Can Bolivian Rams Live With Angelfish? (Answered!)

Can Bolivian Rams Live With Angelfish? Yes, Bolivian Rams can live in the same aquarium as Angelfish. Bolivian Rams and Angelfish go very well together. Set your aquarium up with lots of live plants, provide some caves and ideally some dither fish like small tetras and your Bolivian Rams and Angelfish will live happily together.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

Bolivian Rams (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus) are possibly one of the most underrated fish in the hobby at the moment. They live in the shadow of the more colorful German Blue Rams. If you have spent any time looking at Bolivian Rams you will no doubt have noticed they are actually very colorful and well worth keeping. If you are thinking of getting some Bolivian Rams, you may well be wondering…

I got my first pair of Bolivian Rams about 5 years ago. I have kept German Blue Rams for many years, but never Bolivian Rams until that point. When they first arrived in my fish room I was a little underwhelmed, but once they settled and colored up, I realized Bolivian Rams are REALLY colorful!



What Size Tank Do Bolivian Rams And Angelfish Need?

To create a successful aquarium with both Bolivian Rams and Angelfish, you should look towards at least a 55-gallon aquarium, a 75-gallon would be better still. A mature Angelfish is a surprisingly large fish and does need some swimming space. If you are going to have more than one Angelfish, definitely don’t go smaller than 55 gallons.



How Should A Bolivian Ram And Angelfish Aquarium Be Set Up?

When setting up your aquarium for Bolivian Rams and Angelfish, make sure you include plenty of live plants. Tall plants like Valisnaria really complement Angelfish, especially striped Angelfish.

The Bolivian Rams will really appreciate the addition of some caves to hide in. Providing your Bolivian Rams with caves will make them feel safe and the safer they feel the better coloration they will display.

When it comes to choosing a substrate, go for something fine like either sand or very small gravel. Bolivian Rams like to dig and root around in the substrate looking for food. The Bolivian Rams scientific name is Mikrogeophagus which means ‘little-eartheater’!

What Water Parameters Do Bolivian Rams Need?

Both Bolivian Rams and Angelfish will appreciate water that is ‘soft’ and acidic. Both species of fish like their water pH to be between 6.0 and 7.5 with a hardness of perhaps 0 – 10 dKH.

Your Bolivian Ram aquarium should have the water temperature set to somewhere between 72°F and 79°F (22°C and 26°C). This temperature will work perfectly for Angelfish too.

Do Bolivian Rams Eat Plants?

Although Bolivian Rams are omnivores, meaning they need a diet based around both animal and plant matter, they are considered safe to keep in a planted aquarium. Some of the best plants to grow in an aquarium with Bolivian Ram and Angelfish are Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, and Amazon Sword plants.

The more live plants you add to your Bolivian Ram aquarium, the safer and more relaxed your Bolivian Rams will be. For Bolivian Rams to show their best coloration off they need to feel completely relaxed.

For more information about what to feed your Bolivian Rams, check out my article titled What Do Bolivian Rams Eat?

What Filter Does A Bolivian Ram Aquarium Need?

Although Bolivian Rams are not as fussy about their water as German Blue Rams are, they still desire good quality water. A good quality external filter works well. I have had good success using the Fluval 307 on a 55-gallon aquarium that housed Bolivian Rams.

More important than the filter, is the frequency of the water changes. Bolivian Rams will appreciate you keeping the nitrate levels at 40ppm or lower. Carrying out regular water changes will help keep the nitrate levels low.

Are Bolivian Rams Aggressive?

No, Bolivian Rams are not aggressive, they are considered a peaceful species of fish. The only time Bolivian Rams might show aggressive behavior is when they are in breeding mode or if they have babies.

The Angelfish are more likely to show some aggression, but even they are generally not aggressive unless they too are breeding.

In Conclusion

Bolivian Rams and Angelfish make great tank mates. Both will look spectacular together providing you set their aquarium up properly. Provide your Bolivian Rams with plenty of live plants and caves or hiding places and you won’t fail to be impressed by the aquarium.


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
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