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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning, dead fish! https://imgur.com/a/LY9TGqL


My very active and seemingly healthy Blue Ram died within three days of what began as slight lethargy. It ended with a day and a half of staying hidden at the substrate, with a short, wild and wobbly set of bursts around before falling over. I was walking out the door to get a quarantine tank when I saw that he was gone.

My only guess during the three days was constipation, but I'm not sure if that can kill. I tried to feed it peas but it didn't want to eat. This guy loved to eat. I then read about dropsy but I didn't see him get as large as the pictures show... definitely no pine-combing of scales. However, the only visual evidence that sticks out to me is it's belly. It's slightly bulged and whitish. The pictures are from the side and below the fish.

Does anyone know what may have happened? All of the other fish and shrimp are fine.
 

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German Rams are not prone to constipation. Doubt it was that.

Some info needed.

How long tank set up?
How long have had fish?
Size tank?
What other fish and numbers of fish?
Water Parameters: Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite?
Temperature?
Substrate type?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tank's fine, was hoping the pictures would point to some kind of infection or disease. If that's not the case I doubt listing parameters would help (I'm tired and heading to bed but can list them tomorrow).
 

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Rams need to be kept at hotter temperatures than most other tropical fish, 82 or 84 is what I think they should be kept at, had 2 of them before and they both died within a month of getting them even though I had no ammonia or nitrite. Tank was kept really clean as well.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nitrates hovered around 20-30ppm
Phosphate around 5ppm
Temp was around 78 degress. Looks like this might have been a cause
8 hours a day of 70 par at the bottom
30ppm of co2
Gh was around 5
Kh was high, around 9 - maybe another cause? Didn't think it would kill them
Fed them once or twice a day, usually frozen bloodworms

He was vibrant and active for about two months until the three day sickness h it.
 

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Blue rams (and their respective color morphs) *can* be acclimated to 78 degrees, but that's rock bottom imo, and not all will take long term. I had four blue (well two blue, two gold) rams, and kept them at 82. Activity was high, they were regularly spawning, all kept together in a 40 breeder. The male liked to chase the females and he was the big man on campus. However my plants didn't seem to appreciate the high temps.

So I decided to acclimate them to 78 degrees. Three out of four degraded, got sunken bellies despite being active and eating (yours looks like it has a bit of a sunken belly), and ultimately didn't make it. One gold female seems to have acclimated fine, her belly is round, and is showing no signs of ailment. I have now added an apistogramma cacatuoides super red to the tank as my dwarf cichlid of choice. Still learning about them, but they're much more suited to typical tropical temps.

If you wish to keep mikrogeophagus ramirezi (blue rams), I'd consider keeping them in a specialty warm water tank at 82-84 degrees. I also love to quarantine all of my new fish using the med trio that Aquarium Co-Op recommends (General Cure, EM Erythromycin, and Ich-X).
 

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It won't help at all on this case but there is a bit of different view that I might share as it might help at some future point. You mention the fish died "out of nowhere" but that is really not true because you did note that it acted "off " for several days before death.
It may seem like a small point but those three days were actually your warning and if we watch close, we can do something before it gets fully too late. One of the big advantages I see in spending a few dollars more to get bigger,more durable fish like cichlids is that they DO give me a warning when they don't feel right and that warning is sometimes enough to save a fish if I deem it worthwhile. The difference is that we do sometimes just find other fish dead as the first warning.
Since it is not possible to say why it was acting off, my first reaction is to double down on clean water and often us Melafix and Pimafix as they are both helpful without the downsides of many other meds. Many do not think of them as true meds but I find they are great for curing Malawi cichlids of what many term "bloat", even though there is little agreement as to the true cause of the disease. I personally feel it is several different causes that show up as one single symptom, so I shotgun on the cheap treatment and it does often work. One of the few meds/treatments that I keep on the shelf as it doesn't expire before I need it.
Sorry about the fish but it is just part of the experience that most all do have to go through.
 
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