Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus Altispinosus)
Endemic Location: Amazon River Basin
Size: 8.9cm (3.5 inches)
Temperature Range: 22 – 26℃ (72 – 79℉)
Preferred pH Range: 6.0 – 7.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 114 L (30 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Rummy-nose Tetra, Guppies, Cory Catfish
Care Level: Beginner
Bolivian Rams have a unique swimming pattern, moving for a few strokes and then stopping suddenly. This will happen over and over again, so they can sieve through the substrate to feed.
As omnivores, they are an easy to feed species. In the wild, the bulk of their diet consists of plant matter and various seeds. They will also consume tiny organisms, and from time to time, feed on insects or plants on the water surface. Bolivian Rams are one of the best community fish, and a peaceful tankmate. They are not shoaling fish but will enjoy having company. Choose fish of a similar size to avoid them becoming snacks for their neighbours. Throughout the day, they will swim around in open spaces. Exploring hiding spots or looking for food in the substrate.
They will try to disturb the substrate as little as possible when on their quest for food. The unique swimming habit comes in handy here. Swimming, in short, quick bursts. They kick up substrate for sifting. Unlike other fish who will dig in the substrate, it is an intriguing display to watch. You will need to use a fine sand substrate for Bolivian Rams to avoid injuries. Use driftwood to provide hiding holes if this fish feels threatened. If you have a planted aquarium, makes sure there is enough space for these fish to swim around.
Bolivian Rams have elongated oval bodies, with several subtle physical details. They have muted body colours, usually with a base of tan or silver, complemented by yellow hues towards the belly. It is a straightforward process to breed Bolivian Rams. They need plenty of space to move around. In a breeding tank, females will start the process by looking for a flat rock or cave to lay their eggs. The male will then come along and fertilise them externally. The pair together will guard the area. Once the
eggs hatch, they will become protective of their fry. Even putting them in their mouths to transport them or attempt to camouflage the babies. When the fry can swim freely, the parents will lead them in groups to find food. It is interesting behaviour to witness!