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  L# Help - want to set up a Ram tank
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SubscribeHelp - want to set up a Ram tank
fishychik
Small Fry
Posts: 2
Kudos: 3
Votes: 0
Registered: 04-Mar-2011
female usa
Hi! I'm new to the boards (although not new to keeping fish) and am hoping someone can help me out. I'm wanting to start a species tank of Rams... but I want to make sure I'm completely prepared to do so before I get them.

I want to try my hand at doing a softer water tank as I have heard the goldens and GBRs like. Eventually I want to start a discus tank but I want to try rams first... and learn how to handle the water sensitivity issues.

My water here is very hard and has a high pH (8.4). My mbunas do great in it but I know it is not suitable for the more sensitive rams (and later discus in a different tank).

So - here's the question(s):
How should I lower the pH of my water and soften it (easiest way possible - I've heard of RO water, rain water, water changes, filtering pillows, filtering with peat, using driftwood, etc.) But what works best/easiest for you and how exactly do I do it?

Next - I have a 37 gallon tank, what would be adequate stocking? They do best in pairs, right? I don't want to overstock as I hear they are very sensitive to nitrates.

How often should I change the water?

What temperature worked best for the more sensitive rams (GBRs and Goldens)?

Thanks In Advance for any help. There aren't any LFS in my area that stock these so I'm not sure anyone there would be knowledgeable as how best to keep them.

(P.S. - I do plan on finding out the breeder's water conditions before I buy them and trying to match it best I can to prevent shock... Just need to figure out how to do it, hence all the questions). Thanks again!
Post InfoPosted 05-Mar-2011 01:36Profile PM Edit Report 
FRANK
 
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Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
Hi,
Welcome aboard!
Gosh, I envy you your hard water! Ah well...

You have your choice of things ranging from chemicals
such as "pH Down" to distilled water, to RO water. Rain
water can be used, but with that the problem is the air
the rain falls through on its way to the ground or roof
(where ever you are collecting it from). It can become
contaminated falling through clouds of industrial waste
(smoke, etc.). The run off from the roof can be
contaminated by dust, dirt, bird droppings, any number of
things that settle on the roof. You really are throwing the
dice with the rain water idea. Filtering with peat will
shift the water downward, but how much depends upon how
much peat you have. You would need another tank filled with
peat to run off into your main tank to really make a
difference. Peat "wears out" and you would need to
replace it constantly. Driftwood releases tannic acid into
the water, but over time the amount of acid released
decreases. It would take a whole lot of wood or wood shavings
to make a dent in that pH & hardness of your water.
Chemicals are expensive and you need to keep buying them.

Personally, I'd go with RO water. However, that system
is initially expensive, and wasteful. It takes gallons of
water to make a gallon of RO water. If you are paying the
city for your water that might not be a good idea.
Also, the membrane in the filter needs to be replaced at
regular intervals, depending upon use, and the condition
of the water you are filtering.

If you are not new to fish keeping then you know that you
should not over stock your tank and do regular, weekly,
water changes to keep the nutrient buildup and Nitrate levels
down.

Since you are on the internet and found us, you know that
a simple search on GBR's and Golden Rams will give you
a wealth of information on their husbandry including
water temps, etc.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 05-Mar-2011 06:20Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
fishychik
Small Fry
Posts: 2
Kudos: 3
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Registered: 04-Mar-2011
female usa
Thank you for the input. Yes I definetely thought (IMO) that the rain water thing was a bit risky with all the potential pollutants. But I guess it has worked for some. LoL

And indeed, I do know not to overstock the tank for water quality reasons... but I also know that the "one inch of fish" does not always apply, especially to fish like cichlids. So in the 37 gallon tank I wasn't sure just how much extra room I should leave them for territory and such.

And yes, I've been doing lots of reading on their care (higher temps, softer water, fairly easy going personalities, sensitivity to water quality issues, etc). But the only reason I asked on here is because there are sooooo many differing opinions I was hoping to find someone on here who has kept them successfully before and what worked best for them (hoping I can find some trend of accuracy in the wealth of information out there).

Thank you very much for your help. I think I am going to look into an RO unit for home. We are on well water so we don't have to pay anyone for our water here!
Post InfoPosted 05-Mar-2011 21:39Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited 06-Mar-2011 20:59
Hi,
Yes, the 1 inch/gallon rule over the years has gone by
the wayside as more and more fish have become available
and science & technology has brought improvements to
fishkeeping.

Here is a site you might want to read through as you
determine how many and what fish to stock in any given
tank...

http://www.firsttankguide.net/capacity.php

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 06-Mar-2011 20:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Piranha Bait
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Registered: 16-Nov-2003
male canada ca-ontario
Late post sorry. I had well water where I lived last. I had lots of issues with it. It wasn't just the ph. The gh and kh were very high too it was like liquid rock. I don't miss it as my fave fish are south american.

Rams are very sensitive to water conditions RO's your best bet expecially if you want discus later.



The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 01-Sep-2011 13:06Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
clownloachfan
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male usa us-pennsylvania
i would also agree with going with the R/O. Definitely stay away from the chemicals such as ph down, they are only temporary and water parameters need to be monitored more than daily for them to work properly.
About stocking the tank, the 37 is still pretty small. The Rams may become a little aggressive, especially if they decide to pair off. They will need their own caves to claim.
Post InfoPosted 13-Sep-2011 22:10Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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