Bolivian or Blue Ram? Please Help...
I recently went to my lfs to buy a pair of blue rams. I know that they do best in a bonded pair but the rams in the store were so young it was hard to tell their sex apart. The guy from the store suspected from the start that somehow a Bolivian Ram from the tank next to it somehow got into the Blue Ram tank and we tried to avoid it, but after an hour of staring at the tank and trying to catch one that might be a male, we forgot about the might-be-Bolivian, and I think that's what we took home thinking it was a male.
I'll post pictures in next post, but could someone tell me if it is a Bolivian or if it really is a Blue, whether its a male or female? I feel like I might have to take him/her back. If I do, I'm gonna have to try another store (they were really helpful, but it almost looked like all their Blue Rams were female).
This is the best picture I can get and it doesnt do him justice. Normally it looks like he has one large spot thats broken in half, but here it looks like he only has one large spot and other smaller bars.
Ok so I found at another lfs what looked like a bonded pair and took them home with the intention of taking the other pair back. When I got them in though they started acting funny. The one that I think might actually be a Bolivian Ram started quarreling with the new female, slapping her with his tail when they were side by side or ramming her. The new male stays near her but will chase her every little bit, which he never did at the store. The might-be-Bolivian is always near my new pair especially near the male while trying to drive away the new female. Whats going on here?! (the one I know is a female from the first pair just keeps to herself on the other side of the tank) I'd post pics but they really dont like my camera ;-)
The fish in the photo is Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, the Bolivian Ram. I can't say whether male or female, though I sort of suspect female, but this is basically a guess and from this fish's behaviour you mention I would think it more likely a male. But females can get nasty with each other too.
Bonded pair is essential for these fish. If they do not choose each other, you are almost certain to have a dead female sooner or later. And the best way to sex them is to observe the fish in the tank for quite some time and if there are bonded pairs it will become obvious. Aside from this, their behaviour toward each other is the clue to the sex; males will be constantly challenging each other for the space, and females if males are present generally keep out of all this.
You may have two males and a female, or not. I would have to observe them myself for several minutes.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I suspected that the one in the photo might be Bolivian, but wasn't sure. Everything has settled down now, with the newer pair sticking together to one corner of the tank and the other two minding their own business. I'm almost certain the new pair is one male and female. The male sometimes chases the female around a little but then they quiet down and either swim together or lazily explore their corner together. The chasing was quite heavy yesterday so I put in a little pot for her to hide in. She wont hide in it but occasionally I'll see the one of them use their tail to brush off any debris off the top of the pot (its a smooth ceramic-like pot). The female has a pink belly and the male has long fringes at the front of his dorsal fin and is larger. I'm gonna take the older pair back to the store to find better homes as they will probably just be miserable here. I'll post a pic, if I can get one, of the pair.
These are the best two pictures I could get of them.
That is Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the Blue Ram, and you have a male/female pair. No doubt about any of that.:-)
They will undoubtedly spawn, whether bonded or not. The only issue is that if they do not bond, eventually the male may get tired of her. My Bolivians went through this when I introduced a nice female. Spawned 4 times before the male killed her.
It seemed to me like they were bonded when I got them. They stayed close to each other and chased off all other females in the store. How can I really tell if they are? I read somewhere online that the chasing is normal mating or "attraction" behaviour, but the article was addressing a territorial problem between a male and a female. They seem to get along for the most part except for a few brief moments of chase every few hours.
I know I'm getting past my original question, so I dont know if I should repost this as a separate thread.
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