German blue rams stocking question. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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German blue rams stocking question.

I read that 20 gallon tank size is for two GBRs fish but i was wondering if maybe adding too many like overstocking will curb the aggression like we do in case of African Cichlids so they don't establish territories. Will this work in case of German blue rams as well? Like stocking six or seven in a 20 gallon?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 01:05 AM
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Hi Kashif,

My comments are based on m individual experiences, but I have two female German Rams, about 4 yrs old, who've been kept in larger planted tanks (56g, now 180g), and I had to house them temporarily in a planted 29g with a few corys and 7 neon tetras. They were definitely more aggressive and stressed during that time, and I wouldn't repeat that move on a permanent basis.

Are you planning to add other fish as well to the 20g? Are the rams adults? Is the tank planted?

Cheers,
Karen
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 07:39 PM
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Dwarf cichlids are entirely different from Africans, and the rule of mitigating aggression by adding more doesn't hold up. Many Mbuna or Peacocks will not stake out specific territories in the substrate (some do in the water column). Dwarf cichlids make territories and defend them vigorously. I would add a pair to a 20 but no more than that.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by annabel1066 View Post
Hi Kashif,

My comments are based on m individual experiences, but I have two female German Rams, about 4 yrs old, who've been kept in larger planted tanks (56g, now 180g), and I had to house them temporarily in a planted 29g with a few corys and 7 neon tetras. They were definitely more aggressive and stressed during that time, and I wouldn't repeat that move on a permanent basis.

Are you planning to add other fish as well to the 20g? Are the rams adults? Is the tank planted?

Cheers,
Karen
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Originally Posted by D.Farci View Post
Dwarf cichlids are entirely different from Africans, and the rule of mitigating aggression by adding more doesn't hold up. Many Mbuna or Peacocks will not stake out specific territories in the substrate (some do in the water column). Dwarf cichlids make territories and defend them vigorously. I would add a pair to a 20 but no more than that.
Thanks. Tank is heavily planted. I have harlequin rasboras in it. I also want to know if adding fish like cardinals or rasboras is good or if I need to remove them? Will they healp in diverting rams attention and aggression and will act like a dither fish? So shall i keep it rams only or rams with nano fish?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 01:08 AM
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Keep them, you are exactly right about dithers. I would warn you that rams might like it warmer than Harlequins can handle long-term.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Keep them, you are exactly right about dithers. I would warn you that rams might like it warmer than Harlequins can handle long-term.
I actually removed harlequins for two reasons that they are fast and eat before the rams even notice food. Secondly temperature is too warm for them.

I am thinking to add cardinals but then I like rams as there own only. Don't want a fast moving fish. What you suggest a ram only tank or rams with some dither fish?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 02:36 PM
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If you don't want fish that dart around, always moving fast, then cardinals would be a perfect dither for your rams.

I concur with the above posters about stocking. I have a 40 breeder and keep 1 male and 3 female German rams. The male is okay but the females scuffle a lot, thankfully not so much so it causes problems or injuries, but I can see that one of them gets stressed now and again.

I have been toying with finding them new homes and getting some apistos instead. The rams don't bother any other inhabitants - rummy nose tetras, neon and black neon tetras, cories, CPO's, amano shrimp, etc

They only want to chase each other.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 04:50 PM
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Cardinals aren't exactly fast movers...they usually hang in the open space of my tank and occasionally school back and forth in the current, but only rarely. If you want the perfect dither, though, go with Pencilfish. Nannostomus eques, N. mortenthaleri (gorgeous!), N. marylinae, etc. are all great for that. Small mouths, so they can't eat all the food, and slow-moving, so the rams will get something.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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If you don't want fish that dart around, always moving fast, then cardinals would be a perfect dither for your rams.

I concur with the above posters about stocking. I have a 40 breeder and keep 1 male and 3 female German rams. The male is okay but the females scuffle a lot, thankfully not so much so it causes problems or injuries, but I can see that one of them gets stressed now and again.

I have been toying with finding them new homes and getting some apistos instead. The rams don't bother any other inhabitants - rummy nose tetras, neon and black neon tetras, cories, CPO's, amano shrimp, etc

They only want to chase each other.
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Cardinals aren't exactly fast movers...they usually hang in the open space of my tank and occasionally school back and forth in the current, but only rarely. If you want the perfect dither, though, go with Pencilfish. Nannostomus eques, N. mortenthaleri (gorgeous!), N. marylinae, etc. are all great for that. Small mouths, so they can't eat all the food, and slow-moving, so the rams will get something.
Thank you. The thing is that will such dither fish helps in toning down rams aggression to each other or not? I ll only get them if they are of use as I prefer rams only in tank. Please advise.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 01:53 AM
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Thank you. The thing is that will such dither fish helps in toning down rams aggression to each other or not? I ll only get them if they are of use as I prefer rams only in tank. Please advise.


Best way to make sure the rams get along is get a male and female. Even if they donít pair off, they typically wonít be aggressive towards each other or tank mates unless they feel cramped.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 04:28 AM
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Thank you. The thing is that will such dither fish helps in toning down rams aggression to each other or not? I ll only get them if they are of use as I prefer rams only in tank. Please advise.

I've never really seen that other "dither" fish make any difference at all with any of my rams. They're not that easily distracted. If they see another ram, then one way or another that's clearly where they'll focus their attention above all else. Adding some other fish won't change their behavior much if at all. They pretty much ignore everything else other than some territorial/feeding squabbles with other larger fish now and then or if something intrudes when they're on eggs or have fry.

How well they get along is more a function of individual fish in my experience. I have some that are fine with multiple males in the tank. Most all of those were raised together from eggs though and I've kind of unnaturally selected them out over time as less aggressive fish. Not likely to get that with random fish. Especially not if there's a female in the mix. Some others that are fine with multiple females but won't tolerate another male. Some where a third female isn't tolerated. Some that are just complete dicks that torment any other ram male or female in the tank 24/7 to the point that I had to remove the other. Yes, I realize that probably doesn't really help you much. lol Kinda how it is though.

Bottom line and to your question, your odds aren't real good with more than one male in a 20 no matter what kind of other fish you may add. A single male-female pair most likely you'll be fine. They'll usually tend to pair up pretty well even if there are some initial arguments. Beyond that you won't really know until you try it. A 20 is tight quarters for them though and makes more than a pair less likely to work out well.
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