Balloon Rams Aka Angle Rams.


Fish nerd
Mar 19, 2008
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Common Name- Balloon ram or Angle Ram

Scientific Name- Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi or in Europe Papiliochromis Ramirezi

Family- Cichlidae

Origin - Orinoco River basin, in the savannahs of Venezuela and Colombia in South America.
NOTE- Balloon rams are a domestically bred fish. This round shape is not seen in the wild.

Max Size- Is reached in about 3 months. Males are 4.5Cm Females 3.5 in length.

Care - Yet they look similar to the German blue in color they are much hardier then their cousin. They can tolerate changes in water much better. Yet they should not be used to cycle a tank.
PH of 6.0 - 7.5.
Tank size. A pair could be kept in a 20 Gal but 30+ would be best if you want to keep more.
Temp- 78-80 F
Lots of hide outs and caves help keep them feeling safe. They can be shy. They spend most of there time in the bottom reign of the tanks. Males will pick on each other so make sure if you keep males that you have extra hide outs. These guys like many Cichlids are messy eaters so good tank maintenance is key when caring for them.

Feeding- They are not picky and will eat almost anything. They don't like to eat from the surface so sinking pellets are best. They will eat algae wafers. I find med size sinking Cichlid pellets are best they like to pick at the curating a mess instead of just eat it whole.

Sexing- Much like the German blues. Sexing can be done at 6-7 weeks of age
MALES - They are normally larger, The 1st 3 spikes of the dorsal fin are much longer. The Pelvic, anal and caudal fins will be longer too. As for the black dot on the side. The males might have a dot or they might not. The males dot will have more Blue in the black.
FEMALES- Smaller I have notice like the Blue Rams they too get pink bellies, this can been seen at a young age. They lack the very spiky dorsal fin and tend to be smaller. The females black spot is a solid black no blue in it like with the males.

Temperament - These small fish can be little fire crackers, Yet peaceful with fish of different species. The males are aggressive and have no clue how small they are. They do not cause much or any physical harm to other fish they do chase and bully. Mainly they get territorial with other cichlids. If the other fish don't look like cichlids they will be ok. Making these fish them peaceful yet territorial. Females are less aggressive. Not every fish is the same the personality differ from fish to fish. In my experience a dominate male can be a jerk.

If 2 males are kept together you might notice some full on fights from time to time. They will lock mouths, do angry twitching/dancing. I DO NOT recommend keeping 2 males unless you have a large tank. The one dominate male will pick on and cause stress to the less dominate one. You might notice that the dominate Male will display a black spot where the less dominate one will lack the spot and look all blue. Different sex pairs is best. Females are less likely to be so territorial but there are always exceptions to the rule.

Breeding- They are not hard to breed. Even if the conditions are a little off. They are sexual mature at 6-7 weeks. They will have up to 250 eggs when adults. The young ones only 20-30. They spawn on flat areas even digging pits. Both parents watch the eggs and tend to them.

When they stress they turn a darker color showing 3 dark stripes then run down the sides.

My 2 males. The less dominate one showing NO spot the other one has the spot.

Face to face

2 males having a face off.

Small balloon Ram being a bully to a keyhole cichlid.

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