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Re: sword question, plant identification, and gold ram info

I keep a pair of Rams in my densely planted 120 gallon tank. 'gold' Rams are
much more fragile and sht than ordinary blue Rams, and in my opinion, not so
beautiful as the blue ones. By the way: if you have the choice buy the so
called German rams.

They are suitable for the community tank, though when they are breeding
(mine do so every few weeks!) they chase everybody away from the spot they
choose for brooding their eggs. Unfortuately, my eggs never hadge, despite
all the troubles the pair go through.  Maybe because my water is too hard
(7.5 Ph), or maybe because the male is infertile (problem with hormonal
bread rams).

When you decide to buy, select an existing pair. Not just a male and a
female, as the male may not like the female and try to kill her...
It is easy to find out who form a pair: they synchronize their behaviour.
The male tends to be bigger than the female. The female has a big rosy spot
on her belly (bright rosa when she is ready to be a parent). It is not so
easy of course to catch them between all the other rams at the LFS.

They keep all my plants in perfect peace. When they are in brooding mood,
they dig some holes here and there in the gravel (the wive lays her eggs
usually on a flat peace of rock beneath overhanging plants.

 My Rams get dried frozen food and flakes and cichlid pellets. They help
themselves to fry of livebearers.

They need first quality water, hate changes in water quality (so you need
lots of partial changes).

They are almost my favourite (I love my six clown botias the most, although
they sometimes perforate my echinodorus, bananaplant and to my surprise
yesterday: even my lobelia cardinalis)
> Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 15:39:51 -0400
> From: "Matt" <marius1 at gate_net>
> Subject: Sword question, plant identification, and gold ram info.
> Hi all!
> [snip]
> On to subject two.  I stopped by the LFS today, intent on beginning to
> restock my tank.  As luck would have it, they had just gotten a good
> restock, and they had a good selection of fish.  What caught my eye was
> several gold rams in one of the tanks.  Well, I had no information on them
> save for what I had heard on list and managed to remember.  That amounted
> that they are nice for planted tanks, and that they attack your hands when
> they are spawning.  :)  I decided to hold off on purchasing any until I
> better information.  I am slightly nervous about rams, because no matter
> what I hear, these fish are still cichlids, and from prior experience, I
> noticed cichlids beat up what they can't eat, and eat the rest.  Can
> confirm the ram's reportedly  docile nature?  Given that if I intended to
> eventually breed these fish, I would need a male and a female, I began to
> look for differences in the fish.  I noticed that some were very bright
> rather bigger, and some were rather dull, and smallish.  I would guess
> the large, brightly colored ones are male, correct?  Anything else
> I should know about these fish?