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Extra Rams?
April 26, 2015
8:15 am
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Barb Man
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I was wondering if I could get some Mikrogeophagus altispinosus to go with the pair of M. ramirezi that I have in a thirty gallon. I know the profile said that it needed a bigger place to live and was wondering if that was true. I know that when breeding they are a little aggressive but with my temperature  on the low end of the range I would think that wouldn't be a problem. I would only get a pair of them as well if I could.

I was also wondering what common fish could I use as a top dweller? I have some juvi Geophagus 'Orange Head' in there too that will be moving out soon as they are getting to about 2 inches and will need more room to grow but there is only a 'Barbus' fasciolatus in there otherwise, and it is in there because he was so sickly when he came in to the lps that I got him for free. He is awesome and has the same water parameters as the rams so he does fine.

Also wondering what kind of pleco I should get to go along with them. I don't want to get a common one and then have to get rid of him when he gets six or seven inches long. Maybe a rubber lip or clown because I don't want to break the bank

Oh no not this guy again
April 26, 2015
9:34 am
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Barb Man
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I was thinking a group of eight silver tip tetra since I've wanted them for a few years now. Now it seems I've got an excuse to drop some money on them

Oh no not this guy again
April 26, 2015
5:46 pm
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Byron Hosking
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Combining different species of cichlids (here thinking South American) is always very risky and requires space.  A 30g is not sufficient space, so here you should stay with the common rams you have now but not both species.

Regarding the Bolivian species M. altispinosus, I have kept this fish for many years.  My present male is on his own and well into his seventh year (which is getting very old) and he "owns" the 5-foot 115g tank which has been his home from the first, though he is the only cichlid out of the 120+ fish, but it is instructive to observe his dominance over all other fish.  He could manage fine in a 30-inch 30g tank with suitable dither fish, and a bonded pair would be OK in the same size tank, but I would not subject him to anything smaller.

I'm not understanding your comment about temperatures being low and what effect this might have.  I cannot imagine the fish's temperament would be affected in a positive manner with lower temperatures, unless so low the fish was being negatively affected and thus in poor health.  The Bolivian will be fine in more normal "tropical" temperatures but the common ram M. ramirezi needs warmth.

The Barbus fasciolatus should of course be in a group, for the reasons given in our profile, but I understand how these single recovered fish happen and it is usually better not to mess with this after a period of time.  Other upper fish for this and the rams could be most any of the peaceful characins.  Hatchetfish are usually good choices for the surface, and as far as mid-tank characins, simply avoid any that are inclined to fin nip, as this can prove dangerous with cichlids.  This brings me to the Silvertip, Hasemania nana;  males can be territorial and sometimes nippy, but when kept in larger groups with swimming space are usually not troublesome.

To a pleco, there are species that max out around four or maybe five inches.  The Bristlenose species in Ancistrus for example.  However, remember that these like most all catfish are out and about during darkness when the rams are not active, and if you intend raising fry do not have catfish in with the rams.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
April 26, 2015
10:52 pm
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Barb Man
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I meant that they temperature is not high enough that any breeding might happen.

If I was to breed the Rams it would be in the empty ten gallon so that they would lay and then be moved back into the thirty. They always seem to eat their eggs and if they breed again I'm not letting them eat them again.

Hasemania nana Profile says that a small shoal would be okay in the thirty gallon. To quote the profile "It can also be kept with the majority of commonly available gouramis and dwarf cichlids." So these are the two main reasons that I thought it would be okay

Oh no not this guy again
April 29, 2015
5:20 am
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Barb Man
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I had a second female to begin with but she died a week after bringing her home. If I was to get more M. ramirezi how many should I look at? I was thinking of getting 2 gold rams and in a few months maybe two Electric blues. I like the Golds more and I'm thinking that a pair of them would be enough.

Oh no not this guy again
April 29, 2015
1:13 pm
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george
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That doesn't seem to me like a very good idea. 30 gallons are quite small for 3 pairs of rams, especially if they aren't all introduced at the same time. They are territorial, especially when breeding and could end up chasing and harassing each other to the point of death. In a small, crowded, tank, this can happen even within a pair.

If you do decide on buying 2 more pairs, make sure you have a lot of decor and plants in the tank for cover, and make sure the pairs are well formed to avoid any such "domestic" violence.

But to be safe, I would advise you to have only on pair of rams per tank.

As for the pleco, have you thought about parotocinclus jumbo? They stay quite small and are very peaceful. http://www.planetcatfish.com/c.....ies_id=236

April 29, 2015
5:21 pm
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Byron Hosking
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I certainly agree with george on the tank size issue, and would go one step further by saying that no matter what decor, this tank will not provide adequate housing for more than one pair of whichever ram.

To Parotocinclus jumbo, this is a shoaling fish according to the data in the description paper (Britski & Garavello, 2002) so you would need a group.  Sand substrate is also important, and chunks of wood.  While the genus Parotocinclus is taxonomically under review, the species in their respective habitats are similar to those in Otocinclus.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
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