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Sexing my Electric blue rams

Torison

New Member
Messages
7
Hello!

I picked up 2 electric blue rams from my lfs about 2-3 weeks ago.

All the fish at the store were young and hard to sex. After deliberation I was happy with my choices, picking the biggest, strongest male, and the largest female. But now after a few weeks I am becoming less confident I have got a male and a female.

The larger one constantly chases the smaller as if they are one sex. I have been reading about a long finned gene that makes females have some male characteristics, and wonder if my "male" is actually a long finned female.

With them both being "balloon" EBRs it makes things even more difficult.

What do you guys think?
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Thanks for looking
 

Torison

New Member
Messages
7
Thanks for looking.
Yeah, I had no idea when I visited the LFS.
They were all very young and I just went for the best I could.

For the first few weeks I've had no issues, they have integrated nicely into the tank 55litre nano tank, heavily planted, with sandy substrate (6 neon tetras, 2 kuhli loach and a couple of oto). Swimming together with minor scuffing only, comfortable with the other community fish.

However the past 2 days thing have taken a turn. The long fin is constantly chasing the smaller, puffing up and showing his colours and fins.

The smaller is not marked or injured, she looses a bit of colour during the chase but regains it quickly. She eats well and will happily wander around the tank until she is chased away. She has lots of hiding spots but today she gets chased up into the top corner, before slowly coming down.

I have also witnessed some "kissing", nipping from both female and male, waggling of tails and circling around one another. Which I videoed, but generally its just chasing.

My gut tells me it's aggressive behaviour and they are not a bonded pair. But I'm desperately hoping that it is bonding/mating behaviour so I don't have to separate them or take one back.

I'm not aiming for them to breed but only to be calm and not stress on another out to much.

 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,184
Location
Germany
The smaller is not marked or injured, she looses a bit of colour during the chase but regains it quickly. She eats well and will happily wander around the tank until she is chased away. She has lots of hiding spots but today she gets chased up into the top corner, before slowly coming down.

I have also witnessed some "kissing", nipping from both female and male, waggling of tails and circling around one another. Which I videoed, but generally its just chasing.
Yeah, and looking at the video... you've got two males there.

Mikrogeophagus don't form pairs for long. In nature (well, these fish couldn't be further away from the wild form) it's just for one spawn or one season, then they go their separate ways. Of course in an aquarium that's not possible, so people hope they get a male and female, which usually are at least peaceful enough to not stress each other out too much. This is a typical example of how the trade and breeders have planted the need to keep pairs in peoples heads.

As the one is chased into the upper corner: Separate them. Otherwise the more dominant fish will harrass the other until it drops dead.

I would just stick to a single fish and leav it at that. So choose which one you'd like to keep and call it a day.
 

Torison

New Member
Messages
7
Appreciate that macz.

I've got another community tank that I can transfer the smaller one too, otherwise its back to the LFS. Not fair on the fish.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,477
Just remember that they like 82 degree; so if your community aquairum has fishes that are used to cooler temps that might be an issue.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,184
Location
Germany
Just remember that they like 82 degree; so if your community aquairum has fishes that are used to cooler temps that might be an issue.
True, I don't know what it's in °F but 27-30°C are the sweetspot-range for M. ramirezi. I see Paracheirodon innesi, those are doing best at about 24°C.
 

GPistos

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
24
Location
Germany
These are easiest to breed, I do think you have one female based on her head shape and fin curves, so just to confirm it.
keep them one week high protein diet and constant 28°C to 29°C.
after that week, for water change, keep your RO water outside cold weather chill it as much you can,
then for the show, at night just feed them live blackworm and do 50% water change with cold RO W.

that's it.
I bet you, they will lay eggs almost within an hour.

I did that with every cory and E/GBRs, works every damm time.
if you don't have big grow out tank please don't do anything from above, you will lose every one of fry.
those EBR especially balloon types, are so fragile to bad water quality. you miss one day water change you will have bunch of them dead.
 

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