Blue ram Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 7, 2022

The blue ram cichlid (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) is a beautiful freshwater fish that’s perfect for beginner aquarists.

Despite their small size, these fish have a lot of personality and can be quite feisty!

If you’re thinking about getting a blue ram, you’ll need to know how to care for them properly. That’s where this guide comes in.

Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about blue ram cichlid care. Tank size, diet, tank mates, and more. It’s all here!

Species overview

Blue rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) are a freshwater fish that is native to the Orinoco Basin in South America.

They are a very peaceful fish that does well in community tanks. They are also a very popular choice for breeding since they are easy to care for and their fry are very resilient.

Blue rams prefer to live in heavily planted tanks with lots of hiding places. They also prefer tanks with soft, sandy substrates.

Although they are a peaceful fish, blue rams can be territorial with their own species. It is best to keep them in pairs or in groups of 3 or more.


Blue ram

The beautiful blue ram is one of the most popular freshwater fish for aquariums. It’s easy to see why with their stunning blue coloration that really pops against a green or dark background.

These fish have a very unique body shape that’s almost circular. Their bodies are very flat from top to bottom with a slight bulge in the middle. This gives them a disk-like appearance.

The fins on these fish are all fairly small with the exception of their dorsal fin. The dorsal fin is tall and thin and starts about two-thirds of the way back on the body. It extends all the way to the end of the tail and has a very noticeable black stripe running down the center.

The caudal fin is also tall and thin and has a slight curve at the end. Both the dorsal and caudal fins have a blue hue with black stripes running down the center.

The anal fin and pectoral fins are very small and tucked close to the body. The ventral fins are also small and located just behind the pectoral fins.

These fish have large eyes that are located on the upper half of their head. They have a small mouth that’s located at the very front of their head.


The lifespan of a blue ram cichlid is around 3-5 years, although some have been known to live up to 8 years with proper care.


A Blue ram cichlid will typically grow to be about 2.5-3 inches long. Some have been known to grow a bit larger, but this is not the norm. Females are typically a bit smaller than males.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for blue rams is 20 gallons. If you’re looking for a freshwater fish that can fit in an average-sized tank, this is not the fish for you.

If you want to keep two blue ram fish in the same tank you’ll want to add at least another 20 gallons to that minimum number if you want them to thrive.

Another reason why you need to provide enough space is for the sake of enrichment and comfort. These fish like to roam and will often run gentle but steady laps around your tank. Giving them a little bit of extra space can go a long way in making sure they can comfortably turn around in the tank.

Water Parameters

The blue ram cichlid is a freshwater fish that is native to the Orinoco River Basin in South America.

This fish does best in an aquarium that has a sandy substrate with some rocks and driftwood for hiding places. The water should be clean and well-filtered with a moderate flow.

The water parameters for blue rams are as follows:

  • Water temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Water hardness: 5 to 20 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

As we mentioned before, blue rams are a species of cichlid. This means that they’re going to be semi-aggressive and territorial by nature.

You’ll need to take this into account when setting up their tank. The first thing you’ll want to do is create some hiding spots. Caves, driftwood, and plants are all great options.

You’ll also want to make sure that the plants you use are tough since these fish will nibble on them from time to time.

The substrate you choose is also important. A soft, sandy bottom is ideal since it’s less likely to cause injury if your fish decides to start digging.

You should also avoid using any decorations that are too small. These fish are known to chew on things, and you don’t want them swallowing anything they shouldn’t.

Common Diseases

There are a few diseases that you need to be on the lookout for if you’re keeping blue rams. These are relatively Hardy fish, but they’re not immune to the usual suspects.

The most common disease that blue rams experience is ich. This is a parasitic infection that will present itself as white spots on the body and gills of your fish.

If left untreated, ich can be fatal. However, it’s relatively easy to treat if you catch it early.

Another disease to look out for is hole-in-the-head disease. This is caused by poor water quality and the presence of activated carbon in your tank. It will present itself as pits or holes in the head of your fish.

While it’s not usually fatal, it can be if left untreated.

The best way to prevent your blue ram from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable tank. These fish are relatively hardy, but they’re not immune to the usual suspects.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, consult your vet and begin treatment immediately. The sooner you act, the higher the chance is that your fish will recover.

Behavior & Temperament

The blue ram is a peaceful little fish that does best in a community aquarium with other peaceful fish. They are not an aggressive species, but they can be territorial with other rams. They are also known to be a little nippy, so it’s best to keep them with fish that are too large to fit in their mouths.

These fish are active and love to swim, so they need an aquarium with plenty of open space. They are also known to be jumpers, so a lid is a must.

Blue rams are social creatures and do best in groups. They are very peaceful fish, but they can be a little shy. They will often hide among plants and rocks when they first introduced to a new aquarium. Once they feel comfortable, they will come out and swim around more.

Tank Mates

Blue rams are peaceful community fish. They do best with other fish that are of a similar size and temperament.

Because they’re so small, blue rams can’t compete for food with larger fish. They might also get eaten by larger fish.

As a result, it’s best to avoid keeping blue rams with larger fish.

Blue rams also prefer to live in groups. A single blue ram is likely to be stressed in a community tank. This can lead to health problems and a shortened lifespan.

Ideally, you should keep at least six blue rams together. This will give them the security of numbers and help them feel more comfortable in their environment.

Some good tank mates for blue rams include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Endler’s Livebearers
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Corydoras Catfish


Blue rams are fairly easy to breed in captivity. They are egg-layers and will lay their eggs on plants or other submerged objects.

To increase your chances of success, start by setting up a breeding tank. It should be at least 20 gallons in size and well-planted. Use live plants if possible. Then, add a fair amount of hiding places.

Rams like to have a lot of places to hide. Driftwood, caves, and rocks all work well.

When ready, add two females for every male. The ratio is important because males can be quite aggressive during breeding.

As with most fish, the water quality is important. Keep the pH around 7.0 and the temperature between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the fish are acclimated, begin feeding them high-quality foods. Live foods are best, but frozen foods will work in a pinch.

After a few weeks, you should see the females start to swell with eggs. When this happens, the males will become more active and start to chase them around.

Eventually, the female will lay her eggs on a plant or piece of driftwood. The male will then fertilize them.

Once the eggs are laid, the adults should be removed. The eggs will hatch in about two weeks.

When they hatch, the fry will be very small. They will need to be fed live foods such as baby brine shrimp or micro worms.


As you can see, there are many reasons to love Blue Ram cichlids. They’re absolutely stunning, relatively easy to care for, and get along well with other community fish.

We think they’re a great option for beginner aquarists who want to add a little bit of color and excitement to their tank.

Of course, like all fish, they come with a few challenges. But we think the pros outweigh the cons and that you’ll be very happy with them if you decide to add them to your tank!