March 6, 2015
I went to buy a pair of Rams from my 1st choice not so local fs and they didn't have them. So I went to my 2nd choice lfs and someone had decided to place the German Blue Rams and the Bolivian Rams into the same tank (much to the dismay of the employee trying to identify them because they all looked identical). I decided to go with the Bolivians and agreed to the 2 the lady picked out as possibly being male and female and were keeping close together. Since they were in a mixed tank and the employee seemed unsure I want to make sure they are in fact Bolivians and if they happen to be a male and female.
November 3, 2008
They are certainly Bolivians, Mikrogeophagus altispinosus. Sexing this species is not always easy outside of spawning when the ovipositor is obvious. Their behaviour toward each other is usually a good guide, and two males would not tolerate each other's company as in the photos. In the first and second photos, I would suggest that the fish on the right is male, and the left is female.
I mentioned their interaction. In the store tank, the best way to get a reliable pair is by observing the interaction of the fish in the tank. Males will continually challenge each other, which is pretty obvious. The females tend to just poke around on the substrate. A female who remains fairly close to a male is probably a good choice to pair with that male. The fish will bond if they accept each other, and spawn. The bond may last for several spawnings, or it may not. Make sure they have lots of space...though having said that, my male killed the female in a 5-foot tank, and after they had spawned four times. But in hindsight, I took a chance in buying the female separately from the existing male, and from the first they really did not get along all that well, notwithstanding four spawnings.
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