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Bad Luck Breeding - Rams and Cacatuoides

Malefactor2000

New Member
Messages
8
So, will be putting up an intro post here in a bit, but wanted to toss this out as it's the reason i joined and found this site...

So, i've had varied levels of non success with German Blue Rams and Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi. I use both of these names for the reason that one of my pairs is German Blue Ram bred strain, and the other, if not wild caught is pretty freaking close. The coloration size and behavior is what I am basing this off of. The regular strain is a high end stock of it and not inbred, so I know i'm good there. The wild ones may be siblings, are much brighter and more yellow as well as larger and much more aggressive and territorial. As well, they were not doing good at all when i first got them. For 5 months i had them and nothing happened. I thought they were just poor specimens because they looked so drab and almost brown. The stress bars were so predominant and very little blue at all. No red on their fins ect... It didn't matter what i did. I got an RO/DI unit and started using that and remineralizing it. Over 3 weeks i got the pH from 7.4 - 6.6 and dropped gH from 10 to 5 and kH from 10 to 4... After the final water change when everything was adjusted i did a full 1/2 tank change... They were so bright and beautiful it hurt to know this whole time it was stress. They spawned literally 3 hrs after that water change. Previous to this, i've had other pairs and got them to spawn frequently. I've had about 6-7 attempts at raising the fry with no survivors so far... Here's how this goes down.

Start with the eggs being laid on terra cotta. Move to a giant pickle jar. They hatch, they wiggle, they go free swimming... Attempt 1 and 2 - Death within a day... Appears my food is insufficient Attempt 3 - get fry food... Better success, lasted 3 days. 4 - let parents raise them with divider in the tank (didn't have a separate tank). 2 weeks later all the fry had crossed the divider and gotten eaten by the community on the other side. Attempt 5 - Let fry grow out in a net breeder inside the tank and hope that enough natural food is in there for them... Got about 2 weeks before they'd all managed to get out of that one in one way or another (water changes, bumped into it and knocked it over... I'm clumsy like that sometimes...) So finally, i got tired of half @$$'ing it and went all out... Got a 10G and for the past 6 months i've been breeding assassin snails, daphnia and scuds in it... Got a nice piece of driftwood, only a couple mm of muln / topsoil (stable at this point) a good sponge filter (raited for 55/75g... Wanted to make sure it was gonna be good enough for another 200 egg batch, but it still fits in the corner nicely and is fully submerged). Well, this last batch i put in there and again... They lasted about a week. Bottom / middle of tank is clear except for a little algae attached to the driftwood and filter. Top is covered in floating plants to suck up nitrates fast... There's a good healthy supply of daphnia and scuds. 3 Assassin snails laying eggs (i've found the fry eat the biofilm trail they leave and the snails have never bothered the fry after they're free swimming from what i've seen). This time, the fry lasted more than a week, but i have no idea why... Doing 10% water changes every other day. Using test kit to make sure all water parameters are identical. Got through a few water changes and BAM... Literally over night i went from about 150+ fry to 6... Now down to 2... Any suggestions on this?

For the A. Cac... This one makes me want to cry. I had the boy for about 8 months and he was GORGEOUS. Everyone who saw him couldn't believe it. I'm not exaggerating when i say this was a super red male buck that was 5.5 inches!!! The guy was massive. I don't know if he had a mutation for gigantism or what... Well, about 2 months ago i got 2 females for him... I know one of the females at least mated with him as both females did their little dance and ran off with him. One of them turned the whole bright yellow when i saw her and she disappeared for about a week. He stayed holed up in his cave, but i could not find her /anywhere/. Granted... This is a 55g HEAVILY planted tank... And unlike him, she was a little bitty thing only about an inch if not less. Disappoints me i couldn't get all the water parameters set well enough in the breeding tank for that match up because 2 weeks later... He's gone... Still have both of the females, but i doubt i'll ever find a male like that again to try and breed.
 

Mike Wise

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5 Year Member
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Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Sorry to read about your problems. Usually, if you can get Ram fry past the 2 week mark, they are easy to feed on BBS and finely powdered dry foods. If they start dying off at this time it usually means something isn't quite right with their water or food. Next time you might want to consider doing more frequent and larger water changes. Some breeders don't use 'raw/new' water, but water from the breeding tank.

As for your beautiful male, I know your pain, I've procrastinated on several species that got too old to breed or something. I've lost species that are now impossible or nearly impossible to get.
 

Malefactor2000

New Member
Messages
8
Well, tested the water today. Even after the complete die off and everything. Nitrates still <5ppm and 0 Ammonia or Nitrite. Did however find out that somehow my "new" water changed... gH / kH went up as well as pH??? This confuses me... I used 100% RO/DI and remineralized. Waited 1 hr after making water to let it aerate before adding minerals, waited 3 hrs after minerals to let it settle before testing levels to make sure they were right. Did the water change the following day. It was 2 days later they died, so i'm thinking the change happened on the 2nd day because it was a pretty massive change. LIke... I tested the water before doing water change at 6.6pH and 5dgH / 4dkH and it's currently at 7.8pH and 9dgH / 8dkH... Maybe the driftwood had soaked up a lot of the water from when i was using tap and released it into the tank? Those levels are pretty close to what my water is from tap (10dgH/11dkH and 7.8pH). If it were tap water, me remineralizing it would have thrown it through the roof... Like 15+ dgH and dkH and raised the pH to over 8.5, so i know my RO/DI didn't fluke. As well, just made a whole new batch of water and it's DI... 0 gH / kH and acidic pH (which it'll level out as it aerates to neutral). Driftwood and Sponge Filter are the only things i can think of that might have "held" it in... But could those 2 really hold enough to make that big of a difference?
 

Malefactor2000

New Member
Messages
8
Oh i'm aware. Heavy metals can do awful things. Poisons, aerosols and such. But that's the thing. Nothing i know of came into contact with it and it was straight RO/DI that i should have known everything that went into it... Not sure what happened there.
 

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