Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi: Ram cichlid

Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi: Ram Cichlid, a Beautiful Dwarf Cichlid aquarium fish

The Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi, to be precise, is a small Cichlid with several beautiful variations, yellow or blue, long fins or short fins, and much more.

The Ram cichlid is sure to attract the attention of anyone who passes by the aquarium. A Ram cichlid is a good option for any aquarium enthusiast because they are easy to keep.

Other names: Apistogramma ramirezi, Ram cichlid, German ram, blue ram, butterfly cichlid, Ramirez’s cichlid, German Blue is the most common species of Ram cichlid.

How to Keep your Ram cichlid healthy

I always use two products to get Ram cichlid healthy. I use this particular food and periodically this liquid for resistance.

It works perfectly and has the advantage that the colors of the fish come out more strongly.

The Ram cichlid originates from the north of South America, just above Brazil, and lives in hard and slightly acidic water with around 26 degrees.

You will find a detailed explanation of all the necessities for successfully keeping these fish, including the required water quality and nutrition. You can also read how to grow them yourself.

The minimum volume of the aquarium is 35 liters, and Lower is strongly discouraged; the best is more than 50 liters with a light flow through the tank.

For the color of the fish to develop well (that it comes out well), moderate lighting is needed. This is done by setting the lighting to a low setting or placing surface plants in the aquarium that partially block the light.

For example, aquarium floating plants, Besides making the colors stand out better with moderate light, also promote reproduction.

As for the bottom, we recommend a mix of fine sand and gravel. Ram cichlid like it when there are places to hide, Pieces of driftwood or stones can be used.

Adding plants completes the hardscape. Some suitable plants are the Java fern and the Amazon sword plant.

An overview of the ideal water values:

The temperature of 26 *C

pH value between 6.0 and 7.5

Water hardness between 6 and 14 dGH

Which fish and animals go well with the Ram cichlid ?

A Ram cichlid is peaceful in a quiet aquarium, and there are few problems with slow-swimming fish. Think of various small Tetras, Danios, or Corydoras. You have to be careful with more aggressive fish, especially if they are larger.

These fish do not always go well together; a good ratio between males and females is recommended to keep calm in the group.

Usually, that is 2 to 3 females per male. In a small tank under 80 liters, one male is the max. In an aquarium of more than 80 liters, you can keep some males.

Besides fish, other living organisms in the aquarium hobby, such as invertebrates (snails) and aquarium plants. Invertebrates are not the best friend of a Ram cichlid.

Shrimp or crabs are at a slightly higher risk than snails because snails can defend themselves better through their shells.

Shrimp, especially the young ones, are often seen as a tasty snack, especially if few hiding places and plants are in the aquarium.

Ram cichlid is an omnivore, but they do not directly eat aquarium plants. This means that your aquarium plants go well with these beautiful fish. In other words:

  • Small Peaceful Fish (Tetras or Danios): Good!
  • (Semi) Aggressive Fish (Sunfish or Betas): Bad!
  • Own strain: Good in a good 3:1 ratio!
  • Invertebrates (shrimp, snails or crabs): Watch out!
  • Aquarium plants: Good!

How to differentiate between sexes in Ram cichlid

The difference between males and females is not very difficult to see and can be determined relatively young.

Males are slightly more prominent, and they have long pointed fins on their backs. The females are somewhat smaller, have a smaller dorsal fin, and have an orange-red color on their bellies. In brief:

male and female Ram cichlid



Longer pointed dorsal fin

more aggressive

Take care of the boy



Flatter shorter dorsal fin

Less aggressive

Orange-red color on the belly

Food preferences of the Ram cichlid

Ram cichlid is an omnivore and eats plant remains and tiny organisms in the wild. In the aquarium, they should be fed a mix of live or frozen meaty foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Some cichlid also eats flakes or pellets; this is good for the aquarium fish but should not be the only thing they eat.

When fed with flakes or pellets, it is recommended to provide a little 2 to 3 times a day, not all at once. This food has a high nutrient density and is bad for the water quality if left on the bottom.

The addition of vitamins and other supplements is always good for the Ram cichlid in the proper dosage. The correct dosage can be found on the packaging or the manual of the product.

How To Breeding Ram cichlid Fish

Growing Ram cichlid is not very difficult, but indeed not easy either. Ram cichlid lay about 150 to 200 eggs in an open space in the aquarium. To get there, I have made a step-by-step plan for you.

Step 1: Provide the right environment

The best environment to encourage breeding is in an environment with a bottom of smooth pebbles and aquarium plants with large, broad leaves; this may later become a breeding ground.

The temperature at which the chance of laying is highest is 26 to 28*C. It is also advisable to turn on a small night light at night that simulates moonlight.

This ensures that the fish can continue to see each other and do not get stressed.

Step 2: Make Antenna Bass Pairs Form

As a novice grower, starting with at least 6 small Ram cichlid is wise to increase good pairs.

Once a couple has formed, the couple should be placed in a separate tank to minimize stress.

Ram cichlid eats their eggs or babies when they get stressed.

Another way to keep stress down is to cover the sides to block out impulses from outside.

Step 3: Eggs are laid

When a pair is in a new tank with the proper water values, they will start cleaning a suitable stone or leaf. If they have a nice clean surface, the female will lay eggs, and the male will fertilize them externally.

From this moment on, the parents can be removed to prevent the fry from being eaten.

They can also be kept with them to make growing up easier (should the parents not eat the young), as they keep the eggs, and later the young, clean, safe and healthy.

Step 4: Care of the Baby Ram cichlid

After about 60 hours, the eggs will hatch. From this moment, the female moves the baby fish to a hole at a different location in the aquarium.

Should the male act aggressively towards the female, returning the female to the main tank is wise, as the male will eventually take overall care.

After about 3 or 4 days, the small fish will swim around freely, and then the male takes them in his mouth to clean them. He will also try to keep them together as a group.

Step 5: Maintain water values

Important things to consider when growing fry is water quality, and Because they are still very young, they cannot withstand fluctuations in water values.

That is why many small water changes must be done; about a 10% water change every 1 or 2 days is strongly recommended.

Step 6: Feeding the Babies

The small perch will have to be fed from the moment that the yolk sac has wholly disappeared. This can be done with, for example, Hikari First Bites or immediately with baby artemia shrimp.

Step 7: Outgrow the Babies

After just under 3 weeks, the father stops taking care of his young.

The father can also return to the other aquarium from now on, and more extensive water changes can be done.

It is still recommended to do these changes at least twice a week as the bass produce more waste as they grow.

You can also slowly try to feed other food if you prefer, such as flakes or frozen.

Step 8: Finishing the Ram cichlid Breeding

Slowly these fish will grow, and they can be transferred to a larger aquarium.

For a growing group of about 40 perch, a tank of at least 180 liters is required at the end of the breeding season.

Different types of Ram cichlid

Through many years of selective breeding, many species have arisen. A distinction is made between these species through addition in the name. These types are:


This is more of a shape change, as you can see in the picture. A balloon Ram cichlid has a rounder shape. This balloon mutation can also be found together with the following color mutations.


A longfin is also a form of mutation. As the name suggests, a longfin has longer fins than the normal Ram cichlid; this graceful effect gives the fish a more elegant look. This change in shape can also go hand in hand with the color variations.

German Blue

The German Blue is the most common species of Ram cichlid. The combination of yellow and blue is gorgeous in this version.

Electric Blue

The Electric Blue mutation is one of the most striking color variations of the Ram cichlid. The bright blue color, as seen in the image, is not to be missed.

German Gold

The German Gold is a slightly less striking color mutation but no less beautiful. The absence of blue highlights the beautiful golden yellow color and stands out beautifully against a dark background.

The Ram cichlid is a beautiful little fish for any aquarium enthusiast. If the above advice is followed, the Ram cichlid can be kept by anyone without any problems. They can be bought in almost all pet stores and aquarium specialists, and they don’t burden the wallet.