Gold ram cichlids are some of the latest ram cichlids to grace freshwater aquariums. They are beautiful and unique, possessing many different reasons as to why you would want one (or more) in your aquarium. Let's jump right into our care guide.
Gold Ram Cichlid Size, Appearance, and Behavior
The first things you should look at when it comes to any new fish are size, appearance, and behavior to ensure that they are compatible with their intended tank mates, the other creatures living in it, and the overall tank size in relation to the number of inhabitants you have.
One of the most important aspects of size is being able to gauge how many of a particular fish or group of fish you can house in your tank. Gold Rams generally grow to a maximum of 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) in length and sport rather circular bodies.
Typically, they will grow to around 2 inches (5 cm) in length when there is limited space and more water density, which is often the case in an aquarium setting.
On occasion, they will grow to their maximum of 2.5 inches, but this is only achieved if they have enough space and are fed a highly nutritious and healthy diet.
These ram cichlids gave away most of their appearance in their name! They are golden/yellow colored with some shades of orange dotted around their heads.
They also have sparkling blue spots that run along the lower half of their body and bristly fins.
Their bristly and sharp fins are excellent for defending against predators.
Behavior and Temperament
Golden ram fish are incredibly peaceful and have pretty unique behavioral patterns. This makes them an excellent choice for community tank owners and beginners as they will not cause you much stress when other tank inhabitants are concerned.
Like other ram cichlids, they can be aggressive towards other cichlids or smaller tank mates. Keeping them in opposite-sex pairs is the most stress-free way of keeping these cichlids together in the same tank.
Typically, they will live until around 3 years old if they are in a well-maintained tank with a balanced and healthy diet, but have been known to live for 4 years.
In the wild, however, ram cichlids will not survive very long at all. This is because they are small fish and will have a lot of predatory fish after them. Additionally, they are more susceptible to picking up diseases in the wild.
Gold Ram Cichlid Tank Setup and Diet
A correct tank setup is the most important aspect of fishkeeping. If you have recently acquired a golden ram fish then it is your responsibility to ensure all of their tank and dietary requirements have been met.
Fortunately, golden ram cichlids are very hardy fish that are much easier to take care of than many people are led to believe. Sure, they are hardy, but they are not hardy enough to withstand water pollutants.
Gold rams are incredibly sensitive to chemicals and ammonia in their water. You should change their water by around 15% each week to avoid toxins accumulating within their tank.
Under gravel filters are the best for their aquarium as they will suck the leftover food, dead algae, and other harmful bacteria that will cause an increase in nitrate levels after decomposing.
Food and Diet
They are omnivores, which means that they require meat and vegetables in order to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
We have created a separate article guiding you through the perfect and most well-balanced ram cichlid foods and their overall diet.
When hunting in the wild, gold ram cichlids will eat anything they can fit inside their mouths, this includes organisms such as insects, larvae, and crustaceans.
They will also eat plant matter and other greens for other nutrients and vitamins. Whilst in your aquarium, feed them a balanced diet consisting of live and frozen mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, bloodworms, earthworms, and artemia.
Here are some great food options for a gold ram cichlid:
Ideally, you should try and feed your golden ram three times per day, but two is fine, and give them as much food as they will eat within a 5 minute period. Remove the excess food after feeding time, as nobody wants an overfed fish tank!
The temperature of their tank should be kept between 72 and 84°F (22 - 29°C), anything between these temperatures will be fine; however, the middle and upper ranges are preferred, especially for breeding, so if you can keep it around the 78°F - 83°F range, that gives you five degrees to work with.
Ideal Tank Size
Ideally, just like other ram cichlids, you will want their tank to be at least 20 gallons. This is because a singular golden ram cichlid should be kept in a minimum-sized tank of 10 gallons, and they should be kept in pairs.
If you have more than one pair of these cichlids, then you will want to adjust the size of your fish tank accordingly. These cichlids are incredibly sensitive to water parameters, which is why they need a larger tank.
Smaller quantities of water will get toxified and polluted much easier and quicker than larger amounts of water. So, the larger tank will help prevent your golden cichlid from becoming ill and disease-ridden.
Compatible Tank Mates
Picking the correct tank mates for any fish is one of the most important decisions that can be made. They need to share the same tank requirements, behavior, and diet for it to work smoothly.
Aggressive and even semi-aggressive fish and other large omnivores that are considered predatory will not make for good tank mates and must be avoided. Tank mates for the gold ram cichlid are pretty much the exact same as bolivian ram cichlid tank mates.
Here are some good gold ram cichlid tank mates:
Golden Ram Cichlid FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Let's dive into some commonly asked questions by hobbyists and those new to fishkeeping that concern the gold ram cichlid.
Are Golden Rams aggressive?
They are incredibly peaceful, however, they do not play well with other ram cichlids, especially when their territory is concerned.
Can you mix ram cichlids together?
No, it is strongly advised not to mix ram cichlids together as they will end up fighting over territory and disturbing the rest of the tank.
Not only this, but their fights can end up pretty brutal, with many injuries, causing a lot of stress for your rams and other tank mates that you have in there with them.