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Data Sheet: Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi “Ram Cichlid”

Photo by Felice Panico


Scientific name:  Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi
Common name: Ram Cichlid, blue ram, German blue ram, Asian ram, butterfly cichlid, Ramirez’s dwarf cichlid, dwarf butterfly cichlid and Ramirezi.
Taxonomic classification
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinoperygii
Subclass: Neopterygii 
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Percoidei
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Mikrogeophagus 
Species: Ramirezi
Description: The body is tall with the sides compressed, the dorsal fin is tall and long as you can see in the first rays, pointed ventral fins and elongated anal. On the market there is a variety with a light color without black spots known as “Gold”. Other varieties on the market are: “veil fins” (gold and blue) and the “baloon”.
Coloring:  Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi has a unique flamboyant livery, the gill operculum ranges from yellow-green with peach-colored reflections, reddish belly, the rest is all of a light-blue dotted green-blue color. The eye is crossed by a black band and is red. The first rays of the dorsal fin are black, as well as the root of the fin and part of the back and sides. The ventral fins have a color from black to bluish to red-violet. The other fins are blue or pink, covered with small blue spots.
Behaviour: The Ram is a very territorial fish during the mating period in fact it is preferable to insert this specimen with other cichlids only if the available space is sufficient.
Sexual Dimorphism: The sexual dimorphism is very evident, the adult females are smaller than the males, less colored, and with shorter fins and have a pink / purple spot on the belly.
Habitat: It lives in bentopelagic environments of fresh water that flow along the prairies and is not a migratory fish.
Temperature: 27° C-30° C    pH: 5.0-6.0   Water hardness: 5.0-12.0 °dH
Tips for breeding: It is not a strong food competitor so it is advisable to raise it in a monospecific aquarium or with a group of pack fish that act as reassuring fish, as the ram interpret their tranquility with the absence of danger in the vicinity. For a single pair we recommend a tank of at least 60-70cm rich in hiding places, woods, rich planting and smooth stones for the deposition.
Adding dried beech or oak leaves on the bottom helps the system to create colonies of micro-organisms that may be useful as food in the case of reproduction of fry, thanks to the tannins released from the leaves makes water similar to that found in nature. Plants such as Microsorum, Cryptcoryne, Anubias and Taxiphyllum are recommended. They do not like strong currents even if in nature it is probable to find them even in some of these conditions. Poor water values ​​can cause diseases such as lateral line erosion or hole disease.
Feed: In the wild nature they are benthicles searching for food from the substrates. In the aquarium it is advisable to feed the Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi with live, freeze-dried or frozen food such as Chironomus, Artemia Salina, Daphnia, Grindal, Tubifex and dried food of good quality.
Diffusion: South America: Rio Orinoco, Venezuela and Colombia
Swimming Level: Medium-High
Difficulty: Average
Reproduction: As all cichlids are oviparous and lay on a smooth and solid substrate such as woods, stones or glass of the tank and perform biparental treatments (Temp Reproduction 28-29 °) the female releases one or more strips of eggs, which are fertilized immediately by the male. The incubation lasts 2-3 days, after hatching the larvae remain more or less immobile for another 5-8 days, during which they consume the yolk sac and do not need further food. Once free swimming is achieved, the juveniles must be fed for the first 2-3 days with an “infuser” and microworms, so larger live food can be introduced, such as brine shrimp nauplii.
Extinction risk: Not at risk.


Felice Panico
Acquariofilo dall'età di 10 anni con esperienza in acquariologia dolce,marina e salmastra, appassionato di immersioni subacquee e di microscopia.

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