Care Of Ghost Shrimp 101: A Complete Guide & Breeding Tips

Are you thinking about adding a little watery flair to your aquarium? Ghost shrimps (or glass shrimps) make an excellent choice for first-time fish keepers – and if you’re keeping them, it’s essential to know how to take care of Ghost shrimp properly.

With so much clashing information on how to care for and breed ghost shrimp, it can often feel impossible to get the facts straight. 

You’ve waded through a mountain of opinions and unhelpful ideas from pet stores that need to be more.

As a beginner shrimp keeper, you know things could go wrong without accurate advice.

care of ghost shrimp

But with Care for Glass Shrimp 101 –A Complete Guide, you can rest easy. Our guide has step-by-step instructions, helpful tips, and expert advice to help you set up the perfect environment for your shrimp colony.

Understanding Ghost Shrimp Natural Habitat and Origin

Ghost shrimp, called glass shrimp, scientifically known as Palaemonetes paludosus, are small crustaceans that make fantastic additions to freshwater aquariums.

With their transparent bodies and intriguing behavior, ghost, also known as glass shrimp, have become popular among aquarists of all skill levels.

These peaceful creatures are native to North America and can be found in freshwater bodies such as rivers, ponds, and swamps.

Shrimp Ghost

Ghost shrimp are a famous freshwater crustacean found in several lakes around North America. Although aquaculture is a common practice, it must be clarified where it originates. Nevertheless, the earliest formal classification occurred in the early 1800s, and that’s sometime before.

Even though they were fascinating to see initially, they have become a prevalent sight. The tanks are rarely added to the community or used chiefly as feed. 

Ghost Shrimp Size, Shape & Appearance

Ghost shrimp are usually a length of 1-3 inches. When grown, the Ghost Shrimp’s width is usually approximately the same width as a pencil eraser. Ghost Shrimp is thinner and smoother than Amano Shrimp. Ghost shrimp have a small hump about halfway down.

Unlike other shrimps, they are similar to smaller fish. Despite these similarities, they have differences. One significant difference in the sizes of these creatures is their flexibility. Glass Shrimp has a softer shell than crabfish.

The bodies of the Shrimp ghost are transparent, making it difficult to see their organs. One can easily spot their antennae and eyes when looking at them from the top view. They have a long, slender body structure with advantages and disadvantages.

The overview is that it allows them to move quickly through tight spaces and narrows, while the disadvantage is they lack protection against predators.

Are Ghost Shrimp Easy to Care for?

The treatment of ghost shrimps is pretty simple. They’re active invertebrates, tirelessly searching for food sources in their tank.

These shrimps are always on the move when stored in tanks that are not ‘too dirty’ or dirty. They’ll be doing well as long as their community tank is kept clean.

One of the crucial matters to remember when caring for ghost shrimp is that they are susceptible to water tank quality changes.

They need plenty of oxygen and clean, filtered water to survive. Be sure to check the tank water parameters often and ensure they’re within the recommended ranges.

In addition, it’s important to remember that berried ghost shrimp are sensitive to copper-based medications, so avoid using any copper-based products in their tank.

How to Care for Ghost Shrimp?

How to take care of ghost shrimp? When caring for ghost shrimp, you want to provide them with a healthy and safe tank environment. This means having the proper parameters, like temperature, pH level, and water hardness.

Aside from that, you should also include plenty of hiding spots in the tank for your ghost shrimp to feel safe.

Additionally, it would be best to give them plenty of places to feed, such as submerged vegetation and live foods. Ghost shrimp also love to graze on algae, so that you could give them a rock or driftwood with plenty of algae.

Do Ghost Shrimp Help Clean Tank?

The answer is yes! Ghost shrimp are scavengers, which will help keep your tank clean. They feed on detritus and excess food, which helps keep your tank clean and clear. They also help to break down waste materials, further improving the water tank quality in your tank.

In addition to their cleaning duties, ghost shrimp are great at aerating the substrate. They move around a lot and constantly dig through the substrate, aiding in oxygenating and loosening it.

Finally, ghost shrimp may even help with control. They will graze on unwanted algae and keep it in check. They may also help reduce the population of excess pests such as snails, which can benefit their environment.

NOTE: Did you know that Ghost Shrimp are not picky eaters? They will even devour their fallen tank mates, including dead fish and dead shrimp. Keeping their tank clean and well-maintained is essential to prevent any casualties.

What Do Ghost Shrimp Need to Survive As Pets?

To keep ghost shrimp as pets, you must provide them with the right living environment. This means having a tank large enough for them to swim around and plenty of hiding places and aquatic plants.

You must also ensure your tank water parameters are within the recommended ranges for ghost shrimp.

You should also provide your ghost shrimp with plenty of food. They love to feed on live foods and algae, so that you can give them the occasional treat like freeze-dried bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Ghost shrimp will also appreciate having a variety of plant material in their tank, which helps to keep the diet balanced.

Can You Breed Ghost Shrimp in Aquariums?

You could breed ghost shrimps, although this is not a beginner breed. It is necessary to purchase an enclosure for them. Young prawns are particularly vulnerable to other fishes. The tank is quite simple, with just a straightforward sponge filtering system.

A sponge filter prevents tiny Shrimp from entering the filter. We strongly recommend using a living plant in your tank for optimum conditions for baby shrimp.

They are beautiful additions to any tank but also serve as food and hiding spots in which your hatchlings hide. For people who don’t like live plants, driftwood is a natural alternative. Driftwood is also helpful in maintaining pH levels.

It is also necessary to give them enough food and oxygen as they feed mainly on phytoplankton and algae, providing essential nutrients for the prawns’ growth.

Ghost Shrimp Behavior and Temperament

As much as many other shrimps do, ghost shrimps have a peaceful nature, so it is easy for them to stay quiet. They spend most of their time lying under tanks, stealing food, or hiding from predators.

They hide behind crevasses and caves during ghost shrimp molting to protect against predators. The shell will still have to change and harden from the inside. They do not have a social component in large community tanks and are usually kept away from the other fish species but are generally quiet.

They are an entertaining shrimp species and can offer fun to the hobbyist. Ghost shrimp often give people something exciting to observe in aquariums, especially if they have a custom-made tank for them.

Ghost Shrimp Lifespan

Ghost shrimp generally last about 1-2 years. Nevertheless, it does not represent an average timeframe, as certain species may live less and more based on their environments and the food they are fed.

In addition to being kept in the tank, some aquarists add Ghost shrimps to feed other giant squid. Ghost shrimp care has never been an aquarist’s priority for most ghost shrimp, and they are deprived of suitable housing and, therefore, prematurely die in the tanks. The molting processes of their lifecycles are also essential for them.

Ghost Shrimp Food: (Feeding and Nutrition)

Ghost shrimp will likely spend most of their day grazing on algae and biofilms growing in tanks. You can find them wandering the surface, constantly looking for things. This can be accomplished by using glass feeding plates. Shrimps eat messy food.

They also consume various food, including brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other aquatic worms. You can also provide them with bits of vegetable matter like spinach or cucumber slices. Regardless of what you feed shrimps, they will surely appreciate it.

Ghost shrimp are scavengers and therefore have an omnivorous diet. They take fish food and are also known to eat algae, biofilms, and uneaten food from other fish. A balanced ghost shrimp diet is essential for their survival in captivity.

It would help if you fed them small amounts of food multiple times a day, providing them with the most nutrition without overfeeding them.

Finally, keeping the water clean and maintaining good water conditions is essential. This will help ensure that your Ghost shrimps enjoy a long, healthy life in your tank.

Note: A glass feeding dish is recommended when providing sustenance for a ghost shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp Tank & Water Requirements

Any aquarist looking for ghost shrimps should ensure the first substrate ghost shrimp tank remains warm. Temperatures should range from 72-84°F (22 – 29°C). It is also critical to note that ghost shrimps prefer slightly acidic or neutral water, with a pH of 6.5 to 8.5 and hardness levels of 5-20 dGH.

Ghost shrimp enjoy living in tanks with enough hiding spots like driftwood and rocks. They also like to be near the ground, so sand or fine gravel is best for them.

It is important to note that ghost shrimps are very sensitive to water changes, so it is necessary to maintain stable parameters to keep them healthy. You should also ensure that the fish tank is well aerated with plenty of oxygen as they feed mainly on phytoplankton and algae.

Finally, it is essential to remember to always clean your aquarium regularly by doing partial water changes and vacuuming the substrate to keep the environment healthy for your ghost shrimps.

Ghost Shrimp Care and Tank Set-up

Creating a suitable environment is crucial for the well-being of your glass shrimp. Here are vital tips to consider when setting up their aquarium:

  • Tank Size: A 10-gallon tank or larger is recommended, with plenty of hiding spots. Ghost shrimp do best when kept in small tank in groups of at least five or more.
  • Substrate: Use a soft and not abrasive substrate, like fine sand or gravel.
  • Filtration: Filters should be powerful enough to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated.
  • Plants & Décor: Add plenty of hiding areas for your shrimp ghost to hide. This can include live plants, rocks, driftwood, and more.
  • Temperature: The ideal temperature range for ghost shrimps is 72-84°F (22 – 29°C).
  • Lighting: Ghost shrimps need darkness to thrive, so do not overlight the tank.
  • Water Quality: Keep the water clean and good quality.

By following the guidelines above, you can set up an excellent environment for your Shrimp and ensure they have a healthy life in captivity. Furthermore, taking good care of them will give them the best chance of survival.

Ghost Shrimp Tank Size and Placement

A 10-gallon (38 liters) or larger aquarium is recommended for housing ghost shrimp. The larger the fish tank, the more stable the water parameters will be. Place the tank away from direct sunlight and ensure it is on a stable surface to prevent accidents.

Ghost shrimps prefer to stay close to the bottom of the tank, so it is better to add a soft sand or fine gravel substrate to burrow in. They also like plenty of hiding areas, such as rocks and driftwood; live plants can be added for additional depth.

It is essential not to place the tank too close to other tanks or aquariums, as ghost shrimps are very sensitive to water changes.

If multiple tanks are placed nearby, they will likely share the same water parameters. This might be harmful and should be avoided to keep your ghost shrimp safe and healthy.

Substrate and Decorations

Choose sand or fine gravel for the substrate, as ghost shrimp love to dig and scavenge for food particles. Adding plants like Java moss, Java fern, or Marimo balls enhances the aesthetic appeal and provides hiding spots and resting places for your ghost shrimp molt.

Filtration and Aeration

A sound filtration system is essential to maintain water quality. A sponge or low-flow sponge filter works well for ghost shrimp tanks, as strong currents can stress them. Additionally, consider adding an air stone or a gentle air pump to provide adequate aeration.


Ghost shrimp prefer subdued lighting conditions. Use low-intensity light or provide them with hiding spots to create a comfortable environment. Avoid intense or direct lighting, as it may cause stress.

Water Parameters and Quality

Maintaining suitable water parameters is crucial for the health and longevity of your ghost shrimp. Here are the ideal water conditions:

  • Temperature: 72-84°F (22 – 29°C)
  • pH Level: 7.2 to 8.0
  • Water Hardness: Soft to medium

Always clean your aquarium regularly by doing partial water changes and vacuuming the substrate to keep the environment healthy for your ghost shrimps.

Ideal Ghost Shrimp Temperature

Ghost shrimp thrive in a temperature range of 70-80°F (21-27°C). Use a dependable aquarium heater to maintain a stable temperature within this range.

Feeding Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous scavengers, so they will happily feed on leftover food from other tank inhabitants, algae wafers, and sinking pellets. Feed them twice daily in small portions that they can finish within a few minutes. Avoid overfeeding your ghost shrimps to prevent water quality issues.

pH Level

Aim for a slightly alkaline pH level between 7.2 and 8.0. Regularly monitor the pH using a test kit and make necessary adjustments using appropriate pH buffers.

Adjusting Water Hardness

Ghost shrimp prefer moderately hard water with a dGH (degrees of General Hardness) between 6 and 12. Adjust the water hardness using additives if necessary.

Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate Levels

Ghost shrimp are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite. It is important to cycle your aquarium correctly and maintain undetectable levels of these harmful compounds. Regular water changes are essential to control nitrate levels below 20 ppm.

Algae and Vegetables

Provide ghost shrimp with algae-based foods such as spirulina fish flakes or pellets. Blanched vegetables like spinach, zucchini, or kale are also great additions to their diet. Ensure that any vegetables are thoroughly washed and free from pesticides before feeding.

Protein-Rich Foods

Supplement their diet with protein-rich foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, or small pieces of fish or Shrimp. You can offer these as live, frozen, or freeze-dried options.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your shrimp small amounts of food once or twice a day. Be mindful not to overfeed, as excess food can lead to water quality issues. Remove any leftover food after a few hours to maintain water cleanliness.

Ghost Shrimp Behavior and Compatibility

Understanding the behavior and compatibility of ghost shrimp is crucial when creating a harmonious community tank. Here are a few shrimp with some essential points to consider:

Peaceful Nature

Ghost shrimp are generally peaceful and non-aggressive towards other shrimp species and tank mates. However, they may become prey to larger, more aggressive fish or invertebrates like betta fish and cichlids. Therefore, choose tank mates carefully to ensure the safety of your Shrimp.

Schooling Preference

Ghost Shrimp feel more secure and exhibit natural behaviors when kept in groups. A group of at least five to seven shrimps is recommended to create a thriving community.

Suitable Ghost Shrimp Tank Mates

Ghost Shrimp tankmates are small, non-aggressive community tank fish that can’t be eatable. This will last very little with Goldfish, Oscars, Sand cichlids, and Frog Turtles.

Suitable tanks for glass shrimp can also contain others of this kind, including Bamboo Shrimp (alias Wood Shrimp), Vampire Shrimp (alias Vipers Shrimp), Amano Shrimp, which means are more giant, red Cherry Shrimp, Nectar Shrimp,

Molting Behavior

Ghost shrimp undergo regular molting, shedding their exoskeleton as they grow. During this process, they may become more vulnerable to aggression from tank mates. Provide plenty of hiding spots and dense vegetation to offer them a safe retreat during molting.

Breeding Ghost Shrimp Tips

Breeding ghost shrimps in a home aquarium can be a fascinating experience. Here’s an overview of the breeding process:

Male-Female Differentiation

Distinguishing between male and female ghost shrimp can be challenging. However, females tend to have a rounder and giant underbelly, while males appear slightly smaller and slimmer.

Breeding Tank Set-up

Prepare a separate breeding tank with suitable water parameters and ample hiding places. Provide floating plants like Indian Almond leaves or moss to create a conducive environment for the breeding process.

Molting and Mating

Before mating, the female Shrimp will molt, indicating she is ready to breed. The male will fertilize the female’s eggs by depositing sperm packets, which she will carry and fertilize internally.

Larval Stage

After fertilization, the female will release thousands of eggs that will hatch into larvae. The larvae undergo several stages before developing into miniature replicas of adult ghost shrimps. They require specialized care and a separate tank to ensure survival.

Best Plants for Ghost Shrimp Tank

As mentioned above, sand and gravel are the most suitable materials for the glass shrimp tanks. These are easy to dig through but do little harm to keeping ghost shrimp out when they’re looking to eat. But using a substrate is not enough.

In addition, it should be filled with various water-based living plants so that they recreate their habitats in lakes and streams. Plants, including java, grass, and hornwort, form the most attractive living plant matter types. 

Lighting your Ghost Shrimp Tank

Why Are Light and Aquarium Important? Fish and Shrimp don’t need light. We can see this in the aquarium, but we don’t have animals that use solar cells to receive the necessary sunlight. Several animals require shade to retreat.

They can feel more relaxed. Shrimp Ghost is good in bright light. Let them hide a bit to hide their shyness and eliminate the light. If there are live plants in your fish tank that size ghost shrimp will like, set up a lighting system based on its requirements. They can go on in both directions.

Ghost Shrimp Common Diseases and Treatment

Like any invertebrate in the aquarium, ghost shrimp live and are vulnerable to some waterborne diseases, which aquarists must be informed about. The most common illness which affects ghost shrimp is vertical.

It’s caused by algae that shrimp eat, making their shells white and moldy in nature and texture. Vorticella bacteria can cause other problems in the Shrimp.

Generally, if your Shrimp appears very fatigued or shows bright pink marks on its shell showing swelling, this indicates poor water conditions.

Fixing the water quality and adjusting the salinity can cure vorticella. If the Shrimp’s condition doesn’t improve, remove the infected Shrimp from the tank and quarantine it.

Unlike other live feeder species, such as feeder fish and blood worms that can carry harmful parasites, Glass Shrimp pose a much lower risk of carrying disease. This is because Ghost Shrimp are invertebrates and, therefore, exempt from the potential of being disease carriers. Keep your aquarium safe and healthy by choosing Shrimp as your go-to feeding option.

Common Health Issues and Care Tips

Ensuring optimal health for your Shrimp is vital. Here are some common health issues and ghost shrimp care tips:

Poor Water Quality

Maintain excellent water quality by regularly monitoring and adjusting the water temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels, and water hardness. Perform regular water changes to remove accumulated toxins and maintain a stable environment.

Molting Problems

Ghost shrimp may occasionally encounter issues during the molting process. Ensure the presence of ample calcium in the water to support the growth of a new exoskeleton. Adding a cuttlebone or crushed coral to the tank can help provide a calcium source.

Parasitic and Bacterial Infections

Parasitic infections can affect ghost shrimp, leading to symptoms like lethargy, discoloration, or abnormal behavior. Quarantine new additions before introducing them to the main tank to prevent the spread of diseases. If necessary, consult a veterinarian specializing in aquatic creatures for diagnosis and treatment options.

Stress Management

Maintaining a stress-free environment is crucial for the well-being of ghost shrimp. Avoid sudden changes in water parameters and temperature or introduce aggressive tank mates. Provide them with ample hiding spots, dense vegetation, and suitable tank mates to

Ghost Shrimp Breeding Tips

If you house adult ghost shrimp to raise them, going overboard is unnecessary. Make sure they stay in the same tank as their species and without predators. This Shrimp will breed naturally in a situation with no predators and no external pressures.

The creation of breeding tanks is crucial if you have a swarm of ghost shrimp in an area. Transfer female and male ghost shrimp to breeding tanks and wait for eggs in their leg area. It produces between 20-30 per batch. The males then take a step toward these males to feed their eggs.

Minimize stress levels. You can also consider adding Utricularia graminifolia, a floating aquatic plant that helps reduce stress in Shrimp and other aquatic creatures. This particular plant is well-known for its ability to create a sanctuary for shrimps and other aquatic creatures.

If you successfully breed ghost shrimp, you should keep the water parameters stable and add some food for them. When raising ghost shrimp, Keep an eye on their growth and health to ensure they are not overcrowded. If you plan on keeping the young ones, provide them with enough swimming space so they can grow and thrive.

How to Care for Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

When a female Ghost Shrimp is pregnant, she will carry the eggs around for about a week to 10 days before they hatch. During this time, providing her with a clean, safe environment is essential.

Ensure the water parameters and fish tank are in check and that there are no predators or other threats in the tank. Feed her a nutritious diet, and create plenty of hiding places for her to feel secure. Once the eggs hatch, remove them from the tank to prevent other fish from eating them.

Once newcomers are big enough to fend for themselves, the fry should be introduced back into the main tank. With the proper care, your adult shrimp should be able to produce a healthy batch of fry!

Commonly Asked Questions about Caring for Ghost Shrimp (FAQ)

Do Ghost Shrimps Jump Out of the Tank?

Ghost shrimps dwell on the ground, so you can’t see them swimming in the tank below them. They have meager chances of escaping the tank.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Fish Poop?

Ghost shrimp occasionally eat small fish and poop. Nevertheless, they don’t eat anything but watch them or just sniff it up.

Are Ghost Shrimp Freshwater?

Yes, glass shrimp are freshwater animals. They prefer to live clean with a pH range of 65-8 and temperatures between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit. They might also survive in various temperatures but will not thrive.

Do Ghost Shrimp Need a Filter?

Ghost shrimps don’t need a filter, but it is recommended. A sponge filter can help keep their tanks clean and provide oxygenation to the water. It is also suitable for keeping their environment stable and reducing the amount of ammonia and nitrite in the tank.

Do Ghost Shrimp Need to be in Pairs?

Ghost Shrimp seem happy to be able to live in larger groups if there is enough room for them. The glass shrimp may aggressively fight against each other depending on the group size.

Are Ghost Shrimp Hard to Take Care of?

It is relatively simple to treat ghost crabs. They are highly active and busy insects that constantly seek food. These shrimps are always on their way when they have a tank that could be cleaner.

What Eats Ghost Shrimp?

Predators, such as fish, crabs, and larger fish invertebrates, can eat ghost shrimp. Some familiar tank mates known to eat ghost shrimp include cichlids, crayfish, and certain types of catfish.


In conclusion, taking care of ghost shrimp feeder fish is a rewarding hobby that can be easily enjoyed. Although they are a small and seemingly insignificant crustacean species, these animals have many attractive qualities that make them great additions to any aquarium. Not only do ghost shrimp offer aesthetic benefits in their home environment, but with the proper care and maintenance, they can breed successfully and bring entertainment as well.

However, it’s important to remember that freshwater shrimp require attention and knowledge of their needs to keep them healthy. Researching their habitat parameters is critical to ensure optimal conditions for their well-being. By exercising the proper precautions and taking the time to understand the best methods of care for ghost shrimp on the market today, you can rest assured that your tankmates will thrive under your watchful eye!

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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