German Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi): Ultimate Care Guide

Most aquarists like to add colorful, fun fish to their tanks, and the German Blue Ram is no exception. German Blue Rams are small and bright, which makes them a perfect choice to add to any freshwater tank. German Blue Rams are very common in most pet stores. Despite that, some aquarists and hobbyists avoid German Blue Rams because they require very specific water conditions. German Blue Rams can be one of the most rewarding species you could ever add to your tank with enough research. If you’re interested in a German Blue Ram, then read on for more information about this interesting little fish.

German Blue Rams are also known as Ram Cichlid, Electric Blue Rams, Butterfly Cichlids, Golden Ram, Blue Ram, Dwarf Butterfly Cichlid, and their scientific name Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi. Their scientific name is derived from Manuel Ramirez, the man who first collected and imported German Blue Rams after they were discovered in 1948. German Blue Rams are native to slow-moving waters in South American countries like Venezuela and Colombia. The most striking thing about German Blue Rams is their appearance. Their bodies are bright yellow, almost green, while their heads are usually black and white. German Blue Rams also have vertical black lines that run across their bodies, with a single black dot near the middle of their body. The fins of the German Blue Ram are red or yellow, and they traditionally have blue lines on them. One of their most striking features is their bright red eyes.

German Blue Ram Care

Some beginning hobbyists and aquarists may be a bit intimidated by the care that German Blue Rams require. These small and colorful fish require precise water parameters, and if you don’t meet those parameters, your fish could be severely impacted. If you plan to add a German Blue Ram to your tank, then continue reading from some of the most essential information you’ll need to know.

Water Parameters for German Blue Ram

Water Parameters are one of the most important aspects to consider when adding a fish to your tanks, and German Blue Rams are no exception to that. German Blue Rams are very sensitive to water conditions. The temperature of a German Blue Ram tank should be between 78-85 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH range should be between 6.0 – 7.5. You need to regularly check your water to ensure it doesn’t leave the recommended ranges. If you check regularly, you’ll be able to catch any changes before they become a more significant issue. If you don’t perfectly set up your tank for German Blue Rams, then, unfortunately, your fish likely won’t last long.

German Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)
German Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi)


When setting a tank for any species of fish, you want the water parameters to match those of their native waters. German Blue Rams are native to slow-moving waters in South America, which has a tropical climate. That means that German Blue Rams need warmer waters in other to survive. Most experienced aquarists recommend the temperature of a German Blue Ram tank to be between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 Fahrenheit. You’ll need a heater to achieve and maintain those high temperatures. If your temperature fluctuates too much, then your fish will suffer. German Blue rams will also suffer if the water temperature is either too high or too low. That is why you must maintain a steady temperature within the recommended range.

Water pH

pH is a vital aspect of any tank. If the pH level is too high or too low, then your fish will likely become more susceptible to illness or infection. This is especially true of German Blue Rams. German Blue Rams are very sensitive to water parameters, which is why it is imperative to ensure you give them the best possible care. Most experts recommend that a German Blue Ram tank’s pH level be between 6.0 – 7.5. If you regularly check the water parameters, you can catch any fluctuations in pH level and remedy them before the species in your tank suffer.

German Blue Ram Size

German Blue Rams are one of the smallest species of cichlids. On average, the German Blue Rams only grow to be around 2 inches in length. Female German Blue Rams are even smaller than their male counterparts. Their small size means they may fit comfortably in a community, but you have to be sure you only house them with similarly sized fish species. Anything significantly larger than the German Blue Ram will not hesitate to try and eat them. The smaller size of German Blue Rams also allows them to fit more comfortably in smaller tanks, which makes them a more appealing option to most at-home hobbyists.

Food & Diet

German Blue Rams are omnivores, which means you can feed them a varied diet of both meat and plant. German Blue Rams will usually eat invertebrates, small insects, or plant material floating in the water when they’re in the wild. When you first add a German Blue Ram to your tank, they may refuse to eat, but they should begin eating normally once they acclimate to their new environment. Most experts recommend feeding German Blue Rams a few pinches of food each day. They love to eat blood worms, brine shrimp, and earthworms. You can also feed them flakes or pellets, but they shouldn’t be the main focus of their diet. It would be wise to ensure you add some vegetables or plants to their diet, ensuring they eat a varied and healthy diet.

German Blue Ram Lifespan

As with any pet or fish species, their lifespan depends entirely on the care they are given. Any German Blue Ram that lives in less than perfect conditions will not live as long as those living in ideal conditions. That is why you must give your German Blue Ram the best care you can. On average, the lifespan of a German Blue Ram is shorter than most other cichlids and aquarium fish. Although some can live longer, German Blue Rams live around 2 to 3 years.

German Blue Ram Tank Size

German Blue Rams don’t grow very large, usually only 2 inches on average. The small size of the German Blue Ram means that they don’t need a huge tank. A 10-gallon tank is a perfect size for the German Blue Ram. A good rule of thumb to follow is that you should have ten gallons for each German Blue Ram.

Tank Setup

When setting a tank for any species, you want to emulate their native habitat. German Blue Rams are native to South America, which means you need to try and recreate their home inside of your tank. German Blue Rams prefer a slow to moderate water current. The temperature needs to be between 78 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Water pH for a German Blue Ram tank absolutely needs to be between 6.0 -7.5. One of the most important features to add to a German Blue Ram tank is plenty of plants. German Blue Rams love to have plenty of places to hide, they’ll hide among plants, but they can also hide behind driftwood or rocks. As for substrate, most people recommend a mix of gravel and sand.

German Blue Ram Breeding

Breeding German Blue Rams in captivity isn’t too difficult. Sometimes, they’ll breed on their own if you have them in a small group. If you can’t get them to reproduce on their own, then there are some ways to try and encourage breeding, such as setting up a dedicated breeding tank for German Blue Rams. Read on for more information if you want to breed German Blue Rams in your own tank.

How to Breed German Blue Ram

If you plan on breeding German Blue Rams, setting a second tank is the smartest way to go about it. You can create the perfect breeding environment and ensure that any hungry tank mates don’t eat the German Blue Ram fry. Set up a breeding tank the same way you would a regular German Blue Ram tank, ensure it’s large enough and that there are plenty of plants and flat rocks. The only difference between a typical German Blue Ram tank and a breeding one is that the pH level in a breeding tank should be higher, around 5.8 -6.0. Once you’ve placed a male and female German Blue Ram in your tank, you want to ensure you feed them a very nutritious diet, as they will need the energy. If your German Blue Rams do not begin to breed independently, you can slowly start raising the temperature by a few degrees each day until you reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Courting has started once you see the two fish begin to follow each other around the tank. The female German Blue Ram will lay her eggs on a large flat, and the male will fertilize them. Once the eggs have been fertilized, both parents will take turns guarding the eggs for 60 hours until they hatch. The male German Blue Ram will protect the fry at this point, meaning you can remove the female from the tank.

Will they breed in a community tank?

German Blue Rams aren’t tough to breed, which means they’ll likely reproduce independently. German Blue Rams can likely breed in a community tank as long as the tank conditions are right. But keep in mind that German Blue Rams get a bit aggressive and defensive of their eggs and Frys, so breeding in a community tank isn’t always the best idea.

German Blue Ram Eggs

If you have two German Blue Rams in a tank, chances are they may breed on their own. You can tell if they’re producing if you see eggs on a flat rock in your tank. The eggs of the German Blue Rams look like tiny white orbs. After about 45 – 60 hours, the eggs of the German Blue Ram will begin to hatch.

German Blue Ram Male or Female

Telling the difference between male and female German Blue Rams isn’t tricky. Female German Blue Rams are smaller than their male counterparts. Females also have black stripes on their pelvic fins and a pink stomach.

German Blue Ram Disease

German Blue Rams are very susceptible to changes in their water. That means you don’t regularly perform water changes; your fish will suffer. As is the case with most aquarium species, German Blue Rams are susceptible to Ich, which can be diagnosed by the appearance of white spots on the body of the afflicted fish. German Blue Rams are also sensitive to fish tuberculosis, which can be passed to humans. Some common symptoms of fish tuberculosis are dropsy, popeyes, the fish becoming thinner, and ulcers around the body or head. If you believe your fish suffers from fish tuberculosis, do not directly touch them or the water.

German Blue Ram Tank Mates

German Blue Rams are the perfect choice for community tanks. They can be kept in peaceful community tanks because they are temperate species. Some great tank mate options are dwarf gouramis, discus, Neon Tetras. You can also consider clown loaches, Corydoras, platies, mollies, or guppies. Be sure to avoid larger, more aggressive fish; an excellent example of what to avoid is the green terror. Also, be sure that none of the other additions in your tank are small enough to fit into the mouth of your German Blue Ram.

Are German Blue Ram Aggressive?

German Blue Rams are not usually aggressive. However, they can get a bit aggressive if they aren’t hiding spots in their tank. They also get aggressive after breeding because they’re trying to protect their eggs and fry.

Where can I find German Blue Ram for sale?

German Blue Rams are very colorful and small, making them more popular than some other species. That popularity means you can likely find them available for purchase in most pet and aquarium specialty stores. German Blue Rams can also be purchased online; just be sure you’re buying from a reputable dealer. In most cases, German Blue Rams sell for between $10 – $20; the price tends to vary based on the size and age of the fish.