Species Profile Sections: Info, Discussions & Photos
Info  Quick Care, Species Info, Aquarium Care & Photos
Discussions: Discuss this species with fellow hobbyists

Description
German Blue Ram
(Microgeophagus ramirezi)
Quick Care Facts:Care Level: Expert
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 3"
Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
Water Conditions: 76-82° F, KH 1-8, pH 5.0-6.8
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Farm raised, selective breeding
Family: Cichlidae
Species: Rams
Aquarium Type: New World Cichlid Aquarium
Native Habitat and Species Information
The German Blue Ram is a selectively bred variant of the common Blue Ram, in which breeders have accentuated the natural blue coloration. Juvenile specimens tend to be a little bit dull in color, but will quickly "color up" as they mature into adults. Since Rams have a relatively short natural life span of about 2 years, they mature from juveniles to adults rather quickly.
The short lifespan of this species is also a factor when selecting individuals for purchase as the larger more colorful specimens tend to be older individuals. Older specimens also go through a form of menopause where they no will no longer spawn, thus hobbyists looking to breed need to select young specimens.
Aquarium Care
German Blue Rams are generally considered to be an expert level only fish species due to their rather specific water parameter requirements. Wild Rams require soft acidic water with very stable pH and water temperatures; however, selectively bred farm raised species like the German Blue Ram are more flexible on water parameters. While farmed raised specimens are more tolerant of water parameters, they do require excellent water conditions. While their small size makes them suitable for smaller aquariums (20 gallons), it is generally easier to maintain more consistent water parameters in larger aquariums.
They do best in groups of 5 to 10 individuals as opposed to a single specimen or a pair, thus they will need a reasonably sized aquarium (30 gallon plus) to properly support the group. Rams require excellent water quality with a low TDS (total dissolved solids), along with solid biological, mechanical and chemical filtration.
This is usually achieved by using a canister filter that is sized for the next larger aquarium than the one being used to house the Rams. Weekly partial water changes are also good at keeping TDS low and overall water quality high.
Rams are best housed in groups of 5 or more individuals, as they would live in social groups in the wild. While they are peaceful towards other tank mates, they fight amongst themselves to establish a group hierarchy.
Larger groups of fish help to spread out their in-fighting, which makes it easier on the group as a whole. They prefer aquariums with a sand, gravel or mixed substrate, plenty of plants and driftwood. Rocks, live plants and driftwood also work to create territory within the aquarium so that individuals can establish their own space within the tank.
Feeding & Nutrition
As the German Blue Ram is a selectively bred farm raised species, they are very used to consuming commercially processed flake and pellet foods. They are generally considered aggressive feeders, who will eagerly swim to the aquarium glass as the hobbyist approaches in anticipation of being fed.
As with most fish species, it is best to feed them a variety of food items in order to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system. Meaty flakes, mini-pellets, freeze-dried worms and frozen brine and mysis shrimp are ideal for German Blue Rams. They should be fed a couple times per day and amount that they will consume within five minutes.
Additional Photos