Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Bolivian Ram
Bolivian Ram
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Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosa)

Quick Stats

Minimum Tank Size 30 gallons
Care Level Moderate
Temperament Peaceful
Water Conditions 72-79° F, KH 0-10, pH 6.5-7.5
Max. Size 3"
Color Form Tan
Diet Omnivore
Origin Bolivia, Brazil, South America
Family Cichlidae
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The Bolivian Ram, also called the Butterfly Ram and the Red Ram, is a social fish that will form pairs and often remains "faithful" to each other. Bolivian Rams are golden brown in color with reddish highlights on the dorsal and caudal fins and pearly turquoise-blue highlights on the pelvic and anal fins. A black 'spot' is in the center of the body and a black line runs from the top of the eye to the bottom of the head.

The Bolivian Ram requires a tank of 30 gallons minimum. The tank should have several dense plant groups and plenty of open swimming space. The Bolivian Ram also requires a few caves in which to hide in and stones to spawn on. Being a peaceful fish, the Bolivian Ram makes a wonderful addition to the community tank, is compatible with other peaceful fish.

The Bolivian Ram is an egg layer that prefers soft to medium hardness, neutral pH and slightly raised water temperatures (77-82°F). Peat should be added to the water. The female will lay up to 200 eggs on stones and occasionally, in depressions. Both the male and female share the rearing of the fry, and it has been reported that they will take them into their mouths to protect them like a mouth brooder. Care should be taken so that the fry are not sucked into the filter.

The Bolivian Ram is an omnivore, and will consume a wide variety of foods. Freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, flake food, and both frozen and live brine shrimp and worms will make excellent food for these fish.

Approximate Purchase Size: 1-1/4" to 2"

Customer Testimonials

Rick H San Francisco , CA
The Bolivian Ram is a good tank mate. They can even be housed with Apistogramma and Angels. However, when guarding their young, they can be agressive as most cichlids are.
Niki P Greenville , OH
I LOVE this fish! I've had mine for almost 2 years in a 30 gallon tank with assorted barbs and tetras, a pleco, bottom feeders, a dojo loach, and a 6" goldfish. It does very well and is easy to care for. It's so cute, too!
Debbie C Fremont , OH
I have had six rams in my 75g for over two years now and I can attest that they are wonderful community fish. However, I suspect the three clown loaches in the same tank are eating their eggs. The rams have spawned three times and by day two the eggs have disappeared. Needless to say the rams will soon have a tank of their own.
Heather Z Orangeburg , SC
I got 2 of these for my 75 gallon planted community tank. They are some of my favorites! Very active and hardy. They aren't as brightly colored as the german rams, but I think they are easier to care for. After about a week, my 2 are coloring up nicely.
Chris S Frederick , MD
I have three in my 90 gallon planted tank and they are doing great. They hang out near the bottom but are out in the open all the time. Get along great with the other community fish. They also breed like crazy.
Gina E West Islip , NY
I love these fish. I have two. They are with angel fish and also the German blue ram. They are so cute and very playful.
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