Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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el Mattador 05-13-2009 05:25 PM

Community cichlid?
I recently got a ram who lasted in a week in my tank, probably due to the water hardness and high pH. I really liked that fish the week I had him, but I've been doing a lot of research on lowering hardness/pH, and it seems like a lot of trouble. Does anyone know of any similair community fish who would do well in hard water?

Twistersmom 05-13-2009 07:12 PM

Did you have the blue ram?
Bolivian rams do not like hard water, but are more tolerant. What is your ph?

el Mattador 05-14-2009 09:38 AM

Yes I had a blue ram. My pH is very stable at 7.8. Can a bolivian ram handle that?

aunt kymmie 05-14-2009 09:42 AM

Bolivians should do well in a ph of 7.8. I have that same ph in my tank (stable as well) and my bolivians do just fine. I consider them a fairly hardy fish, based on my experience with them. :-)

el Mattador 05-14-2009 10:05 AM

It looks like they prefer softer water than I have though, and that peat should be added to the water. Lately I've been looking for peat to put in the filter so soften the water and bring down pH slightly, but I can't find it anywhere. Does anyone have experience with this?

Byron 05-14-2009 11:16 AM

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.

el Mattador 05-14-2009 11:46 AM

Thanks for the great info! I haven't seen any lfs around here that carry the bolivian rams (that's what I thought I was buying when I got the german ram). I found a website in California that ships these fish, and at a decent price, so I guess I'll give it a try.

nixer 05-15-2009 11:59 AM

i have a couple of keyhole ciclids in my comm. tank. from what ive seen so far they act alot like the german blue rams

Twistersmom 05-16-2009 08:45 AM

The keyhole cichlid would be another good choice. They are said to do well in a high ph.
They where not available in my area when I wanted to add some cichlids, thats what made me go with the Bolivians.

el Mattador 05-16-2009 06:17 PM

That looks like a fish I could try, although it say's they can get to 5 inches. I didn't mention, but the smaller size is part of the reason I was interested in the bolivian ram.

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