Bolivian Ram
Mikrogeophagus altispinosis

Care Level




Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

2 - 5

Minimum Tank Size



Black, Blue, Red, White, Yellow



Water Conditions

72-79° F, KH 0-10, pH 6.5-7.5


General: The Bolivian ram cichlid is native to the streams and backwaters of various Bolivian river systems. They should be kept in an aquarium larger than 20 gallons with several areas containing cave-like structures. Additionally, adding live plants to the aquarium will further promote natural behavior. The Bolivian ram can be kept as a mated pair or with a 1:3 male to female ratio. This dwarf cichlid may become territorial when ready to reproduce and will likely begin to display vivid coloration once mature.

Dimorphism: The male Bolivian ram will be larger than the female. The male typically has an elongated, pointed dorsal to attract the female and will also develop elongated pelvic fins. The female will only get to a size of approximately two inches and will develop a yellow coloration when ready to reproduce.

Fecundity: The Bolivian ram may produce up to 75 eggs per clutch. This is a cave-spawner that will lay eggs on a rocky ceiling. Once the eggs have hatched, the mother will exhibit strong parenthood as she guards the fry inside her mouth, spitting back out the fry only when it is safe. The female ram will even pursue fry leaving her territory, place them into her mouth, and carry them back to safety. The male will guard the general area surrounding the reproductive site. There is a significant amount of parental energetic investment in the reproductive behaviors of the Bolivian ram.

Water Chemistry: 72-79° F, KH 0-10, pH 6.5-7.5

Aquarium Diet: Bolivian ram cichlids are omnivores and will accept brine shrimp, blackworms, spirulina, daphnia, omnivore pellets, and tropical flakes. For optimal color, a varied diet is always best.

Compatibility: Some tankmates for the Bolivian ram cichlid may include tetra species such as pristella tetras (Pristella maxillaris) and candy cane tetras (Hyphessobrycon sp. HY511), Corydoras species, rasbora species such as the harlequin rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha), peaceful loaches such as the kuhli loach (Pangio kuhlii), angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare), and bristlenose plecos (Ancistrus sp.). Bolivian ram cichlids may become aggressive when spawning.

Bolivian Ram Photo Gallery

Author: Grant Stevens