Bolivian Ram
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Bolivian Ram

This is a discussion on Bolivian Ram within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Hey guys i'm new to this and I just set up my freshwater tank. I was originally going to do a brackish tank for ...

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Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
Old 12-26-2010, 09:26 PM   #1
Bolivian Ram

Hey guys i'm new to this and I just set up my freshwater tank. I was originally going to do a brackish tank for Figure 8 puffers but every pet shop I went to had them in freshwater tanks with TONS of cichlids so the Figure 8's were beaten up pretty bad. All their fins were nipped pretty bad and something was growing on them, that was the case for the one's that were swimming around, the rest of them were just laying on the bottom of the tank not moving!. The pet shop did have Bolivian Rams and they looked pretty good, so I ended up picking up a pair. I've had them in the tank since Friday. Up until today they have been sitting on the bottom of the tank hiding behind rocks. I was getting worried since they were like that all of Friday and Saturday, I was hoping it was because they were just getting used to their new location. I think that was the case, because starting this morning they have been all over the tank. In fact I was finally able to take a few pics of them today. I was hoping maybe you guys could help me with the sexing of these fish. Check out the pics. . . -Thanks


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Old 12-27-2010, 08:40 AM   #2
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Beautiful fish! I hope to get some BR myself soon. What size is the tank? How many tiger barbs do you have? Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle (aka the cycle)? How long has the tank been setup?

Sorry for all the questions. I was a newbie myself this summer. I wish I had a resource as good as this when I first started!
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #3
it looks as if you have to males... Hard to see from the pics if better ones where availble it would be nice
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
you could also check out the fis profiles or google it
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
also add some plants they like dense cover but be sure to keep some free space ... soft water is a need and a pH around 6 is important they like high water quality so keep up with the water changes
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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Nice looking rams, a little comment on the above, these fish will do ok in sightly basic water (7.6) so no need to worry there, although they might not spawn as well in water above a pH of 7. As time goes on and if they start becoming overly aggressive with each other you should look into getting something to break the line of sight up more such as live plants.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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I can't tell from the photos, as I susp0ect these are fairly young fish, and the characteristics that distinguish male/female develop later. Have a read of our profile of Bolivian Ram (click on the shaded name for the profile), this is referenced there.

One way would be observation of how they interact. Two males will soon begin "pushing" each other, establishing one dominant. A male/female pair will generally exist quietly at this age, but once they are ready to spawn it will be obvious. And two females will likely leave each other alone for the most part.

I agree, you need lots of plants.

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Old 12-28-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
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Byron's right that these two look too young to really begin sexing. As they grow look for the "fin extensions" that are especially common and prominent in the males. For not, he's also right that your best indicators are how the two interact with each other.

My pair (which I'm very sure are one of each) look different from one another now that they're at least 6 months old. The male is brighter, more aggressive, and has the fin extensions I mentioned.

Regardless of what you have, these are great little fish. Christople asked the right questions. Have you cycled this tank before you put everybody in it?
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:57 AM   #9
The tank is a 20 gallon long tank with an AquaClear 50 (foam, biomax, carbon, ammonia remover) and a 100 watt Hagen Elite heater. I treated the tank with API Stress Coat+. . .the guy at the pet shop told me all I had to do was add this to the water (according to the directions) and it would be fine. I added the stress coat then let everything run for a few days before I added the fish. The temp is 78-79 degrees and the pH is at 7.6. . . .there are two Bolivian Rams and 4 tiger barbs in the tank. Sorry for the bad pics guys, took them on an Iphone, i'll try to take some better pics. One Ram is always swimming around the other spends a lot of time under that little rock bridge but when it does come out (which has been much more often lately) it swims right next to the other one. Sometimes they lip lock but mostly it looks like they nip each others body, they never seem to nip fins. It doesn't look harmful, the fish being nipped just turns the other way way and then they start swimming together again. The are especially active when I feed them. The guy at the pet shop told me to buy some flakes and that they'll eat it, the tiger barbs AND the rams. The thing is when I drop in some flakes the tiger barbs race to the top to eat and the rams just seem to get whatever floats down to the bottom. What sort of sinking food should I get for the rams since they don't seem to like coming to the top to eat? Also just one more thing, what can I get (snail/shrimp) that will help in keeping the tank clean?

Here are some more pics guys . . .

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Last edited by Big Raj; 12-28-2010 at 02:17 AM.. Reason: added pics
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:30 AM   #10
again the stress level will go down when cover is added... The cover doesn't have to be live plants, as in my tank they aren't and the fish are fine...
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