German Rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi)
Endemic Location: Orinoco River (River basin in the savannahs of Venezuela and Colombia)
Size: 5 – 7.5 cm (2 – 3 inches)
Diet: Omnivore. Small insects and plant material.
Temperature Range: 25.5 – 29.5 ℃ (78 – 85 ℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.2 – 6.7
Minimum Aquarium Size: 113 L per (30 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Kuhli loaches, Neon Tetras, Clown loaches
Care Level: Intermediate
The German Ram is a popular aquarium species for the bright yellowish-green, and blue colours they can bring to your aquarium. However, they suit those among intermediate level keeping hobbyist. They are a member of the Cichlidae family. Most cichlids are not well suited to community tanks. But, a male and female pair of German Rams can be the delightful exception you did not know you wanted. But, you will need to keep the water parameters just right!
If you wish to add non-fish inhabitants into your tank with these fishes, make sure they will not fit in the German Rams mouth. Otherwise, they’ll likely become a tasty snack. When introduced to your tank, they may refuse to eat straight away. Don’t fret too fast, like some of us they will need time to settle. They thrive best and may even school with small, like-minded peacekeepers. Avoid putting them in a tank with aggressive species and larger Cichlids. These colourful critters are curious about their surroundings.
Be sure to introduce a German Ram into an established aquarium. One that has been up and running for at least six months. Their environment will play a large role in maintaining its peaceful nature. They can become stressed and show signs of aggression when not fed enough, don’t feel safe or cannot find places to hide. These sensitive fish love a variety of plants, wood, rocks and crevices in their environment. Make sure to perform frequent water changes. Provide a decent filtration system as German Rams like consistent water conditions.
The first few rays of the dorsal fin appear extended on males, and their bodies will grow to a slightly larger size than females. A blue sheen below the dorsal fin, or scattering blue scales, also appears on females. The only times they should show aggression is during their breeding period. Nowadays, German Rams are considered easier to breed. When this time occurs, the female German Rams will have pink or reddish blush on their abdomen. Care for the eggs and fry is shared between both parents.