Bolivian Ram Cichlid is an small size peaceful fish which can be great for a community tank. They might so flashy and bright like some other more aggressive Cichild types but they will become beautiful if you feed them proper food and keep them happy.
These guys are also known as Bolivian butterfly or Ruby crown cichlid. Some pet shops prefer to call them in these 2 names because they think it make people like these fish more or they able to sell more fish. Their scientific name is Mikrogeophagus altispinosus.
Bolivian Ram is an endemic to the Amazon river basin. They can be found in Brazil and Bolivia in permanent freshwater streams and pools.
This fish liked planted tanks with driftwood, gravel and sand. Also they like clean water. Make it like their natural habitat, soft, acidic water with hiding places. They are small size fish so can be kept in small tanks but 20 gallon or bigger would be ideal.
You can keep them with most types of fish these guys prefer to mind their own business. They will be aggressive towards their own than other types of fish. Also They won’t be bullied either. Willing to stand and fight if they have to. You can use them as a Discus fish tankmake too. But it’s not recommend putting the with ultra aggressive or large types of Cichild. They are brave little fish but it doesn’t work always for them.
Not fussy eaters. They will eat any type of pellet food and also other things like minced meat, tuna etc. They are Omnivorous.
Peaceful but males are territorial. If you have several males in tank then they will take corners and wouldn’t get other rams to come near. Females don’t mind live together but they might develop a pecking order. You might notice they nabbing and pecking at each other but not in damaging way.
Males will become larger than females and will have long pointy dorsal and tail fins. They males will look more brighter in colors too.
Their breeding habits are little bit mysterious. But there’s a big chance they won’t breed in a crowded community tank. So it’s better move one Males and couple of females to a separate tank. If you noticed an already bonded pair in community tank then yo are lucky just move them to the other tank. They are biparental open spawning Cichlid. So they might dig a hole in sand or just lay eggs on a cleaned up stone. Once they picked a place and cleaned it female will lay 100-200 eggs. Once fry comes out both of them will guard and protect it. There are times inexperienced female might get paranoid and chance away even the male.
But they won’t ready spawn in every tank or under every temperature. Might need a temperature rise and make sure tank look similar to their natural habitats by adding lots of plants and also driftwood. Even might need to separate them using a glass or net in same tank for a while.
They are not common or easy to find in every pet shop but these Ruby crown Cichlid are great beginner fish. They are hardy and tolerate living with other fish. Breeding is pretty hard if not impossible for beginners so you don’t except them to spawn like Convict Cichild. Another cool thing is they are a great tanks to Discus Fish whom don’t get along with too many types of other fish. I still have few but unfortunately no males or I would try to get them spawning again.