Bolivian Ram Vs. German Blue Ram : Are They For You?

Rams, in general are a type of dwarf cichlid. They are common in various aquariums because of their colorful and peaceful nature. They don’t grow big and live peacefully with other fish in community tanks.

Bolivian ram and German blue ram are similar in behavior but differ in other aspects, including physical appearance. They also differ slightly in their tank and nutritional requirements. The Bolivians are slightly more intelligent than their German cousins.

General Overview of Bolivian Ram

Bolivian Ram

Bolivian ram is one of the top cichlids for beginners because it is effortless to keep. They are very hardy and can adapt to varying environmental conditions. Bolivian appear tough at first glance because of their physical appearance.

However, this cichlid species is calm and quiet. Bolivian rams are very interesting to watch and interact with. They enjoy the company of other Bolivians and even the company of their owners. Also, they interact so much that they can follow tank movements.

Overall, keeping Bolivian ram in a suitable tank means you are ready for regular amusing shows.

General Overview of German Blue Ram

German Blue Ram

German blue rams are the close cousins of Bolivian rams. The trademark of German blue rams is their colorful appearance. They are smaller than the Bolivian rams but not as peaceful.

German blue rams are relatively friendly and lively when the conditions are right with them in the tank. They love to cruise and swim around the heavily planted or decorated tanks.

Keeping two male German blue rams in the same tank can result in hostile situations. The two males will fight until one is dead. The males will dance to impress any female they choose.

Overall, German blue rams light up your tank with extraordinary colors, and they also entertain you with their comic personality.

Typical Behaviors Bolivian Rams

Even though cichlids are known to be territorial, Bolivian rams are an exception to this case. They are a very peaceful species of fish. They spend most of their time in the middle or the bottom of the tank.

Bolivian rams have a unique swimming pattern that particularly makes them interesting to watch. They project themselves with a few strokes, stop all of a sudden, and repeat this movement. They do this over and over again as long as they want to keep moving.

However, this swimming pattern does not mean that they are slow swimmers. Bolivian rams are graceful and can swim very quickly to look for food or evade an attack.

These fish species are brilliant and interact well with their immediate environment. Bolivian rams can put up an amazing show when you keep them in the company of the fish they love. Male and female often work best as they stay close to keep each other’s company.

The male will display fierce fins and defend the females and eggs. Likewise, in a tank with similar sex, each member will have territory and fight off any intruder. Not to worry, the fight is nothing serious; it is just locking of lips or something not to lose their precious territory.

Typical Behavior German Blue Rams

German blue rams are one of the most colorful and loveable tropical fish. Although they have a smaller body, they are twice as vibrant as their Bolivian cousins.

German blue rams enjoy the cruise and swim gracefully in a well-planted or well-decorated tank. They are peaceful and will frequently show that they are happy if they are well kept.

However, keeping two males in the same tank can be deadly if you don’t take the necessary precautions. The two males can fight to the death as a result of their territoriality. The males also dance for their preferred female to catch their attention.

German blue rams are very fragile because they are inbred. They do not tolerate any member of the tank bullying or picking on them.

They are more sensitive to environmental conditions and temperature. Aside from the fact that they are picky eaters, German blue rams also get stressed easily.

Physical Appearance of Bolivian Rams

You can easily differentiate between Bolivian rams and other cichlids with their physical appearance. They have an elongated oval body with a small series of tails and fins with spike shapes.

Bolivian rams can reach 3 or 4 inches when they attain full maturity. They have a variety of colors ranging from grayish-blue to dull brown. They usually have a yellow belly, and the color will extend to the front on a few occasions.

This cichlid species have sexual dimorphism, and you can easily tell the males apart from the females. The males are usually longer and bigger than females. Similarly, the male’s filaments are longer than the females, and they have pointed dorsal fins.

Physical Appearance of German Blue Rams

German blue rams are very colorful and can brighten up your aquarium. Their body is a blend of yellow and blue. The blue color is in patches and sometimes blends with white.

Their eyes are usually red, and their fins can be either yellow or red with blue lines. German blue rams have an oval body with a more rounded belly. They can grow up to 2 inches.

It is quite easy to differentiate males from the female. The male’s dorsal fin is more pointed than the females. The females have slightly smaller with an orange-pink belly.

Can German Blue Rams Live with Bolivian Rams

German blue rams can live with Bolivian rams because they have complementary nature and similar demands. Bolivians are hardy and will cope with peaceful tank mates.

However, you should pay attention to the water’s pH, softness, and other vital tank parameters to suit German blue rams. The tank should be spacious enough for each member to establish their territory. Also, ensure that you keep the right male to female ratio.


German blue rams and Bolivian rams are two notable members of the cichlid family. They are colorful, interesting to watch, interactive, and intelligent.

These two fish species have a lot of notable similarities and some striking differences that distinguish them. However, you can work your way to have both of them in your fish tank.