The gold, long finned, and German rams are all just variants of the blue ram, microgeophagus ramirezi. The Bolivian ram, microgeophagus altispinosa, is different species. I'm planning on getting a few blue rams for the tank I just set up at work (with established filter media), but I'm definitely not waiting a year! 8O They will be the last fish I add, probably in a couple months, but I'm not sure you need to be THAT careful with waiting a year. Of course, it certainly can't hurt. If you are worried about temperature swings in your tank you may want to choose the Bolivians. I have a couple and they are very hardy and entertaining, and they have tons of personality. I've got some pics of mine in my gallery if you want to see them- a lot of pics I've seen on the internet don't really do them justice.
if the temps get too high in your tank in the summer, I've heard of people using a 20 oz. soda bottle to cool their tanks. Just grab a soda bottle, remove the label, fill with water, and freeze it. Then you can float it in your tank to slowly cool it down. Never had to try this myself though--- just a thought.