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I'm in in same postion... Wanted to graduate into cichlids and was having difficulty locating smaller dwarf cichlids recommendd for community (rams, apistos, dwarf acaras).

After some research and water testing, I find that my water is really not suitable for such fish. I have hard water with pH ~7.4-7.6 and those Dwarf SA's typically like it soft & pH <7.0, although the Bolivian is probably the most tolerable. But don't get discouraged, as many have kept SA's in less than idea conditions with no probs.

Then the hard part is finding them, I occasionally may see a Bolivain or Blue Ram at LFS. The only thing I can assume is it is too much work for LFS to keep such fish with our ocal tap water and/or most people do not buy fish that require ongoing water conditioning, ie RO/DI...
 
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