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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and thanks to all all of you who have taken the time to read through post.

I bought a pair of Bolivian Rams about a month ago and in the last 2 days it looks like one of them has been glass surfing. The smaller of the 2 has been going to the same corner and starts going up and down the glass but never close to the surface. I'm not sure if he is glass surfing because of bad water quality but it seems strange if he was. The bigger one stays low to the ground unless he chases the small one if they get too close to each other.

Is it possible that the smaller one is chasing its own reflection? It looks healthy, colours are still vibrant, eats quite a bit and the gills look normal.
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I have a video as well but I can't upload it here, keeps telling me the file size is too big. Anyway the picture above is from the smaller bolivian.

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This is the bigger Bolivian, this one stays close to the bottom and doesn't display any strange behavior. It does start the to show a bit of reddish color on the back of his fin. Not sure if that's bad?

NH3 and NO2 are at 0 and NO3 is at 25 ppm so that should not be the problem either. Does anyone have any ideas on why this is happening?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Does anyone know what the max file size is? I'll try to compress the video to fit that.

Edit: I got below the file size requirement but now it says file extension not allowed, can I not post videos to the forum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have 10 blue emperor tetras and a Siamese algae eater in this tank next to the Bolivians. It's 30 gallon tank by the way.

The temperature is 27 degrees Celsius, 80 Fahrenheit, during the day and 26 at night, 78 Fahrenheit.

The water is 3 dkh and 6 GH, the ph in the tank fluctuates due to CO2 but when it's off it's at 7,2
 

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Is it possible the larger one is bullying the smaller one out of the bottom section of the tank and this is a stress display? Maybe try separating them (if possible) and see if it settles down once it's alone. Cichlids can be jerks lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Is it possible the larger one is bullying the smaller one out of the bottom section of the tank and this is a stress display? Maybe try separating them (if possible) and see if it settles down once it's alone. Cichlids can be jerks lol
Hi @Plinkploop, always good to hear from you! I think it might have been stress from bullying. Although strangely enough the smaller one stopped glass surfing yesterday. Is this good or even more worrisome? The smaller one mostly keeps to itself in one of the densely planted corners or hangs out more towards the middle of the tank.

The lfs assured me that this was an established pair but after closer inspection I think they are both male. I read that the females have a more streamlined body whereas the male has a bit of a "dent" near the head, but I can't really tell. Do you experience with Bolivians and can see from the pictures if these are female and male or 2 males? Maybe even 2 female?
 

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I don't have much experience rams and I've not studied up on sexing them. When I've made the attempt on juveniles I'm usually wrong. Rams are notoriously hard to sex as juveniles. I'm basing my guess on experiences with apistos which are similar in personality. Could be settling in finally, maybe the smaller one found a hidey hole where it can comfortably chill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't have much experience rams and I've not studied up on sexing them. When I've made the attempt on juveniles I'm usually wrong. Rams are notoriously hard to sex as juveniles. I'm basing my guess on experiences with apistos which are similar in personality. Could be settling in finally, maybe the smaller one found a hidey hole where it can comfortably chill.
Yeah I think the smaller is now just chilling in between the plants, there's no holes or caves but the vegetation is incredibly dense so I'm guessing he's hiding in there a bit.

I actually don't really know when fish stop being juveniles. My guess would be when they become sexually active so to speak, but the bigger one is already a good 2+ inches and the smaller on it's way to 2 inches. I'll keep an eye out for the distinguishable aspects. Is it a big problem to have 2 males in this 30 gallon?
 

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If you can give them each a place to establish territory it's not really, in theory, a problem. The only problem I would see in that is if there wasn't enough places to hide/ establish territory and the aggression that could happen. If you notice issues again you could try setting up "caves" at separate ends of of the tank and it might help. This is truly all dependent on the fish themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you can give them each a place to establish territory it's not really, in theory, a problem. The only problem I would see in that is if there wasn't enough places to hide/ establish territory and the aggression that could happen. If you notice issues again you could try setting up "caves" at separate ends of of the tank and it might help. This is truly all dependent on the fish themselves.
If I keep having issues with aggression I think it might best to return one them to the store. The tank is already up and running for a few months now and the plants have fully grown in. If I were to add caves now I'd have to take apart the majority of the tank. So I really hope that they'll get along over time, would be kind of sad if I had to return one of them.
 

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If I keep having issues with aggression I think it might best to return one them to the store. The tank is already up and running for a few months now and the plants have fully grown in. If I were to add caves now I'd have to take apart the majority of the tank. So I really hope that they'll get along over time, would be kind of sad if I had to return one of them.
You could honestly tuck a shot glass on between plants, but I definitely get you. Cichlids are definitely a handful 😅
 

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Is it really that simple? Do they even fit in a shot glass though when they're fully grown?
You know those teeny tiny terracotta pots from the dollar store? My apistos used those, they are about the same size as a shot glass. As long as they can make the entrance look pretty and tuck themselves inside halfway with plants out front of them I didn't run across problems- 3 pair apisto in a 40B
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You know those teeny tiny terracotta pots from the dollar store? My apistos used those, they are about the same size as a shot glass. As long as they can make the entrance look pretty and tuck themselves inside halfway with plants out front of them I didn't run across problems- 3 pair apisto in a 40B
Hey @Plinkploop sorry, got incredibly busy again.. Wanted to give it some time as well. It's been about 2 weeks since I made the post now. The smaller is still being chased around but less so, the bigger one even allow the smaller one to swim out in the open. I'll give it some more time to see if this progresses to a mutual peace treaty, otherwise I'll try to place a pot in each corner and if that helps.
 

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Glad there's at least some settling in. It can be horrifying at first but most dwarf cichlids tend to be a lot less deadly than their larger counterparts so I think you're doing the right thing. As long as there aren't injuries you should be all set.
 
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