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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning a fairly large tank approx dimension is 8ftx4ftx21 (w,l,h). The target softness of the water will be 50tds and the target temp will be 81 during winter and 83 during summer. The substrate will be moderately fine white sand (approx .5mm).
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The intended stocking i had in mind is as follows:
25 rams (mix of gold, electric blue, german blue, ...),
6 to 8 geo - likely winemilleri,
4 or 5 pleco - mostly l204 but perhaps a pair of gold nugget and/or blue phantoms.
40ish cardinal tetra
40ish another tetra - probably lemon or gold tetra - or runnynose.
one other dwarf cichlid - probably macmasteri (m/f/f?) or brevis but perhaps some other dwarf cichlid (suggestion? need to do a bit more research here)
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The tank will be heavily planted (similar to attached picture) but likely kept low tech due to concern of oxygen level in warm tank - the sides will be dense as well as back edge but the front middle will have mostly low plants (2 to 8 inches) with areas of exposed substrate for the geo (it is after all an 8 feet tank so leaving 3 or so feet in the middle more bare seems feasible).
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While the tank is low tech i can move full size swords and similar into the tank from high-tech tank so I think obtaining some initial density is feasible.
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While not totally decided i will likely use a drip system for water changes at the rate of 1gph (168 gallon a week on a 420 gallon tank)
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Feedback requested esp with regards to the ram behavior in a large group.





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Debbie downer here- the cost of heating a tank that sized to the temperatures you're planning on costs a ton of money... I have a 9 × 4 × 3 that is now a goldfish tank because of this. Just a heads up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The room itself will be close to 80 during the summer - the winter will of course be more problematic - but i will have solar energy so some of the cost will be abosrb so it isn't the end of the world.
 

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Good point. That way you will only need to dump a bucket of Potassium in once a week.
 

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Don’t worry about heat really do Bolivian rams cos they go cooler and a group of apistogramma borelli or keyhole chiclids all IME can go coldwater and are peaceful/social and also they get bigger then your average ram. rainbow chiclids are nice too
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think you understand this tank is for german blue rams and all other fishes must fit the requirements of german blue rams. I am well aware of the fishes you are naming but they are not compatible with the temp requirement of gbr.

Don’t worry about heat really do Bolivian rams cos they go cooler and a group of apistogramma borelli or keyhole chiclids all IME can go coldwater and are peaceful/social and also they get bigger then your average ram. rainbow chiclids are nice too
 

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I don't think you understand this tank is for german blue rams and all other fishes must fit the requirements of german blue rams. I am well aware of the fishes you are naming but they are not compatible with the temp requirement of gbr.
Oh boy. Blue Rams eat live food right? Will you be culturing daphnia, brine shrimp and stuff like that for them? And their water has to be just right as I recall. Kind of a demanding fish. But I'm sure you're up to it. I looked into it but I couldn't handle my Bolivian Ram very well and they're easier. It had to have frozen food. So I thought I better not try German Blue Rams.
 

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So here's my question: How did you come to the idea of 25 rams in that size tank? Is there a thought process behind the # of fish, and how that relates to the footprint of the tank?

I'm asking this because it sounds like you want the tank to really feature a lot of rams. Which, in a 32 square foot tank, is great! But where is the number you came up with, coming from? Why 25, and not 20 or 30 or 19?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
25 was a starting point. I intended to start with young rams and when they pair off I will likely remove the ones that cannot find territories. My guess is i will end up with 6 to 8 pairs and 4 or 5 floaters.
 

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Good thinking. Here's my thinking on what is feasible and not

Rams (Mikrogeophagus) are good at sifting sand. You can keep a pair in a 10 (20"x10" = ~1.39 square feet), and I believe 2 pairs in a 29/20L (30"x12" = 2.5 square feet) . SeriouslyFish states that they need around 2 square feet for a single pair though, so let's round up to that. :et's say each pair of rams will need about 2 square feet, with one spawn site each (clay pot, large stone, etc.). Your 8x4 tank has 32 square feet. But wait! Your tank is going to have plants in it which will reduce surface area. Let's say that a very conservative amount of space will be taken up, about 10 square feet since you say you're planting heavily. That leaves 20 square feet to divy up. Allowing for 10 pairs of rams.

Now, that'd be well and good and all, but you're also adding in Geophagus cichlids which will be making their own territories as well. Let's say that you end up with 2 geo pairs, each which maintains a territory equivalent to 2 ram pairs (4 square feet, in line with Geos typically needing around a 55 gallon for a breeding pair). That leaves you with around 6 pairs of rams left.

Of course this depends on the amount of plant matter that you're keeping. I'd love to see you toss in like 2 pounds of blackworms to see the fish engaging in natural digging behavior while ditching the plants haha. Ram aggression probably won't be too much of an issue in such a large tank if you introduce them all at once and remove the bullied ones.

...and of course that doesn't even begin to go into the other fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is a reasonable analysis but i think i disagree with one part. I think the plants will be part of the territory and the space removed from the rams would be that which is taken by the GEO. So the tank is 32sqft. Lets say that 3x2 area is reserved for the geo leaving 5*4+3*2 or 26sqft for the rams or 13 pairs which is 26. The other fishes will mostly be mid-level or top fishes which won't be problematic but the pleco(s) and possibly second dwarf cichlid in small quantity would take from the space. Still it sounds like 20 pairs of rams might work.

The winemilleri is a specific species of geo and i don't see a space requirement for territory but they do require a group recommended size of 8+.

Good thinking. Here's my thinking on what is feasible and not

Rams (Mikrogeophagus) are good at sifting sand. You can keep a pair in a 10 (20"x10" = ~1.39 square feet), and I believe 2 pairs in a 29/20L (30"x12" = 2.5 square feet) . SeriouslyFish states that they need around 2 square feet for a single pair though, so let's round up to that. :et's say each pair of rams will need about 2 square feet, with one spawn site each (clay pot, large stone, etc.). Your 8x4 tank has 32 square feet. But wait! Your tank is going to have plants in it which will reduce surface area. Let's say that a very conservative amount of space will be taken up, about 10 square feet since you say you're planting heavily. That leaves 20 square feet to divy up. Allowing for 10 pairs of rams.

Now, that'd be well and good and all, but you're also adding in Geophagus cichlids which will be making their own territories as well. Let's say that you end up with 2 geo pairs, each which maintains a territory equivalent to 2 ram pairs (4 square feet, in line with Geos typically needing around a 55 gallon for a breeding pair). That leaves you with around 6 pairs of rams left.

Of course this depends on the amount of plant matter that you're keeping. I'd love to see you toss in like 2 pounds of blackworms to see the fish engaging in natural digging behavior while ditching the plants haha. Ram aggression probably won't be too much of an issue in such a large tank if you introduce them all at once and remove the bullied ones.

...and of course that doesn't even begin to go into the other fish.
 

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Rams need really low tds and hot water b/c they are tank bred I doubt they’d work in a tank that big and cuz you said in winter it gets bad. Do a hardier bigger chiclid idk if a geophageus would just slaughter a ram and tetras imo
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You clearly have a lack of understanding of the subject matter. I don't want to be rude but you are not adding helpful input to this discussion.

Rams need really low tds and hot water b/c they are tank bred I doubt they’d work in a tank that big and cuz you said in winter it gets bad. Do a hardier bigger chiclid idk if a geophageus would just slaughter a ram and tetras imo
 

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Rams need really low tds and hot water b/c they are tank bred I doubt they’d work in a tank that big and cuz you said in winter it gets bad. Do a hardier bigger chiclid idk if a geophageus would just slaughter a ram and tetras imo
Sorry to pile on. But how could they not work in a tank that big? I would say there is probably going to be some room for some Rams in that tank. The only thing I could see going wrong is if Ram water parameters aren't compatable with the other fish's water parameters. But it sounds like that would be the other fishes hit on that. The Rams at least would be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes i stated at the start of this thread the target condition which is quite suitable for rams and all other fishes must fit the condition required by rams (which was also noted in my comment about second dwarf cichlid). Rams are a requirement though the number of rams might change.
 
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