05-14-2009, 11:16 AM
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el Mattador, I think you would probably have success with the Bolivian Ram. I have maintained individuals twice, presently I have one in my 90g; they are an excellent dwarf cichlid to keep individually as they are found to be living in solitude in their natural environments, only forming pairs when spawning. They pay no attention to other fish, but are reported to be territorial with their own species.
Horst Linke reported collecting this fish in the tributaries of the Rio Mamore and Rio Guapore in SA where the water tested pH 7.6 with 4 degrees of total hardness. Linke had several successful spawnings in an aquarium with pH 7.5 and a total hardness of 14 degrees (dH) and a carbonate hardness (kH) of 13 degrees. Unless your water is significantly harder than this, you should consider this lovely fish.
The fish was originally described as Crenicara altispinosa by Hasemann in 1911, and changed to Microgeophagus altispinosa by Frey in 1957. In 1981, the Swedish ichthyologist Kullander [who has done very extensive work with the dwarf cichlids] changed the genus to Papiliochromis. More recently, several scientists have reconsidered this and at present most agree with Kullander's subsequent contention that the valid name should be Mikrogeophagus altisponsa [with the "k" not "c"]. [The "cousin," the original Ram now known as the German Ram or Blue Ram, is also is now back in the Mikrogeophagus genus.] So, you might find information on this lovely fish under several names.