I was wondering if a german blue Rams will breed with other rams, perhaps gold ram or Bolivian ram, or even balloon rams?
Electric blue, gold, all the balloon rams, and black rams are all strains or variants of one species German ramMikrogeophagus ramirezi and can all interbreed. I also recently saw a tank of mostly white rams at my lfs, so yet another German ram variant. Bolivian ramsMikrogeophagus altospinosus are a separate species and will not breed with any of the Germans.
I would defer to the pros with 3 questions:
1. Are there Bolivian ram varieties? I haven’t seen any.
2. Do Bolivian and germans ever hybridize?
3. Is “German blue ram” the same as “German ram”?
German Ram and German Blue Ram are two different names for different variants. M. ramirezi is known as The Ram, common Ram, or Orinoco Ram. The original German strain Ram was a line bred fish with very heavy dark black markings, and fewer spangles than the normal Rams. German Blue Ram is a name made up by Asian breeders. Because the German strain had proven to be very hardy and easy to care for, they wanted to cash in on the reputation of German Rams, as Asian bred Rams had a (well deserved) reputation for being weak and sickly as a result of overuse of antibiotics in raising large numbers of them in small quarters. The use of the name German Blue Ram took hold despite its inaccuracy, and since the truth is rarely put out there, it continues to be used. It has a few color varieties, at least one fin variation, and the body deformity mutation.
It is not possible for them to hybridize with Bolivians AFAIK; geographic distance has also produced a considerable genetic difference. There is some minor population variation in the coloration of Bolivian Rams, but no known mutations at this time.