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  1. #1

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    Default Deciding what to do: My bolivian's color problem and high pH dwarf cichlids


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm looking for a dwarf cichlid that really thrives in higher pH. Turns out that my tap water has risen to a pH of 8.2, so I want to try and switch out my bolivian ram for something a little better. For one, the ram is south american and the pH is nowhere near his desired levels. and second, he isn't showing the colors I hoped he would. This may be because he came from petsmart, poor stock, or the pH is to blame. he is the dominant fish in the tank, so stress isnt the issue. The rest of my south american tetras look beautiful. Anyway, it's a 30 gallon tank, and I'm just looking for more options. I have access to kribensis and the brichardi cichlid, and in case pH isn't the issue, I am considering these beautiful German Blue Rams that are offered at my lfs.
    So, in sum.
    Is pH the issue for my bolivian's lack of color?
    Will kribensis or brichardi cichlid do better in the 8.2 pH than the bolivian?
    What other high pH dwarf cichlids will do well in the high pH?
    What about a pearl gourami?
    Thanks!
    Tanks: 30 gal community and 10 gal shrimp/community
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  2. #2

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    My bolivians have been in a pH of 8.2 for the better part of a year and I got them from someone who actually breed them in my local water, the thing about bolivians is that they do not show their true coloration until they are mature so that may be one of the factors lending towards his poor display. May I suggest some shell dweller cichlids? They thrive in high pH.

  3. #3

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    Hmm, I have had the bolivian since....around January? And he couldn't have been that old before he arrived at petsmart. Does that count as mature?
    Shell dwellers are cool, do they really need shells to survive? What types would you suggest?
    Tanks: 30 gal community and 10 gal shrimp/community
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  4. #4

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    I've seen bolivians not really show spectacular color until they're around 8-12 months old, that being said, there's several factors that play into coloration such as age, food, genetics etc.

    I have not personally kept any but I will be setting one up in the future, refer to this article for more info:
    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/cich...lldwellers.php

  5. #5

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    Ok, thanks! That's really helpful. It seems like I have the perfect tap parameters for a shell tank....And I've got a 15 gal in storage. Right now, I'm not going to convert my 30 gallon for them, but That would be a cool project.
    What about a pearl gourami? They look aight...How would their behavior differ from that of a bo - ram?
    Tanks: 30 gal community and 10 gal shrimp/community
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  6. #6

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    So here is my question to you - if you blame high ph for poor coloration, why replace with a fish from the same neighborhood? Just food for though...

    Honestly the bolivian wont show full color until around the 12mo mark usually. They arent mature until they reach full size IMO. Also your decor (if its whats in your profile avatar) is very light, this tends to affect fish in that they try to blend in and wont show true colors until placed in a darker substrate. Kribs and Blue Rams do the same thing.

    Pearl gourami would be ok potentially with the rasbora and black neons... I would go with a honey gourami though based on temperment and size with the 30gal tank.

    Behaviorly, the gourami is an all over the place, constant moving fish where the bolivian is a slower moving, 'picker' who just kind of cruises.

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandz View Post
    So here is my question to you - if you blame high ph for poor coloration, why replace with a fish from the same neighborhood? Just food for though...
    Well, I am not 100% sure it's the pH....just a hunch. And if the ram was replaced with German blues, the blues would come from a different local fish store besides petco and petsmart. But if pH is to blame, and that may be, then you are right, and getting a german blue might bring me back to the same coloring dilemna I have with my ram now.

    I know what you mean with the light colored substrate; that tank in my avatar (needs to be updated) is my now shrimp tank, and I wish the shrimp were a little more colorful. Here is the tank that the bolivian is in, the pic was taken about a month ago and since then I've cleaned up the tank a little more, and the plants have grown a bit more, especially the anacharis.
    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...7&d=1370311940
    Maybe I'll just be patient with the bolivian....I do really like his personality. I call him David Frost.... I'll think about it all. Thanks!
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  8. #8

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    Have you checked the water right from the tap or just in the tank? But I think the shell dwellers would be perfect if you continue to have a higher pH.

  9. #9

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    PH isnt to blame for the color IMO. The fish and the gbr you would get in its stead would most likely be captive bred fish at 7ph and 100ppm hardness... I doubt you have an issue there. Its most likely that he needs some growth. Also tetra color bits might help. I know discus people use them to bring out the bright colors in discus.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs View Post
    Have you checked the water right from the tap or just in the tank? But I think the shell dwellers would be perfect if you continue to have a higher pH.
    Both, and the tank pH was a slightly lighter brown (on the API liquid test kit color scale) than that out of the tap. The were both around 8.2.
    @Sandz, I make my own food right now from fruits and vegetables around the house with a multivitamin crushed in as well. I'll check out the tetra bits, but all my fish do really like the food I made maybe they are just pigs. And The bo ram is the only one not showing color. You're right, it's probably just a question of maturity.
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