Gold Ram Cichlid Care: Size, Lifespan, Food, Tank
The Gold ram cichlid or the Golden ram cichlid is one of the captive inbred varieties of the Ram cichlid group of fishes inhabiting mostly the Orinoco river basins in South America.
Gold Ram Cichlid Size
These are small-sized fish with egg-shaped, somewhat pointed bodies. The maximum size that a gold ram attains is 2.5 inches long.
But mostly in the aquariums, they are restrained to just 2 inches because of limited space and more density. However, they can get a little longer in the larger tanks with the correct water conditions.
As the name depicts, the fish is golden or yellow-colored, overall with light shades of orange or red more precisely along with the eyes, on the front of the head.
What makes them more prominent are the sparkling blue spots along the iridescent lower half of the body and the fins. All of their fins are bristly and have spiny rays.
This is the only plus point for these small fish’s safety as these sharp spiky fins keep the predators at a distance.
Gold Ram Cichlid Lifespan
The average lifespan of ram cichlid varieties, including gold ram in the aquarium, is considered 3 years, but the tank conditions are right and maintained optimally. They can live up to a maximum of 4 years.
However, the same cannot be said for the species in the wild. It is rare for them to live up to their maximum life in the wild, not just because of predators. One of the main contributory reasons for their short lifespan in the wild is the many diseases associated with water pollution.
If you want to have more of this spectacularly beautiful dude in your tank, then keep a check on the tank’s water parameters.
Gold Ram Cichlid Aggression
Gold rams are a very peaceful species. They are considered to be the best choice for a peaceful community tank. Still, they have territorial aggression among other members of the same species or other smaller tank mates trying to enter the No entry area.
They should be bought in a group of 6 juveniles, and they tend to pair off on reaching maturity. The pair should be separated if spawning is intended.
Because of their territorial nature, the pair feel stressed in the crowded tank. It is often noted that the pair even show aggression to each other for guarding the fertilized eggs.
They solve the matter by splitting up the eggs within a particular area, and each member of the pair guards its assigned area.
Gold Ram Cichlid Care
To ensure the survival of your acquisition, proper care is the first and foremost thing. But caring for this pretty little fish is not as big of a deal as one might think.
The gold rams are hardy and very easy to take care of. They are very popular among beginner aquarists because they are hardy, sparking beauty, and soft temperament. Despite their overall hardy nature, the quality of water does matter to them.
They are not as hardy to withstand water pollutants. They are sensitive to the presence of chemicals and ammonia in water. Water changes of about 15% are recommended every week to avoid the accumulation of toxins.
The under gravel filter is essential for their tank as it sucks down all the leftover food and dead algae, which causes the rise in nitrate levels upon decomposition.
Gold Ram Cichlid Food
The gold ram cichlids have varied preferences of diet, making them an omnivorous feeders. In the wild, they feed on small organisms like insects and larvae. They occasionally feed on plant material to get vitamins and important nutrients.
In the aquarium, you should feed them a blend of meaty live food and frozen foods, including Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, artemia, blood worms, and earthworms.
It is better to chop up the frozen food to the size of their mouth. Gold rams readily accept flake foods, pellets, and other commercially prepared foods for omnivorous fishes, but that must not be the only food you should feed them.
They are just additional supplements to keep the fish healthy. They are also known to scavenge on the leftover food at the bottom of the tank.
The gold rams seem to be hungry all the time because they tend to eat whatever and whenever you feed them. This is because of their higher appetites.
Feeding twice a day might not be enough, but it is just fine. Instead of feeding them large amounts once a day, it is recommended to feed them small amounts to finish off within two to three minutes.
Here goes the general rule of thumb, don’t overfeed them, and don’t deplete them of balanced nutrition.
Gold Ram Cichlid Tank Size
The tank size for all the color morphs of ram cichlids is almost the same because of similar size, behavior, temperament, and sensitivity. Therefore, the recommended tank size for a single specimen of gold ram cichlid is 10 gallons.
However, keeping them alone is not encouraged at all because they can get stressed for being alone. Thus a pair at least must be housed together, and the tank size would become 20 gallons. You can increase the tank size accordingly by increasing the number of pairs.
Another important reason for the relatively larger tank size for this tiny fish is its sensitivity to water parameters. Now it is an undisputed fact that the smaller water quantity gets toxified, and polluted more easily and quickly than the larger amount of water.
Thus the larger tank would prevent your goldie from getting stressed due to higher levels of unwanted toxic substances and other stress-related and toxicity-related diseases.
Gold Ram Cichlid Tank Mates
Choosing the right tank mates is very important keeping in mind all the stats of this little fish. Aggressive, semi-aggressive, and other large omnivorous species must totally be avoided.
The compatible tank mates are those, which are docile, have the same size as the gold rams, and are not very quick in approaching the food. Here goes the bulleted list of a few compatible tank mates.
- Blue Danio
- Rose Danio
- Harle Rasbora
- Cardinal Tetras
The tank’s temperature should be kept within the suggested range, which is 72 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature within this range will be fine, but this range’s middle or upper level is preferred. The higher levels of temperature within this range are also considered the best for triggering spawning.
How big do gold Ram cichlids get?
The maximum size that a gold ram attains is 2.5 inches long. But mostly in the aquariums, they are restrained to just 2 inches because of limited space and more density. However, they can get a little longer in the larger tanks with the correct water conditions.
Are Golden Rams aggressive?
Gold rams are a very peaceful species. They are considered to be the best choice for a peaceful community tank. Still, they do have territorial aggression among other members of the same species or other smaller tank mates trying to enter the No entry area.