Yes, German blue rams will eat shrimp as long as they are small enough to fit in their mouths.
Larger shrimp species such as red cherry shrimp or Amano shrimp are usually safe around German Blue Rams; however, their babies and juveniles are not!
The best way of preventing shrimp being eaten by your German Blue Rams is to provide the shrimp with as many hiding spaces as possible where they can take safe refuge from the rams.
How to Prevent and Reduce the Chances of Shrimp Being Eaten
German blue rams are not predators; however, they are opportunistic feeders, which means that they will eat almost anything that they can easily find and that will fit in their mouths.
So, if your German blue rams spot a small enough shrimp skirting around the substrate, the chances are, it will become a meal rather quickly.
Shrimp are a brilliant addition to ram cichlid's diet, which is why many people add live shrimp to aquariums for them to be eaten.
However, if you do not want your shrimp being eaten here are some steps you should take to help prevent this from happening.
Plenty of Hiding Places
By providing your shrimp with plenty of cover and hiding spots around the tank you will all but ensure their safety.
Shrimp, much like small fish, enjoy hiding under plants and other decors as it makes them feel safe from larger, more predatory fish. If a ram goes in for what they think is an easy snack, and you have cover nearby for your shrimp, then the chances of their survival is that much greater.
Driftwood, java moss, piles of rocks, and other decors are brilliant for creating hiding places where your German blue rams may not find them or would find it difficult to eat them in these hiding spots.
Feed Your Rams Well
By properly feeding your German blue rams a maximum of three times per day you will hopefully be keeping them fairly full-up.
Whilst they may still eat shrimp they find, they will be less likely to do so if they are satisfied and not hungry.
Dim Your Aquarium Lighting
You can also use lighting diffusers to create darker areas within your aquarium for your shrimp to reside in. Your German blue rams are much less likely to swim around these areas.
Section off Areas of Your Tank
You can use a fish tank divider within your own aquarium to keep the shrimp separate from your ram cichlids until they reach a large enough size to fend for themselves.
Alternatively, you can use a smaller tank to keep the shrimp until they reach a larger size.
Keep Large Shrimp
By only keeping larger shrimp you will totally prevent your German blue rams from eating them due to their size.
If they are too big to fit in the ram cichlid's mouth, then they will not be eaten. It is as simple as that. Amano shrimp are a brilliant choice for this.
Best Plants for Shrimp to Hide in
Plants are undoubtedly a popular and successful option for keeping your shrimp safe.
Here are the best plants for the job.
Java moss is perfect for shrimps to hide in, despite growing at a slower rate than other plants.
Typically, the moss forms a giant green clump, which is great for shrimp to immerse themselves in. Additionally, German blue rams do not tend to go near java moss.
Again, just like the java moss, the fern takes a long time to grow into a suitable hiding spot for shrimp.
Once the fern has grown over a period of a couple of years, it will be large and strong enough to form an inpenetrable wall of defense against ram cichlids.
These stem plants grow quickly and are readily available. Once you have acquired one, it will be ready to use.
The plant will usually grow long training roots from the stem, which is brilliant for further protection and cover.
Hygrophila Difformis (Wisteria)
Wisteria is another good stem plant that will quickly spread around your aquarium, creating many good hiding spots and cover.
What Shrimp is Less Likely to be Eaten by German Blue Rams?
German blue rams and all other ram cichlids for that matter are pretty small fish, therefore, if you have a larger shrimp in your tank, they will likely not try and eat it.
As mentioned previously, Amano shrimp are big enough to not get eaten by these rams. There are also other shrimp species that are big enough in size to not get eaten:
- Bamboo Shrimp
- Indian Whisker Shrimp
- Blue Pearl Shrimp
- Vampire Shrimp
All of the shrimp species above are 2 inches or larger in size, big enough to handle themselves when it comes to hungry ram cichlids!
German blue rams, just like most other freshwater omnivores, will eat shrimp if they cross paths and are small enough in size. If you want them to co-exist together then you will need to follow the advisories provided in this guide.