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Bolivian Rams


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Hello everyone.

So I am in the process of setting up a 40 gallon breeder tank and would love to keep Bolivian Rams. Everything I have read and seen about them suggests they would be fun and they look amazing when kept well. So I was talking with a guy from my LFS and was kind of outlining my plan of keep a couple pairs and some dither fish with them to make them more comfortable (recently watched a video that they hide a lot and are uncomfortable if no dithers are present). Anyway, he had an interesting suggestion because I said I would like to try and breed them if possible, although I have only really done live bearers. He suggested, for a 40 gallon breeder to get between 8-10 Bolivians, plant the tank heavily, get a fine substrate and add some tetras like ember or black skirt tetras.

Does anyone have any experiences with keeping Bolivians in a group and breeding them? I ask because I, of course, like to check things with aqadvisor and it thought that more than 7 would mean the rams would be fighting over the territory AND that Bolivians were too aggressive with Embers. So, I figured I would find out what everyone thought about what he said. 


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I keep 4 in a 75g and they do seem to pick on eachother a decent bit. I probably wouldn't do 8-10 in 40 breeder personally. One to two pairs would be my choice.

Embers might be slightly too small to live with bolivian rams, but just about any other tetra would probably work. 

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I’m currently keeping 10 in a 40 breeder. Growing them out and I’ll be picking 2 or 3 pairs, then most likely sell/trade the remaining pairs. Tankmates are ember tetras, lampeye killis, forktail rainbows, pygmaeus and habrosus cory, female bettas. I would get a schooling fish that are always out and swimming like lampeye killis, harlequin or espei rasboras, emerald eye rasboras. Ember tetras tend to hide when the plants get thick. I barely see mine and I have more than 10.  

They’re not that aggressive towards the other fish but they do like to chase each other. Not to the point where they do damage, only to chase away from their territory. They do get more aggressive when spawning (like most cichlids). 

One pair has wrigglers at the moment and some other pairs are starting to form. You can see the pair on the left side guarding the fry image.jpeg.cf544f2913752e6e9af33e2a297bcf48.jpeg

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