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Aggressive female Ram?

Discussion in 'New World Cichlids' started by Shaun Collins, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Shaun Collins

    Shaun Collins New Member

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    Hi all,

    Im looking for advice on my Rams that I have in a 240L tank.

    I cycled and slowly stocked a tank with cherry barbs, cardinals, emporor tets, ottos, corys and cherry shrimp. The last thing to add were 2 pairs of german Rams. All was fine for the first week, with the exception that one of the males was slightly smaller, but clearly healthy, and oddly the larger male seemed to form a hareem with the other 2 females. I didnt witness any courtship behaviour, they just hung out together happily and wandered the whole tank, while the smaller male ignored them and seemed to claim a territory on some wood that he never left. After a week one of the females was driven away by the other, and harrased constantly, she died a few days later. So i had a pair and a lone male. I never saw any courtship with the pair, but they were never apart... then one day i saw the lone female courting the small male... at which point she starting harassing the larger male, and he promptly died a few days later... now the two that are left court every few days but it never succeeds and always ends with the male being chased around by the female. He pursues her, but usually goes very pale and gets chased away...

    Now im wondering should I add a large male and small female in the hope that they suit each of my remaining fish?
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Short answer to your last question is no. I'll explain. First, are you certain you acquired two males and two females? At the age/size most stores carry this fish it is not usually easy to ID gender, except by their interactive behaviours. External appearance is very unreliable.

    Rams, like most of the neotropical cichlids, must select their own mates. The pair bond, and if they do, they may remain together life-long though not always. But they are much more likely to live together peacefully and spawn successfully. Pairs that do not actually bond may spawn a few times but before very long one of them will be dead. Usually the male kills the female, but not always, it can be the reverse as it seems happened to you. And along the way, male and female can "take turns" being nasty to the other. I had a "pair" of Bolivian Rams that did this as they spawned four times before the male finally had enough and killed the female.

    A 220 liter (60-odd gallons) might or might not be sufficient space for two bonded pairs. Depends upon the length and width (plus the aquascape) as the males will establish their respective territories and might remain generally within them, especially if they do bond with their mates and spawn. Or they might not. As you are now down to two rams, possibly a male/female, I would wait out developments, or separate them (different tanks). If they didn't/don't bond one could argue it is cruel to keep them together as one will inevitably be dead.
     
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  3. Shaun Collins

    Shaun Collins New Member

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    Well, i judged the 2 males on their black pelvic fins.. and the one female that is around has a very pink belly... and the two fish do frequently court, usually at the initiative of the small male. But this might last for a few hours (often after a weekly water change) but she never fully accepts him, and after courtship becomes the aggressor... he still follows her, but is fully coloured awatly from her, and then dull when hes around her unless courtship takes place... in between times of him pursuing her, she is actively aggressive in chasing him off when she spots him
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Accepting they are male/female, they clearly did not bond and that is the problem here.
     
  5. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fish Addict

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    The male killed her. Why do I not find that surprising? Al Bundy said it best. "Women . . . can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em."
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Married with children... I don't know :)

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    Any chance of a picture and short 20 second video of the fish?
    If the pictures are too big for the website, set the camera's resolution to its lowest setting and take some more. The lower resolution will make the images smaller and they should fit on this website. Check the pictures on your pc and find a couple that are clear and show the problem, and post them here. Make sure you turn the camera's resolution back up after you have taken the pics otherwise all your pictures will be small.

    If the video is too big for this website, post it on YouTube and copy & paste the link here. We can view it at YouTube. If you are using a mobile phone to take the video, have the phone horizontal so the video takes up the entire screen. If you have the phone vertical, you get video in the middle and black on either side.
     

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