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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Looking for a peaceful community Cichlid - Bolivian Ram vs. Apistogramma agassizii?


    0 Not allowed!
    I have a peaceful community of small fish, and am thinking of adding a Cichlid to the mix. This would be my very first Cichlid. I'm really drawn to the intelligence and colors of Cichlids. However, it would have to be gentle enough to get along with Panda Corycats, a Bristlenose Pleco, Cardinal Tetras, Gold Tetras, Black Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, and a Honey Gourami. Having a peaceful tank is extremely important to me.

    The aquarium is 75 gallons, and I've had it for about 7 years. The pH of the aquarium is 6.4, the hardness is 8 dGH, and the temperature is 75 degrees. I do 40% water changes once per week. The tank has driftwood and caves, a smooth sand substrate, and lots of fake plants.

    Since I'm concerned about aggression that mating would bring, I would like to purchase just 1 Cichlid, so I want one that would be okay by itself.

    I have an extremely good fish store by me. They have 2 Cichlid species I'm hoping might be good candidates, and I would choose one.

    The first is a Bolivian Ram, which I'd researched online and sounded like a good fit. However, the ones at the store were very grey - hardly any color to them. That's very unusual at this store, which usually has extremely high quality fish that are very vividly colored. 90% of their fish are much brighter than a typical pet store's. So I'm wondering if the Bolivian Ram would color up if I got one? Or are they mostly grey fish in general? They still had the red borders to their fins, but only a very tiny hint of yellow, and otherwise were grey with black markings. I like their body shape and their large eyes, but I kind've wanted at least a little more color, like the pretty pictures I've been seeing of them online. I understand they are timid fish, would plenty of caves and dither fish color them up more?

    The other fish I saw there was Apistogramma agassizii "fire red", and they were plenty colorful. I especially loved the male's coloring. However, I didn't think their shape was quite as cute as the Bolivians. I'm having trouble finding out if this Apisto would work alright with just a single male in the tank, as I really don't want them to breed and am not interested in the females. Could 1 male work? How peaceful are they compared to the Bolivian?

    If anyone has kept these, I'd love more information about either. And if anyone has had experience with both, it would be awesome if you could share their similarities and differences in temperament and requirements. Would either work for my tank, or would neither work well? Which one do you think would be a better fit? What are their special requirements, per species and about Cichlids in general?

    Sorry that was so long, thank you so much for reading!

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    I have a pretty similar 75 gallon tank. You can check out the stock list in my signature. I have one Bolivian ram of each gender. When I first purchased them (part of a group of six, but only 2 of them thrived past first month or so) they were all mostly colorless and nearly impossible to tell the gender of. Since then the male has colored up considerably, the female less so. They have not yet engaged in any kind of mating behavior, and they've been absolutely no trouble to any of the other fish. I do hope they'll give spawning a try at some point, but so far, nothing. I would say they've worked out quite well from me, apart from the problem of having the initial losses.
    300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
    125 gallon office tank: Africian cichlids, synodontis catfih
    75 gallon community tank: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish

  3. #3

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    2 Not allowed!
    Here's how my male currently looks:



    This is certainly more colorful than he was in the store, but also not as colorful as some of the photos you will find online. If I remember correctly, the male will take on the brightest colors when he is attempting to encourage the female to spawn.
    300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
    125 gallon office tank: Africian cichlids, synodontis catfih
    75 gallon community tank: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brhino View Post
    Here's how my male currently looks:

    http://i.imgur.com/bhtBBxS.jpg
    Yours is quite handsome.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    4 Not allowed!
    Rams will take some time to color up, but under good conditions they will do so beautifully. They are very peaceful for cichlids.

    These were my own fish a few years back. May they rest in peace.
    Bolivian ram 1.jpg

    Bolivian ram 2.jpg

    IMG_6162 - Copy.JPG

    As you can see from the center of the third picture, they got along very well with my honey gouramis and panda cories.

    I had a pair of Apistogramma agassizii once. Contrary to the reputation of apistos as relatively peaceful, the male was a little tyrant especially to the gourami.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I woul recommend the agassizii or a cacatouides if possible. Rams are much more sensitive to water conditions than apistos IME.


  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post

    These were my own fish a few years back. May they rest in peace.
    Bolivian ram 1.jpg

    Bolivian ram 2.jpg

    IMG_6162 - Copy.JPG
    Oh my. Beauties, for sure!

    and your tank -- that is a piece of art. It felt so peaceful to look at. Absolutely lovely tank. I'm really glad you showed it.

  8. #8

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    2 Not allowed!
    I'm not sure Bolivian rams are more sensitive then apistos because of the high amount of commercial breeding. This is also true for some apistos that are bred on a large scale. However I think rams are more often the case. So for instance I purchased 4 Bolivians from petsmart of all places about 4-5 months ago. They are doing great no issues at all.

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by AmazonJoe View Post
    I'm not sure Bolivian rams are more sensitive then apistos because of the high amount of commercial breeding. This is also true for some apistos that are bred on a large scale. However I think rams are more often the case. So for instance I purchased 4 Bolivians from petsmart of all places about 4-5 months ago. They are doing great no issues at all.
    My mistake. I meant german blue rams are more sensitive than apistos IME. I can't speak for Bolivians as I haven't kept them before.


  10. #10

    Join Date
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    2 Not allowed!
    Agreed with AmazonJoe. The bolivian rams were unfussy with regards to water conditions. They successfully bred many times in alkaline Calgary water (pH ~7.8). In all the photos you can actually see one juvenile swimming with the adults.
    Blue rams are known for being sensitive though.

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