Are you looking for quiet, non-aggressive, and beautiful fish for your tank? There are many gorgeous fishes in the world for your tank but have you tried German Blue Ram?
Well among many colorful and charming fishes, German Blue Rams are one of them. Many people don’t know about this beautiful tiny fish. German Blue Ram is a freshwater fish. They were called German Blue Ram because it was selectively bred in Germany.
To know about this lovely fish you can read the article below in which I have mentioned all the facts and care of German Blue Rams.
Introduction, Origin, and Distribution
The German Blue Ram cichlid is known as one of the underrated freshwater fish in the fish community. These fishes firstly originated in South America. We can find this species mainly in the Orinoco River basin in both Venezuela and Colombia.
Scientifically, the name of the German Blue Ram is Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. Similarly, they are also known as Butterfly cichlids.
In the Cichlid family, German Blue Rams are known as super colorful fish. Blue Rams are found in the slower flowing section of the river and scarcely in flooded areas of the forest.
These fishes are easy to keep. You can be bred easily in the home. The only thing to be more considered while keeping the rams is water temperature. In recent times, including Electric Blue Ram, Gold Ram, and Black Ram (Dark Knight Ram) they have been bred into many different color morphs.
Habitat and Tank Setup For German Blue Ram
German Blue Rams are the fish that live in wild habitats having different trees, rocks, branches, caves, driftwood, etc. They require a minimum 20-gallon tank because they are very playful fish. Talking about the base you can use sand, it will be best for your fish.
They are found in slow-flowing waterways of the Orinoco River basin in Colombia and Venezuela. Likewise, they live in warm, acidic, and densely vegetated water.
As mentioned in the above paragraph that they live in wild, you should try to make a similar habitat in the tank for them. It should be made in a way in which the Rams are comfortable with the surroundings. For further details you can go through the paragraph below:
Tank Size and Shape
A 10-gallon tank is a minimum tank for the German Blue Rams. Likewise, If you are willing to keep just a pair of German Blue Rams I suggest a 20-gallon tank. And if you are willing to keep rams in a large number then, a 30-gallon tank is ideal.
When I first kept German Blue Ram I kept a pair of Rams in a 20-gallon tank, they were comfortable with the tank size. The tank shape should have a wider surface area at the bottom. Blue rams are the fish that live in the bottom of the tank, and they like to dig in the sand so you should keep sand on the bottom of the tank which will make them super happy.
Slow moderate water current should be supplied as these fishes are sensitive to changes in water parameters. German Blue Rams like clean aquarium water and the clearer the water the better the fish will look. So you should put a good filter asking the experts.
I kept a biological filter when I use to keep the Rams. Sponge filters work well in smaller breeding tanks and you can put canister filters that will work pretty well if you are keeping your rams in a very large tank.
In their natural habitat, Blue rams are favorable/surrounded to live plants. They like to hide from time to time, and live plants make excellent hiding spots for the rams. So the landscape should be recreated like the natural environment they were living in.
As they live in a habitat with different kinds of wood and plant, they will look great in the aquarium with a similar habitat they were living on. I am a plant person so I planted live plants in the tank, yes it takes a lot of time setting up the plant but it is worth it. I planted a lot in the tank as Rams like hiding most of the time.
You can put different things for hiding like coconut caves, and big rocks. But I suggest you plant, Rams will appreciate a heavily planted tank with lots of hiding places. Aquatic plants like Amazon swords, Cryptocoryne, Vallisneria, Java ferns, etc. can be planted in the tank.
You shouldn’t be keeping floating plants as they float freely on the surface of the water and they hamper the oxygen requirement of the fish. Similarly, plants that do not survive in high temperatures should be avoided.
Water Flow Rate
The blue rams are comfortable with slow-moving waterways. They don’t like to be kept in a tank with super-strong water flow. So it is best if you keep the flowing water rate slow.
A slower current is ideal so your rams won’t have to wear themselves out fighting it constantly.
Most people deny or fail to keep Rams because they don’t keep the water temperature high. And as mentioned above the major thing to be considered while keeping the rams is the temperature of the water and it must be 78-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
At first, when I kept Rams in the tank I was having a problem with water temperature, the water was not warm enough for my Rams so I changed the heaters.
So, in my opinion, you should keep a good heater in the tank.
EHEIM NORTH AMERICA – JAGER HEATER 150W is the heater that can help you control the aquarium temperature.
Lightning For Tank
Bright or harsh light should not be supplied in the tank. Blue rams like moderate and dim light. We should not only consider the fish while keeping the light because live plants also need light to grow.
So while putting the light above your tank make sure it will help the plants as well.
It is best if you fill sand at the bottom of the tank as I did, German Blue Rams were enjoying digging in the sand as they love playing in the sand. Blue rams are bottom-hovering fishes. Although you can use gravel or soil from any aquatic plant, sand should be the primary substrate.
The best sand substrates are:
- Carib Sea ACS05820 Super Natural Moonlight Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound
- Carib Sea ACS05840 Super Naturals Crystal River Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound
You can use either sand or cichlid sand because using both of them can hamper the balance of water like increase the carbonate hardness, general hardness, and pH value.
German Blue Ram Water Parameters
The blue rams come from waterways that are warm, soft, and slightly acidic. So we should recreate these conditions in the tank. I used different chemicals to recreate these conditions. You can consult with experts near the fish shop near you.
The water hardness should be 6-14 dGH.
The pH range of the water must be 6.0-7.5. As they are tropical fish acidity in water is very harmful to fish it can lead to a major problem in fish. To know about the pH range of the water you are putting in the tank you can always take the help of a pH level indicator.
The temperature of the water must be 78-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people fail to keep this because they can’t maintain a suitable water temperature for the fish. So, while keeping the Rams you should always think about the water temperature.
The level of ammonia should always be zero.
The level of Nitrate must be 35ppm.
The level of Nitrite must be 0ppm.
Blue Rams are the beautiful little fish that looks gorgeous. They are also very colorful fish with a taper at their head and tail. Blue Ram’s body consists of orange or yellow gold color.
The regular size of the blue rams tends to stay between 2-2.5 inches.
Colors and Markings
Blue rams have different stunning colors. The base color of the body is gold/silver with black marking over the head, cranial dorsal fin, and spots on the dorsal side-body.
One can extinguish the gender difference by the size and color, the males tend to be larger and more colorful.
Similarly, if you look at the black spots on the side of the fish, in the case of males they will not have any blue coloration in their black spots, whereas the female will. Female rams have a lot more blue color around the border of the black spot on the body.
Females will often have rosy red bellies, mainly when in reproducing period. Lastly, females have black pelvic fins, whereas males do not. Talking about the males, the first 2 or 3 rays on a male’s dorsal fin tend to be slightly extended.
The lifespan of blue rams is 3-4 years if you provide them excellent care and suitable habitat. To provide excellent care then you have to follow the things mentioned in the above paragraphs.
Food and Diet
What do you feed your Cichlid? How much you feed your Rams? is an important part of fish keeping. It is very important to choose the right diet for your Rams. To know that you could read the paragraphs below.
What to feed?
Blue rams should be fed a high-quality sinking pallet. Any small worms they find are eaten and the excess sand etc. is expelled through the gills and back out the mouth.
I fed my German Blue Rams a varied diet to give them a fully varied balanced diet. For example Daphnia, Bloodworm, Mosquito Larvae, Brine shrimp, etc. I also recommend Frozen or live foods to feed the rams as they provide more nutrition.
In an ideal world, German Blue Rams want to eat from the bottom of the tank, directly off the substrate. So the food which sinks is the best for the rams. You can choose from the following:
- Fluval A6581 Bug Bites Cichlid Pellets
- Amzey Dries Shrimp Fish Foods
- Appetizing Shrimp Mealworms
- Tetra Jumbokrill Jumbo Shrimp
- Ocean Pellets Humpy Xo Flowerhorn Food
- Omega one pellets
- Ocean Nutrition Instant Baby Brine Shrimp 0.7-Ounces (20 Grams) Jar
- Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz
- 200 Live Daphnia by Aqua L’amour
- Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Daphnia for Pets, 0.42-Ounce
- Hikari Tubifex Worms Fish Food (0.7 oz.) [Set of 2]
How often should you feed your fish?
As they are heavy eaters so they should be fed 2 to 3 times a day. Instead of feeding them a large portion in a day, feed them small meals. In my experience the advantage of feeding multiple times a day is while feeding the fish we get contact with the tank and we may find the different problems going on in the tank or the fish.
Tank Partners Of German Blue Rams
German Blue Rams are the fish who live in the community. Any aggressive fish shouldn’t be kept with German Blue Rams
Ideal Blue Ram Cichlid Fish Tank Mates
As they are non-aggressive fish they can live with almost any community fish that can tolerate the same temperature. I kept Fish like neon tetras, silver dollar fish, and honey gourami with my German Blue Rams when I bought a bigger tank. You can also put Freshwater Snails and shrimps like Red Cherry with Blue Rams.
Bad Tank Mates
Any large or aggressive fish should be avoided as they can harm or eat the fish. Fishes like: Oscars, green terrors, and convict cichlids should strictly be avoided as they will occupy the same spaces as the German Blue Rams. Likewise, avoid fishes like zebra and leopard danios as they are so food aggressive they ate all the food before it goes down to the rams.
So if you want to keep these fish then you can keep them in a separate tank.
Breeding Blue Rams are easy. They also get sexually matured at a very young age. They prefer to breed in slightly acidic(5.5-6.5), soft water, and slowly increase the temperature of the water. For further details go through the paragraph below.
What do German Blue Rams need to breed?
Breeding Blue Ram is very easy and simple, if you want to maximize your chances, get some juveniles (youngsters) and let them become mating pairs like I did it makes things much easier. German Blue Rams lay an egg, they don’t harm their baby, and they care for their babies so you don’t have to worry about them killing their babies. Both male and female German Blue Rams care for their babies.
I saw German Blue Rams become sexually mature at a very young age. To make adults ready for breeding I feed them high-quality foods, as well as some live baby brine shrimp every day. It’s important to have some flat rock in the tank in which the fish will lay an egg.
You can increase the temperature of the tank by 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit which will help to mimic the natural conditions of the breeding season. I placed the eggs in a specimen container with a few drops of methylene blue to prevent the fungus grow.
As I saw once they lay an egg it will take 3-4 days to hatch the egg and within the week, the fry will be swimming around. They will grow quickly if all the essential things are supplied to the baby rams.
What to feed to fry?
The first food I fed to babies was first bites, which is made by Hikari. Hard-boiled egg yolks also work well. I fed first bites for 3-4 days, then I fed live baby brine shrimp.
Producing live baby brine shrimp at home is a bit hard than you think, but it is well worth the effort. Like I did you could just go to a fish shop and buy baby brine shrimp to feed. After about 6-7 weeks of feeding baby shrimp, I moved on to crushed food, then on to other commercially available foods
Blue Rams Breeding Level
I’ve kept blue ram cichlids for years, and in my opinion, they’re very easy to breed. Breeding blue ram cichlids is a relatively simple process that can be easily done in your home. The first thing you need to do is set up a breeding tank. I like to use a 20-gallon tank for breeding blue ram cichlids.
Once you have your breeding tank set up, you’ll need to add a few blue ram cichlids. I recommend adding six to eight blue ram cichlids to your breeding tank. After you have added your blue ram cichlids to the breeding tank, you’ll need to wait for them to spawn. Spawning typically occurs within a few weeks.
Once your blue ram cichlids have spawned, you’ll need to remove the fry from the breeding tank. I like to use a net to remove the fry from the breeding tank. Once the fry has been removed from the breeding tank, you’ll need to raise them. I like to use an aquarium with live plants for raising blue ram fry. That’s all there is to it! h
Internal tapeworms are also common, especially in livebearers and fish that eat from the substrate. Tapeworms live inside the body of the fish (digestive system), they consume all the goodness from the body of the fish before the fish has the chance to. Even though they are eating food they can starve to death.
Tapeworms can spread through the tank quickly so it is better if you treat the fish as soon as possible.
It is the most common disease caught by freshwater fishes. Ich usually starts on the fins or tail and then, if untreated, quickly spreads across the fish body. As the German blue ram is one of the freshwater fish they also get caught by this disease, blue rams are prone to parasitic infections, bacterial diseases, flatworms, skin flukes, or costia disease.
We should take suggestions from the expert and cure this disease as soon as possible.
They can also get caught by tuberculosis. It is a communicable disease that can also get transmitted to humans so we should take quick actions and seek medical care. If the fish gets thinner or develops any ulcer in the head or eye we can know that the fish is suffering from tuberculosis.
We should use gloves while taking care of them or putting them in the different tanks. Make sure you do not touch or get direct contact with the water.
Facts about Blue Rams
- Blue rams use smell to communicate with other similar fishes
- As mentioned above they are also known as butterfly cichlid due to their brilliant color.
Are Blue Rams for You?
German blue rams are the easiest fish to keep. German Blue Rams are known for the brilliant color they have. In my opinion, keep the tank clean as much as possible.
I suggest you keep them in your tank, they are worth it.
Where Can You Buy German Blue Rams?
You can buy German Blue Rams in physical or online stores like eBay. It costs around $13 to $40. If you are not willing to buy online you can go to any fish store near your house and you may find it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Blue Rams Should Be Kept Together?
A pair of rams can live in a 20-gallon tank or a 10-gallon tank with no other fish.
Can Blue Rams Live Alone?
Yes, they can live alone in a 10-15 gallon tank. It is better if you keep other non-aggressive fishes together as they are societal fish. Hence, blue rams can live alone; they spend most of their time swimming, digging sand, and hiding in the caves in the tank.
Can Blue Rams Live With Guppies?
As German Blue Rams are non-aggressive fish, they can live with all kinds of freshwater non-aggressive fish. Hence, yes blue rams can live with guppies easily.
Are Blue Rams Hard To Keep?
As they are non-aggressive fish they are not hard to keep. You must be a little careful with the water parameters as German Blue Rams are sensitive. You should clean your tank frequently as these fish are prone to disease.
Why Are My Blue Rams Fighting?
If you have two males then German Blue Rams show dominance by fighting with each other. So if you have two males, either swipe it with a female or make sure the tank is big enough to have two separate territories
How Many Blue Ram Male Cichlids Are In A 30-gallon Tank?
2 males can be kept easily in a 30-gallon tank as there will be enough space for both of the males. They will rarely meet each other which will prevent a fight between them.
Is Blue Ram’s Aggressive Or Non-aggressive Fish?
It is a blue and silver fish that is popular in freshwater aquariums. blue ram cichlid The blue ram cichlid is a peaceful fish, but it can be aggressive toward other blue ram cichlids. It is best to keep only one blue ram cichlid per tank unless you are sure that the tank is large enough for multiple fish.
Blue ram cichlid Blue ram cichlids are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, but they prefer live food such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. Blue ram cichlid In the wild, blue ram cichlids is found in slow-moving streams and rivers in South America.
They inhabit areas with soft water and plenty of vegetation. blue ram cichlid The blue ram cichlid is a relatively small fish, reaching a maximum size of about 3 inches. Males and females look similar, but males tend to be larger than females.
We have listed all the important parts of caring for the German Blue Rams in the above paragraphs. Sometimes they need extra care. German Blue Rams are one of the most beautiful freshwater fish and it is also one of the easiest fish to take care of.
They are absolutely beautiful, peaceful, and loving creatures. I have gained good experience keeping them in my tank. They are worth it!