The Electric Blue Ram fish is the latest extract to originate from the Common Ram family. Rams are freshwater fish who are native to the Orinoco River basin, situated in the South American countries of Venezuela and Colombia. These incredibly sharp and beautiful fish are rather small in size, reaching a maximum length of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm).
The Electric Blue Ram, or mikrogeophagus ramirezi, is considered to be a color morph of the Common Ram and are members of the dwarf ram cichlid family. Due to their unique locations, and family nature, these fish stick together and are commonly farmed. They are typically found in steadily vegetated streams, flooded forests in the depths of South America, and Rivers such as the Orinoco River that flow for some 1,700 miles.
Despite displaying a glorious array of electric blue color, and subsequently being one of the more aesthetically pleasing freshwater fish, ownership of the Electric Blue Ram is certainly no walk in the park. They are notoriously fussy, requiring a habitat in which to live that is as similar as possible to their own natural one. This can create an awful lot of work to mimic the vegetated streams and rivers in which they would otherwise live naturally.
So, we would advise anyone considering taking on these majestic little beauties, to make sure you are either an experienced or well-educated owner, with commitment, and most importantly you must have time on your hands to dedicate to looking after them and making sure their fish tank environment hits the necessary requirements.
Let’s run through the tank requirements first:
- A peaceful, cautious, and respectful community that will tolerate them.
- Temperatures between 22°C and 30°C (71F to 86F).
- Water pH level being between pH 5.0 and pH 7.2.
- Plenty of spaces to hide and escape the rest of the tank community for a while.
- Live plants and driftwood are certainly a preference, however, not essential.
- The Electric Blue Rams live better in pairs and require a minimum of 30 gallons of water which is 136 liters per pair.
- Established fish tanks with stable parameters are certainly a preference as they seem to live longer and better in them.
- It is important to have a single pair per tank, more, or less is usually ill-advised.
As far as their temperament goes, these fish can be aggressive at times, that is why it is important to purchase two as a male and female pair rather than the same sex. If you have two that are the same sex, expect to see a lot of fighting between them, which does not lead to a happy life for either Ram.
It can still happen however, to have pairs fight each other too. This is certainly a less common occurrence, but due to their territorial nature, opposite sex Rams have been known to beat each other up, in addition to other tank mates hailing from different species of fish. Although, it is certainly more unlikely than if they are the same sex.
The fish are also notoriously fussy, they are slow eaters, and almost certainly last in line for food, which is why it is vital you choose the right tank mates for them that have similar eating habits so that no fish is left hungry!
The Electric Blue Ram is like the rest of the Ram family with their tank mate preferences, with the blue critters enjoying living with the slower moving fish, however, they aren’t too fussy with who they live with as long as they are provided stable water parameters, and an abundance of hiding places.
Stable water parameters, paired with a plethora of plants that replicate their natural habitat will create the perfect environment for this fish. Failure to look after these fish usually comes from novice hobbyists with maybe a little more ambition than experience, due to lack of an established tank, minimal hiding spots, and the wrong fish to accompany the Blue Rams. Good water parameters are essential, and a slightly warmer than average tank is a preference and certainly recommended.
As mentioned previously, these fish are a little fussy when it comes to their food consumption, they are slow and do not fight for their share of the food most of the time, making it a little more of a strenuous process.
Here are some tips for feeding them:
- They are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plant and animal-based foods.
- Being slow eaters means that they will not usually get the full amount of food their bodies require some of the time.
- A good diet for them would be a mix of flakes, pellets, live food, and frozen foods too.
Additional aspects of the Electric Blue Ram consist of the following:
Color: Their primary color is a silvery white in some lights, which look electric blue in others, accompanied by yellow heads and red eyes. These unique colorations make them such a popular and intriguing fish to add to your collection.
Sexing: It is somewhat a difficult process trying to identify whether your Blue Ram is a male or female if you did not purchase an established pair. However, one way of distinguishing the two would be that the males usually have a longer dorsal fin (this isn’t always the case).
So, in conclusion these fish are hard work, but also incredibly rewarding, and of course undeniably beautiful with the unique color they possess and their awesome body shape! They have been known to interact with their owners too, considerably more than the majority of other fish you buy for your freshwater community, having fish with personality is so crucial in running a successful aquarium.
An example of their interaction would be when placing your hands in a tank (which to be honest, is not advised), they tend to swim over and pay your hands some attention without biting or any of the bad stuff. They can, however, be aggressive towards other Blue Rams, but they are certainly not with humans and display a lot of affection. They are also very inquisitive and will often be the first to greet you when you rock up to your aquarium, which is quite endearing.
With different types of fish, they rarely show signs of aggression and fighting. They are fairly placid and tend to keep themselves to themselves, which can put an owner’s mind at ease.
They consume a lot of their time with cave and cranny dwelling, which is their natural hobby anyway. Moss balls and other live plants also provide entertainment for them, replicating similar plants to their natural habitat. They spend a lot of time picking things off them and tearing them up.
So, despite holding a reputation for perhaps not being the friendliest of fish, especially with one another, mixed with being hard to keep due to several challenging preferences, especially for novice hobbyists. From our knowledge and experience, the Electric Blue Ram are a pleasure to keep and are usually no bother to their owners and fellow tank mates.
As long as you can change the water on a weekly basis, provide varied feeds, and give your Rams all the caves and hiding spots you can fit in to their environment, you will be good to go with these glorious shiny fish. If you are the owner of an established tank, and you have the required experience or have learned enough from doing your own research, it would be a huge miss not to grab yourself a pair of these awesome Electric Blue Rams!