Bolivian rams and feeding question
I will be getting a Bolivian in about 2 weeks. I imagine it will be a young one (my LFS is ordering some for me) He will be in a community tank (the 55 gallon). I have read how you should have sinking pellets or wafers, as they eat from the bottom. I've decided to go with Hikari, but what formula should I get? There are several, and I've also read about the pellets often being too large for Bolivians' mouths. I don't want to get something he won't like or is too large for him to eat. I will also be feeding him frozen brine shrimp, frozen Mysis shrimp, frozen Ocean Caviar, freeze dried tubifex occasionally, and I'm going to try to find frozen daphnia. I also have flakes with spirulina by Omega Onel. I have the sinking Crab cuisine and Top Fin Algae thins that I give to my cories, but what do your Bolivians seem to like the best as far as cichlid pellets and/or wafers? I keep reading about micro pellets, Bio-Gold, sinking pellets, and now I just read about tropical sinking wafers.
You'll just have to try it to see what they will eat. I have to target feed my bolivian rams with a turkey baster or the tetras will eat everything before it sinks down to them.
That's one thing I'm afraid of, the other fish getting to it before the ram would. They are so pushy and piggy! No matter how much they eat, they always want more. The mollies, platies and bettas will grab anything as it falls. So I guess I'll have to do the turkey baster thing. I'm really nervous, as I've never had a cichlid before. I'd feel really bad if it didn't get enough to eat, and died. I sure hope it works out.
I had this very same issue a couple of months back, and started a thread about it..
To cut a long story short, what I do now to make sure my male bolivian gets enough to eat is I use a shot glass and scoop out a 3rd of the glass with tank water and put the sinking pellets , and a good pinch of flaked food in the glass with the water for 10 mins before feeding time, this gives it all a good soaking.
I then put flakes on the surface for my tetra, and danios and platies and while their busy with that I pour the soaking food in at another part of the tank, when its soaked it sinks pretty quick, and the little piggys are too busy with the food at the surface to worry about whats going on. When I give frozen food, like daphnia etc I get some tank water in the shot glass, and drop some sinking pellets in, and then defrost and break up the daphnia in the glass also. Once its all defrosted I just pour the mixture in the tank. (I turn the filter off during this time, so the tiny daphnia doesn't all get sucked up by the filter)
My experience with a male bolivian is he likes pretty much everything, and he will get in the mix and and get his food, they have pretty big mouths to be honest, so the small sinking pellets should be fine! I wouldn't bother with proper cichlid pellets, the type for larger fish as these might not be suitable. but any kind of wafer, micro pellet flake and frozen food will be fine. Try the soaking method though, this does help with the other fish stealing stuff, and the corys get more food too!
Hope this helps.
Thanks, Simon! Yes, I was planning on "distracting" the other fish by feeding them on the other side of the tank while targeting the Ram. So algae wafers will be fine? I am only going to get a single Ram, so, in a community tank, do you think a male or female would be the least aggressive to other fish?
I wouldn't just feed algae wafers, they are more for corys and other catfish etc. My ram does have a go when I put tablets and wafers in, but I usually feed frozen food, daphnia and bloodworms etc. and sinking pellets and flakes.
I would only get 1 male, you can do a pair in a community but its tricky with pairs, the male has to choose the female out of a group for them to be a true pair. If this doesn't happen then there could be problems. To be honest I can't see how anything could make my ram aggressive, but cichlids are strange old fish, when around other cichlids. I added a Kribensis (another type of small cichlid) and she went straight for my ram, and never left him alone. bullied him terribly. So I removed her, and she went back to the shop. Big mistake. A lone cichlid in a small tank is a must. and you can't get a much better starting point than a bolivian ram, beautiful fish, easy to keep and probably the least aggressive, as long as they are on their own, or have plenty of room.
Rhymon, you said not to feed algae wafers, but what kind of sinking pellets and flakes should I get? In other words, I guess what I'm saying is, what ingredients should be in them? Are there specific ones that you feed? I want to make sure the Ram gets the nutrients he needs. I would also be feeding frozen foods.
I just made another post about what sex to get, but here I see you said your male is not aggressive. If they can be sexed (if they're old enough) I'll try to get a male then. I definitely don't want a pair! I have a very peaceful tank, and want to keep it that way. I know cichlids are known to get aggressive when breeding, and I don't want any of that. Not really interested in breeding anyway. So I would just have a single Bolivian. I thought about an Apisto too, but looks like, in order to be fairly sure of keeping the peace, I should just get a Bolivian.
I would avoid the other cichlid like the plague, get one or the other. I have read Apistos are fussy too, where as bolivians are easy in my experience. Two dwarfs in a 55g maybe ok, but personally I wouldnt do it again after my terrible experience...
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Yes, I don't want any terrible experiences, for sure! I will just get the Bolivian then. And if they are old enough to sex, I will get a male. Thank you again!
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