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Hello all! Newby needs help!

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Hello everyone

I'm a newby checking in for the first time and am really in need of some good advice.

I have a 30 gallon tank that until recently was home to a dozen neons, 2 zebra otos and 6 Sterbais. I've been hankering after some Agassizis for quite a while and my friend, who is an experienced fish keeper, suggested that I keep a pair of each in my 30 gallon tank. So, I purchased two fire reds, supposedly a pair, but which actually turned out to be two females, and added a male a few days later. The Agasizzis chased my corys for a while but eventually decided that they were nothing to worry about and now leave them alone. My friend then suggested that I could add a pair of golden rams to the tank, which I have now done. However, the rams are often chased by the Aggies and I'm worried that I've done the wrong thing by adding them to the tank. I'd be very grateful for any views on this arrangement that you might have. I really don't want any of the fish to suffer. I have a 47 gallon tank that I could move the Aggies or rams into, but this already has two angels and some rosy barbs in and I'm not sure this would be a happy home to move them into?

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Abbi
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
First, welcome to the forum. You'll find a lot of good information here.

Now for your 30 gallon tank. Is it a 30 long (36X12X16 in.), a 29 high (30X12X18 in.), or a 30 show (24X12X20 in.)? It is important because gallons of water isn't as important to bottom-dwelling cichlids as is the bottom area. Another question: do you want to breed and get fry from your A. agassizii, or is this a community tank? This is important because it affects what fish should be in the aquarium. If you'll answer these question, it will be easier to answer your questions.
 

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Hi Mike

Thanks very much for replying to my plea for help! The tank size is 32 x 14 x 18. I'm not keen to breed my aggies, but if they do I'll try my best to keep them happy!

Since my first post, I've had no choice but to move the rams into my larger tank. Unfortunately, because the aggies were becoming increasingly aggressive, the rams were becoming stressed to the point that they lost virtually all of their colour. I'm very worried about the rams being rehomed in my larger tank because the water is harder in this tank and I believe rams are unlikely to do well in hard water? However, they are looking much much happier, have got back all of their colour and are eating well. They're sharing their new abode with 2 small angels, 6 congo tetras, 4 rosy barbs and 4 danios. The only other addition I plan to make to the tank is a Siamese algae eater.

Is it possible that my rams will survive comfortably in hard water?

I really do want to try and save these little chaps. By the way, the aggies seem much more settled since the rams have left. One female has accepted the male, but the other one is still thinking him over!

Both tanks are well planted with lots of hidey holes and caves.

Again, thank you very much indeed for any advice that you may be able to offer.

Best regards

Abbi
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
OK, good to know that you have a spaceous and well-planted tank. As a community tank it should be OK. I doubt that many fry will survive if the aggies breed. Neons are pretty good fry predators, when the fry are small. One member here also found Cory. sterbai to be the same. I think a female with fry will not stand much of a chance of saving many in such a community.

As you found, A. agassizii is a much more agressive species than M. ramirezi. Your Rams should have no problem living in water conditions that are acceptable to Congo Tetras and angelfish. Water conditions only need to be soft for breeding. Good luck and enjoy your fish.
 

utoxin

New Member
5 Year Member
I've kept blue rams in very hard water, and they did just fine. Never showed any interest in breeding, but they were very healthy and colorful.
 

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Aggies and rams

I called up the shop where I bought the rams and found out that they were bred in fairly hard water, so the panic is over; well, until the next one anyway!

Thank you both very much for your assurance and good advice - much appreciated!

Best regards

Abbi
 

Hudson Ensz

Member
5 Year Member
I was wondering what sp. of oto it is. Otocinclus cocama? those are really rare, if it is one then could you post pics?
I am glad it worked out well in the end, good job.
 

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Otocinclus Cocama

Hi Hudson

Yes, our otos are Cocamas... but unbelievably one of them passed on today. I'm so upset. We know that otos can be very unpredictable but ours seemed to be thriving. We've had them since January and thought that the danger period was over. Until recently, they've had little fat tummies and had been happily yum yum yumming the algae on the walls and plants of their tank. As far as we can tell nothing has changed in the tank apart from the fact that hair algae has started to get a little hard to control. Hubby (experienced fish keeper, but a little rusty from not having kept tropicals for the last 20 years or so) is going to get a Laborett in the morning and try and work out what's gone wrong. We've popped the surviving oto in another tank for now. I've tried to attach some pictures for you, but I can't quite make the jpegs small enough. I really hope we manage to save him - it's really upsetting.

Best regards

Abbi
 

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Otos

Sorry Hudson, I forgot to say that you're more than welcome to see the pics if you have an email address I can forward them to?

Best regards

Abbi
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Otocinclus

Hi all,
Abbi, are you feeding vegetable to your Otos? if you aren't they will starve to death even in quite a large tank. They eat quite a restricted range of algae, mainly diatoms, and lots of the algae you can see won't be of any use to them.

I feed mine of cucumber, courgette (zucchini), melon rind and green beans (french beans). I also push some spirulina tablets into the cucumber. I attach it with an elastic band to a piece of bamboo couple of inches from the bottom, as this keeps the MTS of it. You need to leave the vegetable in for a couple of days, when they start to go a bit slimy is when the Oto's like them. I replace the vegetables every 2 days.

cheers Darrel
 

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Otos

Hi Darrel

Thanks very much for your advice. I've been having a good snoop around the tank and although it has lots of algae none of it seems to be the brown diatom. We honestly thought that they ate some of the green stuff too - is it really just the brown algae that they eat?

We do give the otos courgette from time to time (every week or so), but I'm going to try the other little fella on the vegetables you've suggested. The other little fella (the one that passed away) was always enthusiastic about spirulina tablets, but he had more competition for it recently because we increased the size of our cory shoal from 3 to 6.

Fingers crossed that our remaining oto likes the new veggies. How long would you leave the veggies in for? Does it spoil the water if you leave them in for longer than, say, 2 or 3 days?

Again, thank you very much indeed for your help and advice.

Abbi
 

indisguise

New Member
5 Year Member
Otos

Oops, sorry Darrel, I just realised that you've already said that the veggies need to be replaced every two days.

Thanks!

Abbi
 

Apistomaster

Member
5 Year Member
Otocinclus cocama seem to be much harder to keep than common Otocinclus. I have common Otocinclus live almost 5 years in my tanks. i bought 6 O. cocama and lost them all in 2 weeks.
Now I have a really strange one, Parotocinclus cf. eplleyii.
That apparently only grow to just under one inch and look very different from the others. They also have a reputation for being difficult but knock on wood, I have had 6 for a couple months and aside from algae, they are eating earth worm and Spirulina sticks. I find these foods to be very useful in keeping and breeding L134, L260, L333 and Sturisoma aureum.
 
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