Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
Cichlids - South America - Dwarf Cichlids

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
Ram cichlid

Scientific name:
Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
Former scientific name:
Papiliochromis ramirezi
Apistogramma ramirezi
Common Names:
Ram cichlid
Natural habitat:
South America: Western Venezuela and Colombia

Photo © Peter Fredriksson
Carnivore (small invertebrates) and omnivore. Eats live and frozen food, but also dry food in aquariums.
The Ram cichlid is a pair-forming substrate breeder that spawns openly. It lays up to 200 eggs on a flat rock. The larvae hatch after 2-3 days when the fry is moved to a dug pit, after about 6-7 days the fry is free-swimming. Fry and larvae are guarded by both parents. The species does admittedly claim its own territory, yet is relatively peaceful.
The aquarium should contain several hiding places in the form of roots, stones and plants and be quite densely planted, although it should also have a free swimming surface. The bottom material should be fine sand (there may also be some dead leaves, etc. on the bottom) and the lighting be muted.
It is best to get a smaller group and let these grow up together in order to eventually mate. If one wants multiple males together, a larger aquarium is required.
It is not easy to tell a difference between the sexes, but females are usually slightly smaller and have a slightly redder abdominal portion. The male's anterior dorsal fin ray is longer than that of the female.
There are several different populations that colorwise differ slightly; there are also several specifically bred variants.
The Ram cichlid is a very popular aquarium fish, but it is unfortunately somewhat sensitive and sets quite high standards on the water quality.

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