Unexpected Bolivian Ram Aggression

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BunnyPuncher

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I've had a lovely Bolivian Ram in my 29 gallon (Params: 0, 0, 10, 7.8) for almost three weeks now. It started out a rather pallid and timid fish but within a week was a red-tipped, bold stripe, dorsal fin flaring beauty. It shares a very understocked tank with a juvenile (2.5") marble angle fish and 3 panda corys.

The issue is food. My growing angelfish is a fiendish pig and highly aggressive feeder. As soon as the initial feeding is over it heads to the substrate to find the pickings and even heads down after the sinking pellets that make up the bulk of the ram and cory diet.

During any feeding time the Ram becomes hyperterritorial towards the angelfish and will attack it continuously. The angelfish will be chased away for about 10 seconds before it goes back - it will even steal the pellet from the Ram's mouth! The angel does not seem to understand that the much bulkier ram is a threat and is in no way off put by the fin nibbling and literal "ramming". This has been going on for a while, with minimal damage to the angelfish - I've rearranged the decor (and the tank is pretty heavily planted) to no avail.

Last night there appears to have been a major attack and the angelfish now has a drooping dorsal fin (towards the top - clear break) and a gnawed upon analfin.

There has been no aggression directed at the corys from either fish.

I have decided that the ram needs to go back to the shop - he is a beautiful specimen so if anyone in San Antonio with a 20G tank or larger wants him and can come get him Monday (for free) pm me tonight and he is yours as he will be heading back to the store tomorrow in the late morning.

The point of this post is that all fish are different and some are more aggressive than others and that all the research on the internet and experience will not always result in a happy community. I've seen Bol. Rams mentioned as recommended angelfish tank mates but I have had a bad experience with solos - it may be that in a group the rams will do more conspecific aggression across the members. So just another data point in the "what gets along" distributed fish fact encyclopedia.:-\
 

mattmc12

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If you only had 1 ram, that might have been the reason for aggresion. Rams are much happier in pairs. Try a pair of german blue rams, try to get them about 3 to 4 months old, from that point, you can feed them frozen brine shrimp, and they will love you forever! German blue rams also show little aggresion when with a mate. Hope you consider this
 
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BunnyPuncher

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Update: Took Bol. R back and brought two GBR home. 99% sure I got a M & F based on what I have read here and elsewhere.

So far they are hiding
 

mattmc12

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Sweet! Love to see other people enjoing GBRs.
 

mattmc12

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how are they doing?
 

LyndaB

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Hope you're happy with your new fish! You made a very good point about individual fish having individual personalities. We can't ever take a blanket description of species personality as gospel.
 
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