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Author Topic: German Blue Rams Acting Up  (Read 1529 times)
Jessica D
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« on: March 31, 2016, 09:44:48 PM »

Currently I have
5 high fins - all male 
2 gold juvenile gourami's (were supposed to be 2 females, however one is a male),
1 thick lip gourami- male (he's chill) 
6 cherry barbs - all male
and 3 german blue rams ( 2 female and a male)

in a 55 gallon tank

Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrites - 0ppm
Nitrates - 0ppm
pH - 8.0
(also have a bubble machine… I can't remember what it's called right now. Sorry)

I know my pH is high, I'm currently treating the tank with peat moss filters ( bought regular filters, emptied out the charcoal and filled it with peat moss ) it's been about a week since I did the switch and still no pH drop Sad maaaaybe a slight drop, but not enough for it to be noticeable while testing the water.

My tap water rages at 7.8 for pH.

Anyway, back to the Rams.

I found out the day I got them that the pH was off so I slowly introduced them to it not to shock their system.
I've only had them for about a week now and they've been fine up until today.

Their dorsal fin is tucked down, they're a bit pale in colour, I can still make out their black dots, but they don't have any of their gorgeous blues, their back fin is also really squished looking.
They've been like this all day and now two of them are hanging out at the top.

Everyone in the tank is eating well (I've been feeding them blood worms, and they just love it!)


I guess I need help figuring out how to handle my pH, and why they're acting this way.

I've lost four German Rams in the past month (probably bought sick fish.. They died the next day or 3 days after purchase)

These 3 have adapted well even considering how high the pH is.

What do I do? Sad
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Jessica D
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 09:51:56 PM »

Add on

water temp is at 80
lots of soft fake plants and four custom built slate caves.
three of them are individual hiding places, and one is like a giant simba rock formation with 5 hiding places in it, with one breeding spot for the Ram's if they choose to.
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russ
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....


« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 10:31:34 PM »

How long have you had your aquarium set up? Your water parameter tests results do not seem right. In over 55 years of hobby experience, I've never seen zeros for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at the same time. Your Rams do not seem to be adjusting to your water conditions. You may already know that because you are trying to adjust your pH. I don't think adjusting your pH is the answer to the Rams' issues. If you had a couple of dollars for each letter of the word 'hindsight', that would equal the purchase cost of those Rams. But enough metaphors. Rams, plain and simple should be introduced to a very well establish tank and water parameters ....(folks are going to raise their eyebrows to this) ...that has a much higher GH value along with an accompanying  lower pH value (but stable).

Peat also may not affect the pH value of your water either if there is something else in the tank or your water supply that is sufficiently buffering it.  What kind of structure, besides your artificial plants, do you have in the aquarium - rocks, gravel/sand, other decore structures?


* No color image.jpg (2.99 KB, 76x70 - viewed 116 times.)
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Jessica D
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 11:02:33 PM »

I've had the tank set up since December, the Rams are the newest addition. I'm fairly new to the hobby, so maybe I was reading the results wrong? I have the "Freshwater Master Test Kit" and when testing the water and comparing the colours to the chart, they all equaled at 0 ppm except the pH which rages at 8.0

It's been off like this for a month now too. ( all being zero, but pH)
I do weekly 15-30% water change, as well.

I have four custom built slate caves, three of them are individual hiding places and one is like a giant simba rock formation with 5 hiding places in it with one breeding spot for the ram's if they choose to, sand for a base and fake floating plants at top, as well.

I can't currently attach a photo due to their "10 posts of more rule"

if you give me a few minutes, i'll reply to this thread 6 more times and hopefully they'll allow me to then.

thank you so much for your help. I know this may be disheartening to read, considering your experience, but I do appreciate your patience and knowledge.
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Jessica D
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 11:05:30 PM »

Administrator Comment test6 - prior reply "tests" have been removed as no longer necessary
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Jessica D
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2016, 11:13:16 PM »

-


* Snapchat-8723928369855961918.jpg (453.8 KB, 1920x1080 - viewed 138 times.)

* Snapchat-8723928369855961918.jpg (453.8 KB, 1920x1080 - viewed 127 times.)
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gunnered72
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Theres more water than air in here :P


« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 06:15:31 AM »

0 NitrAtes is impossible....

Shake the hell out of the reagent bottles (Number 1 and Number 2) for 2 minutes before adding the reagents to your water sample....

Are the Rams clamping all their fins tight to their bodies?

Also are their mouths opening and closing rapidly? (Rapid breathing basically)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 06:20:41 AM by gunnered72 » Logged

I love to hate Water Changes! :P
Jessica D
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 01:25:12 PM »

I just realized I did the testing backwards. I did bottle 2 then bottle 1 (dumb move on my part. first time it happened.)

Other than them being pale and their dorsal fin being tight against their body and their back fin (I don't know if that has a scientific name, sorry) looking tight together, they seem to be fine. (but I know they're not Sad )
no rapid breathing and no rapid fin clamping, however yesterday I did notice one of them was rapidly moving their fins for a moment. he was hanging out up top with one of the high fin platys, which is so weird for both of them.

Should I keep the light low until things get fixed to relax them a bit? i have duel lighting, I can unplug one half of the tank to give them some shade.

I just redid the NitrAte test, and oh boy it sure is not a 0ppm… I think it's around 20 ppm
I attached a picture to show you.

Pretty sure that's the issue!
Should I do a 50% water change?

Could the peat moss be effecting it?
I did a 30% water change 8 days ago.


* Snapchat-6339850967135431648.jpg (475.73 KB, 1080x1920 - viewed 131 times.)
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Jessica D
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 02:17:58 PM »

I'm not sure when I'm going to get a reply, so I did a 50% water change (taking my time) a good vacuum to the sand to get any hidden poopies, and I'm taking out the filters and restuffing them with peat moss.

Before I do the filters though, should I have one charcoal and one peat moss (two filter system)

Is there a better way to bring down the pH?
A chemical I could add while changing the water?
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russ
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....


« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 04:58:50 PM »

Your tank will need a bit more time to mature, but since your bio filter seems to be doing it's job, then no worries about that part at this time. Do NOT purchase any chemicals to adjust your pH. The peat may eventually accomplish that for you, but I recommend pre-soaking for 24 hours before just placing it in your filter. Peat will also add tannins to your water which will give it a burnt orange tinge. This is not bad for the fish, but may not be too aesthetically pleasing to you if you normally like crystal clear water. Another way to naturally accomplish a pH adjustment is with Almond leaves. They will also leave a tinge stain to the water, but not quit as mush as peat. Natural driftwood would also accomplish this. There is another more expensive way to apply pH adjustments with R/O water, but I don't think you really need that. The other 'natural' ways I recommended are really the best for your fish. Chemicals will tend to unexpectedly cause rapid declines which will be very bad for your fish. At this point, I wouldn't put the carbon back in your filter unless you wish to use the carbon to remove the tannin stains in the water. Carbon will not affect the pH of your water.

I forgot to ask as to what type and model of your filter do you have and how exactly is it set up as far as other filter media? Oh, and try turning off that bubble machine for a week or two and I bet that may aid in lowing the pH a little.
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gunnered72
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Theres more water than air in here :P


« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 06:41:53 PM »

I sincerely doubt 20 ppm NitrAtes is causing the problems your Rams are experiencing.....20 ppm is not bad....Ideally 10 ppm or below is what you should aim for.....You will achieve this by increasing your weekly water changes to 50%....Build the water change quantity up from your current level to 50% over a few weeks step by step....Sudden water change increases can shock fish....Step it up over a few weeks....

As regards your Rams health....It could be anything internal to be honest (parasites etc) ....Without any external signs of illness it can be very difficult to diagnose whats going on....

It sounds like they are clamping their fins which is definitely a sign that something is bothering them...I would hospitalise the fish in question and treat seperately.....(Just in case whatever it is thats troubling the fish spreads)

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I love to hate Water Changes! :P
russ
Whoa. Where did I put all my stuff?
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....


« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 07:27:53 PM »

I wouldn't want to eliminate the possibilities of an infection of sorts, but I would try to nail down the water requisites which the Rams can thrive in first. Unfortunately, this is one of the issues when mixing fish from different continents and water requirements that are ideal to them.

Another option of course, would be to set up a 10-15 gal QT/hospital tank for the Rams only and then try my recommendations above about conditioning and preparing the main tank for them. If additional, symptoms manifest in the rams while in QT, then that tank can easily be turned into an hospital tank for treatment. But this is just being careful and organizing a protocol just in case.


* No color image.jpg (2.99 KB, 76x70 - viewed 104 times.)
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"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
(George Bernard Shaw)
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