Housing & Feeding
Rams are generally very adaptable and can be kept in nearly any size aquarium, planted or bare-bottom. Due to the large number of Rams we raise, the majority of our Rams are kept in bare-bottom tanks simply because it is easier to keep the tanks clean. How many Rams you can put in any given tank really depends on what you want to do with your Rams. Are they an addition to a community tank, or are they in a species only tank where you plan on breeding them? We have found that in a community tank set-up, a good “Rule of Thumb” is one pair per 10 gallons of water. Obviously, individual personalities may cause problems, but generally, this works pretty well.
If your Rams are being added to a planted community tank, make sure that there are plenty of hiding places; rocks, caves, plants, driftwood, etc. This helps the fish feel more comfortable. Regardless of the number of Rams you choose to add to your tank, we strongly suggest keeping them in sexed pairs. Aggression is not normally a problem, except when pairs are spawning. Pairs will usually defend an area of about 8”-10” from their chosen spawning site. Through experience, we have found that if Rams are not kept in pairs, the “odd fish out” usually gets harassed and beat up pretty badly, and sometimes killed, when the remaining pair are spawning.
Pairs that have been selected for our breeding program are housed in 5½ gallon aquariums without problems. Believe it or not, when housed in an aquarium of this size, our rams grow to incredible size!!
Rams are classified as omnivores, meaning (literally) they eat anything. Like all other animals, for the highest quality fish, they need to be fed a variety of high quality foods. We feed our fish a variety of flake foods (from Brine Shrimp Direct), New Life Spectrum (NLS) Pellets for small fish (.5mm), and a variety of frozen and live foods including, live and frozen Blackworms, frozen Bloodworms, live Baby Brine Shrimp (BBS) and our own frozen Beefheart formula.
Rams are normally very aggressive eaters. Only rarely has anyone reported problems in getting their Rams to eat. By the time our fish are ready for shipping, they are already eating a wide variety of foods, so acclimating them to your tank is not usually a problem. In fact, the majority of people who receive their fish from us report that the fish are ready to eat the minute they come out of the bags and are placed in the tanks! If you do find a “finicky” feeder, try feeding frozen Blackworms or Bloodworms. I don’t care how picky they are, most fish just can’t resist a “treat” like that.