01-18-2012, 02:32 PM
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Agree. When I acquire this species, I stand and observe the fish in the store tank for quite some time. This species, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (whatever the colour variant) and its cousin Mikrogeophagus altispinosus (Bolivian Ram), prefer to select their own mates and usually form a bonded pair (i.e., for life). Spawning will always be more successful long-term if the male has decided on his partner. In the store tank, you will likely see males behaving naturally--flared fins, charging other males--and if the male has selected a female, she will be close by him and he will tolerate her. Protecting his small territory, even in this situation. Buy the two fish and you are probably on the road to success.
By the way, we have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar, and for many species the difference between male/female is noted, where there is one. And photos are sometimes included, if I can find one showing a pair. Such a photo of a pair is included for both these species.