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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My female blue ram who was very peaceful at first started getting aggressive/territorial with the smaller fish (rasbora and tetra). Was told adding another ram would help the situation. Now the poor new ram is being chased all over by the aggressive one. They are both female, and I'm not sure what I should do next. Or maybe this is normal?

20 gallon long tank
5 hangel rasbora
4 cardinal tetra
4 Cory's
2 blue rams
 

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Keeping 2 females is not a good idea; and i think you need to separate them. You can keep 2 males by themselves (they will fight a little till one becomes boss); you can keep 1 male with 1 female. The only chance of keeping two females is if you have a lot of very good hiding places but without seeing your tank it is impossible to tell if you have sufficient hiding places but long term it will likely not end well. Not sure who suggested you should keep 2 females... Also there are other issues with your aquarium. German blue rams should be kept around 82 for long term health; the rasbora and (depending on species) cory will not do well at that temp. Rams are relatively speaking fragile fishes and require very clean soft water. You can get away with 78 for periods of time but they really do better in warmer water.
 

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You had the bad luck of getting an aggressive specimen.

You might just return her to the store because she is not likely to become a mellow community tank member.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Keeping 2 females is not a good idea; and i think you need to separate them. You can keep 2 males by themselves (they will fight a little till one becomes boss); you can keep 1 male with 1 female. The only chance of keeping two females is if you have a lot of very good hiding places but without seeing your tank it is impossible to tell if you have sufficient hiding places but long term it will likely not end well. Not sure who suggested you should keep 2 females... Also there are other issues with your aquarium. German blue rams should be kept around 82 for long term health; the rasbora and (depending on species) cory will not do well at that temp. Rams are relatively speaking fragile fishes and require very clean soft water. You can get away with 78 for periods of time but they really do better in warmer water.
Thanks! There are a few hiding places, a rock cave, some pipes, and natural hiding spaces with driftwood, plants, rocks. The one that's being chased can get away and hide if she wants but she always comes back out pretty quickly. The temp stays at 80 to accommodate the Cory's and ram's. The rasbora are hangel rasbora and I believe they are my hardiest fish.

So the guy at my LFS said to get another female this way I don't have to deal with laying eggs and any aggression that comes with that!

The dominant one seems to have eased up a tiny bit. Still chasing but not as much and not as long. Actually there was a moment just before where they were both sitting there together, but yeah then chased her out of the way. My water is soft straight from the tap measuring about 40 total alkalinity and 25-75 total hardness. I do 20% weekly (sometimes biweekly) water changes and nitrate never really goes above 20ppm.

Question is if I have to get rid of one of them, which one do I keep? I mean obviously it looks like the aggressive one is very territorial and gonna chase any new fish. But also the one getting chased is probably weaker???

Thanks
 

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You might wait a few days and see if they get along it sometimes happens; if you do get rid of one unless you have a preference for one over the other then yea the aggressive one. I believe the aggression is from attempts to establish a territory. The thing about female-female aggression is that it tends to be different than male-male aggression. The easiest way to explain it would be with male-male - it leans towards 'I'm the boss' accept that and things will be all right; with female-female it leans towards 'You are in my area - leave or die'. They do tend to calm down over time but not always. I've had female angels and kill unwanted competition. Rams are a bit more docile than angles but i had one female ram brutalize another.

Anyway the choice is up to you but keeping an eye on them and giving them a bit more time can't hurt too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes "you are in my area leave or die" seems to describe it perfectly. There is still plenty of chasing just not as much as the first couple days. Definitely gets way worse at feeding but they're pretty chill together at night when the lights are off. Gonna move the big amazon sword plant to the middle to help break up line of sight.

What if I put a Male in there with them, would it change the behavior of the aggressor?
 

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Yes "you are in my area leave or die" seems to describe it perfectly. There is still plenty of chasing just not as much as the first couple days. Definitely gets way worse at feeding but they're pretty chill together at night when the lights are off. Gonna move the big amazon sword plant to the middle to help break up line of sight.

What if I put a Male in there with them, would it change the behavior of the aggressor?
With regards to female-female - no it would make it worse; one would bond with the male and then remove the competition. With regards to other fishes; hard to tell - that aspect is a bit less predictable. Certainly they would guard their area (esp when breeding); but the question is how much area and some of that depends on how your tank is scaped and other aspect on the individual fishes. The rams i had were not too bad and mostly just chased other fishes away but it really comes down to individual fishes.
 
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