I bought a pair of Bolivians yesterday and brought them home. One was not faring so well and died sometime in the night. (I should have known better when he was the easiest fish in the world for the LFS employee to catch)
I was feeling so sorry for my other Bolivian, thinking he was lonely now and missing his buddy... Oh how wrong I was.
I went back to LFS and exchanged the dead ram for the other Bolivian they had, and while there couldn't resist the gorgeous German Rams (or German Blues... the smaller of the two that are only 3" when full grown) they had gotten in today. I brought home the 3 new fish, and acclimated them.
After dinner I noticed that the Bolivian I bought yesterday was being positively EVIL to the other rams. Only the other rams though... he wasn't bothering the guppies, platties, loaches, even the large shrimp... JUST the other 3 rams. The two Germans and other Bolivian were reduced to hovering together in the corner because every time they'd come out into the tank he'd chase them away and smash into them. What a meanie!
So Mr. Meaniepants has been relegated to my brother-in-law's 55 gal that has 3 huge goldfish and 2 huge plecos in it until I can get my hex tank set up sometime in the next few weeks.
Weird though, huh? That he would leave all of the peaceful fish alone and go after the other rams only. And it's not like they were bothering him, all they had to do was come within 2-3 inches of him and he'd attack them.
Now that Meaniepants is gone the other 3 rams are coexisting peacefully with everyone... for now...
Do you know the sex of the three left? They can get to a point of killing others to stake their area. Which is a 2' sq. Yes give them lots of hiding places. I am waiting to see what sex mine are. I think I have all females and they don't kill as fast as three males would. I can only have a pair in my 29g.
I had a single German Blue in my 55g and added a Bolivian (suspected he was male). My German ended up dead eventually and I suspect the Bolivian killed her because she wasn't sick and had signs of fin damage.
I personally would only keep one pair in a tank, even if its a big tank. But thats just based on my experience. I know some people have good luck and possibly have more passive Rams that get along.
I've kept up to 6 rams in my 58 gallon without too much of a problem. There are always those times that they are constantly chasing each other out of their territory but, as long as there's plenty of places to hide (my tank is very densely planted), each fish usually has a refuge somewhere in the tank where they don't get bothered. It may just take them awhile to get used to their surroundings and stake out their own territory. As long as each ram is healthy and there's no fin damage, I wouldn't worry too much but, keep an eye on things to make sure they aren't getting out of hand.
My tank defnitely has a lot of great hiding spots in it. It's heavily planted and has driftwood in it that has a large cave underneath. The three rams left in there seem to have found their spots and are coexsting quite well.
I have been watching the 3 that are left today and have noticed a marked improvement in their ability to get along... LoL
The one Bolivian that was left last night seemed to be bullying the two Germans after I got home from dropping Mr. Meaniepants off, however today he left them both alone and everyone seemed to be getting along just fine.
The only time the Bolivian seemed even the slightest bit agressive was when I fed everybody and he staked out his claim on his "spot" and wouldn't let the male German come near him while he was eating his algae wafer. Other than that, they are fine.
I am not certain of the sex of the Bolivians, they both look pretty much the same, however the Germans I know for sure are one of each. They have definitely taken to each other as well, as I haven't seen them far from each other most of the time. I will have to keep a close eye on them should the decide to spawn... although they are pretty small right now (about 1 1/2")so I'm not too worried.
My brother in law said today that Mr. Meaniepants is doing just fine in his tank and isn't bothering anyone... then again he's the smallest fish in the tank by a LOT, my BIL has 3 gigantic goldfish, 2 really big goldfish, the largest pleco I have ever seen (almost 8" long!!), and a couple of cory cats in a 55 gal tank. So Mr. Meanie doesn't really have a choice but to be nice.
If everybody else keeps getting along for the next couple of days, I am going to try to re-introduce Meaniepants to the rest of the tank and see how he gets along with the rest of the gang. If he misbehaves again then I'll know for sure that he has to be the only ram in a tank and he will be given a special spot in my new hex when that gets set up in a few weeks.