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Bolivian Rams Or Kribs

Author Topic: Bolivian Rams or Kribs  (Read 3676 times)

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Offline Diz1

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Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« on: January 24, 2015, 07:27:45 PM »
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evening everyone!
It's been a while since I last posted - pressure of work etc., but I have a question for all you knowledgeable fish keepers on the forum.
My main tank is a juwel Rio 180, currently set up with gravel substrate, planted live plants and plants on bogwood.
Current occupants are:
7 male platies (I know they like hard water and mine is Scottish soft, but got them from local person who's bred them for ages)
8 cherry barbs
5 gold barbs
1 BN plec

I would really like to have a pair of cichlids for my final 2 fish and don't know whether to go for Bolivian Rams or kribs. The CC says both would be OK, but I've read that the Rams like sand to spawn in. My question is:
Could I get Rams and put a dish of sand in the tank for them to use (already have caves) outside the caves? Or should I just go for kribs?
Thanks in advance,

Diz

Offline Sue

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2015, 07:39:46 PM »
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Bolivian ram spawn on flat rocks. I have some photos somewhere of a pair I had doing just that.

My pair were not particularly aggressive when they spawned but I have heard that kribs can be, though I've never had any of them.
And both species can be picky about mates, the best way to choose is by watching the tank in the shop for a while to see if you can spot any obvious pairs.



One thing I would advise caution on though. I had my bolivians on fine gravel and the female got a piece stuck in her throat. It was there for a few days then it vanished - I have no idea if it went up or down. But she was never the same again. Her co-ordination was awful, she would try to grab a bit of food and miss. She didn't last very long, then the male just went downhill and he died too. This is the reason I have sand in all my tanks now.
Both types of ram are Mikrogeophagus species, and the name means small earth eater. They feed by taking mouthfuls of substrate, filtering the food out then spitting the substrate back out. Just on those grounds, if you have gravel (unless the particles are too large to fit in a fish's mouth) I would go with kribs - unless someone says they too feed like this.

Offline Diz1

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2015, 07:43:17 PM »
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Great, thanks Sue. I'll focus on investigating kribs then

Offline Diz1

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2015, 07:47:05 PM »
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Great, thanks Sue. I'll focus on investigating kribs then

Having said that, though, are there any other cichlids that would be OK in my setup do you think?

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2015, 07:49:34 PM »
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Apistogrammas, Nannacaras, Laetacaras etc Most of these don't grow any bigger than bolivians or kribs and they like soft acid water. Apistogramma cacatuoides (cockatoo cichlids) and A agassizi are the easiest to find in shops. A trio, 1m2f, of either would work.

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2015, 07:52:30 PM »
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As ever, thanks for the great advice Sue, I feel another bout of research coming on! :cheers:

Offline bferg4

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2015, 12:55:47 AM »
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My Kribs are really territorial with their fry, although I would imagine with your size of tank that they'd have enough space to not cause any harm to the other inhabitants, but they will claim a section of the tank as their own when breeding and defend it from any intruders.


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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 08:47:21 AM »
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Thanks bferg4, my tank is quite spacious and does have a lot of hiding places, but I've since been warned (by members of a facebook local aquatic group) that keeping any type of cichlid in a community tank is unwise because other fish will be stressed or damaged when the cichlids spawn and have fry.

Looks like it's back to the drawing board then!

One local person has suggested red- chinned panchax, but I've never heard of these and don't know if they're a wise choice for me. Has anyone ever kept these?

Offline Sue

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2015, 11:43:24 AM »
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I had cockatoo apistos spawn several times in my 125 litre tank. The male ignored everything once he'd done his bit; the female chased fish if they came within about 8 inches of her eggs/fry but she stopped chasing when they were far enough away and she never actually made contact. Most fish will get the message to stay away, the main exception being cories which never seem to understand that if they go near they'll get chased. My dwarf chain loaches were always hovering near hoping for a meal, but again the female apisto never hurt them.
Needless to say, the fry all got eaten once they became free swimming.

Maybe I just had an odd fish; maybe cockatoo apisto females are all like this. But this is the only species I have any experience of.

Offline Diz1

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2015, 12:10:22 PM »
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Hi Sue,
Thanks again for the advice. I'm kind of resigned to the whole fry being eaten now, but wondering if these red-chinned panchax would be worth a go?

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2015, 12:23:31 PM »
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According to Seriously Fish it sounds like they could be OK. They will mix with a wide range of fish.


As for fry, it is almost impossible to stop them being eaten in a community tank. The only realistic way to breed fish is a species only tank.

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2015, 12:27:05 PM »
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thanks Sue,
Now I'm really torn between the 2. I really like the look of the cockatoo apisto, but the panchax are bred locally and the guy only wants 1 for each of them. Will they be as interesting to observe as the apisto though? Just not sure. Decisions, decisions!!

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2015, 12:32:37 PM »
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Do you have room for both  O:-)

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2015, 12:36:41 PM »
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Current occupants are:
7 male platies (I know they like hard water and mine is Scottish soft, but got them from local person who's bred them for ages)
8 cherry barbs
5 gold barbs
1 BN plec

Not sure if there's enough room for both. Local breeder says I'd need 46 panchax

Offline Sue

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2015, 12:48:07 PM »
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Have you tried entering them all in the CC? I know the panchax aren't in the database so they can't be added to the CC, but entering the details for a Rio 180 with internal filter, the fish you already have plus a trio of cockatoo apistos come to 66% stocked. Adding 4 of the much bigger Golden Wonder panchax would take you to 85%.

Possibly both fish are do-able.

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2015, 12:52:56 PM »
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Ooh that's very interesting. These will be my last additions, so maybe worth getting both lots. The apistos will come from the LFS, so I'll quarantine them first but the local guy has a really good reputation and I think i could put the panchax in straight away. That would give my filter time to adjust to the increased bioload.

Would the apistos be Ok in my QT (25 litre) for a couple of weeks? there's a cave in there and some plastic plants, but nothing on the bottom.

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2015, 01:50:31 PM »
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It should be - provided the male doesn't decide he wants to spawn in there. Males do chase females quite a bit when they are 'in the mood' which is fine in a big tank with lots of places for a female to escape. If he does start chasing the female(s), could you contrive a divider for the QT? Something along the lines of plastic craft mesh works well as it allows water to flow through.

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2015, 01:58:50 PM »
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Yes, that would be no problem. Thanks again for your advice. My LFS has reserved a pair for me to look at next week, so I'll see what i think when i get there. will post pictures once they're in the main tank.

Offline bferg4

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2015, 06:26:24 PM »
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Thanks bferg4, my tank is quite spacious and does have a lot of hiding places, but I've since been warned (by members of a facebook local aquatic group) that keeping any type of cichlid in a community tank is unwise because other fish will be stressed or damaged when the cichlids spawn and have fry.

Looks like it's back to the drawing board then!

One local person has suggested red- chinned panchax, but I've never heard of these and don't know if they're a wise choice for me. Has anyone ever kept these?

With my Kribs I won't keep any predominately bottom feeding fish alongside them. I have them with Neons and some Barbs and they'll chase them if they get too close but that's all. They won't single out a certain fish and continually go for it.

Getting a new tank next month though and going with a species only tank with a few dither fish.
 

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Re: Bolivian Rams or Kribs
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2015, 07:04:11 PM »
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Thanks bferg. I phoned my LFS and they've got a male and female cockatoo apisto on reserve for me to go and look at next week. They seemed to think that these might be better in my tank, but they do have kribs as well, so I'm going to see what I think when I get there :)

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