German Blue Ram Fish Overview, Care Guide, Aquarium Size & Setup, Water Parameters & Conditions, Tank Mates, Food, & Breeding:

German Blue Ram fish is from the Cichlid family & they are commonly known as Mikrogeophagus ramirezi. German Blue Ram fish has other names such as Butterfly Cichlids & Electric Blue Ram that refers to its stunning colors.

German Blue Ram Fish was first found in 1948 & it was named after the founder, Manuel Ramirez.

German Blue Ram Fish is one of the top Cichlids, because of its good behavior & stunning coloration.

Their life span is up to 3 years only if you take good care of the fish.

They are native to Columbia & Venezuela. In this area, this fish can be found in Orinoco River basin.

Other names of German Blue Ram Fish include ram cichlid, blue ram, Ramirez’s dwarf cichlid, Asian Ram, Gold ram (if golden in color), & dwarf butterfly cichlid.

Ramirez’s dwarf cichlid is a very beautiful freshwater fish. They have good behavior, small size & can be kept in community with other peaceful fish.

Butterfly Cichlids looks gorgeous & it is the main reason why it gets attention of aquarists. They have bright colors & beautiful patterns which seems amazing.

Different colors can be seen all over the body of German Blue Ram fish such as blue, yellow, red & orange. Mostly the main color on front half of German Blue Ram fish body is yellow & the main color on the back half of their body is blue. But their colors may be different.




Care Level





Yellow, Blue & White


2 to 4 Years

Adult Fish Size

2 to 3 inches





Min. Size of Aquarium:


Aquarium Set-Up:

Freshwater with Plantation


Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (German Blue Ram Fish) Care Guide:

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi needs moderate care level. But in this article, we have explained German Blue Ram fish tank setup & size, water parameters & conditions, tank mates, & how efficiently you can breed this fish in aquarium.

German Blue Ram Fish Care Guide And Breeding
German Blue Ram Fish Care Guide And Breeding

How long can a Dwarf Butterfly Cichlid (German Blue Ram Fish) grow in aquarium:

Ram cichlid can grow from 2 to 2.5 inches in length, which is slightly smaller than other similar cichlids like Bolivian ram cichlid.

Butterfly cichlid needs moderate care level, but if you take good care of it, then keeping them is fun.


German Blue Ram Fish Water Parameters & Conditions:

The best water parameters for Mikrogeophagus ramirezi are:


Temperature Range

78 to 85 Degree Fahrenheit

pH Range

6.0 to 7.5

Water Hardness

6 to 14 dGH


Low to medium

Water current

Slow to medium


Ramirez’s dwarf cichlid likes to live in soft acidic water. Make sure you take care of water quality because Ramirez’s dwarf cichlid has little tolerance to quality of water. Ammonia released from fish waste decomposes into nitrites & nitrates & it is dangerous for Butterfly cichlid so make sure you do partial water changes regularly to keep them in control. Partial water changes must be carried out at least once every week. If your tap water is not soft, then you need to use reverse osmosis water.  


German Blue Ram Fish Aquarium Size & Setup:

Electric Blue Ram fish has a small size & they do not need big aquarium. 10 gallons of water in aquarium is enough for this fish. If you want to keep German Blue Ram fish in community aquarium then they need at least 30 gallons of water.

Keeping Asian Ram in a 20-gallon aquarium is a good idea because toxic compounds that release from fish waste will not be dangerous for the fish if there is more water.

They also like dwelling substrate & a big tank has a big floor which helps them in exploring it.

Keeping more than 1 male German Blue Ram needs 40-gallon aquarium. The reason behind a big aquarium is that every male will have its own territory & they would not be fighting with each other.

Make sure your filter clean aquarium well so fish waste is removed & ammonia is not accumulated.

I think that choosing a filter that is able to hold enough bio media is a good choice for you.

A heater is required too. You need to heat up water so that your aquarium water temperature is more than 80 Degree Fahrenheit. German Ram Fish can’t tolerate cold water.


German Blue Ram Fish Substrate:

Sand is the top substrate for Electric Blue Ram fish aquarium. They like to live in the bottom of aquarium & like to dwell the aquarium floor for food. They can dig the sand the way they would in the wild.

Also having gravel or plant soil substrate is not a bad idea. However, sand can offer them a natural environment.


German Blue Ram Fish Plants & Decoration:

Rams like plantation in aquarium & you can keep decoration too. Also provide free swimming space to your fish.

Plants such as Amazon swords, java ferns, anubias & Vallisneria are a good choice for Asian Ram. Such plants are able to survive in high temperatures because they are native to tropical regions. Keep plants in the back & sides, & leave the front & mid of aquarium open so that fish are able to swim.

Adding small caves is a good for Asian Ram because it can provide hiding places for your fish. Decorations can provide more hiding spots or you can build your own decoration from rocks & driftwood.


German Blue Ram Fish Tank Mates:

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi can be kept with other peaceful fish in aquarium. Other types of fish can help lower the aggression of German Blue Ram fish & provide more comfortability in tank. You can keep other peaceful small fish like Tetras, Guppies & Rainbowfish in German Blue Ram fish aquarium. In the company of these peaceful species, your Mikrogeophagus ramirezi will feel more relaxed & safer, & they will enjoy aquarium life.

If your aquarium does not offer many hiding places for dwarf butterfly cichlids then they may become more aggressive & they can attack each other & other fish. Providing them a place very similar to their natural environment is good for your German Blue Ram fish. Provide abundance of live plants, & keep decorations like rock caves & structures in aquarium which help German Blue Ram fish live peacefully in aquarium. They feel more secure & relaxed when hiding in caves & other structures. Vertical rock formations will help German Blue Ram fish in breeding so make sure you add them to your aquarium if you want to spawn them.


German Blue Ram Fish Food:

German Blue Ram fish might not eat everything you offer them. They do not eat for a few days when added to aquarium for the first time. This does not mean that German Blue Ram fish is ill. When you introduce this fish to your tank, then offer them meaty, nutrition rich diet. You can offer them frozen brine shrimp which is a great food for new fish. Feed them live brine shrimp which is another good food.

Once Ramirez’s dwarf cichlid start eating well, then you can think about other diets like pellets or flakes. Monitor your fish as they eat & make sure they are eating well. They may be eating slowly, so other fish in aquarium might snatch their diet before they bite on it.

Change their food regularly so that they are not eating same food daily. This will help them eat well & they will get important nutrition required for best growth. If you offer them variety of diets then this will help in showing up their bright natural coloration.


Breeding Dwarf Butterfly Cichlid (German Blue Ram fish):

Breeding dwarf butterfly cichlid is a beautiful way to learn & enjoy. Looking at German Blue Ram fish pairing, breeding, & raising baby is a good experience. Their spawning is hard as compared to other cichlid fish, but it is possible to breed them in aquarium. In fact, it is a little hard to pair German Blue Ram fish, & then watch them laying eggs & raising fries.


How to pair German Blue Ram fish:

It is hard to find a pair of German Blue Ram fish. Even your aquarium has a male & female German Blue Ram fish, then they may not form pair. They are picky in finding their mates, so you might fail in getting a pair.

If you want to get a good pair of German Blue Cichlids then my advice is to purchase 6 to 8 little Cichlids from fish shop. As time elapses, then your Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi will pair off itself & you can use fish net to shift others to a separate aquarium.


Best Aquarium Conditions for German Blue Ram Fish Breeding:

When you form a pair of German Blue Ram fish then it is time to provide them a suitable environment that encourage them to breed. They like breeding in soft water. Peat moss in aquarium can help in softening water. Raise temperature of water to about 82 Degree Fahrenheit. Ensure your tank water is clean & nitrates level is low. If your fish are stressed then they will not breed. Make sure you do not stick your hands in aquarium which might stress German Blue Rams.

Offering your German Blue Ram fish, the best place to lay eggs is very important. They like to lay eggs on a flat, tall, vertically placed rock in aquarium. They might also lay eggs on large leaves or patches of substrate, so make sure you add them to your aquarium which is the best method to encourage them to lay eggs on it.

German Blue Ram Fish likes breeding in the open on a big stone or leaf & on substrate. When they are ready to breed, you will find the pair is cleaning the place where female wants to lay eggs. The red patch of female Blue Ram will grow brighter & they will be more aggressive to other fish. If your female is laying eggs for the first time then the number of eggs could be as low as 20. They may lay up to 500 eggs. They like eating their own eggs. It is a wise idea to take them to a separate aquarium as female lay eggs & take care of the fries. Their eggs hatch in around 60 hours & babies need 3 to 5 more days to start swimming.


German Blue Ram Baby Fish Care:

3 to 5 days will be required to hatch German Blue Ram fish eggs. They will hatch into fishworms, & they will need 3 to 5 more days to get ready for swimming. Unlike other fish, German Blue Ram fish do not like to eat their babies & they take good care of them so it is recommended to allow them to take care of the juveniles for the complete process. However, if they eat their babies the initial few times then do not worry because this is normal as they are leaning.

When the babies start swimming, then they will swim together with others around parents. Now the parents will take care of the young, & help them in moving around the aquarium & protect them from bullies.


German Blue Ram Baby Fish Food:

It is difficult to feed the babies. Even though they are able to live in the aquarium with no special diets prepared for them but the rate of survival might not be high. If you want higher survival rate of the babies then we recommend adding special diets for the babies.

You can offer powered egg yolk to the babies. Buy it from baking shops or get it online. This food will help them grow then you can offer them other diets.

If you really want to raise the babies then my advice is to offer them live vinegar ells. They fit in the mouth of German Blue Ram babies & this diet can help them get enough nutrition. Growing vinegar ells needs a special setup which takes some time.

After the babies grow a bit, then you can offer them baby brine shrimp. This food is good for fish babies, so if you want to raise baby fish then make sure you know how to feed them baby brine shrimp.

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