What Fish Can Live With Bolivian Rams? Best Tank Mates

Bolivian rams, also known as Bolivian butterfly, is native to Amazon River both in Brazil and Bolivia. It is also one of the famous and most colorful aquarium fishes. They are exclusive for their intriguing behaviors and unique appearance.

Bolivian Rams can survive alone, and they can also thrive well in groups of similar species or other fishes. They can cope with any peaceful and non-aggressive tank mates. The best tank mates for Bolivian Rams are; Neon tetra, Rummy Nose Tetra, Emperor Tetra, Odessa Barb, Tiger Barb, Guppy, Minnow, Platy, Dwarf Gourami, Dwarf Rainbow fish, and Corydoras catfish. 

What Fish Can Live With Bolivian Rams

Aside from their attractive outlook; aquarium owners also prefer to keep Bolivian Ram in their tank because of social and highly compatible practices with other tank members. This compatibility also makes them ideal candidates for community tanks.

However, it is advisable to keep Bolivian Rams with only species that have similar environmental demands. They can live with non-aggressive, soft water, and bottom-dwelling fishes. They cannot cope with aggressive and temperamental fishes because they can get bullied. Likewise, keeping them with smaller fishes like red Cherry and shrimp might not be in your best interest because they can mistake them for food.

General Water Requirements For Bolivian Rams

Bolivian Rams need a medium-sized tank because they like staying together in groups and community tanks. A tank that can contain 30 gallons of water is suitable for 6 Bolivian Rams. Each fish requires 5-10 gallons of water to be at their optimum best. Bolivian Rams have small to medium body sizes; and they can only grow up to 3.5 inches at the adult stage.

Bolivian Rams prefer moderate temperature [74-78°F], which you can check with the use of a thermometer. They also prefer their pH that ranges from slightly acidic to neutral [6.0-7.4]. You can also test for this pH with the help of a simple litmus paper.

Likewise, you can also add aquarium plants like; Water wisteria, Java moss, java fern, Aubias nana, and Amazon sword plant to the tank of Bolivian Rams. The presence of this plant will further simulate their natural environment, and the plants can also perform other functions. For instance, Java moss lowers the pH of the water, which is a favorable development for Bolivian Rams.

Tank Requirements For Bolivian Rams

Bolivian Rams are very easy to keep in tanks because they don’t have outrageous demands. They are peaceful fish that are not very rigid in their tank requirements. Nevertheless, certain factors must be kept in mind when setting up aquarium homes for Bolivian Rams.

You can also provide soft and blunt substrates such as fine sand and few pebbles in their tanks. You should, however, let the rocks be considerably big to avoid the fish mistaking them for food and accidentally ingesting them. Also, you should maintain subdued or deemed lightening in the tank because their natural environment is shaded.

It is equally important to be aware that Bolivian Rams are also sensitive to the mineral level in their tank. They are specifically susceptible to the nitrate level of the aquarium tank. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to keep these water parameters in check.

General Behaviors Of Bolivian Rams

Unlike most other known Cichlids that are bullies in any tank they find themselves; Bolivian Rams are classic for being a peaceful fish. They spend most of their time in the middle and loyal part of the tank where they enjoy their cruise. They are highly compatible with other peaceful species; and they are also suitable for community tanks.

Bolivian Rams also have an amusing but unique swimming technique. They usually move for a few strokes before stopping all of a sudden and repeat over and over again. Bolivian Rams mostly exhibit this swimming pattern when feeding so that they can sieve through the sediments without stirring up. They also have graceful quick swim patterns. Their swimming technique is dependent on the situation on the ground.

Bolivian Rams are known to be intelligent and friendly. They also have light traces of the Cichlid’s aggressiveness. The significant difference is that they don’t attack and bully. They only make a fierce gesture to ward off predators and escape from being bullied.

Why Are Bolivian Rams Suitable For Aquariums And Community Tanks?

Bolivian Rams are perfect for aquariums and community tanks not just because of their intelligence or striking personality, but also because they are easy to maintain. They are even suitable for beginners because they are not so outrageous in their environmental demand. Their striking color can add beauty and grace to your tank.

Aside from the fact that Bolivian Rams are physically appealing; they also have behaviors that make them compatible with most other aquarium fish. It will get along with most fishes of peaceful conduct and similar size.

Also, Bolivian Rams are quite hardy, and they have high for temperature shifts. They can also cope with varying environmental conditions, provided it is not too extreme for them.

However, you shouldn’t keep Bolivian Rams with aggressive species that can bully them, and you should not keep them with smaller fish because they mistake them for food and prey on them. Likewise, you should still carry out necessary tank maintenance to keep them safe from freshwater parasites.

With just your regular tank maintenance routine and standard aquarium guideline; you will undoubtedly have a smooth ride with Bolivian Rams. You can decide to keep them alone, in groups with members of their species or community tanks with other members.


Bolivian Rams are colorful fish with an elongated oval body that can grow up to 3.5 inches. They have funny but unique swimming patterns that are dependent on the situation in the tank.

Nevertheless, aquarium owners are not only interested in keeping Bolivian Rams in their tanks because of their physical features, but also because of their high level of compatibility. They can live with a wide range of fish species so far they have the same environmental demands; and they are not aggressive.


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