Care of German Blue Rams
Care Level: Intermediate
Aquarium Set-up: German Blue Rams thrive in highly planted aquariums with lots of cover and driftwood. To bring out their colors, use a dark subtrate. They love softer pH level of around 5.5-6.0, especially if you want them to breed. They need a temperature around 78-85ºF (25.5-29.5 ºC ). They also need to live in 20 gallons (75 Liters) minimum if kept in a pair.
German Blue rams are not aggressive if kept with peceful and slow-moving community fish. If they do become aggressive, they are either breeding, with the wrong tank-mates, or lacking hiding places.
These fish should not be placed in brand- new aquariums. German Blue rams should be placed in an aquarium that has been fully running with fish for a couple months, so they can thrive in good bacteria. You also need to provide these fish will pristing, and perfect water conditions.
Feeding: German Blue Rams will accept a wide range of aquarium foods. They can live on pellets, flake foods, blood worms, and most everything. Sometimes when they are first brought to the tank they can be picky and nibble on food or not eat at all. You have to 'coax' them back into eating with yummy treats like mosquito larve or similar things to that.
Sexing and size: Male German Blue Rams have no black on their pelvic fins and grow to about 3 inches (7cm), while females are usually smaller than that. Females do have black on their pelvic fins, and they have a noticeable pink-ish colored splotch near their stomach area.
Breeding: Both the male and female German Blue Ram care for their young. To prepare the aquarium for breeding, make sure there are flat stones, a low pH, a bit of an increased temperature, and a light timer (Random on and off lights will bother them). German Blue Rams will also become more aggressive during breeding (to protect the fry).
To prepare for their fry, German Blue Rams will place small, sticky eggs on a flat stone of in a pit in the gravel of an aquarium. The placement of the eggs depends on the fish couple.
When breeding the females pink splotch will grow bigger and bigger until the eggs are laid. The fish lay batches from 20 eggs to even 500, but typically in batches around 150-300. The eggs will be protected by the parents until they hatch and are free-swimming within 5 days.
Once the fry are swimming, do not remove the parents. The fry will be in a dense school always close to their parents. It takes about 6 months for the fry to fully mature into adults.
Never give up, many young Ram couples eat their fry- and anything can go wrong. It may take a while for them to become 'proper parents' though.