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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(sorry for post length, please read!)

Okay so I recently started a 10 gallon fishtank with my gf, and we were looking to house a dwarf cichlid in it. Saw a nice tank full of juvenile Bolivian Rams, and she picked one out for us to take home. I gave it a pretty good look at the LFS to make sure it was a healthy specimen with good color.

When we got home I watched it for a few minutes closely and noticed something.. For the most part, it keeps it's sail fin down and against it's body. The fish appears to be at 100% health, it even ate within an hour of being introduced to the tank. However, I think a large part of the aesthetic appeal of a Bolivian Ram is it's high and spiky sail.. It only occasionally raises it from time to time. The fish has an exuberant personality and a very nice face.. I'm thinking there's a chance as it gets older and becomes more comfortable with it's surroundings, it may raise it's fin more often.

Anyways, has anyone ever attempted returning a fish? I don't even care if I get any money back. Would this be a horrible thing to do for such a minor drawback? I'm sort of between a rock and a hard place as my girlfriend thinks he's really cute and would be a bit distraught if I returned him, but on the flip side, having the centerpiece of this tank be less than perfect is deflating my spirits for the tank.. Thoughts or opinions? Thanks for any advice or info..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you just got it chances are it wont be displaying its fins fully as it normally would, but thats just my guess. Some places take back fish. Call to find out first
This is my suspicion.. I also wanted to give it live food for a couple days as well. Hoping that would let me see it in all it's glory before making any rash decisions.

I'd feel really bad netting/bagging him and essentially returning him to the pound. However I really don't want to settle on a fish if I don't really like him.. This is the problem with 10 gallons
 

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There is no reason to return this fish.... I wouldn't expect any money if you do.

This fish is displaying normal bolivian behavior considering it is in a brand new home. You'll go through 100 of them if you return him for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is no reason to return this fish.... I wouldn't expect any money if you do.

This fish is displaying normal bolivian behavior considering it is in a brand new home. You'll go through 100 of them if you return him for this.
Can I send him to you for some ferts?? Kidding, I previously had 2 juvenile Bolivians.. Admittedly I don't remember their first week or two, but in their glory days they kept that fin up.. I bought him on Saturday, was away Sunday, on Monday his sail was at half mass. And today Tuesday I haven't gotten a look at him.

I'm just nervous it's this little guy's nature to not use his sail.. As the tanks centerpiece, it's going to be drab if he doesn't show off. Maybe adding a second Bolivian will get him to display a bit more?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It could. It could also cause him to stress more. Two males in one tank usually ends in one ugly fish...
Perhaps they will be equally matched and just result in awesome sparring sessions and optimal coloring/finnage.. How do you think a GBR would fit into the mix? I would add another dwarf no question, it's just the 10 gallon standard that makes me a bit nervous. I'll definitely take my time with any decision resulting in adding a fish.
 

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Is there a way to determine sex in Bolivians when they're juveniles?
I googled that a few years back when I got my GBRs, and was able to select a nice pair. I believe the same holds for Bolivians. Here's what I found:

The male's dorsal fin is more pointed and spiky in the front in the male. The female's dorsal will not spike up in front and she will have a pinker belly.

I may be off base thinking the characteristics of the two types of rams are similar, so you'll want to do a little research to be sure.

Julia
 

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To answer your question - I have returned healthy fish before simply because I didn't feel they would work out well in my community tank once I had them for a few days. They were loaches, if I recall. They guy at Petsmart was totally freaked that I was bringing back live fish, but he assured me they would be quarantined for a few days and then added back to the loach tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To answer your question - I have returned healthy fish before simply because I didn't feel they would work out well in my community tank once I had them for a few days. They were loaches, if I recall. They guy at Petsmart was totally freaked that I was bringing back live fish, but he assured me they would be quarantined for a few days and then added back to the loach tank.
My gf(and me too a little) are getting more and more attached. He's still not fully extending his sail, but I'm not sure how I feel about returning him.. It just saddens me slightly that I'm not blown away by our new fish. Usually when I get a new fish it's pure enthusiasm towards him. Hopefully he continues to grow on me.
 

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I have GBR (very similar to Bolivian Rams) and the females often do not display their tails and my males usually only display it when they are claiming their territory or "fighting" with another GBR. It may also be because the fish is not use to its new home yet.
 

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take care with adding bolivian rams together, you have a male, add 2 females and plant heavily, I made the mistake of adding one female to my tank with a bolivian and he killed her before i noticed a problem... he is now a father though, i added 3 females he found a mate and the other two were raok, the sail will go up with fish around him as well as more comfort, the more he can hide the better, live food will brighten him up like crazy, the best imo is mosquito larvae however check your health regulations as it could be illegal for you to raise them in your area, I think it used to be here but it can't be helped I just take them from my plants outside that like alot of water, I also have an algae filled bucket I harvest daily, just make sure none get to pupae or you will have problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
take care with adding bolivian rams together, you have a male, add 2 females and plant heavily, I made the mistake of adding one female to my tank with a bolivian and he killed her before i noticed a problem... he is now a father though, i added 3 females he found a mate and the other two were raok, the sail will go up with fish around him as well as more comfort, the more he can hide the better, live food will brighten him up like crazy, the best imo is mosquito larvae however check your health regulations as it could be illegal for you to raise them in your area, I think it used to be here but it can't be helped I just take them from my plants outside that like alot of water, I also have an algae filled bucket I harvest daily, just make sure none get to pupae or you will have problems.
I gave them some frozen brime shrimp, as close as he'll get to live food for a little while. He seemed to really like it and colored up well. So IYO will a second bolivian ram be too much for a 10? I'm thinking it will come down to temperament, which is a complete crapshoot..
 

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Add a female. Females are a beautiful as the males, and having her around will give him a reason to show off!

Julia
+1 my GBR follows his lady around like a lost puppy. And his colors are absolutely stunning right now as he shows off to her. I would expect no less from a Bolivian.

My gf(and me too a little) are getting more and more attached. He's still not fully extending his sail, but I'm not sure how I feel about returning him.. It just saddens me slightly that I'm not blown away by our new fish. Usually when I get a new fish it's pure enthusiasm towards him. Hopefully he continues to grow on me.
They grow on you, especially once you start to see the individual personality. I keep German Blue Rams, which are similar. The personality is in my opinion the best part. My male is the most curious fish i have owned, he follows me around as I do my tank maintenance, and gets upset if I remove too much plants in his territory. My female is for lack of a better word a %#$#% lol, she attacks me when I get too close to my territory, she steals food from everyone else, and terrorizes the snails lol. He flares when he is trying to court her though, which not only lets us see his fins, but his colors get more vivid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
+1 my GBR follows his lady around like a lost puppy. And his colors are absolutely stunning right now as he shows off to her. I would expect no less from a Bolivian.



They grow on you, especially once you start to see the individual personality. I keep German Blue Rams, which are similar. The personality is in my opinion the best part. My male is the most curious fish i have owned, he follows me around as I do my tank maintenance, and gets upset if I remove too much plants in his territory. My female is for lack of a better word a %#$#% lol, she attacks me when I get too close to my territory, she steals food from everyone else, and terrorizes the snails lol. He flares when he is trying to court her though, which not only lets us see his fins, but his colors get more vivid.
Do you think a Bolivian and a GBR would get along in the same tank? (10 Gallons)
 

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No^ blue rams can be pretty territorial, add 2 female bolivian rams and wait to see a pair, if the male rejects both sell or return them depending on if they have a 14 day policy or something, also make sure each fish has 2 or more places to hide each, this will be stuff like a small cave under driftwood or large leaves providing cover, swords are a great plant to have however in a 10g you'll be taking a leaf or two off a week, clay pots work also and so does slate rock turned into caves, slate will also look very nice in a scape if done correctly, you ram will appreciate smaller fish also.
 

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Do you think a Bolivian and a GBR would get along in the same tank? (10 Gallons)

not in a 10 gal. the GBR would stake the whole tank as its territory. They are fine with other fish for the most part, but other rams would pose a problem. I would go grab a couple females and see which one he pairs with, then bring the other female back.
 
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