Mystery Bolivian ram illness

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LinearParadox

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My rams are in a well established tank, nitrates 15, all else 0. I recently added co2, but the drop checker is reading green, so it seems fine. 2 days ago, one of my rams developed red along the base of his fins, it was especially prominent in the dorsal fin. I originally thought it may just be color change due to me starting to feed frozen food. The ram is now hiding, (he’s usually pretty bossy and bosses the other ram around) and the red has gotten deeper. There is also some red around his mouth area. The other ram has also started to develop the same red coloration around her fins. I don’t know what this could be and how to treat. They are in a tank with 7 serape tetras, a small three spot gourami I am growing out, and a bristlenose pleco. The tank has an aqua clear 50 and a tidal 55 for filtration
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JxsPxxle

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It seems like potential ammonia poisoning, but you say all levels apart from nitrate are 0, are you sure your ammonia reading is 0? It could be left over food causing an ammonia spike, you mentioned changing the food just before the problem occurred.
 
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LinearParadox

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It seems like potential ammonia poisoning, but you say all levels apart from nitrate are 0, are you sure your ammonia reading is 0? It could be left over food causing an ammonia spike, you mentioned changing the food just before the problem occurred.
Just double checked, ammonia is at 0. I’ve fed the frozen food before, I was just temporarily without a freezer for a little bit. The tetras pretty much make sure nothings left
 

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I don't have any experience with bolivian rams but I am wondering if maybe they are developing breeding colors. I would at this time just ensure that the water quality remains high. How well do they get along with the 3 spot gourami. I have had a lot of problems with aggression and 3 spot gouramis, as have a number of other people. The only thing that doesn't make sense with this is ram hiding.
 

Byron

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I've looked at those photos for a time, and I would suggest the fish (Bolivian Ram) pictured in each is female. I wouldn't insist upon it, but this would explain their behaviours. I'm primarily using finnage to suggest this.

The two smaller photos seem to be of the same fish which is different from the fish in the larger photo, is this correct? I'm only going by colour here, and if they are stressed this may not be reliable.
 
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LinearParadox

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I've looked at those photos for a time, and I would suggest the fish (Bolivian Ram) pictured in each is female. I wouldn't insist upon it, but this would explain their behaviours. I'm primarily using finnage to suggest this.

The two smaller photos seem to be of the same fish which is different from the fish in the larger photo, is this correct? I'm only going by colour here, and if they are stressed this may not be reliable.
They are all the same fish at slightly different times. The symptoms aren’t as extreme on the female yet. This is the male.
 
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LinearParadox

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I’ve had t
I don't have any experience with bolivian rams but I am wondering if maybe they are developing breeding colors. I would at this time just ensure that the water quality remains high. How well do they get along with the 3 spot gourami. I have had a lot of problems with aggression and 3 spot gouramis, as have a number of other people. The only thing that doesn't make sense with this is ram hiding.
he pair breed before, and they definitely didn’t do it like this. The three spot is a juvenile and smaller than the rams. The rams don’t bother him except sometimes if he tries to take their food the male will chase him away.
 
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LinearParadox

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My rams are in a well established tank, nitrates 15, all else 0. I recently added co2, but the drop checker is reading green, so it seems fine. 2 days ago, one of my rams developed red along the base of his fins, it was especially prominent in the dorsal fin. I originally thought it may just be color change due to me starting to feed frozen food. The ram is now hiding, (he’s usually pretty bossy and bosses the other ram around) and the red has gotten deeper. There is also some red around his mouth area. The other ram has also started to develop the same red coloration around her fins. I don’t know what this could be and how to treat. They are in a tank with 7 serape tetras, a small three spot gourami I am growing out, and a bristlenose pleco. The tank has an aqua clear 50 and a tidal 55 for filtrationView attachment 141417
  1. I think I found out what happened. My drop checker doesn’t seem to be working well. I found one of the rams gasping for breath, and when I moved him into a net next to a fan and filters, he improved. They are still pretty sick but definitely improving.
 

mark4785

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The red is a natural colour in Bolivian rams. The black horizontal mark across the centre of the body is more concerning as it suggests stress. This should clear up if you can ensure you are not adding excess co2.

I have always found drop-checkers unreliable. You are better off using one for a short period to assess when you are reaching an optimum dissolved co2 concentration based on co2 injection pressure then from then on just do not alter the pressure.
 

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turn co2 off for a week and do a big water change and gravel clean each day for a week. increase aeration
 

Byron

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They are all the same fish at slightly different times. The symptoms aren’t as extreme on the female yet. This is the male.

The fact they have spawned answers this question, thanks.
 

Slaphppy7

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What size tank is this?

Serpae tetras are not the best community fish, they are aggressive and nippy, especially when kept in low numbers like you have....besides the CO2 levels being too high, I would imagine the BRs are possibly stressed, as well.....bullying can happen at any time, even if it is not observed by the fishkeeper
 
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LinearParadox

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What size tank is this?

Serpae tetras are not the best community fish, they are aggressive and nippy, especially when kept in low numbers like you have....besides the CO2 levels being too high, I would imagine the BRs are possibly stressed, as well.....bullying can happen at any time, even if it is not observed by the fishkeeper
29 gallon, established for about a year now. The serape tetras are definitely aggressive to each other, but don’t seem to mind the Bolivians. I’ve seen the Bolivians occasionally chase them off if they don’t want them somewhere for some reason or another, but the serpaes seem to know they’re the bigger fish. I will definitely keep an eye on it though.
 

Slaphppy7

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29 gallon, established for about a year now. The serape tetras are definitely aggressive to each other, but don’t seem to mind the Bolivians. I’ve seen the Bolivians occasionally chase them off if they don’t want them somewhere for some reason or another, but the serpaes seem to know they’re the bigger fish. I will definitely keep an eye on it though.
You should increase the serpae shoal by 3 or so, to spread the aggression, though a 29G isn't ideal for them...and many times, aggression happens after lights out, when we aren't watching our tanks
 
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LinearParadox

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You should increase the serpae shoal by 3 or so, to spread the aggression, though a 29G isn't ideal for them...and many times, aggression happens after lights out, when we aren't watching our tanks
Will definitely look into doing that once my CO2 stabilizes a bit. I had 6 and one died while moving 2 months ago. He was already kind of weak and frequently had swim bladder and health issues on and off. Since I added the 2 there was some fin nipping among them for a few days, then it stopped when they got settled in. The Bolivians don’t have torn fins though, are there any other signs of aggression from the tetras I should look for?
 

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