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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read controversy on GBR's and Electric Blue Rams regarding hormones and their health. Neither my LFS nor Petco knows their real source, and apparently Asian supply is less desirable. Is a breeder really the best route (buying in pairs)?


I'd love to hear comments on your experiences. For those who bought from Petco, would you recommend it (they only carry the EBR's in my area).


I have a med/heavy planted low tech 40B with rasboras, cherry barbs, female betta, and otos (22 fish total).
 

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In the past I've bought rams from both major chain stores but I've never had any luck with them. They were on sale and cheap so it was an impulse buy but you get what you pay for.
 

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Comparing $20 gbr from Petland to $4 dollar petsmart gbr...

My petsmart gbr's(2 males, 2 females) are surviving for 2 months now.

Petco had them but their tanks were a complete mess.

The pair from petland lasted about 4 days...mind you..I watch this guys for an hour or so before I bought them.

Its a crapshoot IMO.
 

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I currently have 2 from petsmart and 2 from a well established LFS that are all fine. Last year my son bought 4 from same petsmart and they did fine then the four all died within a week of each other for no visible reason.

My other son bought 2 from a different well established LFS and they both died from lack of eating. Slowly starved themselves to death.

I can say for sure that the GBR from the chain stores look much different than the $30 pair I bought from the LFS, the petsmart stock has dark black markings in front while the expensive pair is more of a light orange in front.
 

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Got 2 from petco. First one died within a week and a half. The second one died a week after the first. Before they died, they were gasping at the surface of the water for extended periods of time. Very surprised that they died, while my wild caught cardinal tetras had absolutely no problem.
 

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I finally found a female Electric Blue Ram at Petco. She is doing great. I bought a male Electric Blue and a male German Blue from my local fish only specialty store in town, and my entire tank got ick. I went back a few days later and found written on the tank I purchased them from "UNDER OBSERVATION". Petco and I assume Petsmart have 30 day guarantee's, id buy them and just keep your receipt.
 

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I finally found a female Electric Blue Ram at Petco. She is doing great. I bought a male Electric Blue and a male German Blue from my local fish only specialty store in town, and my entire tank got ick. I went back a few days later and found written on the tank I purchased them from "UNDER OBSERVATION". Petco and I assume Petsmart have 30 day guarantee's, id buy them and just keep your receipt.
Petsmart is only 14 days for dead fish refunds, Petco is 30.

I've not bought a ram yet.. almost did.. had a tank prepped.. then non were in stock so i saved an angelfish that was getting bullied instead >.>
 

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I got two electric blue rams from petco two months ago (more or less), and one died in a week. The other looked like it was having internal parasite, but still looked healthy with nice colors and was always the first fish to eat at the surface. I got medicine for parasite just in case. But so far, she is alive and well, and so as my other fish.

Maybe the white "parasite" poop thingy was just her (I think it's a she) having an empty stomach. At least that's how I read it online. They both costed me $18.00. Luckily I was able to return the dead one and got my money back, but for now I don't think I want to buy another cichlid ram again XD.

I have a 40g breeder medium/heavy planted tank with the EBR and a bolivian ram living with a pair of pearl gouramis, butterfly danios, gold pristella tetras, siamese algae eaters, kuhli loaches, otocinclus and 20 amano shrimps. My bolivian ram is the boss of the middle bottom of the tank and the EBR is actually peaceful with the other fish. I have never seen the bolivian and the electric blue fight each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone, for your comments.
A breeder recommended 40% WC's weekly at a minimum to keep rams healthy.

I think I will start a new (warmer) tank for them, by first by adding tank mates that come from the same area. I wanted to add them to my community tank, but their temp requirements conflict with the range required for my rasboras.
 

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I wouldn't risk it.
Tetras or something, fine.
But rams don't ship well and the whole hormone issue etc...

Find a local cichlid club and buy from a breeder or order from a breeder

Bump: A very well established tank helps as well
 

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I've read controversy on GBR's and Electric Blue Rams regarding hormones and their health. Neither my LFS nor Petco knows their real source, and apparently Asian supply is less desirable. Is a breeder really the best route (buying in pairs)?


I'd love to hear comments on your experiences. For those who bought from Petco, would you recommend it (they only carry the EBR's in my area).


I have a med/heavy planted low tech 40B with rasboras, cherry barbs, female betta, and otos (22 fish total).
bought a Bolivian ram and countless otos from petsmart and they are happy and living.. I havent had a problem.. Its funny how a lot of people bash on the major stores with yes some places are super bad and others not so much..but every place is different.. I mean by LFS has a great selection and is widely known even the employees from the big box stores say go there for rare or specific breeds...but I have bought 4 EB acara from my LFS and only 1 survived...Honestly every where is a hit and miss..look at your budget see what you can afford and worse comes to worse quarantine and see how they survive in that tank for awhile before switching over to the main tank..never know what your going to get until you take it home and be with it for awhile...
 

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My son loves GBR's so he is always putting them in tanks.
He says and I agree...it doesn't matter which store you get them from. They are all hit or miss.

I have paid top dollar at the supposedly good LFS and paid around $5 for them at the Petsamrt 2 for 1 sale. Some have done great from Petsmart and others have died within the week, same with the good LFS stock.
 

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I think the main issue is the point of sale. Are the tanks clean and well maintained? Do the fish look healthy and active? Are they eating? If you can answer yes to these questions then they are probably fine. Be it a mom and pop shop or petsmart/petco , they probably get their fish from the same farms. If you are located in the southeast US , you can almost bet all stores get their stock from Seagrest farms.
If you want high quality fish, look for local breeders.
 

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Those of you keeping Rams do they dig or disrupt the substrate very much or at all?
My Bolivian ram and golden ram dont do any of that..the worst thing the Bolivian ram does is chase away my my EB Acara when he gets in his area..but even the chasing is rare lol..also have a gold ram that doesn't do any thing just swims around happy lol..I have Eco complete with Petco gravel..fully planted..but no one tears up my tank
 
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