Get to Know the Ghost Shrimp, Ideal for Easy Aquarium Care

ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimp are colorful crustaceans that make a great addition to aquariums. They can be found in freshwater aquariums, and their care is not far from the regular setup of an aquarium. They require basic care, such as food and water parameters to remain healthy and active. In this post, we will talk about ghost shrimp and the care requirements they need in aquariums.

what is ghost shrimp

What is a Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp, also known as glass shrimp, are small freshwater crustaceans native to the southeast United States. They are almost entirely transparent, making them difficult to spot in certain environments. The species Palaemonetes paludosus is commonly referred to as a ghost shrimp.

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous and can act as a cleanup crew for aquariums. They are bred primarily as food for larger aggressive fish, but can also make great additions to a community tank as they enjoy scavenging and cleaning algae and invertebrates from the aquarium glass.

They can live in water with a temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit, and prefer water with relatively high levels of dissolved oxygen. Ghost shrimp are easy to care for and do well in most aquarium conditions.


Ghost shrimp are almost entirely transparent, making them very hard to spot in certain lighting conditions. They range in size from 2–4 cm and are native to the southeast area of the United States.

Ghost shrimp have cylindrical fecal pellets, arranged in a rectangular pattern. This makes them easy to identify as they pass their feces.

These shrimp also have a pregnant translucent appearance, making them look pregnant when carrying their eggs in a pouch. Ghost shrimp have a marin skeleton with a total length of approximately 1/2 inch, which allows them to move around and function optimally in aquariums.

These shrimp are excellent aquarium inhabitants due to their small size and unique fascinating behaviors. They can be easily cared for with regular water parameters and feedings.

They are an important part of aquatic ecosystems, acting as food for larger fish and scavenging on the bottom of the tank for food scraps and waste materials.


Ghost shrimp have a lifespan of one year on average. This lifespan is extremely short when they are being raised as food for larger tankmates, due to the high demand of food in the community aquarium. Given the right conditions and care, ghost shrimp can live up to two years.

Adults of this shrimp species can grow up to 1.5 to 2 inches in size, making them ideal for small aquariums. These shrimp are not known for their longevity due to their short lifespan. However, they make up for it with their fast breeding rate and appetite for small fish, invertebrates, and plants.

 Ghost shrimp are one of the most popular shrimp species in the aquarium community, due to their adaptability and interesting behaviors.

Ghost Shrimp Diseases

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous shrimp that feed on a wide range of food. They feed primarily on algae, diatoms, and other small plants, but can also feed on decaying plant matter, insect larvae, and aquatic weeds. These shrimp live in freshwater streams and rivers where they feed on the algae that grows in the water.

They are known for their bright colors and have become a popular aquarium fish. However, Ghost Shrimp are prone to two main diseases: Vorticella disease and bacterial infection. Vorticella is caused by a protozoan parasite, which causes the shell of the shrimp to be white or moldy. Bacterial infections are usually fatal and can spread quickly within the aquarium if not treated promptly.

Breeding Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are a freshwater shrimp with a unique lifecycle that requires high oxygen levels to breed. They breed rapidly, and can easily sustain a permanent population in aquariums.

Therefore, they are an ideal shrimp for aquarium enthusiasts who are interested in keeping shrimp but have limited space or budget. The water hardness should be kept between 8-12 dGH with most of the hardness being calcium.

Ghost shrimp require different shrimp species to be kept together in the aquarium as they may interbreed and create offspring with detrimental traits. Therefore, it is important to maintain the ecosystem of your tank and never mix different shrimp species.

Ghost Shrimp Food, Size & Color Range

Ghost shrimp, also known as glass shrimp, is a species of freshwater shrimp native to the southeast area of the United States. They are almost entirely transparent and can be hard to spot in certain environments, such as in a tank with poor lighting or with algae growing on the tank bottom.

Ghost shrimp are omnivores and feed on algae, sinking pellets, blanched vegetables, and invertebrate foods intended for bottom feeders. They usually have a size of around 2 cm and can carry their egg pouches.

Ghost shrimp have a range of colors from translucent to black, making them an ideal aquarium fish that can add variety to a tank ecosystem. They are small but feisty freshwater crustaceans that can be fun to watch as they dart between plants and explore the aquarium.

Ghost Shrimp Size, Shape & Appearance

Ghost Shrimp (also known as glass shrimp) are a small species of freshwater shrimp native to the southeastern United States. They are about 1 1/2 inches in length and the diameter of a pencil eraser when fully grown.

Ghost Shrimp are omnivorous and act as a cleanup crew for algae, leftover food, detritus, and bacteria in aquariums. They are also bred primarily as food for larger fish. In addition to their clear body coloration, ghost shrimp have little humps midway down the length of their tails, making them easy to identify from other shrimp species.

These shrimp have soft shells that make them ideal for aquariums where plants may be delicate or require attention.  They require minimal care and can live for up to five years with proper care.

Ghost Shrimp Lifespan & Molting

Ghost shrimp are small freshwater crustacean crustaceans that can be commonly found in aquariums. They typically live for one year, and over the course of their lifespan, they molt regularly, growing larger and larger in their new exoskeleton.

After this, ghost shrimp are vulnerable until their new shell hardens. These shrimp can be used as feeder fish for larger species in the aquarium. They are small but nutritious fish that help to maintain a healthy aquarium. Overall, ghost shrimp are an essential part of any aquarium. They are small and easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginners interested in exotic pet options.

Appearance & Behavior

Ghost shrimp, also known as palaemonetes paludosus, are small shrimp that are often overlooked in the aquarium community. They tend to be small and hard to spot in certain environments.

These shrimp can be omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant matter and animal flesh. They can be predatory towards other shrimp and snails in the aquarium.

Ghost shrimp are primarily used as a cleanup crew in an aquarium, eating food left behind by other tank inhabitants and bacteria. They are also commonly used as ornamental shrimp for the aquarium.

In addition to their important role in the aquarium community, ghost shrimp can be used as live bait for larger aquarium breeds. They usually feed on smaller fish and crustaceans in the tank, helping keep the ecosystem healthy.

Overall, ghost shrimp are an essential part of any aquarium but tend to fly under the radar due to their small size and cryptic nature.

ghost shrimp tank size

Tank Size For Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are freshwater invertebrates that require a tank size of 5 gallons or larger. A single ghost shrimp can be housed in a 2 gallon tank, but they prefer larger homes with ample swimming space and water changes.

In captivity, ghost shrimp need water conditions that are similar to those of the water in their natural habitat, which means they must be kept stable and clean. To keep the water clean and clear, aquariums should be equipped with a filter and algae-eating invertebrates like ghost shrimp will help keep the tank clean and algae-free.

Ghost shrimp are hardy invertebrates that can handle warm water temperatures of up to 86°F (30°C), but they do best in water between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Also, ghost shrimp are susceptible to water pollution, so it’s important to provide them with an aquarium environment free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.


Ghost shrimp are small invertebrates that require a tank of atra minimum of 5 gallons. Ghost shrimp can thrive in both freshwater and saltwater tanks, but they generally prefer saltwater.

They need the deep water of a gallon or more to breed and live, which is why they are often found in larger aquariums. Lighting for the tank should be sufficient to support the Ghost shrimp without being specific to the species.

Bright lights will limit visibility of the shrimp due to their transparent body. It is possible to have ghost shrimp with suitable tank mates and lighting can be anywhere from bright to dim depending on the desired effect. The temperature of the water in the tank should not be affected by aquarium lights if they are left on throughout the day.

Good And Bad Tank Mates

Ghost shrimp are freshwater shrimp that are often found in community aquariums. They can be small, peaceful fish that are suitable for community aquariums.

They are best with small, peaceful fish such as barbs, goldfish, and tetras. Ghost shrimp should not be kept with aggressive fish such as cichlids and Oscars due to the potential for fights and aggression.

Other tank mates that are suitable for ghost shrimp include other bottom feeders like red cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, and cory catfish.

Shrimp can sometimes be compatible with betta fish in the aquarium, but they may compete for food and space. Other species of shrimp and fish can be good tank mates for ghost shrimp; cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, Kuhli loaches, freshwater snails, cory catfish, and vampire shrimp can all be beneficial to the ecosystem of the aquarium [102, 103].

Tank Size For Ghost Shrimp

Shrimp require a minimum tank size of 5 gallons. They should be kept in tanks of 6–10 gallons. Shrimp can be housed in tanks of both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

For aquarium care, the tank size should be large enough to support the shrimp’s needs, such as hiding places and enough swimming space. The tank size depends on the type of ghost shrimp being maintained, with smaller tanks suitable for single ghost shrimp and larger tanks recommended for groups of ghost shrimp.

Tank stocking density should range from 4 shrimp per gallon of water to facilitate breeding and healthy population growth. A 19 litre or 5 US gallon tank is the ideal size for housing ghost shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp Habitat & Water Parameters

Shrimp prefer warm waters with temperatures ranging from 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They are herbivorous fish and feed on algae, plant matter, and small invertebrates.

Aquarists should maintain a water temperature of 21 to 27 degrees Celsius (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) for ghost shrimp to thrive. Tank water should have high oxygen levels to support breeding and shrimp growth.

Shrimp tanks should have a capacity of atom least 5 gallons. These small shrimp require high oxygen levels in their tank to breed and shed their exoskeleton. Live plants can help oxygenate the water in the tank. They help break down excess organic waste in the water and supply it with nutrients, making it a suitable breeding substrate for ghost shrimp.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Shrimp require high oxygen levels to breed and shed their exoskeletons, so they are best kept in a tank with live plants. A tank for shrimp should have a capacity of at least 5 gallons and be maintained at a consistent temperature of between 71 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Shrimp can be found at most pet stores and typically cost between $0.50 and $3 each.

Shrimp are omnivorous scavengers that can consume almost any type of food, making them an ideal choice for community tanks. They also act as effective scavengers, cleaning the aquarium by prying food from the fins of other fish or snatching small pieces of fish food off the bottom of the tank.

When housing shrimp, water chemistry must be carefully monitored to ensure stability and to prevent fluctuations that could lead to unwellness.

Water Conditions

Shrimp are one of the more popular aquarium fish due to their unique appearance and ability to breed rapidly in captivity. They generally live for 2-3 years and grow up to 2 inches in size.

Shrimp require high oxygen levels to breed and shed their exoskeleton, so it is important that your tank has sufficient capacity and a good biological filter.

Additionally, shrimp thrive under water temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to provide them with an aquarium that is temperature-appropriate. Water quality is also vital to the health of ghost shrimp, so routinely testing the tank water should be a part of your care routine. Finally, provide a safe refuge for the shrimp by providing thick plant cover in your tank.

Ghost Shrimp Care

Shrimp are easy to care for and require a healthy tank environment to thrive. They feed on small aquatic invertebrates, algae, and plant tissue, making them an important species in a fish tank.

They can be easily supplemented with food and water with the addition of calcium. Bright lighting, hiding places, and regular water changes are all essential for maintaining a healthy ghost shrimp population in the aquarium.

To ensure the long-term success of your aquarium, it is vital to regularly check the water parameters and change the water as needed.

ghost shrimp FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ghost shrimp?

The shrimp is a dwarf species of freshwater shrimp that is native to the southeast of the United States. They are omnivorous and can be predatory towards other shrimp, snails, and even baby fish.

Shrimp can act as ornamental shrimp for an aquarium or as live bait for larger breeds. Shrimp are usually bred as food for large aggressive fish. They can also be kept in an aquarium to provide a steady supply of food in the form of baby ghost shrimp.

How do I care for a ghost shrimp?

If you’re interested in keeping freshwater shrimp, glass shrimp are one of the easiest and least expensive to care for. They are scavengers and will clean the aquarium of debris, algae and help reduce nitrates. They are omnivorous and can be predatory towards other shrimp, snails, baby fish and even worms.

To keep glass shrimp healthy and happy, provide them with a varied diet of fresh vegetables and algae flakes. You can also feed them live food such as brine shrimp or crustaceans. Aquarists enjoy breeding glass shrimp and selling their offspring.

What are some common housing requirements for a ghost shrimp?

Some common housing requirements for a ghost shrimp are:

– A freshwater tank with high oxygen levels

– They should be kept in groups, as they are a social species

– Shrimp are scavengers and feed on rotting debris, algae, and bacteria

– To keep them healthy and happy, provide plenty of hiding places like rocks, plants, and driftwood

– Shrimp are sensitive to water parameters and require regular water changes

What are some common food requirements for a ghost shrimp?

Some common food requirements for a shrimp include: plant matter, insect larvae and aquatic weeds. They can also be fed pellets or feeders that have a variety of plant-based foods. In captivity, shrimp can be fed algae pellets, flakes, vegetable matter or live plants to help improve the water’s oxygen levels.

Are Ghost Shrimp and Bamboo Shrimp Compatible for Breeding in an Aquarium?

When considering breeding bamboo shrimp in an aquarium, it is important to understand their compatibility with other species like ghost shrimp. While ghost shrimp can be kept together with bamboo shrimp, successful breeding may not occur. Ghost shrimp are known to be more aggressive feeders, often outcompeting the bamboo shrimp for food. Therefore, it is advisable to separate the two species if you want to follow breeding bamboo shrimp instructions.

What are some common activities that a ghost shrimp can be kept busy with?

Some common activities that shrimp can be kept busy with in an aquarium are scavenging, feeders, and nitrate reduction.

Scavenging is the primary activity of shrimp. They actively search for food in the aquarium, which can include leftover food, detritus, bacteria, algae, decaying plant matter, and insect larvae.

Ghost shrimp are also great at reducing nitrates within the aquarium. This is because they feed on food that contains nitrates, such as leftovers from fish feedings or dead fish. In the wild, shrimp feed on diatoms, green algae, plant matter, and other organic materials. This means that they can help to keep your aquarium nitrate levels low and running smoothly!

Finally, shrimp can be used as live feeders for larger carnivorous fish. This way, your fish will be getting the essential nutrients it needs while also getting some extra exercise!

Millie Douglas

Millie Douglas

Hi, I'm Millie a passionate fish enthusiast and blogger. I loves learning about all kinds of aquatic creatures, from tropical fish to stingrays.

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