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Metallic Blue Ram


The Metallic Blue Ram, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, is a species of freshwater fish endemic to the Orinoco River basin, in the savannahs of Venezuela and Colombia in South America

Ram cichlids are often more colorful than the tank-bred fish, which suffer from poor breeding and also being injected with hormones for more color, although this makes as many as one in four males infertile.

Male specimens of the ram usually have the first few rays of the dorsal fin extended, but breeding has made some females also show this. When close to spawning, female rams have a pink or red blush on the abdomen. Females also have a blue sheen over the spot just below the dorsal fin, or a sparse scattering of blue scales in the upper half of the dark spot, and males do not show this. Males reach a maximum length of 10 cm, and females are usually slightly smaller.

The natural habitat of M. ramirezi is warm (25.5-29.5 °C, 78-85 °F), acidic (pH 5.2-6.7) water courses in the llanos savannahs of Venezuela and Colombia. The water is generally slow-flowing, contains few dissolved minerals, and ranges in colour from clear to darkly stained with tannins. The species is typically found where cover in the form of aquatic or submersed vegetation is available.