Balloon Golden Ram is a small colorful cichlid with an oval shaped body and pointed fins and tail. Mature males develop more pointed dorsal fins than females and also grow larger at about 5 cm in length in the aquarium. This fish can live up to about 4 years.
The body has a yellow area on the first third of the body starting at the nose, with the last two thirds being whitish blue to blue. There is a curved black line that runs vertically from the forehead, through the eye, and then down to the chin.
The fins are a clearish yellow and can have a black blotch on the first few rays of the dorsal fin. The female has similar coloring, but also has a pinkish orange belly.
All cichlids have a well-developed pharyngeal set of teeth located in the throat, along with their regular teeth. They also have spiny rays in the back parts of the anal, dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins to help discourage predators. The front part of these fins are soft and perfect for precise positions and effortless movements in the water as opposed to fast swimming.
To sense “smells” in the water, they suck water in and expel the water right back out after being “sampled” for a short or longer time, depending on how much the cichlid needs to “smell” the water. This feature is shared by saltwater damselfish and cichlids are thought to be closely related.
The Ram requires a minimum tank size of about 75 liters with a minimal water flow. There should be enough flow to keep the aquarium well aerated. They like their environment to have some live plants as well as some caves and other hiding places that make the aquarium feel like their natural home in the wild.
Gold rams need softer and more acidic water, with pH between 5.2 – 6.7; it may be worthwhile adding tannins in the form of Indian almond leaves or another natural supplement to bolster immunity as well as to soften and acidify the water.
Good water quality is also essential. Give them partial water changes at least once a week because they need plenty of fresh, clean water and are quite intolerant of ammonia and other toxins. Allowing the water quality to dip can lead to illness and potentially death.
The Balloon Golden Ram is not very picky about it’s food and will eat most types of fish food. They should also be fed a variety of live or frozen foods such as worms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae etc.
|Adult Size:||12 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||70 litres|
|Tank Level:||Mid Dweller|
|Lifespan:||2 – 4 years|
|Water Flow:||Slow to medium|
|Temperature:||24 – 28°C|
|pH:||5.2 – 6.7|
|Hardness:||soft water – low GH|