A Blue Ram cichlid is an overall docile fish, but is not normally recommended for new aquarium owners. Owning this species of fish can take a great amount of care and knowledge. Not everyone is up for such a challenge when they are becoming first time fish owners.
Appearance of the Blue Ram Cichlid
This cichlid can grow to be almost 3 inches in length, although the female is usually smaller than that. The fish is short and thick, with very bright colors. Its body is colored yellowish green, with blue spots. Some Blue Ram Cichlids may develop light stripes on its body, as well. Wild Blue Rams fish will commonly have darker stripes than those kept in captivity.
The German Blue Ram cichlid's appearance is different. Its flanks are most often blue or gray, and its head and chest are normally patterns mixed with yellow and black, with different shades of blue. Red spots can be seen around its eyes and belly.
Care of a Blue Ram Cichlid
Blue Ram cichlids are native to the Orinoco River basin, located in the llanos of Columbia and Venezuela. They are accustomed to water temperatures that range between 78 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH levels stay around 5, thus they will prefer soft and acidic water in their tanks. In order to keep Blue Ram cichlids, a 20 gallon tank is required. They like to have a lot of room, so the tank size should be increased if more fish will be added to the tank. If Blue Ram cichlids are unhappy with their surroundings, they can become aggressive, even violent.
The best way to keep the Blue Ram cichlid happy and keep its aggression in check is to replicate the conditions of the its natural environment in your aquarium. The first step for doing this is to research the water chemistry of the Orinoco River basin (most of the water chemistry is listed above). Then you will want to research the substrate of the river basin as well as the plants. You can also find out which freshwater fish also live in the Orinoco and use them as tank mates for the Blue Ram.
Once you have completed your research (which you may want to do before you buy a Blue Ram), you will have a list of everything you need to make it feel right at home: water parameters, tank mates, substrate, and plants.