Maximum size : 10 cm

German Blue Ram Cichlid - Mikrogeophagus ramirezi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


German Blue Rams, scientifically known as Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, stand out as a peaceful and striking enhancement to community aquariums. 

These specific Cichlids flourish best in pairs or small groups, and a tranquil environment is crucial for their welfare. It's wise to avoid placing them with larger, more domineering tank-mates, as the German Blue Rams could be easily overwhelmed.

When it comes to their home, careful planning is required to foster their comfort and overall health. This involves supplying them with soft, acidic water and ensuring the aquarium has reached biological maturity prior to their introduction. To mirror their natural surroundings, employing dark substrate and thick planting is advised, as these offer ample concealment and territorial spaces amid objects like rocks, driftwood, inverted flower pots, coconut shells, and various aquarium accessories. Consider adding floating plant cover to soften the lighting and instill a tranquil atmosphere.

Peat filtration and incorporating dried Indian Almond Leaves can further contribute to creating the conditions these fish prefer. Furthermore, the filtration process should be effective yet maintain a gentle water flow. Regular partial water changes will assist in preserving water quality and minimizing nitrate levels.

The German Blue Rams are celebrated for their lively coloration, displaying shades of yellow, blue, red, and orange. A unique black stripe across their face and their red eyes confer a "bandit-like" aspect, while some may even have dark blue or black spots on their body and fins, adding to their visual appeal.

1 other variant of the German Blue Ram Cichlid

Below is a list of Variant/Colour Morphs of the German Blue Ram Cichlid

German Blue Ram Cichlid Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Differentiating between male and female German Blue Rams is usually a clear and uncomplicated process due to noticeable differences in their physical attributes. Females typically appear smaller and are characterized by a more distinct pink hue on their ventral region. Additionally, the rays in the anterior part of their dorsal fins are less pronounced compared to males. They also often have a rounder tailfin edge and a fuller body shape. In contrast, male German Blue Rams are identifiable by their v-shaped tail fins, pointed dorsal and anal fins, and more robust bodies. A defining feature that can further assist in distinguishing males is a longer second ray in their dorsal fin.


Quick Facts

Scientific NameMikrogeophagus ramirezi
Year Described1948
Other NamesBlue Ram, Asian Ram, Butterfly Cichlid, Ramirez's Dwarf Cichlid, Dwarf Butterfly Cichlid, Ramirezi
OriginsVenezuela , Colombia
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asPairs
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 4 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.0 - 7.5
GH 5 - 12
Ideal Temperature
78 - 85
25 - 29

Natural Habitat

Originating from the magnificent Orinoco River Basin in South America, German Blue Rams are intriguing fish with an impressive background. Their native environment consists of warm, slow-flowing waters that can range from sparkling clarity to the deep hue of tea. Thriving amid lush aquatic plants and abundant vegetation, these fish inhabit an extraordinary habitat marked by stunning landscapes and flourishing ecosystems.


 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag


Breeding German Blue Rams is generally a manageable task, though it may require a few trials for the parent fish to adeptly master the skills of nurturing. Once accustomed, they are expected to breed around once a month without complications, typically reaching sexual maturity between four and six months old.

Encouraging breeding involves a few special considerations, including providing soft water and slightly elevating the water temperature. Implementing a timer for the aquarium lights can help maintain consistency, aligning with their natural breeding rhythms. The use of flat stones in the aquarium is vital as these often act as breeding sites, although some pairs may instead opt to excavate small pits in the gravel.

During breeding times, the otherwise gentle German Blue Ram Cichlids may exhibit increased aggression, necessitating ample hiding spaces and natural separations within the tank. When prepared to spawn, the female's red patch becomes more pronounced and vivid. The mating pair will either cleanse a flat stone or carve out a pit, where the female will affix tiny adhesive eggs. With the potential to lay up to 300 eggs, both parents take on the responsibility of safeguarding and nurturing the brood.

To ward off threats from bacteria and fungi, one parent will frequently bathe the eggs with fresh water and remove any infertile ones. Hatching occurs within a 35-40 hour period, with the fry becoming free-swimming five days later. The parent fish will guide the fry collectively, alternating in escorting them during their search for sustenance.

Initially, the young should be fed infusoria-type foods, gradually transitioning to crushed flake food and small live options as they develop. This approach ensures a nurturing environment for the offspring, reflecting the natural instincts and unique attributes of the German Blue Rams.

Diet & feeding

German Blue Rams are known for their adaptable eating habits, accepting a wide variety of food types within the aquarium. They thrive on a balanced diet that includes high-quality dried flakes, granules, and pellets, and they also enjoy live and frozen delicacies such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, earthworms, and artemia. Incorporating vegetables and plants can further contribute to maintaining their dietary equilibrium.

To ensure a thriving environment and uphold water quality, it's advisable to adopt a feeding regimen that consists of small portions administered multiple times a day. This approach is preferable to providing a substantial quantity once a day, as it mimics their natural feeding behaviour and helps to keep the water clean.


Frequently asked questions

Ideal water parameters are a temperature of 78-85°F (25-29°C), pH of 6.0-7.0, and soft water with low nitrate levels.

Males tend to be larger, with pointed dorsal and anal fins and v-shaped tail fins. Females are generally smaller with more rounded fins and a pink hue on their ventral region.

A balanced diet that includes high-quality flakes, pellets, live, and frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms, along with occasional vegetables.

Yes, they can be kept with other peaceful community fish. Suitable tank mates include tetras, rasboras, and other non-aggressive species.

A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended, with soft, acidic water, dark substrate, dense planting, and hiding places using rocks, driftwood, and other aquarium decor.

Provide soft water and slightly elevated temperature. Include flat stones as breeding sites. The female will lay eggs, and both parents will care for them. Hatching occurs in 35-40 hours.

While considered hardy and low-maintenance, they do require specific water conditions, so they may be best suited for intermediate aquarists.

Feed small portions multiple times a day, ensuring that all the food is consumed within a few minutes to avoid overfeeding.

Common diseases include ich, fin rot, and bacterial infections. Proper water quality, quarantine of new fish, and targeted medications can help prevent and treat these issues.

German Blue Rams can be found at specialized aquarium stores or reputable online sellers. Look for active, brightly coloured individuals without signs of disease or injury. These questions and answers cover fundamental aspects of care, maintenance, and breeding of German Blue Rams, providing insights for both novice and experienced fish enthusiasts.

Other South American Cichlids of interest