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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to QUIT keeping African cichlids because it is really hard to deal with their aggressiveness so i am planning to keep Bolivian Rams. I dont know if the bolivian ram is a central or south american cichlid so here are my questions:

Are Bolivian Rams Peaceful cichlids??? I mean they dont kill each other like african cichlids do?
Can i house bolivian rams in a 15 gallon tank? If yes how many? If not, what is the recommended tank size for them?
Can i put Golden severum?
What are their water parameters?
Type of set up recommended for them?
Can i put plants??? If yes, what are the lists of plants suited for these fish and can be put in a 15 gallon tank.
What kind of filter should i use?
Do they require still flowing water or turbulent waters like african cichlids?

Sorry guys for so many questions. I am really new in keeping american cichlids.

Oh by the way, what are the recommended tankmates for them that can be housed in a 15 gallon tank?
Thank you!!!
 

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Bolivians are SA cichlids from the Guapore and Mamore drainage on the border of Brazil and Bolivia. Their scientific name is Microgeophagus altispinosa.

- Bolivians are peaceful cichlids but do have some character. They do best in small groups of 5 or more. When you keep a pair you take a small risk of losing the female. Occasionally males chase females when the male is ready to breed but the female isn't. It is rare but not impossible for the male to chase the female around and stress her so much she eventually dies. I never heard this when Bolivians are kept in small groups of 5 or more. Previous sounds aggressive but they realy aren't and lots of people will confirm. If Bolivians have eggs or youngsters they act like awesome parents and protect the fry. They don't hold back on chasing fish out of their spot that are 3 to 4 times their size. Their bloodcare is very interesting to watch.

- A 15 gallon is doable for 1 pair but definitely to small for a group. If this is the size of your tank I recommend Apistogramma or GBR (German Blue Rams) but be aware those species are a bit delicate.

- A severum should be in a tank of AT LEAST 55 gallon so this is a NO!

- Bolivians are a hardier specie and quit adaptive. They do best on PH=5.5 to PH=7.5 Apistogramma and GBR need soft very clean water and do best on PH=5.5 to 6.5 and domesticated strains also handle PH=7.

-Bolivians need a densely planted tank with some driftwood and some flat stones to spawn on. Apisto's also prefer densely planted tanks and need caves to take shelter and to breed in. You need at least one cave for each fish.

- Yes they NEED plants to feel happy. Any plant you like and are been able to grow. They do like plants with broad leaves the best like Echinodorus species. Make sure the plants you add will do well on the water parameters of the tank and light intensity of the tube lights.

- The type of filter is hard to say and lots and lots of possibilities. Your tank is small so some additional volume would be nice. My suggestion is a canister or a HOB. It's output should be around 45 to 60 gallons an hour.

- for plant growth you need to keep the water flow on the low side. The fish DON't like turbulent water!!!

If you do want to keep a pair of Bolivians (thats max in a 15 gallon) you won't have much room left for tankmates. I suggest some small tetras (8 to 10) and 5 Otocinclus for algea control and cleaning up on food particles.

If you like to know more abouth Bolivians I suggest to check the BRC treat on this board. Tons of info on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you mean that i can put 1 pair of Bolivian Ram, 8 to 10 danios and 5 Otocinclus in a 15 s?gallon tank?

I decided to put an internal canister filter. BTW, im from the philippines so the water quality is quite hard and somewhat more alkaline. Can you give me some techniques to acidify my water? If you suggest peat, i cant purchase it because it is very hard to find.

Are there no fishes available instead of otocinclus for a 15 gallon tank? Can i use pleco? The black pleco is very common here in the philippines and for me, otocinclus is so rare to find.

BTW, Thank you very much for your reply. I really appreciate it. I sold my cichlids already and my 15 gallon tank is empty today.

Here are the list of things i will use for my new tank.

Undergravel filter (is it good for a heavily planted aquaria?)
Canister filter
ordinary Coarse gravel
and some rocks and flowerpots for caves.

:dancing: Thank you! :D
 

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Yes you could keep on pair of Bolivians, 5 oto's and 8 small tetras in a 15 gallon tank. I would recommend do to 2 times a week a 50% water change. Bolivians tolerate and spawn on a PH up to 7.5. You could keep them at PH=8 but if they spawn the eggs probably won't hatch. For the size of your tank I would prefer a harem (one male and 2 female) of Apistogramma. The domesticated species like A. borellii, A. cacatuoides and A. hongsloi II are more tolerant of the water qualety and can handle higher PH levels compared to wild specimen. Best would be to buy some fish that are local bred. Maybe you can provide us with more info abouth your local tapwater. Important would be PH, KH, GH.

Otocinclus are dwarfs and won't put much extra bio load on the tank. They clean up food particles and soft slimy algea. They are a great cleaning crew and come in a small package. Their behaviour is also fun to watch. Pleco's mostly grow to large sizes and mostly turn out to be poop machines :wink: Rineloricaria might work. R.Parva is a common one.

Your tank is small and people tend to overcrowded small tanks very easy. So that why I recommend small species to keep the bio load down and to make the tank more attractive. In stead of the tetras and algea eater you could also add a group of 8 Corydoras Hastatus. This is a dwarf cory that swims and act like a tetra. Those can be dither and clean up crew at the same time.

A canister is a wise decision on your tank. Undergravel filters often create more troubles. It blows or sucks out the nutrition's for the plants and when dirt begin to build up it can couse roting in the substrate. So I strongly suggest not to put in an under gravel filter.

Bolivians don't need caves and spawn on flat surfaces like driftwood or a stone. Apistogramma do need caves to take shelter and do spawn in their cave!

I suggest small grain gravel (grain size maximum 1/10 inch or 2 to 3 mm) or sand substrate. I prefer sand over gravel. Make sure it doesn't contain much calcium becouse this will increase the PH. Poolfiltersand and river sand are often save to use.
 

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In a 15 gallon tank, I would not put all the fish recommended by previous posters. It's too small of a tank, IMHO, especially when you consider you've got gravel, driftwood, plants, etc. The water volume will be quite a bit less than 15. If that is all the tank size I had, I'd personally go with a trio of apistos and not much else, maybe some otos.

Given the hardness of your water, have you considered doing "shellies." The tank size would be fine with them and your parameters would be as well. And they are not aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you mean that i can put: a pair of Bolivian Ram, 8 small tetras, harem of apistogramma and corydoras in a 15 gallon thank? Im quite confused so please make it clearer.

Here are the final items ill use:
internal canister filter
Ordinary Coarse gravel
(im really sorry. I tried to find pool filter sand but there is not petstore selling them in my country. Will Ordinary coarse gravel do?)

If the said fish list above are suitable for my aquarium, Ill have:
pair of bilivian rams
8 small tetras
and 5 corydoras.

Please check my fish list and my equipments coz im really excited to start my new aquarium.

ill wait for your replies guys! thank you! :D :)
 

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pair of bilivian rams
8 small tetras
and 5 corydoras.
A 15 gallon tank is quite adequate for a pair of Bolivians, a few corys and a group of peaceful tetras - harlequins are cool, Rummynose (Hemmigrammus bleheri) are one of my favourites though. You must ensure the tank has plenty of decoration, plants, driftwood etc all help to break up line of sight and reduce aggression levels considerably. A well scaped 15 gallon will easily house the above fish for life and they will be more than able to thrive and even raise fry initially (the fry will have to be removed after a while if you intend to raise them full-term).

Ruurd is not recommending that you add Apisto's to the mix as well, he is simply stating that a harem of Apisto's may be better suited to the tank size than the Bolivians, as it is the bare minimum for Bolivian Rams. I agree with this as much as I love pushing Bolivians on people - in a 15 gallon Bolivians will be fine but you do occasionally get a particularly territorial fish and in these instances the mate can become worn out and stressed if it cannot keep up.

Internal filters really aren't a whole lot of good, sure they work and depending on what you need they can be adequate, but a canister filter is different - it is like the Rena XP3 or Fluval 305 etc. Even on my 10 gallon shelldweller tank I use the Fluval 105 filter, for a 15 gallon I'd use one of these as the minimum (personal preference just keeps the tank much cleaner and gives you a lot of leeway on biocapacity):
http://www.1st4aquatics.com/fluval-205-3441-p.asp

If you can afford it, they aren't that much, it free's up the space the internals took up, which is important in small tanks and it keeps the tank far cleaner with less waste build up. I would consider this especially important as you intend to use gravel.

If you can get your hands on any sand then do so - these fish really only display the more natural behaviour when provided with a sand substrate. It doesn't have to be PFS, it can be any sand. Pool filter sand is more likely to be found at a hardware store or somewhere they provide swimming pool supplies, rather than a pet store. The other big advantage with sand is how easy it is to keep clean - waste sits on top and therefore with good current it will eventually be blown around into the filter inlet.

If you can't get any sand anywhere then gravel will do just fine, I'd get gravel as fine as you can find it.

:thumb:
 

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Ruurd is not recommending that you add Apisto's to the mix as well, he is simply stating that a harem of Apisto's may be better suited to the tank size than the Bolivians, as it is the bare minimum for Bolivian Rams.
Thats right.

Did you already made plans for the aquascape and plant list etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey dutch dude, i have no lists of plants but im planning to put Hygrophila and Cabomba. I dont know if the said plants complement and have the same requirements so if you guys have any advice regarding the plants for my new aquarium please post some replies.

I am still doing some research about the habitat of my new planned selection of fishes.
Regarding the aquascape, ( Good thing dutch dude mentioned it) I dont have any idea on what kind of aquascape i will do so,again, if you have some recommendations please help me.

Thank you guys!!! :) :fish: :dancing:
 

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I suggest to google a bit, check the tank section and gather some info abouth plant care. This will keep you busy a while I guess, haha! When you know what you want or know what you don't want we can help you out on plant species and some extra advice.

There are so many possibilities so I suggest to select a couple you like and bring this in as a discusion.
 
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