Mikrogeophagus altispinosa (Bolivian Ram, Microgeophagus altispinosa)

Although less brilliantly coloured than its congener the common ram Mikrogeophagus ramirezi this species is far more robust and generally a better investment. Body is basically silvery green, tending towards blue above and yellow around the throat and shoulders. The fins are marked with red. A black vertical stripe passes through the eye and there is a small black spot about halfway along the flank. The two sexes are similar, though males may be slightly larger and tend to have longer rays in the fins.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

One of the best dwarf cichlids for the inexperienced hobbyist, this species is essentially tolerant and easy to keep. It does well across a range of water chemistry values, though a neutral pH with slightly soft to moderately hard water works well. Unlike Mikrogeophagus ramirezi it does not need very warm water and doesn't appreciate highly acidic, very soft water conditions either. Can be kept in a peaceful community aquarium, but like other dwarf cichlids it is best enjoyed in a single species tank where its social and breeding behaviour can be better observed.

In common with other Mikrogeophagus these fish are substrate sifters, taking in mouthfuls of mud and extracting edible items including algae, fragments of decaying plant material, seeds, and small invertebrates. A similarly diverse diet in the aquarium is essential for best colouration. Neglecting the plant side of the menu leads to a loss of colour over time.

Reproduction is similar to Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. These fish are biparental open spawners. Eggs are laid on flat stones and initially the female tends the eggs while the male defends the territory. The eggs hatch after about 3-4 days, at which point both parents will move the fry to one of a number of small pits already dug by the male. The wriggling fry are moved between the pits until they are free swimming, at which point they form a school that is shepherded by both parents around the tank.

Family Group: South and Central American Cichlids
Distribution South America: Bolivia and Brazil
Temperature 24-26C
Size 8 cm
Water Parameters Neutral, not too soft
Water PH 6.5-7.5

Shop stock

The latest shops to have this fish stocked in-store are listed below. Click on a shop name for full shop details, or click the link below the shops to view ALL shops that stock this fish.

Abacus Aquatics Kent DA15 8DJ View shop
Amwell Aquatics - Epping Epping CM16 6LX View shop
Maidenhead Aquatics @ Crowland Peterborough PE6 0JB View shop
Maidenhead Aquatics @ Lincoln Lincoln LN6 9BY View shop
Wholesale Tropicals London E2 0AA View shop

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