วันอังคารที่ 9 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2555

Fish Data : Blue Ram Cichlid






Quick Stat :

Common Names: Blue Ram, Dwarf Ram, Butterfly Cichlid
Scientific Name: Microgeophagus ramirezi, Papiliochromis ramerzii, Apistogramma Ramerzii                                                                  
Maximum Size: 3 inches
Life expectancy: 3 years
Minimum Tank Size:  30 gallons
Temperature Range: 72 – 79°F
pH Range: 5.0 – 7.0
Water Hardness: Soft-medium hard
Temperament: Semi Peaceful
Origin / Habitat: The rivers of Columbia and Venezuela

General Information

   These cichlids are from South America. They are dwarf cichlids that live in pairs. They do very well in densely planted tanks with non aggressive fish, although when spawning they will become more aggressive.
    The Ram cichlid or Microgeophagus ramirezi belongs to the family Cichlidae more commonly referred to as cichlids. They are endemic to Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Columbia. The aquarium industry markets rams under several trade names including; Ram, Blue ram, German blue ram, Asian ram, butterfly cichlid, dwarf butterfly and Ramirez's dwarf cichlid. The Ramirez's dwarf cichlid is a hybrid originally bred by fish enthusiast Manuel Ramirez.

    This Cichlid are inarguably the most peace loving of the entire cichlid family. This makes this fish very popular with aquarium owners. They make wonderful community tank fish provided they are surrounded by equally docile tank-mates. They mix exceedingly well with tetras. Another aspect of their popularity is their size. They only grow to about 2.5 inches unlike their cousin the angelfish that can grow to up to 6 inches in diameter. This makes them perfect for smaller aquariums such as desktop models. They are most at home in well planted aquariums.

Distribution
     The Western tributaries of the central Orinoco River

General Body Form

     This fish have a generally oval in shape, rather than long and is laterally compressed. The first Dorsal fin rays of this fish are not connected to each other at the tips. In the male the third and forth rays are longer than the rest. The caudal fin is fan shaped. The Dorsal and Anal fins are roundish. They have small mouths. They grow to be about two inches long with the female slightly smaller.

Coloration :

    The Ram Cichlid is one of the most colorful Dwarf Cichlids. The body and fins are a pastel blue-red to pink with the sides showing a rainbow of colors depending on the light. There is a dark almost black spot under the Dorsal fin. A curved dark band runs from the nape, through the eye to the throat area. The coloration of these fish varies and there are several different color forms available.

Tank Size :
    You should be provided for your Blue Ram Cichlid with any of decorations, plants etc. for shelter when there is aggression especially during the breeding period. They grow between 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm), the female Blue Ram Cichlid being the bigger of the two with a life span of approximately 3 years. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons (75.5 liters) is needed for each pair that is kept.


Water Quality:
    A major failing point in this fish's care and keeping is too hard, alkaline or cold water. Even if you're not trying to breed and rear young, Rams need soft (to medium hard) water of low pH (5-6 is ideal) and water in at least the low eighties F., preferably the mid to upper eighties F., particularly if you're trying to breed them. Metabolites are also an issue with keeping, breeding this fish. As little to no detectable nitrate is ideal, and of course no ammonia or nitrite.

    These conditions for this fish are possible to achieve with demineralized water (by itself or mixed with tap), peat use (in the filter flow path) and frequent partial water changes... as well as by having large systems with live plants, sparse feeding and stocking.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom:    These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.

Acceptable Water Conditions:
   Hardness: 6 - 14° dH
   Ph: 6.0 - 7.5
   Temp: 78 - 85° F (26 - 29° C), 77 - 82.4° F (25 - 28° C) to induce spawning.




Care and Feeding :
    Blue Rams Cichlid are omnivores. They will accept most food, however frozen or live foods are preferred more. Rams that are newly introduced to the aquarium sometimes tend to picky eaters, refusing food or just nibbling. Frozen bloodworms/brine shrimp and live foods are best fed at this time. As it is observed that they are starting to eat more freely, slowly, pellets, flakes and other foods can be fed.
   They can be easy to care for if water changes are performed frequently to keep the nitrate levels low. A mature tank with a pH of acidic to neutral water is best. Keep track of nitrates. Also, oxygen levels must be maintained for best color and health. When using substrate or rocks, be sure they do not leach into the water and affect the pH. Substrates such as limestone can increase the pH level. Driftwood is a big help in keeping pH low and contributes to the "tea stained" coloring of the Amazon River. Using Java Moss helps with keeping the pH down too.

Tankmate :
    Many Tropical fish can be kept as tank mates with the fish as long they are not extremely aggressive fish or fish that are big enough to eat them. Other male dwarf cichlids shouldn't be kept with them unless the tank exceeds 40 gallons. If the tank is less than 30 gallons it won't be a good idea to have more than one male ram as there may be territorial disputes.

Social Behaviors:    The Blue Ram Cichlid is a community fish that can be kept with non-cichlid fish and other peaceful dwarf cichlids. The Ram Cichlid is 'more bark than bite' and will not do well in an aggressive tank. Some acceptable peaceful tank mates include the Silver Dollar, Discus, Dwarf Gourami, Dwarf Rainbowfish (Neon), Synodontis catfish, Plecostomus, and various tetras such as the Black Phantom Tetra, Glowlight Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, and the Neon Tetra , etc.

   This fish can be kept alone or in pairs. More than one male may be kept if the aquarium is large. Just buying a male and female does not necessarily mean they will pair up. It is better to get a group of juveniles and allow a pair to bond. A pair will swim close together, and at that point you can put them in their own tank.


Sexual Differences:    The Blue Ram Cichlid Males are a little larger with a longer, pointed dorsal fin. The females have a red or orange color on their belly.


Breeding : When this fish ready to breed the red patch on the female's belly will be distinctly brighter and bigger in comparison with the male. A space on a rock will be cleaned or a pit created in the gravel by either of the pair, in which the eggs are layed. They will begin to show more interest in one another, by nudging or twirling. Every so often the male may suddenly dart away or slide his body against the female. The female can lay between 20 - 200 eggs. Both parents will tend to the eggs. Or, they may eat them, especially unfertile ones. They may spawn many times before they get right.


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Pictures Credit :

http://sfrc.ufl.edu/fas-extension/AquaticAnimalHealth/ProgramOverview.html

http://www.cichlids.com/pictures/pic/german_blue_ram-8.html