The Bolivian Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus) is a very beautiful tank-raised dwarf cichlid that is less known and much hardier than its much more well-known cousin Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. The Bolivian Ram is a true gem that is almost criminally uncelebrated among dwarf cichlid enthusiasts. Rams and other dwarf cichlids are very popular among aquarists due to their vivid coloration, small size, and interesting personalities. Most dwarf cichlids are much less aggressive than most larger cichlids.
The Bolivian Ram Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of refuge such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It is an excellent candidate for the planted aquarium, but it also needs a fair amount of open space. This cichlid is generally compatible with other peaceful fish as long as it has plenty of open terrain. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning, but this species tends to thrive and show its best coloration in groups of 6 or more. Dwarf shrimp and other small, delicate invertebrates should not be kept with the Bolivian Ram Cichlid, but more durable, larger shrimp and snails could possibly make good tankmates in a large enough aquarium If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. While it is not an exceptionally aggressive species, some aquarists report that the Bolivian Ram is more territorial than other “Ram” cichlids.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Bolivian Ram Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration.
- If received after 24-48 hours, slow drip acclimating fish to quarantine tank.
- If received after 2+ days, equalize water temp by floating bag. Try not to pour bag water into aquarium, drain over net externally and drop fish into quarantine tank.