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Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)

Photo of: Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)

Scientific Name(s): Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, Crenicara altispinosa, Microgeophagus altispinosus, Papiliochromis altispinosus


Common Name(s): Bolivian Ram, Bolivian Butterfly, Ruby Cichlid


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: South American Cichlids


Maximum Size: 2.5 inches


Life Span: 5 years


Natural Habitat: South American Rivers (Bolivia)


Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Other peaceful south american cichlids


Description: These colourful, little fish are peaceful and can be kept in a community tank. They can show very nice coloration, blue, yellow, gold, orange, bronze and black on them when settled. Both male and female have a dot in the middle of the body


Temperature Range: 71°F - 78°F



pH Range: 6.5 - 7.5

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 7° - 14°



Breeding Information: These fish are open substrate spawners and will spawn on a rock or similar object, I use red rocks as preferred by Microgeophagus Ramirezi. Once they have paired up, which they often do for life, they will select a spawning site and clear it of sand and debris. When they are doing this and during spawning the can get a little aggressive, but is more for show than anything and they don't seem to actually do any damage to the other fish. At the start of spawning, the female will lay a few eggs on the stone and will then move away a little to allow the male to come over them and fertilise them. They will do this until there are around 100-200 eggs. After spawning, the female will fan the eggs whilst the male guards the eggs from any predators. Once they are free swimming, the fry will be moved off the rock into a depression made by the parents and looked after there. If the fry wander too far from the depression, the parents will collect them up in their mouth and take them back. It is known for them to be poor parents though and the best chance of fry survival is to remove them and put them in a separate tank.


Sexing Information: Males typically have longer fin tips while females tend to have more red on their belly.


Diet: Omnivorous - does well with frozen foods such as blood worms or brine shrimp. Also does well with flake or pellet foods.


Temperament: Peaceful but can get territorial when spawning


Common Diseases: None specific to species


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