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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little background: Tank is fully cycled, I test water daily, normal tank ph is low (around 6.6) temp is 79-80, heavily planted, plants are for the most part thriving, low tech tank, 75g, eheim pro 3 2075 filter, lights on around 9-10 hours a day, lightly stocked (around 65%), feed fairly light, daily feeding, mixed diet

occupants:
2 pearl gourami
2 gold ram
7 oto
25 cardinals

here is background on the issue: i do a 17g water change, ph jumps from 6.4-7.4, tank volume is roughly 65g because of substrate ect. tap ph is around 8.0 this is what cause the spike (didn't realized with a small wc it would still fluctuate so badly, all fish are great prior to the wc. the female ram looks like death about an hour after wc, i come to realize the ph swing has hit her hard.

all other fish still look great and acting normal, everyone is eating, even the female. She continue to breath hard but still swimming around, loss alot of colour, showing fatigue. This all started around 8-9am est on april 19th. today (the 22nd) she is still holding on, still moving around the tank during the day and feeding, starting to get colour back, BUT the breathing being rapid and heavier is still persistent. I am wondering how long do you guys feel this can go on? will she snap out of it?

I have raised my spray bar completely out of the water to created a waterfall to help oxygenate the water. I tried adding a small pump to increase oxygen even more but she was scared, and decided the increase in fear / stress is doig more harm than good so I quickly removed the additional pump.

I still see improvement is her colour and activing level is remaining the same is anything a little better. I would like to know if I can do anything else to help her relax her breathing?

Water parameters are:
ammo = 0
nitrites = 0
nitrates = less than 5ppm
ph has been falling and now is closer to 6.8(tested this just now), i have alot of dw in the tank and i believe this is why the ph drops . plus its degassing.

so yeah, I am still very worried about my girl and she is a great fish and I really don't want to lose her. Anything at all you folks can suggest I am willing to try to help her recover fully. I have been doing tons of reading to see if it could be anything else but I can't see any other clear symptoms leading to a disease. I also read that alot of fish once at this point generally die within the first 24 hours of the start of the heavy breather, where my female ram has been fighting. she clearly is not ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
so i just tried feeding and she barely ate anything, she has been hiding in the back of dense plants and near the bottom. i am fearing the worse :( so heartbreaking.

her colour is so much better though, which is confusing.
 

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Previous post's indicate that these are fairly new fish , and given the relatively sensitve nature of the Ram's, plus fluctuating water parameter's,I would not beat myself up too badly should the fish not make it.
What I would do is set up a smaller tank for the ram's say 20 gal,and use 50/50 mix of tapwater and distilled or R/O water if you wish to have better success with these fish (Ram's).
These fish by and large just don't do well in anything but soft acidic water that is stable from week to week.Sure some may make it for a few month's or perhap's a year but I believe from my caring for them over a few year's that those that do are the exception rather than the norm.
Maybe try and source some young Ram's from breeder near you that has similar water condition's. This might improve chances for the fish with regard's to adapting to your water.
In a nutshell,, these fish are often kept in veritible soup's of antibiotic's and then shipped across the country,acclimated to dealer tank's,then your/my tank,and when no longer protected by antibiotic's they slowly ,or sometimes quickly waste away and perish.
also some of these fish are subjected to hormone treatment's to produce vivid coloring = more stress,and some of the fish may be tired old fish/breeder's that are nearing their relatively short lifespan estimated to be around three year's.
Young fish are rather drab looking until they are about four month's old in my expierinces with them.
I tried my hand at these fish for about three year's before moving to Discus and can honestly say,,the Discus were far easier to care for andmy best luck with the ram's was when I used small tank and cut my tapwater with R/O water or distilled water.
Am fully prepared now,to hear from those who claim to have kept these fish or are keeping them in portland cement,low 70's temperatures. And so it goes on forum's.
 

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Sounds to me like you need to prepare your water the day before your water change. This way you can avoid the drastic changes and control the water to match what's already in the aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i am currently looking for advice for helping my ram who is struggling. not really worried about a future wc atm :s

I have planned for different way to do wc's in the future to avoid this again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
my male ram has been swimming up and down and side to side on the glass frantic all morning...

he is clearly not happy that his mate is not doing well :(
 

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i am currently looking for advice for helping my ram who is struggling. not really worried about a future wc atm :s

I have planned for different way to do wc's in the future to avoid this again.

Ain't much you can do.
The other fish are fine no? It's the poor stock,often shipped from Asia.
Have already attempted to help you understand even with good care,, the majority of fish that are shipped here to U.S. are struggling as they arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i didn't know you could add things for stress. do they really work / make a difference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
api stress coat, i just found this on google, would it make a difference at this point? she has been laying on bottom behind a cluster of plants for about 2 hours now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
yeah where she is hiding is in a darker area of really dense stem plants.


here colour is best i have seen in days, but her activity level is the lowest. here breathing doesn't seem as frantic as it was. I really hope she can make it.

its been eating at me for days now and I just feel so helpless.
 

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Gourami and Rams often aren't a good mix, they're too similar in size and shape to each other. There's possibly some bullying going on.

In your shoes, I'd put her in a separate QT.

How sure are you of "her" gender? And were both Rams purchased as a mated pair? The confirmed male also may be bullying "her."
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
there is no bullying, i know that 100% i watch my tank a ton and everyone is perfectly peaceful.

she laid eggs twice, and they are a breeding pair..

i am not new...
 
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