German Blue Ram vs. Bolivian Ram

trinity28

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I am interested in both the GBR and the Bolivian Ram and I’d like to know if anyone has suggestions or thoughts on which would be better. I have a 29 Gallon tank that is being set up that I am considering adding rams to, hopefully with a school of tetras. I like the coloring of both. Do they need to be in groups? I think some people have pairs and some were suggesting a ratio of 1:3 for males to females. Also, I have never had cichlids before, only gouramis, bettas, livebearers, snails, and cories. Would one or the other be a better choice for a cichlid beginner? Thanks!
EDIT: Also, are there any bottom dwellers the are compatible with?
 

coralbandit

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GBR should be kept at 80f+ [like 82 ] with fish that like that temp.For tetras enjoy your cardinals..For bottom SterbaI cories ..
If you want something else go Bolivian as they are good 76f and that opens the door for stocking ..
I breed both !
 

Feohw

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Bolivians are generally hardier. They like water in the 70s. GBR need water in the 80s, so less fish are compatible. I prefer Bolivians myself. They can go with corys and kuhlis (for GBR it would need to be a cory that can live in warmer water - like sterbai). Plecos too. I would add a male/female pair to a 29 gallon tank.
 
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trinity28

trinity28

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Thank you both! I think I am leaning towards Bolivians.
 

Dave125g

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Bolivian. Much less sensitive and more likely to tolerate corydoras.
 

jmaldo

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"Bolivians" one of my favorite. Raised 100's. Very personable and have "Great" character. I liken them to puppies. Very easy to care for. I kept mine at 78 with many types of other fish. Never a problem, except they are very protective of their spawns. Here is a pic of my first pair.
Bolivian Ram Paired.jpg

Good Luck on your choice.
 

Dave125g

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jmaldo said:
"Bolivians" one of my favorite. Raised 100's. Very personable and have "Great" character. I liken them to puppies. Very easy to care for. I kept mine at 78 with many types of other fish. Never a problem, except they are very protective of their spawns. Here is a pic of my first pair.
Bolivian Ram Paired.jpg

Good Luck on your choice.
I have 2 of jamaldos bolivians. He's getting very good at breeding these guys. Not exactly the easiest fish to breed. Not sure if I posted a picture of mine yet. If you notice the color differences it's because they change color. The closer they are to spawning the more vivid there color gets.
20181219_135327.jpg
 

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Lovely looking fish! :) I'm wondering about Ph for these guys (both Bolivian and GBR). What do they do best in?
 

Dave125g

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Algonquin said:
Lovely looking fish! :) I'm wondering about Ph for these guys (both Bolivian and GBR). What do they do best in?
Well wild south American cichlids like soft water with low PH. However fish purchased from pet stores were most likely born and bred for generations in hard water with high PH. They have adapted to this. So here's my opinion and experience with both wild and store bought fish... As long as they are properly acclimated it doesn't matter what your GH/KH or PH is.

If you asking about cycling or breeding it's a different story.
 

Feohw

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Algonquin said:
Lovely looking fish! :) I'm wondering about Ph for these guys (both Bolivian and GBR). What do they do best in?
I wouldn't worry about ph. The best ph is a stable ph. It doesn't necessarily matter as long as it's not extreme. But to answer the question, Bolivians come from waters that are slightly acidic. The general consensus seems to be 6 to 7.5 is the recommended range (narrowing down to 6.5 to 7 for the best conditions), but I've talked to people breeding them at 8.2 without issues.

Gbr apparently come from more acidic water. I've heard 5.2 to 6.3 as "ideal". But 5 to 7 is what most sites say. I've seen people with a ph of 7.5 keeping them, but I don't know of anyone keeping them in higher - gbr aren't my thing.
 

svb3290

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trinity28 said:
I am interested in both the GBR and the Bolivian Ram and I’d like to know if anyone has suggestions or thoughts on which would be better. I have a 29 Gallon tank that is being set up that I am considering adding rams to, hopefully with a school of tetras. I like the coloring of both. Do they need to be in groups? I think some people have pairs and some were suggesting a ratio of 1:3 for males to females. Also, I have never had cichlids before, only gouramis, bettas, livebearers, snails, and cories. Would one or the other be a better choice for a cichlid beginner? Thanks!
EDIT: Also, are there any bottom dwellers the are compatible with?
I've had better success with Bolivian rams as they are a more hardy fish and not as sensitive to water parameters. If going with GBR, add to a tank that is well established (at least 6 months or older). Also, buy from a breeder, you'll have a healthier fish.
 

Algonquin

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Thanks for the info, just curious. I thought I had read somewhere about one of them liking softer water (which I don't have!) Must have been the GBRs. :)
 

svb3290

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Algonquin said:
Lovely looking fish! :) I'm wondering about Ph for these guys (both Bolivian and GBR). What do they do best in?
I find they are happier and longer lived in a stable pH that is more neutral (6.5-7.2). Mine never liked sudden fluctuations in water parameters so be careful with water changes and keep nitrates under 20 ppm.
 

Dave125g

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Algonquin said:
Thanks for the info, just curious. I thought I had read somewhere about one of them liking softer water (which I don't have!) Must have been the GBRs. :)
Both germans and bolivians are said to need soft water with low PH. I currently keep bolivians and in the past have kept german. My PH is 8.2 and very hard. Like off the charts hard. Basically liquid rock.
The germans died at around 6 years old. 2 of my Bolivians are about 7. Not sure of the average lifespan of them. Mabee @jamaldo can enlighten us. But as stated a few posts back stability is key. That's with keeping any fish.
 

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I have a breeding pair of Bolivians in a 29 long that are thriving. They like a well planted tank as sometimes they find a need to get away from each other, sort of like humans lol! They are with a school of Oto's and 4 Pepper Corys at the moment. As mentioned above good water parameters are vital. My tap PH is 7.6

Ram single.jpg



Ram Parents.jpg



Ram Group.jpg
 

Dave125g

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svb3290 said:
I find they are happier and longer lived in a stable pH that is more neutral (6.5-7.2). Mine never liked sudden fluctuations in water parameters so be careful with water changes and keep nitrates under 20 ppm.
German rams or Bolivian rams?
 

ASHLEY R COOK

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Dave125g said:
Both germans and bolivians are said to need soft water with low PH. I currently keep bolivians and in the past have kept german. My PH is 8.2 and very hard. Like off the charts hard. Basically liquid rock.
The germans died at around 6 years old. 2 of my Bolivians are about 7. Not sure of the average lifespan of them. Mabee @jamaldo can enlighten us. But as stated a few posts back stability is key. That's with keeping any fish.
My water is also 8.2 and bolivians have been happy and the hardiest fish I've had.
 

Dave125g

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ASHLEY R COOK said:
My water is also 8.2 and bolivians have been happy and the hardiest fish I've had.
I can't say they're the hardiest fish I've ever kept. But they don't seem to mind hard water, and live what I think is a full life.

I can't speak to breeding them in hard water. I have been, thus far, unsuccessful with that.
 

svb3290

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Dave125g said:
German rams or Bolivian rams?
Bolivian rams are more tolerant of higher pH. I found that GBR do better with lower range. Just my experience. GBR also like temps at around 80°.
 

Feohw

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Dave125g said:
Both germans and bolivians are said to need soft water with low PH. I currently keep bolivians and in the past have kept german. My PH is 8.2 and very hard. Like off the charts hard. Basically liquid rock.
The germans died at around 6 years old. 2 of my Bolivians are about 7. Not sure of the average lifespan of them. Mabee @jamaldo can enlighten us. But as stated a few posts back stability is key. That's with keeping any fish.
For gbr, that is 2-3 times longer than I have heard they live. For bolivians it's a year or two over the average I tend to see thrown about. Some healthy fish/tanks you have.
svb3290 said:
Bolivian rams are more tolerant of higher pH. I found that GBR do better with lower range. Just my experience. GBR also like temps at around 80°.
At least 80. 82 to 86 preferably.
 

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