Bolivian Ram vs German Blue Ram: Differences Explained

Are you stuck deciding between Bolivian Ram vs German Blue Ram fish? Thankfully I have some handy comparison for you so you can choose.

Not too long ago I was in a similar dilemma, and I hope my research can help you too!

In this article, I will guide you through various factors that you should consider before deciding. So, read on to discover which fish is best for your aquarium tank.

Difference Between Bolivian Ram and German Blue Ram

The main difference between the two is that Bolivian Ram is a low-maintenance fish while the German Blue Ram is not easy to maintain. 

Because Bolivian Ram and German Blue Ram are descendants of the same family, they share many similarities. For example, both fishes are peaceful and do well in shared tanks.

bolivian ram vs german blue ram

At the same time, they are two different species, so they also have distinguished traits. For example, Bolivian Rams are larger than the German Blue Rams.

German Blue Rams are more colorful and vibrant than Bolivian Ram.

In cold water, Bolivian Ram fishes do better than German Blue Rams, and in general are easier to breed.

Bolivian Ram vs German Blue Ram: A Quick Glance

Both these fishes add a layer of color and zest to your aquarium. So, here’s a comparison table that will help know key differences between Bolivian Ram and German Blue Ram:

FactorsBolivian RamGerman Ram
AggressivenessVery peacefulPeaceful
Best Tank MatesDwarf Gourami, Cory Catfish, Cherry Barbs, Guppies, Platies, Emperor Tetras, and Rummy Nose Tetras.Angelfish, Cardinal tetras, Clown loaches, Dwarf Gouramis, and Guppies.
BreedingEasy, but need ample spaceMedium Difficulty
ColorsYellow, Red, Orange, and Silvery BlueBlue, Gold, and Electric Blue
DietBrine shrimp, earthworms, and dry food in small quantities across the day in regular intervalsGiving a few pinches of commercial dry food, brine shrimps, bloodworms, Mysis shrimp, and tubifex worms works well.
LifespanAbout 4 yearsAbout 2 to 4 years
Preferred EnvironmentSandy substrate, large pebbles, and rich aquatic plantsSandy substrate and dense greenery
Price Per FishAround $10$7 – $10
pH LevelAround 6.56.0 to 7.5
SizeAbout 2 to 3.5 inchesAbout 2 to 3 inches
Expertise NeededBeginnersIntermediate
Tank Requirements30 gallons20 gallons
Water Hardness0 to 10 dKH6 to 14 dKH
Water Temperature72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit78 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit

Which One Should I Choose?

Bolivian Rams and German Blue Rams are both good choices for your aquarium. They are both beautiful, eye-catching, and get along well in a multi-species tank. Further, they can grow into a big community if you provide them with proper care and attention.

For people who don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining their tanks, Bolivian Rams might be the best option. They also work well for beginners and can help you learn without too much responsibility.

On the other hand, if you have more knowledge about fish keeping and know a lot about different fish types, I suggest getting German Blue Rams.

About Bolivian Rams

This fish is native to the backwaters and streams of various Bolivian river systems. Typically, male fish will grow larger than female fish. Female Bolivian Ram can grow up to two inches, and the male can grow up to 3 to 3.5 inches.

Male fish have an elongated and pointed dorsal, while the female will have elongated pelvic fins. Female Bolivian Rams also develop a yellow coloration when they are ready to reproduce.

The Bolivian Ram can produce over 70 eggs per clutch. Once the eggs hatch, the mother will generally exhibit strong parenthood traits. The female fish will guard the fry inside the mouth and spit back out only when safe.

The male fish will also guard the area around the reproductive site. These peaceful fish species tend to get aggressive during breeding.

About German Blue Rams

Male German Blue Rams are larger than female. They have a longer body, extended dorsal and ventral filaments that are not present in female fish. Furthermore, females have more stocky bodies than male fish.

Female fishes also develop a reddish-purple color on the abdomen when they mature. Both male and female fishes are extremely active, and you will often find them exploring the tank for hiding spots.

Although breeding German Blue Rams is not particularly difficult, it is not as easy as breeding Bolivian Rams. However, if you leave a healthy pair of Rams in the tank, they will start breeding very soon. 


  1. Is the Bolivian Ram Hardy?

    Bolivian Rams are not the toughest fish type, yet they are hardier than German Blue Ram. They are native to freshwater systems and are quite tolerant of varying water conditions.

  2. Is German Blue Ram Aggressive?

    German Blue Rams are generally very peaceful creatures that can coexist in a multi-species aquarium. However, they can get aggressive during the breeding period.

  3. Are Bolivian Rams Territorial?

    Yes, Bolivian Rams are territorial. However, that does not mean they get aggressive over their borders. They just mark their territory, usually in the lower layers of the tank, and swim around there.

  4. Are German Blue Rams Bottom Feeders?

    Yes, they feed on bottom-dwelling organisms in nature. You can often find them sorting through the substrate.

  5. How Many German Blue Rams Should Be Kept Together?

    Keeping a pair of German Blue Rams in a 20 gallons community tank will be ideal. If you want to keep more than one pair of Rams, you must increase the aquarium size to 40 to 50 gallons.

  6. How Many Bolivian Rams Should Be Kept Together?

    You can keep up to six to eight Bolivian Rams in a tank. Unlike German Blue Rams, you don’t have to keep them in pairs necessarily.

Further Reading