Blue Ram vs German Blue Ram: Which is the Best Fit for Your Aquarium?

Aquarium enthusiasts often face dilemmas when trying to choose the perfect fish for their tanks, and one such conundrum is picking between the Blue Ram and the German Blue Ram. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences and similarities between these two stunning fish species, and help you determine which one might be the best fit for your aquarium.

While both fish belong to the same family and share striking appearances, their key differences lie in their temperament, and color patterns. So, without further ado, let’s swim through the various aspects of these fascinating cichlids, from their origins to their ideal tank environments.

There’s no doubt that you’ll find this article enlightening—perhaps by its conclusion you’ll have discovered not just facts about Blue and German Blue Rams, but also a newfound favorite!

Blue Ram: An Overview

Origin and Natural Habitat

The Blue Ram, also known as Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, hails from the Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Colombia. Preferring soft, warm water, these little fish thrive in slow-moving streams and rivers where ample hiding places can be found.


Blue Rams boast vibrant colors and patterns, often with a bright blue sheen, golden hues, and black markings. Male Blue Rams have an elongated dorsal fin, while females feature a rosy blush on their bellies, particularly when spawning.

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Behavior and Compatibility

As peaceful, social creatures, Blue Rams make great additions to community aquariums. They can coexist with a variety of smaller, non-aggressive fish, especially when provided with ample hiding spots.

German Blue Ram: A Closer Look

Origin and Natural Habitat

The German Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi “German Blue”) is a selectively bred color variant of the Blue Ram. Originating in Germany, this fish was cultivated to enhance its vibrant blue coloration.


The German Blue Ram shares many similarities with the Blue Ram in terms of size and shape. However, its body is predominantly bright blue, with a mix of red, yellow, or gold accents. Males typically display more intense coloration than females.

Behavior and Compatibility

German Blue Rams have a similarly peaceful nature to their cousins, cohabitating well with other non-aggressive, small fish in community tanks.

Ideal Tank Requirements for Both Species

Tank Size

Both Blue and German Blue Rams have similar tank requirements. Ideally, a 20-gallon tank should be the minimum size, as Rams are active swimmers that need space to thrive.

Water Parameters

Being tropical fish, Blue and German Blue Rams prefer warm water temperatures between 78-85°F. They also require soft, slightly acidic water (pH 5.5-7.0), and adequate filtration to ensure a clean environment.

Tank Setup

Both species appreciate heavily planted tanks with hiding spots, such as driftwood or rocks. Sand or fine gravel can be used as a substrate. Additional décor, like plants or caves, will help these cichlids feel secure and encourage natural behaviors.

Feeding Your Rams

Blue and German Blue Rams enjoy a varied diet that helps maintain their stunning colors. They can be fed a mix of high-quality flake or pellet foods, along with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms.

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Which One’s Right for Your Aquarium?

Both Blue and German Blue Rams can coexist peacefully with other small, non-aggressive fish in community aquariums by providing them with suitable tank conditions, hiding spots, and appropriate diet. If vibrant, flashy colors are a priority, then the German Blue Ram might be the right fit, whereas for those who prefer a more natural appearance with striking patterns, the Blue Ram may be ideal.

Now that we’ve laid out the differences and similarities between these two beautiful cichlids, we hope it’s clearer which one would excel swimming among your tank’s other residents!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Are Blue Rams and German Blue Rams the same species?
    • Yes, they are the same species, with the German Blue Ram being a color variant selectively bred for its vibrant blue hue and unique patterns.
  • Can I keep multiple Blue Rams or German Blue Rams together in a tank?
    • Yes, you can keep multiple Rams together as long as your tank is large enough and has sufficient hiding spots to reduce stress and aggression.
  • Do both species need a heater in the aquarium?
    • As tropical fish, both Blue and German Blue Rams require a heater to maintain suitable water temperatures between 78-85°F.
  • How long do these fish typically live?
    • With proper care, Blue and German Blue Rams usually live for about 2-3 years in captivity.
  • What are suitable tank mates for Blue and German Blue Rams?
    • These cichlids can coexist with smaller, non-aggressive fish like tetras, guppies, and rasboras, as well as compatible shrimp and snails.
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In conclusion, both the Blue Ram and the German Blue Ram are stunning additions to any community aquarium. While they have their subtle differences, either option is suitable for aquarium enthusiasts who appreciate vibrant colors, peaceful dispositions, and mesmerizing patterns. Just ensure you provide these striking fish with the proper tank setup, water parameters, and diet to watch them thrive in your underwater world.

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