40 Gallon Tank Bolivian Rams vs. GBRS

Jragan23

So I know I’m going to get some sort of ram sometime. People have already told me it would work with my desired stock. I like the look of GBR’s the best but I’ve heard they are hard to keep. Thing is my water is really hard and pH is around 8. Has anyone kept GBR’s in those conditions? I don’t want to attempt keeping them if you guys think they’ll just die. I’d be okay with Bolivians if GBR’s don’t work out, but they’re my 2nd choice.
 

PSYMON117

I have a pH of 7.6 and really hard water. I have just a male gbr that I've had for about 3 weeks now. He colored up really well and seems to be doing great. The biggest thing with the gbrs if I'm not mistaken is they are extremely sensitive to nitrates. So Missing water changes and things like that are something that while other fish would be fine, they will take it a little harder.
 
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Fishymom64

I’m not sure about German blue rams, but my bolivian rams are doing great with pretty hard Water. I’ve also hear gbr are super sensitive, so I’m not sure how they would do in your tank.
 
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Gudgie

What are your other stocking plans? GBRs and Bolivian rams have different temperature requirements, so that's a big factor. Bolivians fit the more standard tropical temperature (approx. 78F most commonly, but generally anywhere from 74-80F has been recommended). GBRs like it hotter - around 82-84F or so.

Bolivians are also considered to be hardier, much less sensitive than GBRs. However, there seems to be a big range in terms of quality of GBR stock. While they're sensitive stock on average, some are certainly hardier than others; you'll likely have much healthier fish if you're able to find stock from a quality breeder.

I'll add a disclaimer that I haven't personally kept GBRs though I do have Bolivians - but a lot of this is general info you can find on this forum and elsewhere. I've never had a tank set up to handle the preferred temps of GBRs. :)
 
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Jragan23

What are your other stocking plans? GBRs and Bolivian rams have different temperature requirements, so that's a big factor. Bolivians fit the more standard tropical temperature (approx. 78F most commonly, but generally anywhere from 74-80F has been recommended). GBRs like it hotter - around 82-84F or so.

Bolivians are also considered to be hardier, much less sensitive than GBRs. However, there seems to be a big range in terms of quality of GBR stock. While they're sensitive stock on average, some are certainly hardier than others; you'll likely have much healthier fish if you're able to find stock from a quality breeder.

I'll add a disclaimer that I haven't personally kept GBRs though I do have Bolivians - but a lot of this is general info you can find on this forum and elsewhere. I've never had a tank set up to handle the preferred temps of GBRs. :)
Yeah I’ve definitely heard about the temperature thing. My only other thing I have right now are pearl Gouramis. I want a lot of schooling fish, but I’ll likely just try to find one that fits well with the temp of what I choose. I love the GBR’s but how finicky they can sometimes be makes me nervous... maybe I’ll just go with Bolivians to make it less stressful! I don’t know if I should put in one GBR to test it or not even bother?!
 
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PSYMON117

Yeah I’ve definitely heard about the temperature thing. My only other thing I have right now are pearl Gouramis. I want a lot of schooling fish, but I’ll likely just try to find one that fits well with the temp of what I choose. I love the GBR’s but how finicky they can sometimes be makes me nervous... maybe I’ll just go with Bolivians to make it less stressful! I don’t know if I should put in one GBR to test it or not even bother?!
I keep my aquarium at 79, my gbr is happy as well as my gouramis and my Buenos Aires, You really just have to watch because some fish prefer much cooler water. I've never had a Bolivian ram, but the gbr is definitely my showcase (•‿•)
 
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Leeman75

I've kept both types of Rams. I have hard water and the GBRs did fine in it. Bolivians will handle the lower temps better, but for my money, you can't beat the coloring and display of a pair of GBRs. Mine also had a bit more interesting behavior than my Bolivians though that may have just been the individual fish.

I am cycling a tank that I will ultimately try to breed a pair of GBRs in it.
 
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Dunk2

So I know I’m going to get some sort of ram sometime. People have already told me it would work with my desired stock. I like the look of GBR’s the best but I’ve heard they are hard to keep. Thing is my water is really hard and pH is around 8. Has anyone kept GBR’s in those conditions? I don’t want to attempt keeping them if you guys think they’ll just die. I’d be okay with Bolivians if GBR’s don’t work out, but they’re my 2nd choice.

I‘ve never kept Bolivians, but I do keep German Blue Rams. I’ve tried them at slightly lower temperatures, but they’ve done best and thrived in a species only tank at 82 - 83F.

Beyond water temperature, you should also consider that GBR are notoriously slow eaters. In a community tank, you need to be very careful that they don’t get outcompeted for food.

For both of those reasons, I don’t recommend keeping them in a community tank.
 
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PSYMON117

I‘ve never kept Bolivians, but I do keep German Blue Rams. I’ve tried them at slightly lower temperatures, but they’ve done best and thrived in a species only tank at 82 - 83F.

Beyond water temperature, you should also consider that GBR are notoriously slow eaters. In a community tank, you need to be very careful that they don’t get outcompeted for food.

For both of those reasons, I don’t recommend keeping them in a community tank.
Very true. My Buenos Aires were difficult at first for that very reason. The gouramis and gbr struggled to get the food first. Somehow I've managed to come to an understanding with them lol. The bas will eat on one half and the gouramis and my gbr stay on the planted half. For now anyway. But I agree, a species only tank would be ideal.
 
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jmaldo

You have gotten some "Good" advice.
I have kept both in Medium hard water with a pH 7.6-8
Bolivians are my favorite shared a community tank @ 78',raised hundreds.
Mine had "Great" coloring especially in breeding dress, more peaceful except when protecting eggs and fry.


Bolivian Pair.jpg

GBR, Gold, Dark rams were a kept @81-82' they were a bit more territorial.

Highly recommend coralbandit a Ram breeder here. "Great" stock!

Good Luck!
 
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86 ssinit

I’m a fan of the GBRs and golds. Yes they need warm water. Yes coralbandit is the man for rams.
663EDF80-47B1-4518-A728-C8C9006429F2.jpeg
739194F6-15A4-4BBF-B57E-78162A7042A5.jpeg
 
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Jragan23

I’m a fan of the GBRs and golds. Yes they need warm water. Yes coralbandit is the man for rams.
663EDF80-47B1-4518-A728-C8C9006429F2.jpeg
739194F6-15A4-4BBF-B57E-78162A7042A5.jpeg
Wow you have beautiful fish! Love your tank!
I don’t think the warm water would be a problem my tank is at about 81 ish right now!
 
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