Electric Blue Ram: Species Profile, Facts & Pictures

Electric Blue Ram with shimmering body

Electric Blue Rams are captivating additions to any aquarium, displaying vibrant hues and intricate patterns that capture the eye. A member of the cichlid family, these freshwater fish bring a dash of color to any aquarium.

While their stunning appearance might initially draw many, there’s a depth to these fish beyond their exterior. Their distinct needs set them apart, requiring more attention than average aquarium fish.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of Electric Blue Rams. We’ll shed light on their physical characteristics, care guide, and suitable tankmates. Stick around to learn more!

Electric Blue Ram Overview

Scientific Name:Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
Common Name:Electric Blue Ram
Origin and Distribution:South America (Colombia and Venezuela)
Size:2–3 in (5–8 cm)
Lifespan:2–4 years
Care Level:Intermediate
Minimum Tank Size:20 gal (minimum)
Water Temperature:75–85 °F (24–30 °C)
Water pH Level:5.0–7.0

What Is an Electric Blue Ram?

Electric Blue Ram in an aquarium

The Electric Blue Ram Cichlid is a color variation of the ram cichlid originating from the Orinoco River basin in Colombia and Venezuela. Noted for its bright, iridescent blue scales, it’s a freshwater species popular in the aquarium trade for its distinctive coloration.

Unlike several fish species, the Electric Blue Ram is not found in the wild and is exclusively bred in captivity. Its distinct appearance sets it apart. It is also more expensive than other cichlids due to its recent introduction.

If you’re considering adding them to your tank, be prepared. Given their breeding history, they require specific care and can be more sensitive than other fish.

Electric Blue Ram Origin and Habitat

This fish, scientifically termed Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, is not a wild breed but a captivating tank-bred variant of the ram cichlid.

The roots of its wild relatives trace back to the vast landscapes of South America, particularly in the Orinoco River Basin, which stretches across parts of Venezuela and Colombia.

The waters of the Orinoco River Basin are distinctive, often flowing with moderate speed. The presence of dense vegetation is another highlight, offering cichlids plenty of hiding spots to escape predators.

Moreover, the waters are naturally rich in tannins, giving them a slightly tinted appearance. This not only adds to the beauty of the landscape but serves a protective function for the fish, helping them blend and stay safe.

Wild ram cichlids, relatives of Electric Blue Rams, have adapted seamlessly to these habitats.

Their preference for tannin-rich waters and the natural shelters provided by the thick aquatic plants highlight the importance of recreating similar aquarium conditions for their tank-bred counterparts to thrive.

Electric Blue Ram Appearance

Young Electric Blue Ram in a tank

The Electric Blue Ram Cichlid is a popular freshwater fish known for its distinct appearance. Dominated by a vibrant blue hue, their bodies shimmer under lighting, making them stand out in freshwater settings.

Complementing the blue are splashes of yellow-orange, especially around the head, providing a delightful contrast. The eyes of this dwarf cichlid species are a captivating reddish-orange.

But it’s not just about the vibrant colors; their unique body features make them special, too. Their bodies are oval-shaped, paired with pointy fins that elegantly flow as they move.

The males display a longer dorsal fin, while the females have pink bellies, especially visible during breeding.

They also come in different variants, such as the Balloon Electric Blue Ram, which has a distinct, more rounded physique than the standard Ram.

Here is what an Electric Blue Ram looks like in an aquarium:

Electric Blue Ram Size

Among the diverse family of cichlids, Electric Blue Rams stand out as a dwarf species. While many cichlid species are known for their substantial size, this cichlid species offers a petite alternative.

These freshwater fish only take up a little space in an aquarium. Adult specimens typically measure between 2 and 3 inches in length.

At full maturity, the average Electric Blue Ram Cichlid size rests around an inch and a half. Yet, with optimal care and certain genetic factors, some fish can approach a length close to three inches.

If you’re considering adding one to your tank, remember that most specimens sold in pet stores are juveniles. As such, they’re usually smaller and will grow as they settle into their new tank environment.

Electric Blue Ram Temperament and Behavior

Young Electric Blue Ram

Electric Blue Rams are primarily known for their peaceful nature. These freshwater fish often cluster loosely in groups, moving harmoniously within the community tank.

Unlike some ram cichlid species, they’re not prone to picking fights or displaying aggressive behavior towards tank mates.

However, it’s not uncommon for some territorial tendencies to surface, especially around the bottom of the tank where they primarily dwell.

Electric Blue Ram Cichlids value their personal space and might get defensive if other fish intrude.

This territorial nature emphasizes the importance of having a spacious aquarium with plenty of hiding spots using live plants, rocks, or driftwood to ensure they feel secure.

You might see a shift in their behavior during breeding seasons as well. Male Electric Blue Rams can become more assertive, while females become fiercely protective of their spawn.

Despite these temporary changes in demeanor, the fish generally revert to their calm nature once the breeding process concludes.

Aquarists can consider having a single male with multiple females to maintain a harmonious tank environment. If the tank size permits, multiple males can co-exist, often establishing a dominance hierarchy.

One delightful characteristic of these fish is their occasional tendency to swim in temporary groupings, giving an illusion of schooling. But these formations are fleeting, and they soon disperse.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about true schooling fish, we have gathered 31 of the best schooling fish you may want to consider for your aquarium.

Electric Blue Ram Lifespan and Health

The Electric Blue Ram Cichlid, a vibrant freshwater fish, has a lifespan ranging between 2 and 4 years in captivity. However, their life expectancy depends significantly on the quality of care they receive.

These fish can face challenges in captivity, given their susceptibility to various health issues, primarily due to their specific breeding processes.

A key factor influencing the health and lifespan of these fish is the environment they’re placed in. Their genes, shaped by selective breeding to achieve their blue hue, make them especially sensitive to water conditions.

Maintaining optimal water quality and parameters can prevent potential health problems.

Common issues these cichlids face include ich, a disease marked by white spots on the body. This disease, caused by tiny parasites, tends to thrive when the fish is stressed due to suboptimal conditions.

Other health concerns involve bacterial and fungal infections. Bacterial infections might manifest as visible wounds or lesions, while fungal issues can appear as growths on their scales. Both conditions are manageable with proper care and treatment.

Another concern for aquarists introducing Electric Blue Rams to their aquarium is the “new tank syndrome.” This issue arises in tanks that haven’t fully cycled, leading to dangerous ammonia spikes.

It’s crucial to let the tank cycle for six to eight weeks before introducing these delicate fish.

Electric Blue Ram Care Guide

Electric Blue Ram swimming in a tank

Electric Blue Rams are popular with freshwater aquarium enthusiasts due to their vibrant coloration and unique behavior. However, they require specific care to thrive and live healthy in captivity.

Here’s everything you need to know about Electric Blue Ram care:

Tank Setup

The Electric Blue Ram Cichlid requires a thoughtful aquarium setup for optimal health. While not a beginner’s first choice, proper care makes them manageable for most aquarists.

For a pair of these dwarf cichlids, a 20-gallon tank suffices; however, if housing two pairs, a 40-gallon tank or larger is essential.

This size ensures stable water conditions, which is vital since Electric Blue Rams are sensitive to organic wastes like nitrate. Investing in larger tanks is always beneficial for ease in maintaining water quality.

When designing your tank, mirror the natural habitats of the wild ram cichlids. This means including plenty of cover using aquatic plants or submerged vegetation.

The ideal setup would comprise densely planted zones, open swimming areas, and surface covers. To further enhance their comfort, incorporate hiding spots like caves.

If you hope to witness their breeding, introduce several flat stones or breeding slates. They prefer to spawn on flat surfaces.

The tank’s substrate plays a pivotal role. Opt for fine sand, as these fish often indulge in light digging. You should also anchor live plants within this substrate.

Suitable plant choices include Amazon swords, java fern, anubias, and hornwort. Adorn your tank with driftwood, caves, and rocks to foster exploration and deter territorial disputes.

If you’re keeping multiple rams, allocate five to ten gallons per additional fish. They can be territorial, especially during breeding. Ensure you provide ample space to prevent aggressive encounters.

To match the warm origins of the electric blue ram, equip your tank with a reliable heater. Proper filtration is non-negotiable for clean water and stable water parameters.

Consider a dark substrate for a more natural look and to boost your fish’s color vibrancy. Such a setup will make your Electric Blue Ram Cichlid pop while ensuring they engage in natural bottom scavenging behaviors.

Water Parameters

Maintaining the proper water parameters is crucial to ensure the best care. The optimal water temperature is between 75 and 85 °F. They slightly prefer acidic environments, with pH levels between 6.0 and 7.0.

As for water hardness, keep it up to 10 KH. These conditions mimic their native habitats, the clear and blackwater streams, rich in plant tannins and low in minerals.

Test the aquarium water weekly using a reliable test kit. Always introduce Electric Blue Rams to a mature, cycled tank. A new tank can stress them, leading to potential health issues.

Avoid extreme fluctuations, monitor conditions, and ensure the tank is well-cycled.

Diet and Feeding

Electric Blue Rams are omnivores enjoying a mix of plant-based and meaty foods. A varied diet ensures they receive all the nutrients they need and helps maintain their vibrant colors.

A staple in their diet should include high-quality flakes or pellets. They also like treats such as freeze-dried daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. 

I was once entrusted with the care of Electric Blue Rams at a research facility. On one occasion, I mistakenly chose pellets too large for them. Their struggle to eat was evident, so I immediately corrected the mistake.

While feeding, it’s essential to consider the size of the food. These fish are not aggressive towards their food, so breaking down larger pieces ensures easy consumption.

Observing them during feeding is crucial, especially if they have faster tank mates, to ensure everyone gets their share. Overfeeding should be avoided; 2 to 4 small daily meals are optimal.

Even though the Electric Blue Ram is an omnivore, its diet should lean more toward protein. Too much plant matter might not be ideal for their digestion.

Their appetite might be reduced when in a new environment, like a new tank. It’s important for aquarists to be patient and coax them with the right foods during these times.

Sexing Electric Blue Rams

Identifying the gender of Electric Blue Rams can be challenging, especially given their physical similarities.

Male Electric Blue Rams typically display longer dorsal and pelvic fin extensions when they reach maturity, sometimes extending to their anal fin. Their bodies are elongated, and their heads are more rounded.

On closer inspection, males often lack blue coloration within the black spots on their sides.

On the other hand, female Electric Blue Rams generally have shorter fin extensions and a more pointed head. They possess a thicker body profile and often showcase a rounder and slightly pinker belly.

Breeding Electric Blue Rams

Two Electric Blue Rams

Breeding Electric Blue Rams is easier than some may believe. You can witness the fascinating process from egg to fry with the proper care and conditions.

To start, ensure you have one male and one female. Identifying their gender can be crucial for successful mating.

Once you’re sure, setting up a separate breeding tank is best. These colored fish can become aggressive towards other Electric Blue Ram tankmates post-spawning.

Breeding rams prefer a sandy substrate, where they dig pits during breeding. This fish prefers laying eggs on a flat surface. Hence, it would be wise to add flat stones or slates. Introduce Java moss, too, as it covers the spawn before they hatch.

Water conditions should be optimal. Ensure the water is soft, acidic, and has the right pH. Regular feeding with high-protein foods, like freeze-dry bloodworm and brine shrimp, also preps them for breeding.

Female rams can lay 150 to 300 eggs on a flat stone or within a pit they’ve dug. The male then fertilizes these eggs.

In the same research facility I mentioned earlier, I was also able to observe the egg-hatching of Electric Blue Rams. Within three days from fertilization, the eggs hatch.

Approximately five days later, these fry become free-swimming. At this stage, I feed them baby brine shrimp or powdered fry foods.

Both male rams and female rams are dedicated parents. They’ll vigilantly guard their offspring, ensuring their safety in the tank.

It’s noteworthy that Electric Blue Rams can sometimes struggle with breeding with other ram varieties.

These cichlids are monogamous, forming pairs that mate for life. For best results, start with a group of juveniles, allowing them to select their partners naturally. This bond enhances their breeding success.

Tankmates for an Electric Blue Ram

For a harmonious aquarium, your chosen tankmates should be comfortable in the warmer water temperatures that Electric Blue Rams prefer and maintain a peaceful demeanor.

It’s best to sidestep other cichlids, especially dwarf cichlids, as housing them together can lead to tension and possible confrontations.

Here are some of the good choices as Electric Blue Ram Tankmates:

  • Tetras like Ember, Neon, and Cardinal
  • Peaceful fish such as guppies, swordtails, mollies, and platies
  • Dwarf Gouramis, albeit not the blue varieties
  • Plecos and Kuhli Loaches
  • Large species of shrimp and snails

On the other hand, aggressive fish, livebearers, and small invertebrates might not be the best fit. Electric Blue Rams may consume fry and mistake diminutive shrimp for a meal.

It’s also recommended to avoid housing them with similarly colored fish, as it might lead to unnecessary disputes.

When in doubt or observing aggressive behavior, consider enhancing the tank conditions by adding more hiding spots. Adequate shelters can significantly reduce tension and aggressive tendencies in the tank.

How Much Does an Electric Blue Ram Cost?

Electric Blue Ram side view

Electric Blue Rams typically range in price from $10 to $25 per fish, depending on various factors. The size and age of the fish can affect its price, with fry usually being cheaper than fully grown specimens.

Prices differ between male and female rams, given their distinct colorations and features.

Considering the cost, it’s important to factor in the expenses related to maintaining optimal tank conditions and feeding essentials like pellets, flakes, and special treats like freeze-dry bloodworms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Electric Blue Ram up close

Are Electric Blue Rams Aggressive?

Electric Blue Rams are generally considered peaceful fish, especially compared to other cichlid varieties. However, like many fish, they can display territorial behaviors, especially during breeding.

Male rams might become more aggressive towards other male rams, trying to assert dominance. Monitoring their behavior around the tank is crucial to prevent possible confrontations.

When introducing Electric Blue Ram tankmates, you should opt for non-aggressive fish species to ensure harmony.

How Many Electric Blue Rams Should Be Kept Together?

Determining the number of Electric Blue Rams for your tank involves considering the fish’s well-being and size.

For a pair, which typically consists of one male and one female, a tank of at least 20 gallons is recommended. This allows them sufficient space to explore, interact, and, if desired, breed.

If you’re considering keeping a larger group, say two pairs of Electric Blue Rams, a 40-gallon or larger tank is advisable.

This size ensures that each fish has ample territory, reducing possible aggression around the tank. Remember, male rams can become territorial, especially if many fish are in a confined space.

What Is the Difference Between German Blue and Electric Blue Rams?

German Blue Rams and Electric Blue Rams hail from the same species, the Mikrogeophagus ramirezi.

Their differences in appearance primarily come from selective breeding to enhance particular color patterns.

While the Electric Blue Ram showcases a vibrant blue hue throughout its body, the German Blue Ram boasts a mix of blue with patches of yellow, red, and black.

Even though they are of the same species, there are differences in their care requirements as well.

Electric Blue Rams are more sensitive, especially regarding water quality, and are more difficult to keep than the German Blue Rams.

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the world of Electric Blue Rams. Do you have other interesting facts about this cichlid variety? Let us know in the comments!

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