South American Cichlids • How do I sex Bolivian rams! Everyone please answers!

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How do I sex Bolivian rams! Everyone please answers!

Postby jsmeesterr » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:49 pm

So A's soon A's I get my 38 gal I will be setting up.
I no I've asked these questions before but have got mixed reviews.

I'm not sure how many I want for my 38 gal to going my angel and tetras.
Firstly since I don't no how much I want I like to no how many males and females I should have with
2 Bolivian rams m:f ratio
3 Bolivian rams m:F ratio
4 Bolivian rams m:f ratio
5 Bolivian rams m:f ratio

Now I need to no how to sex them for when I got to the store!
So I would like to know EVERYONES way to tell the sex of them. Also add pictures so I can tell! And I read about like a birth tube or what ever? WhTs that?

And I no I asked this many times! But is there any cool single or pair or trio fish that I could add with these guys? What about another angel? Sorry to ask this again but I'm still not sure!
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Postby BelieveInBlue » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:41 am

Depends on if you want mated pairs. If you're looking for 1-2 mated pairs, don't bother sexing them. Just ask the guy to net out 6 random, but healthy, rams, and you'll hav an almost 100% chance of getting a single pair, and like 95% chance of getting two pairs. Pairing them this way is better than forcing two to pair, since they select their mates, which strengthens the bond.

To answer your question though,
2 rams: 1m 1f
3 rams: 3f or 3m; 1m2f/2m1f not recommended as the pair that forms could harass the extra one to death.
4 rams: 2m 2f
5 rams: 2m 3f or 3m 2f; doesn't really matter, but more females would probably be better than more males.
6 rams: 3m 3f
7+ rams: don't bother sexing and just get the healthy ones. It's almost impossible to get all males/all females when you get that many anyways. And if you do, it's probably time to buy a lottery ticket :p

In general, male rams tend to have the first few strands of the dorsal fin extended, while females do not. The easiest way to sex cichlids, of course, is vent sexing, that is, looking at the genital papilla during spawning. The female's vent is short and blunt, the male's is long and pointy. I believe that males also have longer trailers, although that may vary depending on the genes.

In this picture, the male is in front, and the female behind.
Image

In here, the female is in front, and the male behind.
Image

I find that bolivians are easiest to sex when they're in a mated pair; it usually becomes blaringly obvious by then.
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Postby Daxx » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:29 am

First few spikes on the dorsal fin of a male are longer.
Also females have a red belly males do aswell but not that hard.
no need to vent these fish its easy enough to see wich fish is wich sex.
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Postby jsmeesterr » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:16 am

Ok thanks! And to BELIEVE IN blue- so you saying if I get six, which I would be ok with getting, I could just pick the ones I liked and not have any problems!? None of them would fight? -like the different mated pairs won't fight eachother? Thanks
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Postby Z90a » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:26 am

The anal tube is just a little bump on there lower stomach. Closer to the tail then the head. If it is sticking out more and is rounded then it's female. If its really small and kinda pointed its male.

+1 on not getting three. This almost always leads to dead fish.
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Postby aquariam » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:19 pm

Image
Everyone sexes this fish backwards as they are hard to watch spawn. The FEMALE *which is excellent btw* is the larger muscular fish with a bigger face the male is the smaller daintier face. This is a pair but the female is closer to the camera. No offense to the poster. I was huge into these for a long time and watched many spawns with many pairs. :thumb: :D

The reason the male appears to be a female with its breeding tube out is that this male is waiting for the (dominant) female to initiate and wishes to spawn. By the look at that moment she disagrees. Many threads including one regarding angels and Bolivians that include this info ATM.
Last edited by aquariam on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby aquariam » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:24 pm

From my fish: (should be 1.5 ideally 2" to be certain. 2" is fine to be certain. The other person's fish appear 2.5-3.5 (no reference) in size and I am definite in my sexing of his and hope I have not offended him)

Females have a larger body usually, blockier face, and a chin.
They will always grow longer extensions than their male when paired.
Males have no chin, and a slightly smaller mouth.

Image
Female of mine (saw her lay eggs with my own eyes)

Image
male

Image
female

Image
female in front (camera right) Note her chin and increased muscularity particularily in the chest before the pectoral fin area.

Image
male (note dainty no chin)

Image
female left (note larger mouth blockier face)

Paired, a male with his female will NEVER show a darker eye 'zoro' line than she will. And will never out grow his wife. Weeeeird fish. You can harem multi male one female in 55+ G. Again. Odd odd odd. I had them for years watched many a spawn. The first time I saw the 'male' lay eggs I too was shocked.

My food of choice to condition for breeding with these is mysis shrimp. Keep clean water, keep them calm, provide flatter round clean stones, fatten them up, and watch that male lay some eggs guys :). I'm not joking I know how odd it seems but this is true!

HTH :dancing:
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Postby jsmeesterr » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:34 pm

Thanks! But I still have 1 question. Firstly, I still am not 100% sure how to tell the difference between sexs but am getting the hold of it. It's kindof hard since I can only look at pictures and the one I have. In the tank they had at petsmart, I just picked the one that was the most colored.! think it's a male due to no chin a smaller mouth.

Now to my question!!!
So Everyones saying that I can go to the store.
Pick out 5 more boliviAms.at random.
Bring them home and put those 5, plus the 1 I have in my 38 gal, and they will all get along? And get 1 maybe 2-3 pairs out of it?
Since I'm still not 100% sure I can go to a tank full of them at the store and pick out which are female and male, I just wanna make sure I can just pick ones I like.

But I must say now that I See more pictures, I can kindofntell by the moth sizes and chin. If I'm able to tell the sexes at the store, how many M:F should I get!?
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Postby ADG » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:06 pm

It is exceptionally difficult to determine with 100% certainty what you're getting at the store. You can try but don't be surprised if the rams you get turn out to be the opposite of what you expect.

I have to say as interesting as the post preceeding bursting all the myths about sexing the fish (fin extensions/dorsel fin, breeding tube etc) was don't take it as gospel. I've got a male/female pair where all the accepted methods of sexing describes them exactly. And I've seen the male fertilise the eggs after the female has laid them on several occasions now.

I do 100% agree that you should expect the unexpected though, certainly as they mature you could be in for a suprise.
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Postby aquariam » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:44 pm

ADG wrote:It is exceptionally difficult to determine with 100% certainty what you're getting at the store. You can try but don't be surprised if the rams you get turn out to be the opposite of what you expect.


I get it 100% right every time if over 2 inches. Not gloating. It is that easy the face is very very different.

Get 5 randoms, get 1 pair, take the rest back I say a 38 is only ok for 1 pair based on exp.

ADG are you SURE your 'male/female' via traditional gospel are true/ Are you sure you've seen the eggs come out?

I've had many pairs always bigger dominant chinny female.
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Postby edburress » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:53 pm

aquarium wrote:I get it 100% right every time if over 2 inches. Not gloating. It is that easy the face is very very different.

I wonder if BelieveInBlue's fish are less than 2 inches then? Because I can see the female vent on the smaller one...

Ed
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Postby jsmeesterr » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:21 pm

No one answered my question!:) so can I have 6 Bolivian rams in a 38 gal? And m:F ratio for 6?
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Postby aquariam » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:22 pm

Sure we did. Get six once a pair forms remove the other 4.
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Postby BelieveInBlue » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:33 pm

2 pairs is fine. I can put 2 female apistos in a 30" tank so 2 pairs of bolivians are fine in a 36" tank. I've never had bolivian rams do more than flare and chase, even when tending eggs. The apistos, on the other hand, seem more than willing to kill nosy/hungry fish... Or maybe that's just because the apistos are wild. In any case, most people will agree that 2 pairs in a 36" tank is fine. As for sexing, wait until they're big enough that you can see the vent clearly, and use that as a guide; it's the only 100% correct way of sexing cichlids these days, as no matter what happens, the female's vent will always be short and blunt compared to the male's. Otherwise, it would hurt a LOT when she goes to lay eggs :p

Edit: the two bolivians in the first picture are ~3". They've spawned well over 50 times and have produced well over 5000 fry (I kull a lot though, so I'd say only about 1/5 make it to sellable size). I've vent sexed them; the male is in front, the female behind.
Last edited by BelieveInBlue on Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ADG » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:34 pm

aquariam wrote:ADG are you SURE your 'male/female' via traditional gospel are true/ Are you sure you've seen the eggs come out?


Yep, absolutely have. The two previous spawns in the past two months I've seen the eggs drop out of the female. They used a bit of slate that was quite close to the front and it was fascinating to watch. The ovipositer on the female was unmistakable when she was ready to lay, the thing was huge. The male's organ (for want of a better word) appeared to grow in size somewhat, but there was no way he was gonna pass anything out of that tube the size of those eggs. These fish are both adults of two years+. The male is larger, has more impressive fins. He measures I'd say about 3 inches, she must be about 2.5inches.

38gal is a bit tight for 6. I agree with aquarium, get 6 or so, then take back 4.
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