking on the Tetras so much as I would be worried about the Tetras nipping at the Rams. Especially if the Rams swimming is inhibited in some way.

    I would be inclined to think that you could add a pair of Rams given that the decor is designed to provide a clearly defined territory for the Rams & the filtration is ample. Water quality needs to be spot on for the Blue Rams as they are very susceptible to disease. It also needs to be a standard dimension tank to allow enough bottom space for all the fish. If this is a tall 25gal tank, then it probably wouldn't work as there simply isn't enough floor space to share.

    I cannot stress enough though the importance of maintaining excellent water quality & the need for the tank layout to be cleverly designed to allow defined territories for each fish if your mum intends to keep Rams in that tank.
  3. OP

    loachaholicValued MemberMember

    The balloon rams I've seen don't seem to be hugely 'squished', just more round-shaped. They at least look nowhere near as squashed as the balloon mollies. Found a pic at

    The tank is a 25 long (I would've told her outright 'NO' if it were a tall, I learned with my 30g hex and Dojo Loaches height =/= width). She'll probably need to rearrange the tank quite a bit to define the territories (so far it's kinda sparse... a couple of little flowerpots and two house decorations) and I've been thinking of getting her a second filter as a belated birthday present. I was considering getting her the Rams for a little while, but she just got ICH not too long ago and I want to wait a few months at least to make sure she's got everything under control (I thought she was doing rather well up till then).

    I would love to be able to tell her it's possible to have them, though, since they've become her favorite fish since she's discovered them, but she's too in love with her fishies to restock (aren't we all? ) and barely had room for her betta's 5g when he was home for Spring Break.
  4. _Fried_Bettas_

    _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    A Ram should be just fine singly. If you get 2 males they need more room because they each need their own territory. If you get a male/female pair they will get very aggressive to other fish when they are spawning. I have a single Bolivian Ram and he appears happy and I have some of the meanest tetras in my tank Serpae & Silvertip and they haven't bothered him.
  5. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    You have mean Silvertips? :confused:

    Mine used to be so peacefull. Even with Guppys they never caused any problems. Serpae Tetras I'd expect to be nippy & a bit aggressive but not Silvertips. Another example of individual results may vary. :)
  6. _Fried_Bettas_

    _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    Mostly they (Silvertips) are aggressive with their own kind and most of it at feeding time, not nearly as much as the Serpae though. Even the Serpae are mainly aggressive with each other, although the Serpae will hassle the corys over sinking pellet food. Neither have bothered either the Bolivian Ram or the Pearl Gourami in the tank though.