Bolivian Rams are beautiful additions to home aquariums. They are a calm and peaceful species of the Cichlid family that don’t grow to be very large. So, if you decide to place them in a communal tank, you may wonder, what are the best Bolivian ram cichlids tank companions?
The ideal tank mates for your Bolivian Ram should match the Ram’s size and peaceful temperament. So, various fish species such as Platyfish, Molly Fish, Corydoras Catfish, Dwarf Gouramis, and Silver Dollar Fish all pair well.
This article will discuss the 15 best Bolivian ram tank mates and tips on how to ensure you choose the correct species. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know.
The Bolivian Ram Cichlid
The Bolivian Ram is a member of the Cichlid family and is known for its striking colors, which liven up your aquarium, and its unique but unusual swimming patterns.
The color of this species can range from silver and blue to yellow and red, and they’ll certainly stand out among the other fish in your aquarium.
As they move around the tank, they swim for a few strokes, then stop suddenly and repeat this throughout the day. It’s amusing to watch; however, the reason is to not stir up sediment as they feed.
Unlike many other varieties of aggressive Cichlids, such as the Green Terror, the Bolivian Ram is a fairly peaceful species that are easy going. They tend to be shy and won’t bother any other fish in the communal aquarium.
Taking Care Of Your Bolivian Ram
The Bolivian Ram Cichlid will generally grow to be 3.5 inches in size and requires a tank with a minimum of 30 gallons of freshwater. They are relatively easy to care for and can be great fish for beginners.
This hardy species of Cichlid follows an omnivorous diet consisting of meat and plants. An option to ensure their nutritional requirements are met is fish food, such as pellets or flakes.
One common problem that may arise is a disease known as ich. This parasite will appear as white spots on the skin, but it’s generally easy to treat. Turning up the temperature of the water can help, but if not, it may require a copper treatment.
If you place your Bolivian Ram in ideal conditions and take good care of it, it will generally live to be four years old.
15 Best Bolivian ram tank mates
When choosing the appropriate and safest tank mates for your Bolivian Ram, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind. Fish that should avoid are larger predatory fish who may chase, dominate or bully your peaceful Bolivian Ram.
As a simple rule of thumb, you’ll want to place your Bolivian Rams in aquariums with other species of fish that match their small size and peaceful nature.
As Bolivian Rams are considered bottom feeders, adding top feeders makes for great tank mates. This ensures they have companions that shouldn’t cross paths too often.
To ensure that you choose ideal tank mates for your Bolivian Ram, we have listed 15 of the best options below.
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1. Cherry Barbs
Cherry Barbs are an ideal tank mate for Bolivian Rams as they are just as peaceful and shy as the latter. Cherry Barbs grow to be approximately 2 inches in size, which match well with the size of the Bolivian Ram.
The Cherry Barbs and Bolivian Rams enjoy a tank with plenty of plants, foliage, and rocks to swim around. If these requirements are met, you should have no problems keeping these two species in the same tank.
The Platyfish is an admirable species of fish that comes in a unique golden and black color. They work well as tank mates for your Bolivian Ram as they match its size and tolerate various water conditions.
While you may see some aggression from the Platyfish towards other members of its species, they rarely show this temperament to Bolivian Rams.
The Platyfish is an active swimmer and thrives when placed in schools of three to six. To ensure there’s enough space, keep them in tanks of at least 50 gallons or more.
3. Molly Fish
Molly Fish are a species that originated in Central and South America and are known for their calm and peaceful nature. They will generally grow to be anywhere from 2-4 inches in size and pair well with Bolivian Rams.
This species of fish will also work to keep your aquarium clean, as they love to eat all kinds of algae. However, Molly Fish are omnivores, so from time to time, feeding them with a mixture of insects and worms will ensure they thrive.
4. Corydoras Catfish
Next on our list is the Corydoras Catfish, a species of fish that generally grows to be anywhere from 1 to 3 inches in size. These species have fascinating patterns on their skin and are a joy to watch swim around the tank.
The Corydoras Catfish species, such as the Pygmy Cory or Dwarf Cory, can be excellent tank mates for your Bolivian Ram as they are both peaceful, having little to no temperament.
Bolivian Rams and Corydoras tend to steer clear of each other; however, if the Rams are spawning, they may chase the Corydoras. So, ensure the tank is at least 30 gallons in size to allow for separate grazing territories.
5. Dwarf Gouramis
Dwarf Gouramis are great communal fish and work well as tank mates for Bolivian Rams. They grow to be around 3.5 inches in size and have a peaceful temperament, matching well with the Bolivian Ram.
The Gouramis also match well with the Bolivian Ram as they tend to stay close to the top of the tank, whereas the Rams are bottom feeders.
Dwarf Gouramis thrive on a diet of white worms, bloodworms, and brine shrimps. With proper care, the Gouramis will match the four-year lifespan of the Bolivian Ram.
6. Silver Dollar Fish
Silver Dollar Fish is one of the most beautiful species on this list and will certainly be the talking point of your aquarium. Their shiny silver skin brings a unique look to the tank, and they can be kept with any species that doesn’t fit in their mouth.
The Silver Dollar will grow to be around 6 inches in size and requires a tank of at least 75 gallons to ensure they thrive and have enough space to roam.
They love to eat all kinds of plants, and so long as there is enough food to go around, they are fairly peaceful.
7. Rummy Nose Tetra
Rummy Nose Tetras are perfect tank mates for your Bolivian Ram as they share similar qualities, such as being peaceful shy in nature and they match well in size.
This species is identified by its bright red heads and slender bodies. They generally grow to be 1.5 inches in size at maximum and are relatively easy to care for.
The Rummy Nose will need around 5 gallons of water for every fish you introduce into the aquarium. On top of this, grow various plants and ensure a sufficient amount of ornaments and sand.
8. Kuhli Loaches
Kuhli Loaches are a tiny and peaceful species of fish that are recognized by their distinct tiger-like patterned scales. They will easily co-exist with various other peaceful species, such as the Bolivian Ram.
This particular species is a bottom feeder who’ll enjoy a meat- and plant-based diet and thrive when in a tank that is at least 20 gallons or larger in size.
Plant a portion of Java moss or fern to ensure the fish has somewhere to hide when it feels uncomfortable, and avoid placing rough material on the floor to protect the underbelly of the Kuhli.
9. Emperor Tetra
Emperor Tetras are known for being a calm and peaceful species of fish that gets along well with many species, including the Bolivian Ram. They’ll only grow to be 2 inches in size, and with proper care, they’ll live for up to 6 years.
It’s essential to keep the water temperature between 73 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re planning on keeping Emperor Tetras with Bolivian Rams.
Another key factor in ensuring Emperor Tetras’s longevity is ensuring the tank is at least 30 gallons in size, and equipping it with aquarium plants such as Anacharis and Anubias for oxygen circulation.
One of the most popular and beautiful aquarium-kept fish is the Guppie. A fish known for its peaceful nature and shy personality will likely spend most of its time hiding away from the other species of fish.
If you plan to introduce Guppies to your aquarium, ensure the tank is at least 20 gallons, and then add 5 gallons for every tank mate. Guppies and Bolivian Rams both appreciate various plants and hiding spots, such as rocks or ornaments.
Bolivian Rams and Angelfish make for great tank mates as they both have low temperaments and will generally steer clear of each other as they roam around the tank.
Introducing plenty of plants and decorations is key to keeping these fish together. This will ensure that the fish have somewhere to hide, which can even reduce boredom.
Angel Fish do generally grow to be approximately three times the size of Bolivian Rams, so ensure you have a tank with a lot of swimming space. We recommend a tank size of at least 55 gallons.
12. Swordtail Fish
Swordtail fish are a fairly popular pet fish originating in North and Central America. They are low-maintenance fish that make great tank mates for Bolivian Rams as they are peaceful and small in size.
The Swordtail fish is known for its long fin, which protrudes from its behind. It will grow to be anywhere from 4 to 5.5 inches in size.
They require a tank that is at least 15 gallons in size and ensures that 5 gallons are added for every additional fish.
They enjoy various pieces of driftwood, rocks, and plants to explore and hide in. If kept in the correct conditions, this beautiful golden-orange colored fish will live for up to five years.
13. Tiger Barb
The Tiger Barb is a beautiful fish species that are native to Malaysia and Borneo. They’re instantly recognizable thanks to their unique golden yellow body full of black stripes.
While this species of fish is known to be a little aggressive occasionally, they are generally peaceful and work well in tanks with Bolivian Rams.
The Tiger Barb will grow to be around 2.5 or 3 inches in size, so it won’t be able to bully or intimidate the larger Bolivian Ram.
14. Celestial Pearl Danio
The Celestial Pearl Danio is an excellent tank mate for Bolivian Rams as they tend to be quite shy and live a very peaceful life in the aquarium.
The Pearl Danio will grow to be around 1.5 inches in size and have unique bodies full of pearl-like dots which are pearlescent. The males have a distinctive red stripe that runs through the middle of their bodies.
Ensure the aquarium has plenty of rocks and plants scattered along the bottom, as the Pearl Danio thoroughly enjoys swimming and hiding in these areas.
15. Otocinclus Catfish
Otocinclus Catfish are popular tank mates for all species of peaceful fish and work hard to keep your aquarium free of algae. Even the baby Bolivian Rams will be safe in their presence.
This species of Catfish will grow to be 2 inches on average and will require a tank of at least 10 gallons in size. They love to swim through plants and driftwood, so an additional amount of these ornaments ensures they won’t get bored.
This fish is beneficial for all aquariums as it keeps them clean and algae-free. Just ensure they are introduced into a mature tank so that they don’t run out of food.
So, now that we have given you the best 15 options of tank mates for your Bolivian Ram, will you introduce a few of these species to your home aquarium?
Just remember, when choosing tank mates for Bolivian Rams, a peaceful temperament, a similar stature, and tank requirements are three of the most important factors to consider.
Ian Sterling, founder of Fishlab.com, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website, Fishlab.com, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.