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Bolivian Ram
Alternative Name(s):
Scientific Name(s): Mikrogeophagus altispinosus
Category: Cichlid
Maximum Size: 9cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 75 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 24" x 12" x 15"
Water Temperature Range: 25-26°C
Water pH Range: 6.0-7.5
Water Hardness Range: 3-12 dGH

General Information: Small, relatively peaceful cichlid from Brazil, and Bolivia in the upper Madeira. Body yellow, faint iridescence, black stripe vertically through the eye, red edges to dorsal, caudal, pectoral and ventral fins. Usually peaceful enough that several specimens can be housed in larger aquaria. Much less fragile than Blue Rams, but still requires good water quality with no ammonia or nitrite, although nitrate above 20 ppm will be tolerated for short periods.
Tank Requirements: Sandy substrate as they enjoy digging. Dim lighting, plants and adequate cover help them to overcome their shy nature.
Diet Requirements: Omnivore with preferences for frozen and live foods such as bloodworm, glassworm, blackworm and brineshrimp. Provide sinking foods like Prima and cichlid pellets and some vegetable matter or spirulina. Will take flake grudgingly.
Compatibility: Reasonable. Territorial when breeding, but usually calm, even shy. Is safe with most fish larger than Endler Guppies as long as there is territorial room. Intimidated by larger cichlids.
Recommendations: Compatible pairs, heavily planted aquaria, even blackwater conditions. Don't mix with speedy, large and boisterous fish. Low flow/high bacterial filtration levels are perfect. Carbon will help. Larger groups can be kept in suitably sized tanks. Male/male aggression will fade when one establishes dominance.
Common Problems: Gastrointestinal parasites and protozoa on import. Weakened by high pH, lack of attention to diet, low end temps cause loss of immunity. Acclimitisation and suboordinate stress.
Similar Species: German Blue Ram (M. ramerezi) prettier but fragile, Bolivian is a better choice for beginners. Many similar Apistogramma, nearly all harder to keep alive and more territorial.
Sexing: Male slightly larger with longer trailing tips to caudal and dorsal fins. Sexing can be difficult in immature fish or in fish housed with fin-nippers.
Breeding: Pair bonding, monogamous. Keep pairs together for life. Egg layer, rocks, large leaves, use fine gravel, fry raised in pits. Young eat artemia nauplii.
Author(s): Fishy-Fishy, Fishlady | Photo: | Views: 45114
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