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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default How much aggression is okay from Bolivian Rams as they sort things out?

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone; it's been a while.

    So, I bought three Bolivian Rams (as far as I can tell, one female and two males, all about 2") in the hopes that I might get two of them to pair off because I'm working on setting up a tank for my kid's day care and decided to do a South American setup. That tank is cycling, but I had enough empties that I have all the fish at my house now, acclimating to my water and settling in so I can minimize deaths in the day care tank. (I'd have gotten five or so as is recommended, but my LFS only had three and I've been looking for them for a while, so I felt lucky to get what I did.)

    The rams spent a couple of weeks in my quarantine tank without issues, and now they're in a 30 gallon that's pretty much set up for them to work out their differences (or not, as the case may be). There are at least three areas out of sight of one another, and each claimed one immediately, and there are plenty of plants as well as a school of neons, which are the only other inhabitants. Now that they've been in the tank for a few days, they've colored up more and have started challenging one another for what is apparently the "best" territory, the largest area in the front and center of the tank.

    Mostly they're just chasing one another around and occasionally butting heads, and I haven't noticed any ripped fins or any other damage, nor is the most assertive one chasing the others once they go back toward their own areas, so no one appears to be being overly harassed. The male who's claimed the best spot *does* seem to tolerate the female in his spot more than he does the smaller male, but they haven't bonded or anything.

    My question is, how long do I let this continue? I have room to separate them, but I'd rather give them a chance to pair up. Of course, I don't want to let one of them get injured or too stressed, either. Are they okay as long as I don't notice any damage or see that someone isn't getting to eat? (So far, all are eating well and look good to me.)

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    As long as you dont see one in the top corner of the tank or really visably being beaten then you are fine. Allowing them to pair naturally is all fine and could go on for months.
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks! I've never kept cichlids before, so this is all really new to me!

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Bolivians are a great starter. THey really are docile little guys. Just get some line of sight breaks. They will do fine.
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I improved the sight breaks a bit and made sure to divide the food up so none of them *need* to enter another's territory. They still are, but at least it's recreational. I'm already really pleased with how much personality they have. Eventually, one or two will be going into a new tank with cardinal or glowlight tetras and some corydoras, but until then they're just hanging with my neons.

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    you've picked a great starter fish. most cichlids would go much worse.
    bolivian rams tend to take their time, at least when compared to other species of dwarf cichlid.
    I raised mine for 6 months before they even considered pairing. However, since they are so peaceful, you may need to see actual courting behavior to confirm a pair, as
    unpaired males will tolerate unpaired females in their area due to their docility.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I need to start researching courting behavior, then. :-)

    I'm not in a hurry; I figure it'll be a couple of months until the new tank is well-established enough to introduce them anyway, even though I'm putting a fully seeded filter on it when I introduce the tetras. I've got enough empty tanks for emergencies, so for now I can just wait. The kids will be fine watching tetras, then later, corys, until the rams show up.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!

    this person has 7+ videos showing their bolivians spawning. You can see the pair chasing off invaders, clearing a spot to lay eggs, shimmering... have a look.
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Neat! Thanks!

    The plot thickens. Now all three are hanging around together, roaming all over the aquarium and paying little attention to the spots they originally claimed. Also, it *looks* like I have two females and a male, but I'll try to get good pictures tonight.

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