Hot Water Fish


  • Scientific name:  Microgeophagus Ramirezi
  • Common Name: Ramirezi Fish, Ramirez Dwarf Cichlid, Butterfly Cichlid or Ram Cichlid
  • Aquarium size:  40 liters (per couple)
  • Temperament: Territorial
  • Temperature:  Between 26º and 30ºC
  • pH: Between 4 and 7
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Length:  7 cms



The fish Ramirezi (Microgeophagus Ramirezi) , belongs to the family of cichlids South Americans . In the Cichlid family that includes more than 900 species, we have large fish. However, the Ramirezi fish is a Dwarf Cichlid (Ramirez’s Dwarf Cichlid) that does not usually exceed 7 centimeters.
One of the great disadvantages of this fish is that in captivity it does not usually live more than two or three years, however it is worth its breeding, due to its great showiness in the aquarium.
It receives other popular names such as,
Butterfly Cichlid or Ram Cichlid.


In captivity the Ramirezi fish do not usually exceed 7 centimeters in length in males, females are usually a little smaller.
Another sexual dimorphism is that males have more extended fins and more intense colors . The females also have a pink spot on the belly, absent in the males.
These fish are laterally compressed and have a rounded belly.
The most striking thing and for what they are so coveted in aquariums, is for their color, which can change depending on different reasons, such as their mood or the quality of the water.
Due to its great popularity,A good number of varieties have been developed, with different morphological changes, such as their color (golden, albino …) and their lyre-shaped fins.
The traditional color of this fish is bluish-yellow, with blue to black spots on its body, and a vertical stripe that crosses the brown to black eye.

Ramirezi fish types

The common Ramirezi is what aquarists call German Ramirezi , to distinguish it from the wide variety of Ramirezi fish for sale, the result of different crosses, genetic modification and selective breeding of specimens.
There are specimens with different colorations, it has even been possible to modify the morphology in the Ramirezi veil, without changing the general appearance of the species.

Ramirezi Blue (Ramirezi Blue)

The Ramirezi Blue or Electric Blue Ramirezi is quite similar to the original variety, although it is somewhat thinner and obviously with a very bright blue coloration, which has earned it the nickname of Electric Blue Ramirezi.

Ramirezi Ball

We know that Ramirezi Balon is a Microgeophagus, because if they tell us that it is a completely different variety, we might believe it.
It is true that it looks «somewhat» like the common Ramirezi fish, but its morphological change and the different colors in which it can be found, make it a unique and also quite surprising specimen.

Golden ramirezi

The golden Ramirezi is morphologically identical to the common Ramirezi, except for its coloration. Its color is
undoubtedly very original, but far from being as striking as that of the German Ramirezi.

Ramirezi veil

The coloration is identical to the German Ramirezi, the great difference is in the length of its dorsal, caudal, ventral, pectoral and anal fins, which are disproportionate in size, which nevertheless is very striking in the aquarium, when the fish is in motion.

Distribution and habitat

These fish are known to originate from the Orinoco River, in Venezuela and Colombia, but some sources claim that it is also possible to find them in the Purús River in Brazil, which is a tributary of the Amazon.
They live in what are called the «Llanos» , plains that flood seasonally, and of which some forests are also part.
They are areas of great vegetation, water with little movement and quite shady.

Aquarium conditions

The size of the required aquarium is measured according to the specimens that are going to be introduced, with about 40 liters per couple.
The reason is very simple, although they are not aggressive fish, if they are very territorial and need enough space, so as not to have problems with other pairs.
The water temperature must be between 26ºC and 30ºC, with a pH between 4 and 7.
To reproduce its natural environment, a sandy substrate must be added. In their natural habitat, they have a large amount of shade, so floating wood or branches should be added to the water, as well as plants and places where they can shelter (hiding places).
Another good idea is to add dried leaves, which will create a greater sense of naturalness, and once they begin to decompose, they will provide a secondary food source.
These fish are quite delicate, so they are not recommended for beginners , and it is not a good idea to introduce them to a new or immature aquarium.

Filter types, brands and filter materials

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They are omnivorous. In the aquarium they can be offered live and frozen foods, such as worms, Artemia or Daphnia.
This diet should be supplemented with quality dry food.
Some aquarists offer them food made at home. They make a kind of gelatin, in which they include dry food, seafood puree, fruit and vegetables, which are then cut into small portions, so that it is easy for them to capture them.

Best food for aquarium fish

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Behavior and compatibility

The problem that the Ramirezi fish has to share an aquarium with other species is that it needs a water quality that is above average , which makes it quite difficult to include it in a community aquarium.
However, it does not mean that you cannot share an aquarium. You can share space with peaceful characins used to living in open waters.
This combination can help you reduce your characteristic shyness.

Ramirezi Compatible Fish

Compatible fish without restrictions

  • Zebra fish
  • Corydoras
  • Ancistrus
  • Eat Siamese algae
  • Harlequin fish
  • Tiger Barbel
  • Botia Clown
  • Monjita Fish
  • Botia Clown
  • Snail Apple
  • Kribensis
  • Molly fish

Compatible fish without restrictions

  • Otocinclus
  • Angel fish
  • Mosquito fish
  • Killi
  • Gourami Pearl
  • Guppy endler
  • Tetra Borrachito
  • Ax fish
  • Betta
  • Silver dollar
  • Neon Tetra

Restricted Compatible Fish

  • Koi carp


  • The Ramirezi fish is monogamous, they form a faithful couple throughout their short life.
  • To begin reproduction, it is recommended to start with a group of young fish and as pairs are created, they separate.
  • There seems to be no obvious reason for spawning to begin , although a good diet and full control over water quality is recommended.
  • Inexperienced pairs can eat their young, although this attitude usually subsides after several attempts.
  • Spawning occurs on a solid surface, which can be a stone, driftwood, plants with broad leaves, even on the wall of the aquarium.
  • The female lays one or more rows of eggs, which are subsequently fertilized by the male.
  • The eggs hatch two to three days after fertilization . The fry remain immobile for about five days, during which time they do not need food, but once they begin to swim, they must be offered suitable microscopic food.


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