09-18-2010, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TFish
Would Bolivian Rams or Apistogramma borelliis be able to happily breed in my aquarium and not be too aggressive to co-exist with the other fish?
Would I need a seperate tank to put the fry? (I know the parents will raise them, but if I have to grow them to 1 inch won't the males become aggressive with each other?)
I have had spawnings of the Bolivian Ram (twice in the past couple of months) and the common Ram previously--both fish in large community tanks. And while not Apistogramma borellii, I have bred A. bitaeniata a couple of times, in a breeding tank (a planted 15g with just the group of five apistos). In a community tank you are highly unlikely to have fry survive to maturity. The parents are very good at protecting the eggs and fry, but once the fry become free swimming and the parents are herding them around the aquarium, they are almost certain to be gobbled up by the other fish. All catfish which are nocturnal will often get the eggs during darkness. My common Ram fry were eaten within minutes by a few corys when they spotted them. And both Bolivian spawnings have been eaten, one as eggs by corys at night, the second as fry by tetra during the day. In both cases the other fish "ganged up" and the parents had no hope of fending them off.
Turning to your question on aggression. I would not have a pair of Bolivians in a 20g community tank. On their own, this is plenty of room, and you would have maturing fry if they spawned. I would not even consider one sole Bolivian in a 20g, these may be "dwarf" cichlids but at 3.5 inches (males) they are not "small" when they are in a mixed tank. I had the male on his own for 18 months, and periodically he would decide it was time to spawn and clean a pit in the gravel, even though no female was in the tank; at at these times he defended that territory quite well, and this is in a 115g tank. I added a female a couple of months back, and when they spawn the male (and female too) are pretty rough fish. This is still in the 115g; in a very confined space there would also be considerably more stress to the rams themselves--they are constantly "chasing" other fish to maintain their territory, and in the confined area of a 20g the territory is basically the tank. Both the rams and the other fish would be stressed out by this, unless the other fish were all upper-water inhabitants. Rams remain close to the substrate, so their prime targets are all fish in the lower 1/3 or 1/2 of the tank.
The A. borellii reach just over 2 inches (males), and a pair when spawning would create much the same issues as the ram even though slightly smaller in size.