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05-14-2013, 04:14 PM #1
How Many German Blue Rams in a 55?
This is for a 55 gallon tank, going almost three years now.
I did a lot of searching before I decided to get some German Blue Rams, and it seems that most people just keep one pair. But some people recommended a harem. So after a lot of deliberation, I decided to try to get one male and three females.
I've had them three days now, and I think one of the females is dead, because I can only find the male and two of the females at any given time. One of the females is always close to the male, so I think they have paired up. The other female follows them around, but at a distance. Or else just stays alone. She seems kind of lonely, so I'm wondering if it would be better to get another female to keep her company. I think introducing another male could cause problems with the male I already have. So I would rather have spare females instead of two male/female pairs.
But I haven't really been able to find threads that address this, so what do you guys think? Perhaps she is better off just being a loner.
(Oh, and the other inhabitants of the tank are 3 Angelfish, 1 Upside Down Catfish, and 12 Black Neon Tetras.)
05-14-2013, 05:09 PM #2
That's the tricky part with cichlids.
you never know their temperament....some will be the nices GBR's. others will shred through anything that comes withing a 3 foot radius.
but that's the nature of a cichlid.
I had a electric blue ram that was the meanest thing.
Now I have a GBR who just flares up but has no 'bite'
If you have plenty of territorial boundaries, and are not seeing any aggression. then leave it be. no reason to stir the pot.
but i'm going to assume you have aggression if they killed the other female. rams are hard to determine the sex if they aren't mature enough. you could have 3 males?
You already are having a big risk with that many angels in a 55, so I would recommend re-evaluating their #'s while you are at it.
05-15-2013, 02:11 AM #3
I don't think they killed the other "female". She disappeared the first day I got them, so I think she just didn't survive the transition. Unlless she's just really, really good at hiding, and she shows up later. There was one listing near the top of the tank the first night, but I never found a dead body.
I haven't seen any aggression. Just two who really like each other, and one who seems left out. After reading the sticky about sexing GBRs, they looked like one male and the rest female in the store, but I guess time will tell.
But mostly I wanted to discuss how GBRs function in groups, because I've poured over thread after thread, and only been able to glean small tidbits of information here and there. I thought a thread about how groups of GBRs act with each other might be useful for anybody trying to search for this kind of information in the future.
05-15-2013, 02:31 PM #4
In the wild you find GBR in the hundreds. Getting 4 is almost the kiss of death. Either you will get 1 pair and they bully the tank with no way to really quell aggression or you get something like what you have where a pair forms and the other goes after them and gets beat up. I recommend if you are going group with these fish to have 6 or more like a normal shoaling species. Up to 10 if you really are set on it. You will end up with multiple pairs, you will end up with aggression spread out much like a mbuna tank and you wont end up with as many fatalities or issues.
That being said, its normal just to keep 1 or a pair in a 55gal tank. You could consider, once you prove the pair (they spawn and the babies hatch), returning the odd one out and you will have a much happier tank.
05-15-2013, 02:40 PM #5
In my 55 I currently have 3 males and 2 females, 1 pair that has laid eggs a few times, another pair that just that male has been put in the fish "friend zone" (act like a pair but never any eggs) and the other male hangs out and picks fights with the other two males trying to win over the females.
I have a ton of hiding places, otherwise I don't think this would work. I so far like it because it keeps the males active by having the one loaner since nobody ever just settles. Sandz has been the one that has helped me the most with the dwarf cichlids, always has good advice, but I def wouldn't try 6+ GBR in a 55 unless they were by themselves on the bottom of the tank. I agree, try to rehome the ones not in a pair and enjoy the pair of them
05-16-2013, 01:35 PM #6
Thank you all for your help. So I can infer that they are best either with just one pair, or else a huge group.
Instead of searching the forum, I finally tried googling "German Blue Ram Harem", and that brought up a lot of discussions that were easier to sift through, without pages and pages of extraneous discussion. Of course, if you ask 10 different fish keepers, you are likely to get 10 different opinions. But what kept coming up the most was that people buy more than they want, wait for a pair to form, and then rehome the rest.
One person said to start with 6 or more, and after a pair forms, move the rest to a different tank where they could live happy lives. But I thought, "Isn't that exactly the same scenario as in the first tank, but with two fewer fish?" You would have to have a third tank to move them into after a pair formed in the second tank. And so on, until they were all paired up!
I don't think I want to go the huge group/spread out aggression route, so I will just watch mine and see what happens, and then go from there.
05-16-2013, 01:53 PM #7
05-16-2013, 06:52 PM #8
Great choice there.
People have the tendency to think that they are 'lonely' on their own, but in fact they do great on their own in a proper set up.
So sounds like you have the right plan!
05-28-2013, 02:14 AM #9Junior Member
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