freshwater community4




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Scientific Name:   Mikrogeophagus ramirezi      
Min. Tank Size:   20 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful     
Temperature:   77-84°F      
pH:   5.0-6.5/0-5°dGH     
Size 2.5"    
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer     


Can be kept with other peaceful, community species like Tetras, Corydoras, Danios and other peaceful Cichlids.


Also called the Blue Ram, Butterfly Cichlid, Asian Ram and Ramirez' Dwarf Cichlid, Rams are very popular in the aquarium trade. This species is available in two different strains - blue and gold. Wild-caught specimens are typically more colorful than captive-bred fish possibly due to this fish being mass produced on a large scale - resulting in poorer quality stock. Males of this species may exhibit extended rays on the dorsal fin whereas females may show a blue sheen on their bodies below the dorsal fin. Rams are South American Cichlids and are endemic to the Rio Orinoco basin in Venezuela and Columbia. These fish can typically be found in slow-moving waters that may be stained with tannins due to a large quantity of submerged vegetation.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, provide Rams with a dark, sandy substrate and areas of dense planting to provide cover. Because these fish are sensitive to poor water quality and aquarium pollutants like nitrate, they are best kept in larger tanks that have an increased tank capacity for diluting toxins. These fish are more difficult to keep than Bolivian Rams and are recommended for more experienced aquarists. Unfortunately, many ill-advised novice aquarists are sold this fish and the results are usually not that favorable. Though they are peaceful in nature, Rams are also shy and should be kept with passive or peaceful fishes like Tetras.


Rams are not fussy eaters - they are likely to accept a variety of live and frozen foods which can be used to supplement a staple diet of Cichlid pellets or flake food. Feed a varied diet for optimum health and coloration of this beautiful fish.


Breeding Rams is possible in the home aquarium as long as the water conditions are ideal. The water in the breeding tank should be kept soft with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5. These fish tend to spawn on flat stones or in depressions dug into the substrate. The average brood size for Rams is between 150 and 300, though broods of up to 500 have been known to happen. After spawning, the female and male Rams will take turns tending the eggs, fanning water over them, and keeping watch over the area.

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