Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

  1. click here!
    FishForums.net Vote Pet of the Month
    Dismiss Notice

Best food for Bolivian Rams.

Discussion in 'New World Cichlids' started by King puff, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    I just recently bought two Bolivian Rams for my 10 gallon (already paired) and was wondering exactly what to feed them. I have tetra color tropical flakes along with bloodworms and brine shrimp. I was planning on getting cichlid flakes but my LFS did not have any in stock at the moment. I fed them brine shrimp and blood worms which they ate. Can I also feed them tetra color or just get the cichlids flake? Also, the 10 gallon tank is heavily planted with not fish except for them and an otocinclus catfish. I am not planning on getting more.
     
  2. essjay

    essjay Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,186
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    UK
    What is the footprint of this 10 gallon tank? Bolivian rams need a tank that is 36 inches long x 18 inches wide at the minimum. Unless your tank is a very unusual shape, it is way too small for Bolivian rams. http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/mikrogeophagus-altispinosus/


    Otocinclus are shoaling fish, they should not be kept alone. You need at least 6 of them.
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    CA
    I concur with the above. But while I'm here, on the food question...flake foods tend to be ignored by Bolivian Rams because these fish feed from the substrate. You will see them taking up a mouthful of substrate and sifting it in their mouth for food bits, then spit out the substrate; smooth sand is the best substrate for these fish as it won't damage their gills.

    I feed my Bolivians sinking foods like those I use for cories and loaches. Omega One shrimp pellets are excellent. The Nutrafin tabs with earthworm meal is also good. And for veggies, the Omega One Veggie Round. All of these sink immediately.
     
  4. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    Yes, I have observed this with them. They did not take the brine shrimp and blood worms from the water column but foraged for food after it sunk. I have omega one freeze dried shrimp that I crumble up and feed to my tetras. Can I feed them this? As for the tank size, the Rams are relatively small ( about one inch) and don't seem to be showing any aggression. When they get bigger I will get at least a 20 gallon for them. I also have a 29 gallon tank, but that has gravel.
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    CA
    Freeze-dried foods tend to be not as good for fish. I believe the reason is that the food soaks up so much water that it can cause bloat and internal issues. Prepared foods like flake and sinking tablets/pellets apparently do not have this problem. Frozen foods thawed are OK, though in most cases these should be considered "treats" and not staple diet. For one thing, they are not as nutritious as prepared foods, so the fish will gain more nutritional benefit from prepared foods. And some fish can be finicky and almost refuse prepared if they continually know they will get something more "natural" like frozen bloodworms. But the latter should only be fed once a week, no more, or they can cause issues.

    When selecting prepared foods, look carefully at the ingredients. I mentioned Omega One previously, this is a brand that is recommended because it contains only natural whole ingredients. New Life Spectrum is another that is the same, and I use their flake and mini pellet basic foods.

    On the tank size, if this is a true bonded pair, the 20g will be better. I personally would not have this fish in anything less than a 30-inch length tank, and preferably as 36-inch minimum. It is not an active fish, which generally means less length/width all else being equal, but it should attain close to 4 inches and it likes a decent "territory" to patrol. My last Bolivian was a male [this species does very well as solitary fish in with a community of peaceful characins and catfish] and he was in my 5-foot 115g Amazon Riverscape tank. He definitely owned the entire tank, and he exerted his authority more than once over tetras and catfish. No physical interaction, aside from pushing nuisance cories away from "his" food tablet, but he was in charge, no question. Very interesting to observe, the Ram keeping the shoal of Bleeding Heart Tetras in line. He was well into his ninth year when he died, pretty good for a fish with an expected lifespan of 4-5 years.
     
  6. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    Are there any specific names of food? My LFS has omega one but I'm not sure which one. Does it need to be specifically for cichlids?
     
  7. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    CA
    I believe I already answered this in post #3...Omega One shrimp pellets, Omega One Veggie Rounds, and Nutrafin Tabs are the three I use. I don't know if Omega One make a sinking cichlid pellet but it would be OK too. The flake foods will not serve the purpose; African rift lake cichlids will eat flakes, that is what these are intended for primarily.
     
  8. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    My LFS did not have the ones you mentioned. I got the omega one cichlids pellets. My fish is going at them like crazy. They are too big for him to swallow but he is putting them in his mouth and spitting them out. From now on I will crush up the food before feeding. Sadly, the female died with no sign of diseases. I think it was stressed because the ph at my LFS is relatively higher than the one in the tank. Will I still have to move him to a 20 gallon? The ammonia is .25, the nitrate is 2.0, the nitrite is 0, the hardness is 25, the alkalinity is 120, the ph is 6.2. The reason for the low ph is that I put large amounts of wood in the mimic the Amazon. I will definitely be changing the water in a couple days. Im not going to do anything with the tank until about 24 hours so the fish don't get more stressed that they already are.
     
  9. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    CA
    The cichlid pellets are good. They sink and that is the important thing over flake. Don't crush the pellets. Fish will take one of these and chew bits off; the "spitting out" is so they can chew and swallow the bit, then they usually take the pellet again and chew off another bit.

    I would move the Ram into the 25g but this can wait a bit. What other fish are in the 25? They need to be compatible.

    As for the death of the "female"...are you certain you acquired a bonded pair? How did they interact? The parameters seem good (I am assuming the unit of measurement for the GH and Alkalinity is ppm or mg/l).
     
  10. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    That's what I meant by spitting out. I assumed that he liked the food and therefore kept coming back for it.

    I believe I said it was a 29. My only issue with putting the ram in is that the substrate is gravel (I set up this tank before I was interested in fish keeping. I regret putting gravel in.) The fish are 3 black neons, 5 WCM (yes, I know they are cold water fish), one neon blue goby, one kuhli loach, one golden algae eater (got him before was into fish keeping, has stayed 2 and a half inches for more that 2 years without any signs of aggression.) and a pea puffer. The pea puffer is getting his own tank soon. If it is fine moving the ram to this tank, I will move the pea puffer into the 10 gallon. Regarding the golden algae eater, I personally would not move him because he does a great job with algae and his is not growing big or being aggressive.

    I am assuming they were a chosen pair. They did not show any aggression to each other. That night when I turned off the lights, the two fish were in one spot together all night. Before the "female" died, they were split up with "him" on one side and "her" on the other. The remaining fish ate the night the other one died.
     
    #10 King puff, Dec 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  11. NickAu

    NickAu Member
    Tank of the Month Winner!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Messages:
    5,113
    Likes Received:
    1,216
    Location:
    AU
    These need to be kept in groups, most places say 6 minimum but I call that nonsense, 10 to 12 should be the minimum with Kuhli loaches it really is a case of the more the merrier. I have 15 in a 2 foot tank.

    I also do not recommend keeping Kuhlis with other substrate fish, the other fish will eat the food intended for the Kuhlis especially fish like Plecos and rams.

    Contrary to popular opinion, given the right tank conditions and lots of places to hide Kuhlis are very active fish even during daylight

    You can add a container with sand to the tank.

    Go out and buy these.
    [​IMG]

    Eat the chocolate.

    Take the lid and place it in the tank, wiggle it a bit so its in the substrate.
    Now fill it with washed sand.

    Like this, I use a plastic tube to drop food onto the sand for my loaches and shrimp.
    [​IMG]
     
    #11 NickAu, Dec 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  12. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    Thats a good idea. Before I was interested in fish keeping, my 29 gallon was artificial except for 3 plants. After adding the Kuhli loach he disappeared and I never saw him again. I totally regret putting plastic in that tank :(. About 8 months ago, I started converting it into a planted tank. I removed things gradually until my tank was totally planted. I started seeing the loach more often and he has many places to hide. Rock caves, java moss, bushy plants, etc. I invested in fertilizers, lights, fish, and am trying to make this tank the best possible. I have started looking in the water in the filter under my microscope and I find many different types of microorganisms such as cyclops and paramecium. I have had the loach for years so he is probably eating. My only doubts are the pea puffer and the golden algae eater. Im not sure if I need to remove the algae eater due to him staying small and not being aggressive. Im not sure if him looking like a Chinese algae eater but losing his brown color and turning gold has anything to do with it. I will definitely try to remove the pea puffer if it is recommended. I bought him because they are small and he keeps my snails in check. He is also fun to watch.

    What is your advice on the ram and the fish in the 29 gallon?
     
  13. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    CA
    I don't know your level of experience with fish, or with cichlids, so pardon my assumptions. I would know within a few minutes if the cichlids were both male, both female, or a pair, solely from how they interact; and I would also have a fair idea of whether or not they had or were likely to bond, though this latter aspect can take several days if not weeks of careful observation for long periods (so the fish do not know you are still there--they rarely act "normal" if you are because your presence distracts them (you are associated with food, or perhaps possible danger, and fish behaviour will be very different at such times). Not much more I can offer, the fish may have died from internal injuries during netting/transport, or something genetic, or stress, or aggression by the other cichlid. I would certainly not advise you getting another ram, the sole survivor will be fine on its own. This species is believed to live largely isolated except when spawning.

    As for which tank...the 29g is necessary before very long. That brings us to the other fish already there, and you have some issues.

    Nick mentioned kuhlii loaches needing a group, what we term a shoaling species, and the white clouds and black neons are also shoaling. The five WC are OK at this stage, but I wold get another 4-5 black neons for a total of 7-8 if you like this species. That means, if you decide to re-home some fish, and these happen to be a species you are not now fond of, there would be no point in getting more but instead trying to re-home the three. The black neons are fine with the ram, the WC are not. I would re-home the WC as they need no heat (room temp is adequate) but the ram will not last without some warmth (76-77F). WC also like more water current than rams, or neons come to that, so there is another non-compatible issue.

    The pea puffer (dwarf puffer presumably) should be alone, certainly not with rams or neons or WC. A 10g is fine, planted. [You mention snails, that is not a problem as they eat all organics and allow bacteria to break it down faster.]

    Once you can ID the "algae eater," you may need to re-home it. Most of these get large, 5-6 inches, and they can become quite nasty as they mature. The Chinese Algae Eater is known to sometimes eat the slime coat of fish. It is in any case too large for a 29g. As it matures, it eats les and less algae but makes quite a mess, aside from the temperament.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. King puff

    King puff Fish Crazy

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    a desert
    I think I have been mistaken of the species of ram that my fish is. My LFS sold them as Bolivian Rams but after putting him in the tank and after closer observation it seems like it is a German Blue Ram. Pictures show that the Bolivian ram does not have red on either side of its eye or blue scales on all its fins. I was not planning on getting another ram. I know that German blue rams do not get as big so im not sure if I have to end up moving him. I still think he would be happier if I did.

    The White clouds are kept at a temperature of 78 degrees and I see them breeding along with the Black Neons. I also read that commercially bred fish are more tolerant of warmer temperatures due to the places where they are bred. I will re-home the golden algae eater and the kuhlii loach. I will replace these two fish with some more black neons. The white clouds hang out on one side of the tank where the current is highest and the Black Neon tetras stay on the other side and occasionally go the the middle.

    When I end up moving the Ram the the 29 gallon, I will put the pea puffer in the 10 gallon.

    This is what the tank would look: 7 black neon tetras, 5 WCM (maybe), 1 neon blue goby, and one ram. I have been thinking of getting some anchor catfish but these are also substrate feeders.
     
  15. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    CA
    I'm attaching a photo (or two) of Bolivian Rams, including one of a pair.

    If you have the common or blue ram, in whatever variety (they are all from the same species, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) then you have a temperature issue. This fish needs warmth, 80F minimum. Your WC will not like this.

    Remember the bonding issue is applicable to both ram species, and many other neotropic species too for that matter.

    This is exactly what I would expect, which only proves my comment about water flow. When we can provide for both, it can work, so long as we recognize that different fish have differing needs when it comes to flow, and they must be accommodated. But I just wanted to point out the "proof in the pudding."
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

best food bolivian ramirezi

,

bolivian fish food