Missing Bolivian ram

Guyb93

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Iv woke up this morning and I’m pretty sure I’m missing. Bolivian ram as they were a pair never more than a yard apart n now I have one it’s been swimming alone for the Past hour , is it safe to say it has been killed and body eaten as there’s no sign of it anywhere if so should I take the other one out , It’s strange because there is no aggression off anything towards the remaining ram
 

Wills

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Hi have you checked the whole tank? Are they an actual pair or just two in a tank? Could they have bred and one is protecting the eggs?

It concerns me that you have a Jack Dempsey with Rams as they have hugely different water requirements and the JD will be much more aggressive than the rams and with the size difference it wouldn’t end well.

Really interested to learn more about your tank. How big is it and what fish are you keeping?

Wills
 
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Guyb93

Guyb93

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Hi have you checked the whole tank? Are they an actual pair or just two in a tank? Could they have bred and one is protecting the eggs?

It concerns me that you have a Jack Dempsey with Rams as they have hugely different water requirements and the JD will be much more aggressive than the rams and with the size difference it wouldn’t end well.

Really interested to learn more about your tank. How big is it and what fish are you keeping?

Wills
I have a 5ft not the largest over 70g though I only went from a 4 ft to a 5 ft because my pleco needs lateral space and iv been pushing my luck a little bit and trying to keep a semi community tank with new world cichlids I have
2x electric blue acara
2x convict
2x Jack Dempsey
2x(maybe 1x Bolivian ram
3x angelfish
6x tiger barb
1 x red tail shark
1 x leopard pleco
The larger Dempsey is definitely the tank boss even dominated the 2 mbuna Malawi I had before removing them to a different tank with other Malawi
It would be Almost impossible to check my whole tank without removing all the big wood and slate and iv set the tanks environment with plenty of hiding spots
I honestly assume it is dead as I Had 3 and two pairs of instantly and kill the other one which I know was then because I had them in a small tank for 7 days as a quarantine my other ram is fine so war wounds or stress gets into a scrap with a convict now and again but looses and backs off that’s as far as it goes
 

Wills

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I would imagine you are right, its likely the Plec 'cleaned up'.

It's not usually a good idea to mix South Americans and Central Americans, they have very different water requirements and Centrals are often much more aggressive than Souths.

It also feels like you have a lot of fish in there for a 70g, even as someone who is quite liberal with cichlid stocking this makes me nervous - lots of potential for pairing/breeding which would be a nightmare in this tank. Do you know what your nitrate reading is pre water change? It feels that you have a lot of messy fish in terms of feeding and also pooping!

If your Leopard Plec is a Common or a Gibbiceps it will need more room than a 70g, a 5x2x2 would be a minimum as these can grow well over a foot and Gibbiceps can clear 18 inches quite easily.

There are quite a few contributing factors that make fish deaths quite likely in this tank. Which is why it feels like it is more likely that this Ram has died rather than my original suspicion of it possibly hiding with eggs/breeding.

I would reccommend re-thinking how this tank works and if you have the best sized tank for the fish you want to keep. With fish from such a wide range of water needs this might be an easy starting point - eg if you have hard water I would keep the central americans and consider rehoming the south americans, or visa versa if you have soft water.

Wills
 
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Guyb93

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7.5 German my water hardness is and nothing in my tank is full grown my pleco which is sailfin is 10inch the larger jd is 6 possible full grown not sure if Male my convicts 2 my acara 3 i made an amateur mistake a while back in a 3 foot tank and have had to get bigger and bigger for the room moved hard water fish Out as I gained knowledge and now starting to feel comfortable in pushing the boundaries a little with Cichlid, iv found that angelfish can mix jds and the right one can become dominant I don’t know if anybody else has saw that happen I found it strange , oh and my last water test had trace of nitrate so I used a silver solution but haven’t tested again
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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7.5 German my water hardness is and nothing in my tank is full grown my pleco which is sailfin is 10inch the larger jd is 6 possible full grown not sure if Male my convicts 2 my acara 3 i made an amateur mistake a while back in a 3 foot tank and have had to get bigger and bigger for the room moved hard water fish Out as I gained knowledge and now starting to feel comfortable in pushing the boundaries a little with Cichlid, iv found that angelfish can mix jds and the right one can become dominant I don’t know if anybody else has saw that happen I found it strange , oh and my last water test had trace of nitrate so I used a silver solution but haven’t tested again
It doesn't matter whether anything in your tank is full grown yet. They will be full grown relatively soon. It's best stock fish that you can already house at their adult size, unless you know for sure that it's a grow out tank and they will be upgraded to the proper tank size before they need it and begin to get stunted.

Are you going to be able to have a tank large enough to stock all of these fish at their fully mature size?
 
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Guyb93

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It doesn't matter whether anything in your tank is full grown yet. They will be full grown relatively soon. It's best stock fish that you can already house at their adult size, unless you know for sure that it's a grow out tank and they will be upgraded to the proper tank size before they need it and begin to get stunted.

Are you going to be able to have a tank large enough to stock all of these fish at their fully mature size?
I don’t plan on keeping the barbs angels and shark in there for much longer and my tank is large enough for what I’d have left I believe my pleco is possibly already stunted as I re homed him from somebody who had it in a 10g tank it’s only grew 1-2 inch in a few years but as is I honestly don’t feel I’m overstocked
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I don’t plan on keeping the barbs angels and shark in there for much longer and my tank is large enough for what I’d have left I believe my pleco is possibly already stunted as I re homed him from somebody who had it in a 10g tank it’s only grew 1-2 inch in a few years but as is I honestly don’t feel I’m overstocked
I have no idea whether you're overstocked, cichlids aren't really my thing, but @Wills is very knowledgeable, you should really listen to his suggestions :)

I only chimed in on tank size because a lot of people keep fish that get big in tanks that are too small, and justify it by saying that the fish aren't full grown yet. And I don't mean serious hobbyists who use grow out tanks, I mean people who buy the fish they like and don't consider the whole lifespan of the fish.

If you're already pushing the limits of what fish can live together, and killing fish as a result - pushing the limits when it comes to tank size as well seems doubly cruel.
 
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Guyb93

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I have no idea whether you're overstocked, cichlids aren't really my thing, but @Wills is very knowledgeable, you should really listen to his suggestions :)

I only chimed in on tank size because a lot of people keep fish that get big in tanks that are too small, and justify it by saying that the fish aren't full grown yet. And I don't mean serious hobbyists who use grow out tanks, I mean people who buy the fish they like and don't consider the whole lifespan of the fish.

If you're already pushing the limits of what fish can live together, and killing fish as a result - pushing the limits when it comes to tank size as well seems doubly cruel.
Yeah iv saw it myself hate the way pet shops keep them I did the same a few years ago and it’s cost me a fortune keep buying new tanks , I’m fairly sure with a few minor adjustments this tank will be a permanent
 

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Are you sure the ram that is missing is a Bolivian? In the picture you supplied above, there is a German blue ram and not a Bolivian. Blue rams need their water pretty warm. Unfortunately as mentioned above, your stocking is not great. A jack could certainly eat a ram if it is big enough or bully/stress it enough to kill it.
 

Wills

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It is best to plan a tank from the start, house the fish from the start in a tank that they will be able to live their adult lives in. Done this way you can also get fish that have similar requirements, this is the big issue for me with this tank right now, you essentially have 2 groups of fish that might work ok for a couple of months but one or both groups are going to be suffering in the long term - as we have seen with the death of a ram.

When you mention pushing the limits each of the groups I would suggest are arguably pushing the limit, what you have at the moment is a bit of a ticking time bomb. I'm speaking from experience here, I've tried combos like you have here, I didnt listen to people and thought I knew what I was doing and I made the mistakes I would predict you will in a the future and the mistakes I think you are making now. I would really make a choice on this tank and if you are open to rehoming some fish like you mentioned you can 'fix' this tank.

When I say you have 2 groups of fish these are the groups

Group 1
2x Convict
2x Jack Dempsey
6x tiger barb
1 x red tail shark

Group 2
2x electric blue acara
3x angelfish
1 x leopard pleco

1x German Ram - I would just rehome this fish, as Bub pointed out it is not a Bolivian it is a German Blue. The needs of this fish are very specifc and you wont be able to meet these and those of the other fish in the same tank. You could consider setting up a 20g long or a 29-30g for it and build a specifc community around it though?

At 7.5 German I think that works out as 134ppm which would mean you have quite soft water (@essjay is that right?) If so group 2 would be the way to go and you would be able to add other fish to the tank like characins, catfish maybe some oddballs - but it would all need to be planned and prepared to work for the lifespan of the fish you choose. I might be wrong with the conversion of the original figure though so would like some clarification before I recommend fully.

Rescuing the pleco is a very noble thing to do and I would agree with you that it is likely stunted. In terms of how best to help it have a good life I would recommend a tank that has a footprint 2x as wide as its length and 6x as long. Your 5 foot might be ok for this as it is close to 6x length but what sort of width do you have?

Wills :)
 
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Guyb93

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It is best to plan a tank from the start, house the fish from the start in a tank that they will be able to live their adult lives in. Done this way you can also get fish that have similar requirements, this is the big issue for me with this tank right now, you essentially have 2 groups of fish that might work ok for a couple of months but one or both groups are going to be suffering in the long term - as we have seen with the death of a ram.

When you mention pushing the limits each of the groups I would suggest are arguably pushing the limit, what you have at the moment is a bit of a ticking time bomb. I'm speaking from experience here, I've tried combos like you have here, I didnt listen to people and thought I knew what I was doing and I made the mistakes I would predict you will in a the future and the mistakes I think you are making now. I would really make a choice on this tank and if you are open to rehoming some fish like you mentioned you can 'fix' this tank.

When I say you have 2 groups of fish these are the groups

Group 1
2x Convict
2x Jack Dempsey
6x tiger barb
1 x red tail shark

Group 2
2x electric blue acara
3x angelfish
1 x leopard pleco

1x German Ram - I would just rehome this fish, as Bub pointed out it is not a Bolivian it is a German Blue. The needs of this fish are very specifc and you wont be able to meet these and those of the other fish in the same tank. You could consider setting up a 20g long or a 29-30g for it and build a specifc community around it though?

At 7.5 German I think that works out as 134ppm which would mean you have quite soft water (@essjay is that right?) If so group 2 would be the way to go and you would be able to add other fish to the tank like characins, catfish maybe some oddballs - but it would all need to be planned and prepared to work for the lifespan of the fish you choose. I might be wrong with the conversion of the original figure though so would like some clarification before I recommend fully.

Rescuing the pleco is a very noble thing to do and I would agree with you that it is likely stunted. In terms of how best to help it have a good life I would recommend a tank that has a footprint 2x as wide as its length and 6x as long. Your 5 foot might be ok for this as it is close to 6x length but what sort of width do you have?

Wills :)
It’s 24 inch wide I think and it’s Difficult to hear you doing things wrong lol could I not keep the acara jd and convicts as these 6 have always lived together I know as you say it’s more than likely going to end bad but surely all being cichlids they could possibly establish a pecking order ? And just to ask Would you say I was over stocked at this point
 

Wills

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With young fish you are probably fine for now - do you have an actual capacity for the tank? Number wise with the right fish it would work. The issue for the hard water fish in soft water is that they won’t be suited to living in acidic conditions which will shorten their lifespan from 10ish or more years to about 2-3. They will not develop properly and could suffer growth issues. You sometimes see Central American’s in soft water with a bump at the neck where the head has not developed properly - there’s no evidence for this but I’ve seen it enough time’s to make me think there is an issue with it. If you wanted to keep the cons and jd you could add something like ocean rock to the tank to raise the ph in the same way you do for Africans (though not as much) but then you are making the conditions unsuitable for the Acaras who would not be suited to life in the higher ph range.
 
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