Will a Bolivian Ram starve itself to death before it eats food floating in front of it?

Murf.

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I have 2 Bolivian Rams that I had in my QT 1 week. In QT tank, it is glass bottom. I tried cucumber, various flakes, Omega One veggie rounds, and Aqueon sinking cichlid pellets (that contains garlic). All these items I had to clean off the bottom of the tank. They may have nibbled on it. I don't know, but I never actually saw them eat anything.
I put them in the main 29 gal tank a little over 24 hours ago. I added flakes and the sinking pellets and saw them float by them, but they didn't eat any. They even swam around once like they were excited it was feeding time - maybe because they saw the other, all smaller, fish eating.
They hang around the back / bottom of tank, under heater and around the plants and behind the decorations. I have 3 decorations that they could go hide inside of and I have never saw them go into any of them. They do swim around the whole tank and explore on occasion. So it isn't like they spend the whole time hiding and they don't go into the "caves".
I just added a couple french cut green beans to see if they will eat that tonight.

So to my question, will they actually starve themselves to death before they eat something I am offering?
Thanks
 

Byron

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I doubt they will touch vegetables. My Bolivian relished shrimp pellets the most. Omega One Shrimp Pellets are I think probably the best shrimp pellet, so try those. Mine never went near flake food, though other members report their Bolivians did. But this fish is a substrate feeder, so the food should get on the substrate immediately, and then who knows. Fish that do take something and then seem to spit it out might actually be eating tiny bits of it.

Frozen (fresh frozen, not freeze-dried) may temp them; bloodworms, shrimp, might entice them. Worms are not good as a staple, but do sometimes work at the beginning with difficult feeders.

Your rams are also in a new environment, and likely still recovering from the severe stress that netting/moving always causes. Fish can easily go a couple weeks without food, assuming their health is OK to begin with, so I wouldn't worry too much just yet. The fact they do have hiding places is very good; not being able to get out of the limelight when it feels it necessary is also stressful for fish.

BTW, the glass bare bottom in the QT may have impacted them, this is stressful too (they can see their reflection which is completely unnatural), and being substrate level fish, more-so.
 

SeaAngel

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I agree that Omega One shrimp pellets are the best. My cories do very well with them.
 

Guyb93

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Even when offering the wrong food I’d be shocked if a healthy fish would starve itself before eating , I don’t know though , it’s against nature the only animal I can think of that will stave itself to death is a human
 

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I also feed omega shrimp pellets for my ram. He likes them and eats one pellet a day. I also feed New Life Spectrum flakes. I use a very long tweezer and and release the flake right in front of him. If I didnt use the tweezers, my tiger barbs would eat all the flakes before my ram got any. He’ll eat just a few small flakes. He’s about a year old and growing so I guess he’s getting enough to eat.
Bolivian rams are not very active so they probably dont need much food.
Where your rams are young, maybe break the shrimp pellets in half.
 
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P J

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Hanging around out of sight is normal behaviour for Bolivian Ram, mine took about four weeks before coming out and about - they feed from the bottom of the tank generally they love 1mm SA cichlid pellets, try Vitalis brand or other good make - they will be eating soon.
 

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When I first got mine (a little under two years ago), he wouldn't eat at first and I got worried and posted here about it. Now he takes anything. Flake food. Cichlid pellets. Shrimp pellets. Live worms. He'll swim up to get it and snatch it out of the water column. It took him a little while to get there.
 

kribensis12

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I have one bolivian (used to have 5 - unknown die off occurred about 4 months ago) and it will eat flake food. It's not as likely to swim up to the surface for it, but it eats flake food just fine. It really enjoys when I put blood worms in the tank.

A healthy fish will not starve itself to death but I think the point is you don't want to let it go that long. Shrimp pellets are a good choice - there are a lot of options out there. I have found that Rams enjoy New Life Spectrum Cichlid Pellets (the small ones) as they sink immediately.
 
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Murf.

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Thanks everyone! It sounds like I should try the Omega One Shrimp pellets (the ones for fish food, not shrimp food).
I see one of them got brave today and is exploring a "cave".
One other question. I didn't mention this in original post. I put the rams in on Sunday afternoon, with lights off in tank and room and shades drawn so it it was dim in the room although the curtain allowed a little light in the room. I could still see the fish. Figuring it would be less stressful. So they didn't get normal lighting until the next day.
About 10 days before I added rams, I added a flame dwarf gourami (only one in the tank). So on Monday, after I added gouramis on Sunday, I look over and catch the gourami chasing a ram for a second. Like a chase from one end of tank to the other. Well I ordered the rams at LFS and value them more than the gourami. So I scooped up gourami and put it in a net breeder. Where he will remain for at least a week while I see if the rams are going to make it.
(Side note, when I had gourami in QT with 2 male guppies, after a week the 2 male guppies end up dead a day apart. However, in 29 gal main tank, he does not bother the male guppy, sparkling gouramis, dainos, ember or neon tetras, pygmy corys, oto, or galaxy rasbora - he bothers none of the other fish).
So I want to give the gourami another chance before I return him to LFS.
I have read on aggressive fish if you change up the tank decor it might do a reset on them. I can't say that he had a spot he called his own because he was always all over the tank.
All that said to this question.
Should I rearrange the tank decor now before rams setup their favorite spot
OR
wait until right before I reintroduce ol' presumed former guppy killer and one time ram chaser?
Thanks
 

Byron

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Your experience relayed in the above post is why gourami and cichlids should not be combined in the same tank. Males of both groups are territorial, to varying degrees depending upon the species and the individual fish, but if a male is so inclined, a gourami can frequently be as deadly as a cichlid.

The idea that re-arranging the aquascape will solve such problems is wishful thinking most of the time. It may work, sometimes, or seem to (but for how long?) but generally a territorial male has established the tank as "his" and moving things around may annoy him but do little else.
 
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Murf.

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I bought a jar on Omega One Shrimp pellets (now renamed as Catfish pellets). I took tweezers last night and set a couple in the decor where one of them was setting (in pic). I also dropped a couple by where the other one was. See picture - I'm guessing he didn't eat as you can see they are fuzzy looking now. So I have yet to see either one eat. :(
Should I remove the fuzzy pellets?
Thanks
 

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Byron

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I bought a jar on Omega One Shrimp pellets (now renamed as Catfish pellets). I took tweezers last night and set a couple in the decor where one of them was setting (in pic). I also dropped a couple by where the other one was. See picture - I'm guessing he didn't eat as you can see they are fuzzy looking now. So I have yet to see either one eat. :(
Should I remove the fuzzy pellets?
Thanks

Yes, remove fungused food, I have never know a fish to eat any...snails would help with this though, but I'm not recommending adding them, just noting.. Given the ram is clearly hiding, it is likely still under stress. Give it time, so long as it can get out of "sight" and recover.
 
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Murf.

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He is just hanging out there for now. They both get out and about in the bottom half of the tank. Im fact, they are both out now. Even in front of tank. Though they like the back the best.
I just don't know what they could possibly be eating. I've thrown in those tiny 2mm sinking pellets yesterday. I don't know if they could even see those tiny things on substrate. I never saw them nab them out of the water.
 
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