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Mikrogeophagus altispinosa
by Blair Stacey and Ruurd Koop
(blairo1 and Dutch Dude)

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This article has been written to provide you with information about caring for and maintaining Mikrogeophagus altispinosa, commonly known as the Bolivian Ram.

Fin Organism Underwater Fish Adaptation


  • Family - Dwarf Cichlid
  • Scientific name - Mikrogeophagus altispinosa
  • Common names - Bolivian Ram
  • Country of origin - Throughout the river basins of Bolivia - Brazil
  • Rivers of origin - Rio Mamoré, Rio Guaporé, Rio Quizer, and Igarape
  • PH: 6 - 7.8
  • KH: 2 - 4
  • GH: 5 - 12
  • Temp: 72 to 79F (22 - 26C)

Natural habitat:

Mikrogeophagus altispinosa is a riverine fish that prefers shallow water. Common habitats include slower moving water that is created by dense vegetation and fallen trees. Due to the density of the vegetation, their natural habitat is shaded and provides plenty of hiding places and territorial markers.

Water Sky Cloud Plant Blue


The "Bolivian Ram" is a peaceful dwarf cichlid that is suitable for a community tanks with other peaceful fish, such as tetras, corydoras, gouramis and such. When kept in a group of 5 or more, they demonstrate very interesting and comical social behavior. This behavior may include territory quarrels and showing off to potential mates. Quarreling can arise quickly and just as quickly reside. Disputes never result in casualties or serious wounds. Disputes may include lip-locking. In lip locking, the fish that lets go first concedes defeat and accepts his lower position.

Eye Nature Botany Organism Underwater

When lip locking occurs between males and females, it can take quite some time before one decides to let go. When this occurs, there is a strong chance that they will become mates

The Bolivian Ram is a peaceful fish, but they will protect their eggs and youngsters with great fervor. They will not be afraid to chase away much larger tank inhabitants. When defending their fry, they don't really damage or hurt potential predators, it's a quick chase, until the aggressor flees to a safe distance.

For smaller tanks (around 20 gallons) it is best to keep altispinosa as a pair. This is particularly true when dealing with "hyper-territorial" males which are somewhat more aggressive and territorial.

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