Will Bolivian Rams Eat Shrimp? {Can I Keep Them Together?}

Are you wondering if you can keep shrimp and Bolivian rams together in the same tank?

Will Bolivian rams eat shrimp?

In this article, we’ll find out if you can keep Bolivian rams with shrimp.

Will Bolivian Rams Eat Shrimp?

Bolivian rams LOVE to eat shrimp.

They are not very predatory as a peaceful natured cichlid, but they will not pass up the chance to devour young shrimp or take bites out of slightly larger shrimp, especially when they are molting.

Bolivian rams that are tank raised can eat a staple diet of mainly shrimp pellets and brine shrimp.  

Which Types of Shrimp Will Bolivian Rams Eat?

Bolivian rams are not avid hunters. They like to relax and pick off easy to eat food at the bottom of the substrate or swim up to the surface for some larvae and insects.

Bolivian rams enjoy eating shrimp and would be happy if you could give them the following types of shrimp:

  • Any young dwarf shrimp
  • shrimplets
  • sinking shrimp pellets 
  • brine shrimp 
  • krill (similar to shrimp)
  • cherry shrimp
  • bee shrimp
  • pinto shrimp

Some of these varieties of shrimp are expensive and are meant to be kept instead of fed to Bolivian rams. If you would like to keep shrimp with Bolivian rams, you must try to seek out larger shrimp like vampire or Amano shrimp.

Which Shrimps Are Best To Keep With Bolivian Rams?

If you are adamant about keeping shrimp with Bolivian rams, try to place the largest ones you can find in your tank with them. Choose from the following options:

  • Amano shrimp
  • Adult Ghost shrimp
  • Vampire shrimp
  • Bamboo shrimp
  • Blue Bolt shrimp

The most common shrimp on this list is the Amano shrimp. They are great at hiding and grow up to 2-3 inches. This makes it difficult for Bolivian rams to seek out and eat them. Be careful during molting periods when your shrimp are soft and susceptible to be eaten.

How Do I Keep Shrimp With Bolivian Rams?

The first step to ensure a long life for your shrimp is to make sure they have plenty of hiding places such as:

  • moss
  • java ferns
  • rooted plants
  • caves
  • decorations
  • driftwood

The shrimp need hiding places for molting and breeding. They will also feel fear when they realize that they must share a tank with fish that enjoy their taste.

Bolivian rams will develop a large appetite for shrimp based on their pellets and brine shrimp they regularly eat in many tanks. If you keep shrimp with Bolivian rams, expect your shrimp to spend most of their time in hiding.

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Why Are Amano Shrimp Better To Keep With Bolivian Shrimp?

Keep in mind that Bolivian rams have been observed to take bites out of any shrimp that is molting. They can take small bites out of any shrimp until it no longer exists. Most of the time, this is too much work when the shrimp are too large.

Amano shrimp

  • grow 2-3 inches and they enjoy similar water parameters to Bolivian rams
  • are not very expensive
  • can live 2-3 years which is long for most shrimp species
  • hide well
  • their offspring are likely to be eaten if there isn’t a safe hiding space

Add thick moss for them to stay hidden. There are no guarantees when it comes to cichlids and they’re desire to eat shrimp.

Bolivian rams are the most peaceful of the cichlid family, but they will try to consume weaker or younger shrimp if the opportunity presents itself.

How Can A Bolivian Ram Eat A Live Shrimp?

Bolivian rams tend to lay low at the bottom of the tank and search the substrate for leftover food. They enjoy sinking pellets that may be comprised of shrimp meal.

A live adult shrimp cannot fit whole into the smaller sized mouth of a Bolivian ram. There are accounts of these fish chopping smaller shrimp armies into fine bits.

A larger shrimp after a fresh molt is softer and easier to take bites out of. If they cannot be eaten whole, they could be eaten bit by bit.

Shrimplets, baby shrimp, brine shrimp or shrimp pellets are going to easily consumed and enjoyed by your Bolivian rams.

Do Bolivian Rams Eat Brine Shrimp?

Bolivian rams prefer to eat from the substrate. This is why we choose to offer them sinking pellets for the easiest of meals to supplement what they can find through their all-day rummaging and exploring at the bottom of the tank.

Brine shrimp are usually frozen and thawed out before offering them to Bolivian rams who will gladly consume them. This is usually a treat to be given out 1-2 times a week.

Bolivian rams are not picky eaters and they will gladly accept packaged fish or shrimp meal based pellets or flakes along with algae wafers or boiled vegetables.


It’s going to be a gamble to place any type of shrimp next to a member of the cichlid family. Thankfully, Bolivian rams are peaceful by nature and tend to keep to themselves at the bottom of the tank to look for leftovers and edible debris.

Unfortunately, many shrimp tend to do the same thing. A Bolivian ram may notice an opportunity to bite a susceptible shrimp that has freshly molted. If they discover younger or small-sized shrimp, they may open up wide and feast on them.

Start out with Amano shrimp or larger ghost shrimp if you don’t want to spend more money on vampire or bamboo shrimp. See if the hiding places and plants give them enough space to keep away from Bolivian rams who always seem to be hungry.


Good luck with your fish keeping journey and enjoy the process of managing a healthy ecosystem with Bolivian rams included. Thanks for visiting HelpUsFish.com and see you soon!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.