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Discussion Starter #1
The other day I bought a female GBR for my male GBR. After I acclimated and released her, the male GBR chased her right away and she became very pale. She swam straight for the bottom corner of my tank where its heavily planted and hid. I just let it play out to see what would happen.

Now, she has her color back, except when the male chases her, which causes her to go pale again. She won't leave that spot for anything, not even to eat frozen bloodworms.

Is there a way I can change her behavior?
 

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i dunno all i know is that my upside down catfish has being at the same spot for god knows how long... =_= does she move around when the light's out?
 

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The colour change is most likely stress and from what you describe it could simply be a result of the males aggression.

You could try moving around the decorations. this sometimes help as it will change the males "territory" and may make it new to him putting them both on equal ground. IMO it's usually a good idea to do this if possible when introducing new fish.

You could also try introducing a second female to spread out the males aggression, how ever there is always the possibility that the second female would also chase the first one making things worse. A lot of fish, most notably live bearers, are best if kept in groups of at leased 2female:1male. Not sure if Rams are included in this though.


A few other things that may be affecting the female are you levels (ammonia, nitrite, etc), ph, hardness, etc. Your probably fine here but I though I would mention it just in case. Even if you have a healthy tank your water conditions could be a fair bit different from the tank the female came from before. From what I have read the hardest part about keeping GBR is the initial introduction survival rate compared to your average community fish.

Personally I recommend comparing your water parameters to the water where any new fish were kept to know what you are dealing with ahead of time.

I hope some of this is of use to you. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She does not come out even when the lights are out.

Unfortunately I can't move around my plants, or rather I'm not willing to :p.

Do you think taking them both out and re-introducing them (female first) could achieve the same effect?
 

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I am not sure if it would... it would probably depend on how long the male was out.


As for the light thing ... GBR's are not nocturnal so it does not matter.
 

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aggression to newcomer

Hello,
I would suggest 3 options:
1. put both in tank with tank divider, with the female at the established turf side. male is chasing the female away because he feels she is intruding into his area.
2. put more plants and rocks for hiding
3. Keeping rams on their own is not recommended; they feel safer when combined with braver fish (so called dither fish). If your German blue rams become aggressive towards other fish in the aquarium, it is most likely caused by a shortage or suitable hiding places. It is also normal for them to become aggressive during breeding since they want to protect their offspring.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I figured out what the problem was... high nitrates!

For some reason, from Saturday night, it went from 5ppm to today's 40-80ppm. I immediately did a 60% water changed and it is now back to 5ppm. She is now happily exploring the tank with the male GBR. It took a dead cherry shrimp to figure this out :(.

Now I have to find out how nitrates rose so quickly. It could be the dosing, the feeding, or I might have a dead fish or two in there lol.

Thanks for all replies!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the tips j2daff. According to the calculator I am overstocked but it has been "overstocked" for some time without this quick nitrate spike. I think it is a combination of a dead fish, decaying plant matter, and a slight increase in dosing.

I will have to do a thorough cleaning next water change, and see if that helps.
 

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nitrate spike

A nitrate spike may contribute to her inactive life, but this should affect the whole tank.
Hiding is a sign of stress, either from nitrate spike or aggression due to territerial dominance.
You need to observe their behavior to confirm her hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I figure it was because she went from a low nitrate tank into a high nitrate tank as appose to her tank mates, who were exposed to increased nitrates over time. At any rate, immediately after the water change, she colored up real nice, is very active, and no longer hiding.
 
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