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Ghost Shrimp: Behaviors, Lifespan, Tank & Water Requirements, Care & More

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Ghost shrimp can be a wonderful addition to a fish tank.

These species are unique, can provide benefits for other fish in the tank, and they’re easy to care for.

They’re also compatible with many types of aquatic life, so they’re a great addition to a multi-species tank.

So, do you think a ghost shrimp is right for you?

Here’s our complete guide to owning these beautiful crustaceans!

What Is a Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp are a type of freshwater shrimp that you can keep as pets.

They get their name from their see-through bodies.

The name “ghost shrimp” can also apply to two types of saltwater shrimp: caprellidae and thalassinidea.

However, we will focus solely on the freshwater species of ghost shrimp.

What Is the Purpose of a Ghost Shrimp?

One common reason people buy ghost shrimp is to feed them to larger fish.

That’s why some of them will come under the name “feeder shrimp.”

You can also keep ghost shrimp as pets!

These crustaceans will look beautiful in any fish tank.

They can help clean the gravel and glass of fish tanks, too.

What Is the Origin of Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp species are native to North America, and their natural habitat is in freshwater lakes, streams, and ponds in the Southeast United States.

These shrimp have been household pets since the 1800s.

Similar Alternatives to Ghost Shrimp

Are you having trouble getting your hands on a ghost shrimp?

Here are four similar alternatives to consider.

  • Glass Shrimp: This name is another term for ghost shrimp.
    If you’re having trouble finding them under the name “ghost shrimp,” try searching for glass shrimp instead.
  • Amano Shrimp: These species are freshwater shrimp that can help keep fish tanks clean.
    Their appearances are similar to glass shrimp, but they do not have transparent bodies.
  • Cherry Shrimp: These colorful species originate from China.
    They get their name from their vibrant red appearances.
  • Crystal Red Shrimp: These dwarf shrimp have white bodies with bright red stripes.
    Like ghost shrimp, they are small and easy to own as pets.

How Much Do Ghost Shrimp Cost?

Ghost shrimp are great pets because they are very affordable.

They’re usually no more than three dollars.

At some stores, you may even find them as cheap as fifty cents.

Ghost Shrimp Behavior

Ghost shrimp have mild temperaments and typically keep to themselves.

These shrimp will spend most of their time roaming the bottom of the tank in search of food or hiding in tank decorations.

What Do Ghost Shrimp Do for Your Tank?

Ghost shrimp consume algae, waste, and leftover fish food they find on gravel or tank decorations.

his bottom-feeding behavior can be beneficial for the cleanliness of your fish tank!

Is a Ghost Shrimp Dangerous?

Ghost shrimp are not dangerous to humans.

They rarely attack other species in the tank, especially if you provide them with plenty of space and food.

Ghost Shrimp Lifespan

Here is everything you need to know about the ghost shrimp’s lifespan.

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live?

Unfortunately, ghost shrimp do not have very long lifespans.

But if you give them the proper care, they can live up to one year.

How Fast Do Ghost Shrimp Grow?

Once born, ghost shrimp mature reasonably quickly.

They will take around five weeks to grow into adult ghost shrimp.

How Big Can a Ghost Shrimp Get?

Ghost shrimp are a very small species of shrimp.

Males are usually no more than 1 ½ inches long, while females can reach up to two inches.

Tank and Water Requirements

As you read onward, we will cover everything you need to raise healthy ghost shrimp!

Best Tank Size for a Ghost Shrimp

The smallest tank size for a ghost shrimp should be five gallons.

However, if your shrimp is going to have tank mates, you will need to size up.

Best Water Parameters & Conditions for Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp should live in a tank that has a temperature between 62 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition, the pH level of the water should be between 7.0 and 8.0.

Do Ghost Shrimp Need an Air Pump?

Yes, an air pump is essential for a tank with shrimp.

These pumps create oxygen in the water that shrimp need to survive.

Best Habitat for Ghost Shrimp

The ideal habitat for ghost shrimp should have these key factors:

  • A warm climate
  • Appropriate pH levels
  • Calcium supplements
  • An air pump
  • Plenty of tank decor to hide in, especially live plants
  • A clean environment

Do Ghost Shrimp Need Live Plants?

While live plants are not necessary for ghost shrimp tanks, they can be beneficial for their health.

Live plants can provide food, oxygen, and shelter for your ghost shrimp.

So if you want your ghost shrimp to thrive, we recommend adding at least one live plant to their tank.

Tank Mates

Ghost shrimp can get along quite well with other aquatic species.

So if you would like to find some tank mates for your ghost shrimp, here is everything you need to know.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Should Be Kept Together?

The number of ghost shrimp you can keep together depends on the size of your tank.

As a general rule of thumb, you can have three ghost shrimp per gallon.

So if you have a standard five-gallon tank, it could hold fifteen ghost shrimp!

What Fish Make Good Tank Mates?

Species that can safely live with ghost shrimp include:

  • Similar shrimp, like Amano shrimp or Cherry shrimp
  • Tetras
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Cory catfish
  • Snails

Which Fish Should Ghost Shrimp Avoid?

Many types of fish will eat your ghost shrimp if you put them in the same tank.

To prevent this, avoid pairing ghost shrimp with any fish significantly larger than them.

You should also avoid pairing them with aggressive species like bettas or mollies.

Breeding and Reproduction

Here are the answers to some common questions people have about breeding ghost shrimp!

Do Ghost Shrimp Breed Easily?

Yes, when you provide them with the correct tank temperature, ghost shrimp are reasonably easy to breed.

How Long Does It Take for a Ghost Shrimp To Have Babies?

Any full-grown ghost shrimp is ready to have babies.

Once you create the right breeding environment in their tank, they will begin breeding rather quickly.

You might see some baby ghost shrimp in less than a month.

How Long Is a Ghost Shrimp Pregnant?

The gestation period of a ghost shrimp is three weeks.

You can tell your ghost shrimp is pregnant just by looking at them—you can see the eggs inside of their body, which looks like a cluster of little dots.

How To Care for Ghost Shrimp

Like any pets, ghost shrimp deserve adequate care.

Here are some basic things you need to know about caring for ghost shrimp.

General Care for Ghost Shrimp

Caring for ghost shrimp is pretty easy, and they can make great pets for beginners.

Ghost shrimp need lots of space, a suitable climate, oxygen in their water, and plenty of food.

As long as you provide them with these four necessities, you can expect them to live long and healthy lives.

Ghost Shrimp Diet and Feeding

You can decide whether to feed your ghost shrimp fish pellets or flakes.

They will often feed on the algae and waste of other fish in the tank, too.

Common Problems With Ghost Shrimp

A few common problems owners will see in ghost shrimp include:

  • Unsuccessful molting. Molting is when a shrimp sheds its outer skin.
    However, if it does not have enough calcium, it might have an unsuccessful molt, which can be deadly.
  • Bacterial infections. These infections can happen if the shrimp’s tank contains excess bacteria.
    Regularly cleaning the tank can reduce the risk of this problem.
  • Vorticella parasites. These parasites look like white mold on a shrimp’s body.
    They can come from excess bacteria in their tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding ghost shrimp.

What is the best place to buy ghost shrimp?

You can buy ghost shrimp at many pet stores that sell fish.

You can also buy them online if you’re having trouble finding them in person.

No matter where you get them, the best place to purchase ghost shrimp is from a seller you trust.

Can you hold a ghost shrimp?

While they can survive out of water for quite a while, it is best not to hold your pet ghost shrimp.

Attempting to hold your ghost shrimp can cause them a lot of stress.

In addition, they have small and fragile bodies, so touching them could result in injury.

Wrapping Up

Ghost shrimp are excellent pets because of their beautiful appearance, compatibility with many other species, and affordability.

So if you’re looking for a new aquatic pet, the ghost shrimp may be perfect for you!

These crustaceans have specific needs that every owner must meet.

But overall, they are effortless to care for.

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