freshwater community4


Bolivian Ram

bolivian ram

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Scientific Name:   Mikrogeophagus altispinosus     
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   72-80°F      
pH:   6.0-8.0/3-12°dGH     
Size:   3.5"      
Diet Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Can be kept with other peaceful, community species.

Bolivian Ram

Known by several nicknames including Bolivian Butterfly and Ruby Crown Cichlid, the Bolivian Ram is endemic to the Amazon river basin. These fish can be found in several river systems throughout Bolivia and Brazil where they tend to inhabit soft, acidic waters. Bolivian Rams tend to exhibit vibrant yellow coloration on the front half of their bodies which fades to light gray at the rear. Many specimens exhibit a vertical black band through the eye as well as several transverse stripes running along the body. The dorsal and caudal fins are typically partially black in color and edged in red while the anal and pelvic fins are primarily red, accented with bright blue dots.

Tank Set-up

Fairly common in the aquarium trade, Bolivian rams are fairly hardy and adaptable in the home aquarium. These fish prefer fine sand or gravel substrate and, though they can be a shy species, will thrive if given plenty of cover in the form of live plants and driftwood branches. A dark substrate will help to accent the colors of this fish. This species prefers soft, acidic water and, due to its diminutive size can be kept in smaller aquariums than many Cichlid species. Bolivian Rams are fairly peaceful in nature and can be kept with other peaceful community species. If more than one male is kept in the same tank their may be fights for dominance, but once the dominant male has been established these fights should end.


As far as feeding is concerned, Bolivian Rams will typically eat anything they are offered - they readily accept live and frozen foods but should also be given a staple diet of high quality Cichlid pellets and vegetable matter in the form of a Spirulina-based flake or pellet.


To breed Bolivian Rams it is best to keep one male with several females until the male decides which female he wants to court. Courtship may last several days then the pair will select and begin to clean a spawning site. Once spawning has occurred the female will tend the eggs while the male guards the surrounding area.

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