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Hey guys I’m really considering dipping my toes and getting a pair of Bolivian rams, I am not really familiar with them so want to get all the knowledge I can get. First what tank size do they need for just a pair and that is it would a 20 gallon work. Also is there any quirks about them I should know before I get them soon.

 

thank you,

stephen

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@Stephen ZawackiI have a few Bolivian Ram's and they are absolutely wonderful fish. I think a 20 gallon would be a little on the small side but you could make it work. Something to know is that it is almost impossible to tell the sexes apart. Other than that they are peaceful community fish that have a lot of wonderful personality and behaviors. 

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On 10/20/2021 at 2:48 PM, Stephen Zawacki said:

Hey guys I’m really considering dipping my toes and getting a pair of Bolivian rams, I am not really familiar with them so want to get all the knowledge I can get. First what tank size do they need for just a pair and that is it would a 20 gallon work. Also is there any quirks about them I should know before I get them soon.

 

thank you,

stephen

I have used down to an 18x12x9 for a pair. Bigger is better and I would do some sight breaks with plants coconut huts etc. I kept my group of 6 in a 25 ish until the pair formed and spawned on the back side of a coconut hut. The harder part was getting a pair; it would be tough to get a bonded pair from 2 fish. The linked thread has how the male and female have different shaped tubes when conditioned. In my group the females is square while the male is more pointed back :

https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/topic/13370-best-ways-to-breed-bolivian-rams/

Edited by mountaintoppufferkeeper
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I’d do a 20 gal long at a minimum. It should have a sand substrate they are essentially small eartheaters (think geophagus). Usually you’ll need 5 juveniles and then let them choose their partners. Lots of wood, plant cover including floaters, some rocks as they usually clean a rock to spawn. A little flow is good a lot would stress them out. 
Super enjoyable fish, some of the first and favorite cichlids I kept as a more serious hobbyist in my 30s. 

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Hey guys I decided by tank size that the Bolivian rams I could not do.  But I have gotten a pair of German blue rams instead I want to do a species only tank. I have a 16 gallon uns all in one tank currently empty I was told by my local fish store that is a great size, but want to ask your opinion. I also have the 14 gallon fluval flora kit would that work also.  Also what is the min tank size to keep them the best possible for life, because I’ve heard that is 10 gallons but I’m not sure 

thx Stephen 

Edited by Stephen Zawacki
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You can breed Mikrogeophagus ramirezi successfully in a 10 gallon aquarium. However, to grant them a full and satisfying life, I would recommend a 20 gallon long. I suppose a species-only 16 gallon tank could work. I have found that mine appreciate regular water changes, quality foods,  planted tank, and warm temperatures - above 80-degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the more exciting projects we did was breed a bunch, and populate a 55 gallon Ram Colony. My son and I made this video a few years ago...

One of the most satisfying projects with Rams we did was cross Electric Blue Rams with Golden Rams, and work through a couple generations until we got some spectacular Orange / Blue color forms. Here was the first installment in that video series...

By the end, we had a "Gold Rush" growing out in a 20 gallon tall...

To appreciate these in a larger community context, you can check out this video where a few of the Gold Rams were added to a larger Discus + Threadfin Acara Tank...

 

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@StockEwe49For Bolivian Rams - You’d miss their natural behavior of sifting sand. They are small earth eaters aka sand sifters - literally their scientific name is Mikrogeophagus (altispinosus).

@Stephen ZawackiA proven breeding pair of GBRs could do a 10 g. I’ve seen many breeders using 10s but as @Colustated to minimize aggression a 20 g would be better - 20 high or long. The majority of their time is spent in the mid to lower portions of the tank. 

I think the UNS 16 g or Flora 14 g both at around 15”x15”x15” will be a tough footprint for cichlids. Not a lot of room for them to hide from each other if there’s aggression. If you buy a proven breeding pair you may be able to make it work. An unproven pair you’ll need to have a spare tank ready if they don’t like each other. 

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While german blue rams share the name 'ram' with bolivian ram; they are a far more fragile species. They should be kept in very soft warm (82ish) water. They require the water be kept clean and are very sensitive to sudden temperature change so the new water needs to be warmed to tank temp before adding. They are not a great fish for beginners. Bolivian rams on the other hand can take a bit of abuse.

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Thank you guys for all the incite, now I do have one question would the waterbox 20 gallon cube work, because it has deep swimming room along with sides. Or there is a Ada 20 long tank that I have been looking at.  I also do have a proven pair I paid a little extra money for them 

Edited by Stephen Zawacki
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