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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I've been trying to figure out what type of cichlid we got. It was store bought from petsmart. It was a while ago so I can't remember what name they even said it was. We got it because it said it was supposed to stay very small (I believe 1 or 2 inches). We've had it for at least a year now and he is still really small. About an inch. I've searched and searched and can't figure out what kind he is. I'm try to find out so I know what other fish would be OK to put with him. Any help is greatly appreciated! Picture attached! Hard to get pictures from all sides but when looking from the front his head is really wide and eyes kind of bulge out from the head unlike most cichlids I've seen.
Thanks!
Candy
 

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That is a Bolivian Ram in very poor shape, after a year it should be much bigger than it is. They can get over 3 inches, but are generally very peaceful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! Oh no though! Any reason it would be so small still? (i.e., what am I doing wrong!?!)
 

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Calapan said:
Thank you so much! Oh no though! Any reason it would be so small still? (i.e., what am I doing wrong!?!)
It could just be a small fish; I've had fish that "should" reach 4 to 5 inches never get any bigger than 3 inches. The color is very poor though, there should be yellow and blue and red, your's looks mostly gray. What are the parameters of your water? Rams like soft low ph water. What are the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? How often do you do water changes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He's probably closer to 2 inches (from tip to tip) and very "full" in terms of size. I feed him once per day and he eats plenty of the food (always some left over). I do water changes once per month (he is in a 45 gallon tank with just 2 small cory catfish) and an external filter strong enough for a 200 gallon task. Not sure exactly of the water readings. Don't typically do water tests because the tank is always clean and they always look fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looking at online pics of the Bolivian Ram, mine looks somewhat different (shape of head is different), also mine has never had colors like those pictures. Could it be some similar related breed or something?
 

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Calapan said:
Looking at online pics of the Bolivian Ram, mine looks somewhat different (shape of head is different)
That is deformity, not because it is a different breed. The same sort of head deformity can show up on other cichlids, as well.
 

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Water changes once a month probably isn't enough. If your nitrates were through the roof (or if you had ammonia or nitrite, or if the pH had crashed...) your water would look fine. Surely if you care about the fish you know what the parameters are. That fish has been starved for a very long time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My fish has never been starved. It eats plenty every day. If you think that I need to change water more than once a month, that is your opinion (which I disagree with), but my fish has never gone a day without food and to claim that with having literally no information is rude and uncalled for. I care more about my fish than you know. If I didn't I wouldn't be on here asking questions in the first place.
 
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