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FAQs on Dwarf Ram Cichlid Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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Blue ram feeding #2     7/26/12
Hey guys! Another easy one here. I checked your site and there are only 2 postings for this so I thought I would inquire. I have 2 healthy German blue rams. Currently feeding them flake 4 times weekly and frozen Mysis shrimp twice weekly. Obviously they seem to prefer the shrimp.
But I heard this can cause disease if fed as a staple by an LFS.
<Sort of. Any food fed continually may cause problems, if only because no one food has all the vitamins needed. I doubt Mysis are disease-causing, because [a] they're frozen and [b] they're marine animals, but like other crustaceans, they may contain Thiaminase, and that means over time you risk a vitamin B1 deficiency. So, use as a treat, but offer up a wider variety of things, preferably not crustaceans (unless stated as vitamin
LFS also has frozen Mysis shrimp gut loaded with Spirulina. Would this be preferable for the rams over the regular Mysis shrimp?
<For sure.>
I've also been looking into pellets. Any thoughts on staples and treats for GBR's?
<There are several excellent brands, like Hikari and New Spectrum, that seem to deliver better than average results. Hikari Cichlid Gold is a tried-and-trusted cichlid food, and one I use routinely. But realistically, any flake if used alongside a variety of different frozen foods will ensure good health, so go by budget and availability as much as anything else.>
Many thanks again guys and hope you are all well!
<Cheers, Neale.>

A fish no one knows about  7/18/08 Hello. I'm Samie. I'm 16. I can take care a lot of different fish, but I seem to have an eye for trouble makers. <Oh?> I have a 10 gallon tank. It has been set up since January. My pH is 7. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all at 0. I have drift wood and 1 small plant. <All sounds fine, but do bear in mind that 10 gallons is really too small for the fish you have chosen, and long term are likely to have problems. Because 10 and 20 gallon tanks have almost the same footprint and cost almost the same amount of money, I always recommend people go with 20 gallons when starting out.> The fish I have are tetras (2 white skirts, 1 rosy, and 3 x-rays) Ghost Shrimp, and Balloon Body Gold Ram. <Ah, now these fish aren't compatible. White Skirt tetras are albino Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, a notorious fin-nipper and going to get quite large, about 5 cm long. Rosy Barbs (what I assume the "rosy" is) are Puntius conchonius, a subtropical species able to get to 14 cm and so obviously way too big for your tank. The long-fin version will also be vulnerable to fin nippers. X-Ray Tetras are Pristella maxillaris, a superb species, but in my opinion slightly too big for a 10 gallon tank. All these fish are schooling species, and MUST be kept in groups of 6 or more if they are to be happy. Keeping them in the numbers you have may be convenient to you, but it is intensely stressful for the fish, and long term they may exhibit aberrant social behaviours, such as shyness, fin-nipping, or chasing.> My problem is, no matter how many people I ask, no one seems to know how to help me. <We'll do our best...> My Balloon Body Gold Ram is not eating. <Likely too cold, wrong water chemistry. Mikrogeophagus ramirezi can ONLY be maintained in very warm (28-30 degrees C), very soft (less than 10 degrees dH), very acidic (pH 5-6) water conditions. None of your other fish will tolerate this, and some, like the Rosy Barb and the Shrimp will be quickly killed by such conditions. Mikrogeophagus ramirezi is simply NOT a community fish, and the majority of specimens die within months when put into community systems. Specifically, when kept too cold and too hard water their immune system is suppressed, and they become prone to diseases such as Hexamita and Hole-in-the-Head.> ?? I have tries frozen foods. Micro Pellets. Betta pellets, Betta flakes, tropical flakes, and he/she won't eat. <Likely sick, dying.> He/she has a red spot on he back. So I started treating him with MelaFix. Since it's been only 1 day. <Could be Finrot, another opportunistic infection that affects fish when they are stressed by a poor environment. So this is consistent with my analysis.> There is no change yet. <There won't be. Firstly Melafix may be cheap but it isn't effective so serves no useful purpose except perhaps as a preventative. Once fish get sick, you need more useful medications like eSHa 2000 (in Europe) or Maracyn (in the US).> If know anything about this fish. <Much information in cichlid books; look up Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. Widely kept, bred and so the basics for its care are very well known. It's a shame retailers don't tell people what they need PRIOR to purchase. Underlines our mantra here that you should always RESEARCH a species BEFORE buying it.> Why he/she won't eat. <Wrong environment. Doomed.> or even if it guy or a girl. <Difficult to sex, but males tend to have longer dorsal fin rays.> Please help me out. <Have certainly tried.> <Cheers, Neale.>

FW Ram and Plant Questions  - 5/2/2006 1. My rams have been doing very well lately but I just have 1 concern. On the bottom of their bodies, they are fine but about half way to their tail and their body's curve inward. Is their stomach not full? Are they hungry or starving? They always eat but my other fish are really quick and I don't want to put more food in because if my other fish are full... the rest will go to waste and pollute my tank. What should I do? < Over feed them some live brine shrimp or Tubifex worms and see if they fill out. You may need to change the food to sinking pellets to make sure they get enough to eat.> 2. I have one Brazilian Sword and it has 4 open leaves and one that is in the process of opening. Will it grow more stalks with more leaves or is this how little it will be forever? < The Brazilian sword plant is actually not a fully aquatic plant. The leaves should be out of the water. You plant will slowly waste away after awhile. Try switching to a fully aquatic plant like an Amazon sword.> 3. If there is a slight tear and around that tear, brown spots on one of my swords' leaves, should I cut the entire leaf off because then my plant will look really skimpy? Also, I if I cut anything off, I should cut it as close as possible to the roots as with any plant right? Thanks < The Brazilian sword is already rotting away. Swap it out for an Amazon sword.-Chuck> Revisiting the Ram - 07/12/2005 Hello! <Hi, again!  Sabrina here....> I have a 10 gallon tank with 5 guppies, 1 Cory and one ram. I have had this ram for only one day, and it's not eating. <One day....  If by this you mean you got it earlier today, I would not be concerned about it not eating.  If you got it yesterday, it might be a different story.  Be sure to offer a variety of tasty foods, and keep in mind if the ram is large enough, or the guppies small enough, if you don't get food in him soon, he may be looking at those guppies and licking his lips pretty soon.  Rams are timid, but cichlids nonetheless.> I think it is still a little bit in shock, but I just want to be sure. Also, I want the Ram to have the best colors and I would like to know what would be the best food to give it... I have flakes  and dried bloodworms, but what else? <I would try high-quality frozen foods, or failing all else, I would try live foods....  never tubificid worms (Tubifex, blackworms), but live bloodworms, mosquito larvae, or brine shrimp are an option, if he refuses to eat over the next few days.  Once you get *something* in him, it'll be easier to get him to eat other foods.  Also, as timid and shy as rams are, be certain that there is plenty of cover and lots of good hiding spots for him, so he'll feel safer in coming out to eat.  If he's scared, he may just refuse to eat and may even starve.> Thanks a ton!  Christine <You bet.  Good luck with your fishes,  -Sabrina>

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