The blue ram - Mikrogeophagus ramirezi

The Blue Ram, Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi Male – Facts and How to Keep

The blue ram is a stunning fish with gold and metallic blue patterns and black and red markings. Males are brighter and have longer dorsal and anal fin filaments; females are typically smaller and have rose coloring on the belly. Domesticated morphs include xanthic gold, electric blue, and longfin variations.

Mikrogeophagus is derived from the Greek (mikrós), which means “little,” and the generic name Geophagus. Ramirezi was probably selected to prevent misunderstanding since the fish was formerly known as ramirezi in the ornamental trade.

Microgeophagus Ramirezi male


Basic facts about Mikrogeophagus ramirezi

Also know as: Ram cichlid, German ram, blue ram, butterfly cichlid, Ramirez’s cichlid are some of the common names for this species.
Preferred Water Chemistry: Very warm, 27° to 30°C (81° to 86°F), even warmer for breeding, prefers soft, acidic water with a pH as low as 5, performs best in soft, acidic water with a pH as low as 5.
Difficulty: Simple if the fish’s particular demands are satisfied, but not in a typical communal tank. Many rams are maintained in unsuitable temperatures. They are sensitive to dissolved wastes and will perish fast in stale water.
Size: 7 cm TL (2.75 inches), though sometimes smaller.
Tank Setup: A planted tank with tiny or calm tankmates who can all tolerate the higher temps required is ideal.
A micropredator is feeding. The greatest meaty meals are those that are alive or frozen.
Breeding: A free breeder in the right environment. In a suitably big tank, more than one pair can be kept. A substrate as opposed to a cave spawner. Parents are generally dedicated, however there have been several stories of parents devouring their offspring. To be successful, adequate accommodations must be provided, as well as the aquarium being located in a low-traffic area to reduce disruptions.
Type Locality: Venezuelan state of Orinoco
Range: Colombian and Venezuelan IIanos in the Orinoco drainage
Taxonomic Difficulties: Originally reported as Apistogramma ramirezi, it was later renamed Papilochromis ramirezi and was occasionally misspelled as Microgeophagus.

Overview of keep a Ram cichlid

The ram is best maintained in pairs, but if housed in a small group, a coupe will develop. A pair will have a big territory in comparison to the size of the fish. As a result, it is best not to keep two males in a tank that is less than 1.2 metres long. Females will also battle to protect their area. You may keep them alongside other small, easygoing, and gentle fish. They may be found mostly in the lower or bottom levels of the tank, which may pose a hazard to other bottom-dwelling fish such as Corydoras.

The Electric Blue Ram Cichlid will flourish in a tank with a sandy substrate and plenty of hiding places, such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It is a fantastic choice for a planted aquarium, although it does require a good bit of open space. As long as it has sufficient of room, this cichlid is typically friendly with other calm fish. During spawning, territoriality is usually at its highest. Dwarf shrimp and other small, delicate invertebrates should not be maintained with the Electric Blue Ram Cichlid, but bigger, more robust shrimp and snails may be suitable tankmates in a large enough aquarium. If spawning is desired, other species tankmates should be maintained to a minimum or avoided entirely.


The first specimens were captured in Venezuela’s Orinoco river delta. The Llanos are a large system of tropical savannah grasslands, seasonally flooded plains, and forests in Venezuela and Colombia that encompass about 600,000 square kilometers. Seasonal flooding occurs around May, resulting in a huge wetland.


This tiny fish is benthophagous, which means it will take a mouthful of the earth and sift it with its guiles for anything edible, spitting out the pebbles or sand. They will consume all small fresh foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, and artemia, as well as frozen meals and flakes. Providing a variety of meals will improve their coloring. It’s also a good idea to feed them in different areas of the tank since, because they’re slow feeders, other faster and bigger fish may devour everything before these fish get to it. Animals captured in the wild may refuse flakes or tabs, but after a time of adjustment, they will begin eating dry foods. It is important to give enough live food for these fish to get them through this phase.


The storage tank

A 60-centimetre tank is required for the Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. The tank must be outfitted with enough hideouts and plants to offer enough shelter. Sand may be used as a substrate since it is the soil closest to their native environment. Create hideouts and gloomy areas for the fish to relax using wood and branches. Make sure there are some flat rocks available for egg laying. Leaf litter is appreciated since it is native to their original habitat and provides extra hiding places. This isn’t the only benefit these leaves have. They feed the Mikrogeophagus ramirezi’s tiny fry. Furthermore, when the leaves decompose, acids are released into the water, which are good to these sensitive fish and improve global water quality. As previously stated, these fish are quite sensitive to changes in water quality, thus regular water changes are essential.

Water conditions

These fish like the tank’s lowest and middle levels.
Temperature of the water: 27 – 30 °C
Hardness: 18 – 179 ppm
pH value: 4.0 – 7.0
As previously stated, these fish are quite sensitive to water quality. The Redox may be used to calculate the amount of waste in the water.

More on how to keep

As long as enough cover and structure are provided, this species is uncomplicated in terms of decoration, with ceramic flowerpots, lengths of plastic pipe, and other fake materials all being suitable additions. A more natural-looking design may include a soft, sandy substrate with wood roots and branches strategically arranged to create plenty of shaded areas and caves, as well as one or two flat boulders or similar to give possible spawning locations.


The addition of dried leaf litter would enhance the natural feel while also promoting the formation of beneficial microbial colonies during decomposition. These may be a vital supplementary food source for fry, and the tannins and other compounds produced by decomposing leaves help to simulate natural circumstances. Aquatic plants can also be employed, with Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, Cryptocoryne, and Anubias being particularly helpful because they can be grown connected to the décor, despite the fact that none of them are native to South America. Filtration, or at least water flow, should be moderate, and major water changes should be avoided, with frequent changes of 10-15% suggested. This species should never be introduced into new or otherwise immature aquaria. When circumstances worsen, it becomes vulnerable to a condition known as head and lateral line erosion or hole-in-the-head in other species, which presents itself initially as tiny pits created by eroding flesh around the head and lateral line pores.


When you have healthy fish, breeding Rams is simple. Ensure that the parents are properly fed. It might be more difficult to breed wild-caught Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. For the eggs to hatch, they require extremely soft and acidic water. They are substrate spawners, and the female will lay her eggs in various locations throughout the tank. Around 200 eggs will be laid on plants, dimples in the substrate, pebbles, or decorations, and both parents will aggressively guard their nest. The most effective method is to utilize a breeding tank with a sand floor, Java moss, and rocks. You want almost little current flowing through the tank and dim illumination. The parents excavate tiny holes in the substrate to allow the fry to search for microscopic food. The fry are moved from pit to pit by their parents. They move the fry by picking them up with their mouth. The newly hatched Rams are quite little. At initially, you can give them infusion or micro worms. As they grow, you may replace them with newly hatched brine shrimp.
Never give daphnia to the parents because it looks too much like their fry. When parental care is no longer required, the parents can be returned to their tank.