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spawning blue rams

I'm looking for advice on spawning blue rams. I have a very fine and
healthy looking pair, still quite young but hopefully big enough now to
breed. They've been in a community tank and have now been installed in a 30
inch heavily planted tank with plenty of upright stone and eight pencilfish
as dithers. Parameters are RO water cut with a dash of tap, pH 7, KH 1, GH
1, zero nasties, 26 degrees C. They are being fed mosquito larva and
daphnia from my fish-free pond. 

The male has spectacular colour and the female has developed a pink belly.
So all should be about right. The male is looking interested, doing a bit
of waggling and hanging around - but nothing yet as fancy as the courtship
displays I have seen in my macmasteri and bolivian rams when they are in
the mood. (Following on from some earlier posts, my female bolivian had the
trick of grabbing the male by the pectoral fin and dragging him towards the
breeding spot!)

My main question is should I adjust the temperature and pH - and does peat
help? Some sources I have seen have suggested a low pH while others say 7
should be OK. Likewise temperature recommendations vary. I'm also a little
unsure about the correct size for breeding. Size has seemed a little
immaterial for my other dwarfs. Do blue rams get as big as bolivians?

Then if they do spawn, do most people leave the parents together as a pair
or routinely yank the male? And do you take out the male immediately or
wait until the fry hatch? 

from: John McCrone -- science writer
  mailto:  j.mccrone@btinternet.com
  web site: http://www.btinternet.com/~neuronaut/

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