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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

Quite new to fishkeeping and having some trouble with my Bolivian rams. I got them a couple of months ago and there were initially no issues. They would chase each other every now and again but nothing too serious. Over the last few days one of my rams has been chasing the other much more aggressively. The bullied ram is no longer eating, hides in the corner with clamped fins. Can anyone tell if I have 2 males and that is why they are fighting? Would a solo male also possible bully a solo female to death?

If i return the bullied one and get another is it pretty much guaranteed that the bullying will start with any other replacement also?

Pictures attached!

Thanks in advance for the help!
Water Fin Plant Fish Underwater

Art Religious item Cuisine Wood Cooking

Organism Wood Fawn Twig Grass

Branch Wood Organism Twig Grass

Vertebrate Wood Organism Twig Fish

Wood Road surface Twig Art Flooring

Wood Terrestrial plant Ingredient Art Recipe

Plant Vertebrate Wood Snake Terrestrial plant

Organism Fin Aquatic plant Fish Underwater

Vertebrate Plant Organism Fish supply Pet supply
 

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Not totally sure on this, but it seems likely you are dealing with 2 males. Gender identification of this species is almost impossible to do, unless actual spawning is observed. Has the dominant, chasing one, dug any areas out of the sand? Cleaned or picked at any rocks, wood or other things in preps for spawning?
Otherwise, you will probably need to just add one or more Bolivian Rams to the tank (2 more?). That will provide more numbers to spread the aggression, and increase your chances of getting a female for spawning with one of your males in the group.
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NOTE: If adding more Bolivian Rams seems like something you want to try? Then by all means - QUARANTINE, the new addition(s) for a minimum of 4 - 6 weeks before introducing them to the community tank. ;)
 
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I would say that this fish is a female-

Fin Fish Wood Underwater Marine biology


The other fish looks like either a male or a scrawny female; hard to tell.

It's never easy to keep just two Alti's together unless they are either a bonded pair, or the tank is big enough for them to get out of each other's way. Adding more Alti's to the mix is a good idea if the tank is large enough, but how big is this tank?
 

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The volume of the aquarium is not as important as it's dimensions. What is the size of your tank in length, width (front to back), and depth?
 

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That is plenty of room for a couple more Rams!
  • Your tank looks like it has a lot of aquatic plants in it (Nice work) Providing plenty of cover like that helps to break up sight lines and will keep everyone more secure and comfortable.
  • More Rams in there will get your dominant one (bully) more fish to spread out the aggression on, limiting the amount that a single one could get isolated and picked on.
  • Water changes. With more Rams, you may have to up your game a bit with more water pushed in higher percentage/higher frequency water changes to keep those Nitrates and Phospates diluted out of the water to a safe (low) level.
 
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I would guess they're both males, no blocky head, long tailers, and 3 black dorsal rays.

Females tend to have a more blocky head. But to be 100% certain you need to see the vents, I would say you could probably add 2 more and hope for a female.

I would do what Auballagh says, more line of site blocks, more caves/rocks.

Bolivans are a truly beautiful fish, very hardy. Most people want GBR's, but this can be an excellent replacement for them.
I have had them spawn NUMEROUS times. Also raise a whole batch of fry, and gave them away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so 3 more rams added today! The bully doesn’t know what to do. Chased everyone initially but seems to be much quieter now and they have all spread out over the tank.

the bullied one still hiding and not looking too happy but hopefully can make a recovery.

will keep an eye on water parameters and do changes as necessary.
Thanks to everyone for their input!
 
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