The bolivian ram or bolivian ram cichlid is an immensely popular fish amongst hobbyists due to their tantalizing coloration and peaceful personalities. Bolivian ram cichlids encompass an abundance of infectious energy, making them super entertaining to watch for hours as they navigate around the tank in search of food and fun. Bolivian ram tank mates are easy to come by too as they are such easy-going fish.
If you are planning on creating a community tank for your Bolivian Ram Cichlids this article covers all you need to know about Bolivian ram community tank mates. All of the fish that appear on this list are compatible with these cichlids, and, in some cases, can even bring some added benefits to them and the rest of your freshwater aquarium community.
Top 5 Bolivian Ram Cichlid Tank Mates
Despite being rather shy, Bolivian rams enjoy the company of other fish tremendously, and can even get lonely if they are not around other RAMS or different tank mates. Typically, Bolivian rams live their happiest and healthiest life while in pairs or larger groups between 4 and 8.
Five of the best Bolivian Ram Cichlid tank mates are neon tetra, tiger barbs, guppies, platy fish, and rummy nose tetra. In this guide we will be detailing the five best Bolivian Ram tankmates, what makes them so compatible, and all of their various requirements.
1. Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon Innesi)
Neon tetra will forever be one of the most aesthetically pleasing freshwater fish species in the hobby. They are brilliant little fish, swimming around majestically in their groups, showcasing some of the brightest colors you are likely to see!
- Size: 1.2-1.5 inches (3-4 cm) in length.
- Diet: They are omnivores, so they need a balanced diet of both meats and vegetables.
- Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons (80 Litres) or more.
- Care Level: Neon Tetra are easy to care for, any level of hobbyist should be fine.
- Temperament: Peaceful and somewhat timid, very similar to the Bolivian Ram!
Neon tetra and Bolivian rams can live together due to them both being incredibly peaceful and well-mannered. Most tetras are hardy and can adjust well to water and temperature changes, and this is the same with neon tetras. Neon tetra are pretty small though, so make sure that you do not have any massive predatorial or aggressive fish residing in your tank with them.
Pregnant neon tetras will move a lot slower and can be more aggressive due to their natural protectiveness. Neon tetras breed freely and regularly, so make sure you monitor this.
2. Guppy Fish (Poecilia Reticulata)
Guppies are a fun, popular, and stunningly beautiful little freshwater fish, they are also very peaceful by nature. Guppies and Bolivian rams compliment each other extremely well, they are both slow-moving water fish with very peaceful temperaments and personalities.
- Size: 0.6-2.4 inches (1.5-6 cm) in length.,
- Diet: Guppies are omnivores, so a balanced diet of both vegetables and meats is ideal.
- Minimum Tank Size: 5 Gallons (19 Litres)
- Care Level: Guppies are one of the easiest freshwater fish species to care for, hobbyists at any experience level should be absolutely fine looking after guppies.
- Temperament: Peaceful natured.
Guppies enjoy residing in groups of the same fish, but will also enjoy being housed with other fish species, such as the Bolivian ram, assuming all of their requirements are met.
3. Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)
Despite looking rather menacing due to their "rummy nose", which looks like a blood-stained face, rummy nose tetra are one of the most peaceful fish in the hobby and get along tremendously well with Bolivian rams. Tetras do occasionally get stressed out when they are housed with larger fish, but due to their comparatively similar size, Bolivian rams do not cause any problems.
- Size: 2-2.5 inches (5-6 cm) in length.
- Diet: They are omnivores, eating both meat and vegetables/plants.
- Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons (80 Litres)
- Care Level: Rummy nose tetra tend to require the hobbyist to be somewhat experienced in owning other tetras or other small freshwater fish due to their water level and tank requirements being a little more complex than some of the others on this list.
- Temperament: Peaceful natured.
Both Bolivian rams and rummy nose tetra share extremely similar personalities, which explains why they are so compatible.
4. Platy (Poecilia)
Despite not being shoaling or schooling fish, platties will certainly enjoy being housed in small groups in aquarium communities. They enjoy swimming around in small groups and are not typically aggressive fish, making them the perfect Bolivian ram cichlid tank mate.
- Size: 1.5-2.5 inches (4-6 cm) in length.
- Diet: They are omnivores and a balanced diet of meats and greens will suit them perfectly.
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons (40 Litres).
- Care Level: This fish is perfectly compatible with hobbyists of any experience level.
- Temperaments: Incredibly peaceful, just like the Bolivian ram.
Platties are a gorgeous addition to any community setup, and their bright orange coloration makes them a sight to behold.
5. Tiger Barb (Puntius Tetrazona)
Last but certainly not least is the beautiful, yet sometimes troublesome tiger barb! They are active schooling fish that need to be housed with other tiger barbs to be truly happy and relaxed. Groups of 6 are typically recommended. A word of caution is that they can become aggressive and nip at the fins of other tank inhabitants if they are not in schools of 6+, so, make sure that you house them in the correct numbers.
- Size: 2 inches (5 cm) in length.
- Diet: Like all the fish on this list, they are omnivores, so will need a balanced diet of meats and greens.
- Minimum Tank Size: 13 gallons (50 Litres).
- Care Level: Hobbyists brand new to fishkeeping my want to avoid these barbs as they require more work than most freshwater fish.
- Temperament: Peaceful when in schools of 6+. If you house a tiger barb with only a pair or small group, expect some fins to be nipped!
Tiger barbs can certainly live peacefully when housed with Bolivian Rams provided that they are also living with a school of their own species.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
On the topic of Bolivian Rams, and especially their tank mates, it comes as little surprise that there are so many related questions posed by hobbyists. We have answered those frequently asked questions below:
Can you keep Bolivian Rams in a 20 gallon tank?
20 gallon tanks are an incredibly popular aquarium size for hobbyists, and for good reason too! It is a great size for putting almost anywhere in your home, but does that mean that you can have Bolivian Rams living in there with tank mates? No, it is not recommended. Bolivian rams require a tank to be at least 20 gallons due to them needing to be in groups of 4 or more, so when you add tank mates, the ideal size aquarium is 30 gallons or more, especially if you want a nice mix of tankmates.
What Cichlids can live with Bolivian rams?
Provided the other cichlids are of a friendly and peaceful nature, and your tank setup allows them to be housed without any problems, you can certainly have other cichlids residing in the same tank as your Bolivians. German blue rams, electric blue rams, and dwarf cichlids are all good options.
Bolivian rams are an excellent choice for hobbyists at any level wishing to start a freshwater aquarium, and even more so if you are looking to create a lively freshwater fish community! They also make for great angelfish tank mates.
There are definitely other tank mates that are perfectly suited to living with Bolivian ram cichlids, but the ones that feature on this list are almost tailor-made for them. Having said that, if you are looking to add other compatible fish, make sure to check out all of our summaries and requirements to make sure that they are all met.