In the wild, The Mikrogeophagus ramirezi can be found inhabiting a variety of environments such as blackwater river canals to clearwater flooded savannas. You will often find them living happily alongside other fish like Apistogramma and tetra species.
Caring for these small cichlids in the home aquarium is not to demanding. To get the best colour, behaviour and breeding it is best to try and replicate their natural environment. Using readily available aquarium sand, you can create a similar setup to the amazon basin. With the addition of some driftwood and branches along with some smooth river stones and aquatic plants your fish will be very happy.
Bottled bacteria is a good way of speeding up a cycle for a new aquarium (please see cycling section) using these products can shorten a cycle down from upwards of 6 weeks to as little as 3-7 days. If using a bottled bacteria to cycle a fresh aquarium, please note although your aquarium is cycled and ready for wet pets, it is still a very immature system, so slowly adding fish is still the best option.
The German Ram has to be one of the nicest looking dwarf cichlids available within our hobby here in New Zealand. With its beautiful blue shimmer, golden face and rainbow tones throughout its fin, I can say without doubt it was one fish that never stuck around long in our shop and for good reason.