Thread: Help in sexing Bolivian Rams
03-30-2012, 01:33 PM #1
Help in sexing Bolivian Rams
I have three bolivian rams in a 32g community tank. I love the little guys
My LFS is really good but the guy doesnt know an awful lot about Bolivians, he is great with larger cichlids and loaches but for some reason he isnt the best with rams. He sold me these three fish in december as all males. But after reading about Kurlys tank, comments from escamosa and bignellm (basically all the ram junkies!! )I think I may have some different sexes.
Today was monthly maintenance day and done a 75% water change, the new water added was a degree or two cooler than the original temps and I have read this can trigger spawning. All three of them are generally very peaceful, occasionally a brief lip lock, but today I have seen more lip locking than I have from december up until now!! One ram especially has been pretty boisterous and is swimming around with its fins out trying to show off, they have been showing off their sides to eachother aswell. I think their colours are very intense today.
There are two in the tank which look pretty much identical with a black spot each, and the third has no spot but is veeery orange coloured. I will post a link to the pictures, basicaly I have only posted two pics as two of them are really identical.
Sorry for poorness of my photography skills!!!
Last edited by ScottishFish; 03-30-2012 at 01:39 PM.My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
03-30-2012, 02:01 PM #2
A little hard to give you a 100% answer, Scotti, but if I were a betting man, I'd say that both of those are males. The thing that stands out in those pics are the anal fins. They're made up of points and angles, almost squarish, if you know what I mean. Females have that rounded, elongated shaped anal fin. I put up a post on sexing these guys a few days ago. I'll just go find it and add it to this.
Here you go, Scotti. See if this helps you out a little!
1. If the anal fin is more pointed/more defined angles then it's a male, if it's longer and rounder then it's female.
2. Can you see the little breeding tube, just in front of the anal fin? Kind of looks like a little bump. Well, the male has a smaller, more pointed one, while the female has a larger more rounded one to pass eggs through.
3. The dorsal fin can be a give away too. The female will have a gradual slope, sloping backwards at the front of the fin. And most males will have a longer third ray (the spikes in the fin). This isn't always accurate though.
4. Males tend to be larger and more colourful. The pinks and blues brighter, and the eye spot on each side much more vibrant.
Last edited by escamosa; 03-30-2012 at 02:04 PM.Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark
03-30-2012, 02:15 PM #3
Cheers escamosa! The bottom fins below the pectoral fins, are all very angular, and have recently gotten longer and more coloured. Could it be that they are maturing? And just being teenagers?My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
03-30-2012, 02:40 PM #4
You're welcome! The shape of those fins won't really differ between males and females, but the colours can. The blue on those fins can become really bright on the males. It's a beautiful colour. And the colour and growth are signs of maturing for sure. Extra bright colours can also mean that they're looking to spawn, and the way you're describing thier behaviour is usually a good sign of that too. Males will also become brighter if they're trying to dominate eachother or pushing and shoving at feeding time! Feeding time was my favorite time with these guys! I really miss 'em.Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark
03-30-2012, 02:45 PM #5
Well that's basicaly answered my question then! I've got 3 male teengers!! I am not overly fussed about breeding anyway. In your experience will 3 males co-exist ok? Their fighting that they are doing the now is more comical than serious anyway.My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
03-30-2012, 03:00 PM #6
They're a funny little fish. Sometimes you'll get males that all get along to some extent, sometimes you don't! What I've found with these guys, is that you'll get a really nice relaxed Ram tank, if you have that 1 male to 3 female ratio, everyone seems to get along. If there is no females, the aggression level rises, especially when they mature. BUT if you have plenty of hiding places (plants, rocks, driftwood, caves) then you can get away with it. Keep a close eye on things though, because you can get a case of two males picking on the third, then the last two can continue the war, until one gets to stressed and stops feeding. Now, if you have multiple males and not enough females, then the aggression level can really blow up. These guys are so placid, but you can't become to complacant with them - and that can be very easy to do!Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark
03-30-2012, 03:10 PM #7
Cheers escamosa!! I have 3 'caves' and plenty of plants so I don't think there will be an issue. If there is then . . . Er . . . I would simply have to get another tank! we will cross that bridge when it comes to it. Like I said they aren't overly aggressive and they seem to be behaving a tad better now. I will keep an eye out for females in the lfs, could you send me a link, or a couple of pictures of a very clear cut male - female if you have any? Just so I can get better at determining the sex, cheers escamosa!My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
03-30-2012, 03:36 PM #8
Spoken like a true fish keeper! Another tank!
But if you can't manage another tank, just see if you can swap a couple of those males for two females and buy an extra, then you should be set!
Female Ram. Notice the anal fin. Long and rounded, no sharp edges, not squarish.
Male Ram. The anal fin is sharp and made up of angles, squarish. And not elongated.
Male Ram. See the breeding tube, in front of the anal fin? The little bump? It's smaller and pointy.
Female Ram. The breeding tube is larger and rounder.
It could be a little early to see the breeding tubes on yours if they're really young, but you might be able to!
Hmm, are these pictures working for you?
Last edited by escamosa; 03-30-2012 at 03:39 PM.
03-30-2012, 04:32 PM #9
Thanks again esc! Yeah the pics are working fine for me! Will look at them better tomoro, got a night out toniteMy therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .