German Blue Rams are beautiful and colorful fish that add extra beauty to your fish tank. It has a beautiful yellowish color with a green body. The rest of the body is blue. But this fish may not be easy to start with as it needs strict water conditions. However, this will steal your heart with its beauty and give you an eye-catching view.
Blue Ram Cichlids are considered aggressive fish, but the German blue rams will be a rewarding fish for you from feeding to breeding. This article will elaborate on the necessary conditions for the perfect tank mates and water parameters of the German Blue.
German Blue Ram Overview
|Scientific Name||Mikrogeophagus ramirezi|
|Common Name||Butterfly Cichlids, Electric Blue Ram|
|Body Size||2 – 3 inches|
|Lifespan||2 to 4 years|
|Temperature Range||25.5° – 29.5° C|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 gallons|
|pH Range||6.0 – 7.5|
|Water type||6 – 14 dGH|
|Compatibility||Peaceful small fish|
German Blue Ram Origin And Habitat
From origin, the German Blue Ram belongs to the cichlid family, and the scientific name is Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. Due to its beautiful colors, this species is known by many other names such as Electric Blue Ram and Butterfly Cichlids. These names seem perfect for them due to the spectacular colors on their body.
In 1948, Manuel Ramirez discovered them and was named after the first collector or trader. German Blue Rams are very peaceful and have beautiful colors. If you take care of them in a good way, they will add beauty to your fish tank for up to three years.
German Blue Ram is the native population of South America, and the habitat of this family extends to the waterways of the Amazon Rivers. The Orinoco River Basin in Venezuela and Colombia is worth mentioning for its inhabitants.
The best places to find them are narrow pools and watercourses with sandy beds and abundant shrubbery. These fish like to live in slow-flowing rivers and waterlogged land that will darken the surroundings.
The spectacular bright colors and peaceful behavior of German Blue rams draw the attention of their owners. You will see the colors like yellow, blue, orange, and red mix with each other, and this blend of colors gives you an eye-catching view. Mostly yellow is the dominant color in the front of the body, and the different dominant color is blue on the back half.
The color combination may vary, but mainly the front and back third of their body is dark blue towards the middle. The most noticeable thing is the black line in their body that starts from the verticle across the face over the eyes. This line is very thick and cannot be missed, adding beauty to the overall features.
You will also see some dark blue or black patches at the front dorsal fin and in the middle of the body. These patches are large and match the band’s color over the eye. But the back half of its body is patchy less, and it is more elementary than the front half of its body.
Moreover, there are some dots on their fins, and these dots are yellow or bright blue in colors. The colors of these dots depend on the dominant color of the individual fish. The cichlids family’s fin shape is classic and gives its extra brilliant look. Although small, they have angled semi-rectangular dorsal fin and a wide, even caudal fin.
Behavior and Nature:
The most important thing about the German blue ram is its peaceful behavior. They are warm and want to do their work. This habit makes them good mates for your tanks, and you will not feel any disturbance for your community tanks.
You will see them digging the substrate, and they will also play hide and seek among the plants. It is a shy fish, and you will mostly see them at the bottom of the tank, but sometimes they will go to the surface to check out the things.
German Blue Ram Lifespan:
While planning out your tank species, the lifespan is the most critical feature for consideration. The expectancy of life of the German blue ram is more than that of any other species. If the conditions are ideal and perfectly designed for the blue ram cichlid, the lifespan of this fish will be up to 3 to 4 years.
However, the German Blue Ram lifespan may not be ideal for most hobbyists because most other invertebrates have a better life duration. Sometimes it will become difficult to raise them in a tank as the parameters of water change. If you want to keep them in your tank, regularly check your water parameters and other vital conditions.
German Blue Ram Care Guide
The parameters of water are essential for its life because this species is susceptible, and that’s why it becomes critical to provide the perfect environment. The most necessary thing in german blue ram care is the water filtration system; if you don’t have this, you may face problems. The other thing that will monitor regularly is the oxygen and nutrition level.
The following German Blue Ram water parameters are vital for the natural environment:
- Temperature: 78-85°F
- pH Range: 6.0-7.5
- Water Hardness: 6-14 dGH
The lighting should be reasonable to submissive. The water current is also slow to moderate. German Blue Ram temperature requirement is also easy to maintain as it is close to the natural room temperature.
For substrate, you can mix gravel and sand, and for decoration, you can add some large stones or rocks.
German blue rams like to hide, and for this purpose, you can place a large number of driftwood and rocks. At the same time, arrangements also ensure free space for swimming.
German Blue Ram Food:
German blue rams are slow eaters, and you may need some patience while feeding them. Due to slow eating, other tank mates may grab their food. That’s why ensure that your rams will not remain hungry.
It is good to house them with small fish that are comparatively fast. The other way is to use floating pellets for different species and the sinking pellets for your rams. Because the other tank mates will be full of floating pallets, they will not search for sinking pellets, and German rams will eat them.
These rams are omnivorous and eat meat live or frozen, but it is good to train them early for prepared food for convenience. It may take time to set in the new environment and identify their food source.
They will use these food snakes or flakes, sinking pellets, and wafers. The Hikari Sinking is the best pick for bottom feeders, and Shrimp is also a festive meal for them. Before having this fish, you may need a brine of shrimp hatchery, which is not cheap.
German Blue Ram food includes blackworms, bloodworms, daphnia, Neocaridina, and other bottom organisms. You will notice that rams mostly dig the substrate for food search like this.
The tank size will be 20 gallons for German Blue Rams because this will provide them with lots of space for swimming and exploring. German Blue Ram size is moderately small so that they can accommodate well in small spaces.
Most people say that this fish will be ok with 10 gallons of water tank. However, they will survive in this area, but more space will impact their overall health and happiness for a long time.
Like most aquarists, Blue Ram Cichlid also swims in a freshwater tank, but in our recommendation, there is not a big difference in 10 or 20 gallons in both space and cost.
A substrate in the Aquarium:
As the German blue rams are bottom-hovering fish and like to dig, sand is the best substrate. They want to sand, and their natural habitat is shallow water and sand beds. They dig in the sand just like in the wild, and you can also use gravel or soil from any aquatic plant. You can place them with sand, but the sand should be the primary substrate.
Avoid using aragonite sand, known as cichlid sand, as it is calcium carbonate and constantly filters minerals in the water. It may impact the balance of parameters of water. This sand also increases the carbonate hardness and PH value. It is an excellent decision to go with inert sand that will not impact water PH.
Type of Filter:
German blue rams are very sensitive to the parameters of water. If the ammonia and nitrite levels increase, it will tend to the sickness of German blue rams. So it is essential to provide the best filtration system to the tank to dispose of waste in a good way. The filtration ensures that ammonia or nitrite levels will not increase in water.
We recommend you pick up the biological filter media for better results. Seachem Tidal and AquaClear are examples of the best filtration processes with lots of room for biological waste from water.
Check out our article on “Best Filters for Aquarium“
Lighting for Aquarium:
German blue rams live happy in low light, and they prefer almost dark sides and less than the moderate lighting areas because they spend most of the time in the wild tucked away in dense vegetation areas.
You can attain this by controlling direct light in the aquarium and increasing the number of plants in your fish tank. Both of the methods help reduce glare.
Ble rams cichlid are very sensitive, so there should be no nitrates and ammonia in the fish tank to avoid any problems. You may need to understand the nitrogen cycle to prevent any damage.
The nitrogen cycle is the breakdown of the wastes in the tank. And this waste turns into toxic and non-toxic material. The example of fishes and the left of the food flakes is the tank’s waste, and it will start to rot in the aquarium and turn into toxic material. However, it is not a good thing, but it is a fact.
When this waste rots, it turns into ammonia, and it is very toxic for your species, which may also kill your fish. So information about this cycle may save your fish.
These waste materials remain in the water and keep building after this turns into harmful toxic substances like ammonia and nitrite. It may turn into the death of your fish in the tank. So the right filtration system is essential for your aquarium. A good filter will dispose of all the waste material from the tank and keep the environment safe for inhabitants.
Moreover, the bacteria in the tank will detox the waste, such as some bacteria eating ammonia and releasing nitrite, which is also harmful. At the same time, some other bacteria eat nitrites and remove ammonia which is also toxic. But it is less dangerous than nitrites. This whole process is called the “Nitrogen Cycle.” Getting beneficial bacteria is called “Cycling” of the tank.
Plants for Decoration and Habitat:
If we talk about plants and decore, there is a particular need for rams. There should be a dense area of plants as they like to hide and the swimming area also is comprehensive for the happiness of other mates.
Plants like Amazon Sword, Cryptocorynes, Sagittaria, Java Ferns, Vallisneria, and Anubias are most common as aquatic. You can place them along the back and sides and leave the middle and front area for swimming. You can also see your fish through these front and central swimming areas while swimming in the tank. All the species of plants are from tropical regions, so they will help you a lot and can bear the water temperature in your tank.
You can also insert some caves to hide when they feel any threat. There are many decorations and ready-made holes for this purpose; otherwise, you can also build them from rocks and stones. These will not only increase decoration but also fulfill your needs. Just make sure that provide more options for rams for a comfortable spot and a happy living.
German Blue Ram Tank Mates
The German blue rams are the best cichlids option for your aquarium community. For their kind and calm behavior, they will prove good mates for your tank. These fish can live with non-cichlid and Cichlid as they will confirm good options for both tanks. They can live environmental because they struggle in the aggressive tanks also.
Silver Sollars, Catfish, Neon Tetras, Discus, Dwarf, and Plecostomus will be the best German Blue Ram tank mates. The other options for consideration are corydoras, rummy nose tetras, kuhli loaches, clown loaches, guppies, mollies, and platies.
Large and aggressive fish will not be a good match and avoid the sizeable fierce Cichlid-like green terror. Moreover, if you want to inhabit the other non-fish kind, then make sure that they will not fit blue rams’ mouths. If they get to their mouth, they will make them their dinner.
If you feel any change of behavior and aggression in blue rams, then it means that you will not feed them properly or there is not enough space for hiding, and they also have some safety issues about their mates. However, Blue Rams become aggressive during breeding seasons to protect their offspring.
German Blue Ram Breeding Behavior
You may be thinking about how to breed German Blue Ram cichlids. It is easy to breed blue rams in the aquarium. There is only a need for a good environment and conditions, and the German Blue Ram pair will spawn every few weeks.
You will also be prepared for massive space for hundreds of fry while they grow out. It is also good to have a pair of blue ram in your collection. Once they spawn, they become more aggressive toward their mates if they want to go near their nursery.
German Blue Ram Male VS Female breeding pattern is similar to other species. Bule Ram lays their eggs on a flat surface like a rock, lying on it. If you want to spawn them, give better options for this purpose. They also like a clump of java for hiding their fry. So provide them better sites to control their aggression.
The water temperature will increase slowly to 84 F over a few days. As the temperature increases, the parents will be able to feed them bloodworms and brine shrimps. The female can lay up to 200 eggs if the conditions are helpful, and the male will swoop in to fertilize the eggs. They may eat some of the first spawns before settling down and raising a brood. In breeders, recommendations add a small amount of brine shrimp so the likelihood increases among the parents and they can take care of their babies well.
The parents will become more satisfied if they know enough food for their babies. Only three days need for hatching the eggs, and after five days, you can see the babies swimming around the tank. After this, the babies can feed baby brine shrimp or powdered fry food from the New Life Spectrum Grow Fry starter.
The parents look after their babies, and male and female equally do their duties. If a baby goes far away, the parents gently scoop them in their mouth and carry them back to their place. However, they can gather in java clumps, so they are protected.
German Blue Ram Disease
As we already discuss, the blue rams are very sensitive to water parameters, so it is not a good decision to place them in a new aquarium. It is necessary to change the water once a week, and it is also wise to take 10% to 20% of the tank water in a week.
If your tank gets heavily stocked, then change water frequently. If you do not pay any attention to the water quality, you may face health issues with your fish. While adding new water to the tank, ensure to treat it at the right temperature.
- The Ich Disease is very commonly related to poor water management and oxygenation.
- German blue rams may become suspectable Tuberculosis (TB) and be passed on to humans because the TB in fish can happen by the same bacteria that cause TB in humans.
- Mycobacterium Marinum is a free-swimming bacteria easily found in fresh and marine water. The symptoms may include your fish becoming thicker and seeing ulcers around the head or body. In other symptoms, you can notice grey or white nodules, dropsy, and poppy eyes.
Treatment & Cure:
If this case has happened, don’t touch the water directly without protection. This disease is easy to cure by some specific antibiotics prescribed by a Vet. To avoid this disease, you may need to sterilize the whole environment, plants, and substrates.
The temperature may play an essential role in nourishing this harmful bacteria. They will not survive in the condition of 98F.
The German blue rams are pretty standard, and they will provide extra beauty to your aquarium. You can get them in the aquarium trade pet shops. The price is also reasonable, about $6 to $7. This price is too little for its beauty, and you can grab German Blue Ram for sale from any local hobbyist or pet store.
We tried our best to explain the care of German Blue Ram. It is a beautiful fish species and proves a lovely addition to your collection. We cannot neglect these beautiful fish when other freshwater creatures are more popular. German blue ram is a peaceful and colorful species suitable for the aquarium community. It is a cichlid that will enjoy the company of the other friendly fishes. It is very sensitive to specific water conditions, so be careful with its safety and requirements.
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