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Re: Rams and Lotus

Matt, rams do well in a planted tank.  Males of the
normal variety are larger, more colorful, and have
much higher dorsal spikes.  The gold variety should be
similar.  They like water on the warm side-upper
seventies to low eighties. 77 or 78 should be ok for
them and plants.  A slightly acidic ph and somewhat
soft water should also be given.  Of course, the gold
form are captive raised, so they might be more
forgiving.  As mine were prone to do, they eat eggs
frequently, so be prepared for that.   
 They shouldn't be a problem for other fish.  It might
be the other way around.  Do not keep them with
largish, boisterous species.  The rams don't compete
well for food with much faster fish like zebra danios.
 A turkey baster can be used to feed them in such
situations, but it's better to avoid that in the first

The plant you have is the red version of Nymphea
zenkeri, a lotus.  I asked about ordering one awhile
back, but it would have cost me 18 bucks.  I ended up
with a red blotched green type.  It grew 5x3 leaves
for awhile before sprouting very large 8x5 ones. 
After it grew two feet across in my thirty gallon
tank, I traded it in.  Maybe someone can explain why
you see them in  Amano's tanks and such that are
somewhat small and manageable.  Maybe mine grew so
large because I gave it its own Flourish tab.  There
are a bunch of different kinds in the Baensch atlas
volumes.  I'm not sure if some are cultivars or what. 
In any case, they need plenty of light.  Mine was a
little too sucessful with three watts per gallon of
Vitalights and a Nutrigrow.  If it starts growing
floating lily leaves, clip them off.  Mine never did,
but they do.  Good luck, Cavan.        

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