Do German Blue Rams Eat Shrimp? (Surprising!)

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Do German Blue Rams eat shrimp? Yes, German Blue Rams will eat any shrimp they can fit in their mouths. Adult Red Cherry Shrimp or Amano Shrimp may not be eaten, but babies and juveniles almost certainly will. To reduce the chances of German Blue Rams eating your shrimp, provide as many hiding places for the shrimp as possible.

German Blue Rams are one of the most colorful freshwater fish in the hobby. They are one of those fish that everybody wants to keep at one time or another. In my personal experience, German Blue Rams do especially well in a planted aquarium.

How To Reduce The Chances Of German Blue Rams Eating Shrimp?

German Blue Rams are omnivores. As such, they will eat a variety of foods, including live shrimp. Although not hard-core predators, German Blue Rams are opportunistic feeders, meaning they won’t turn away from an easy meal.

Combine both of these factors and you will find your German Blue Rams will happily munch your shrimp.

If you are keeping German Blue Rams in the same aquarium as your shrimp, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the chances of the shrimp being eaten.

  • Provide plenty of cover: If you provide your shrimp with plenty of cover and hiding places, there is less chance the German Blue Rams will find them and eat them. A heavily planted tank is the classic set up and the more plants you have, the less chance the shrimp will be eaten. Amongst other plants, Java Moss provides the perfect cover for shrimp. The shrimp can venture deep into the middle of the clump of moss and the German Blue Rams are unlikely to find them. Piles of rocks or aquarium safe wood also have the same effect. If the shrimp can get down into cracks and crevices where the German Blue Rams can’t reach, their chances of survival are greater.

  • Feed Your Rams Heavily: There more you feed your German Blue Rams, the less likely they are to bother chasing down a shrimp. Shrimp have a natural tendency to shoot backwards when confronted by a predator. The German Blue Rams will have to make a conscious effort to chase the shrimp after they shoot backwards. If your German Blue Rams are already full of food, they are less likely to bother chasing the shrimp down.

  • Screen some areas off: OK, so using some lighting diffuser or similar to create an area the shrimp can go but the German Blue Rams can’t isn’t the most attractive solution to the problem, but if you do have a section which is screened off, the Shrimp have a safe haven where the German Blue Rams can’t get to them. They can live and breed there and their numbers will multiply.

  • Only keep larger shrimp: So if we know German Blue Rams will happily eat Red Cherry Shrimp, consider adding a different species of shrimp to the tank. I have never seen a German Blue Ram attack an adult Amano shrimp for example. Amano shrimp won’t breed in your freshwater aquarium, and in my experience live for many years. If you add a bunch of adult Amanos to a German Blue Ram aquarium, they should be just fine.

What Plants Provide The Best Cover For Shrimp?

In my experience, plants are by far the best solution to keeping shrimp safe. I have had good success with many of the species below;

  • Java Moss: Java Moss is the ultimate shrimp hiding plant. Although Java Moss grows slowly, once it gets going it will form a huge clump where the shrimp can hide and the German Blue Rams are unlikely to venture into.

  • Hygrophila difformis: Hygrophila difformis (also called Wisteria) is another plant which spreads and grows to form a thick mass. H. difformis is a stem plant which you can spread in your aquarium by cutting and replanting, making it easy to create a thicket the shrimp can hide in.

  • Java Fern: A small Java Fern won’t offer your shrimp much cover, but, in the past I have had a clump of java fern cover an entire piece of bogwood. It took a couple of years to grow, but it was an almost impenetrable mass of leaves where hundreds of red cherry shrimp lived in an aquarium with Congo Tetras. Congo Tetras will certainly eat Red Cherry Shrimp, but the Java Fern provided the shrimp with a refuge.

  • Hygrophila corymbosa: Hygrophila corymbosa is another stem plant which is easy to propagate and quickly spreads to fill out an area of your aquarium. This plant often grows long training roots out of the stem, which further helps provide cover for your shrimp.

What Shrimp Are Less Likely To Be Eaten?

As you may be aware, German Blue Rams are a fairly small species of fish. As such, choosing a larger shrimp will reduce the chances of those shrimp being eaten.

In the past, I have found Amano shrimp are large enough to avoid being eaten by the German Blue Rams. If you only add adult Amano shrimp to the aquarium with the German Blue Rams, I don’t think many will get eaten.

There are other species of shrimp we can keep in our aquariums such as Bamboo Shrimp. Bamboo Shrimp are much larger than other shrimp species we keep. Bamboo Shrimp grow to around 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm). Vampire Shrimp are another species that grow to around 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm).

My Final Thoughts

If given the opportunity, German Blue Rams will eat shrimp. Essentially, anything, including shrimp, that is small enough to fit into the mouth of the German Blue Rams, will eventually end up there. To reduce the chances of your shrimp becoming a snack, set your aquarium up with plenty of hiding places and provide lots of live plants for cover.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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