Ghost Shrimp Breed: Unlock 7 Secrets of Successful Breeding

Do ghost shrimp breed easily? Is it something you’ve wanted to try for a long time but have yet to know how to get started and ensure your efforts were successful? If so, then this definitive guide is for you!

This article explores the critical steps in breeding ghost shrimp and the key aspects of their biology, nutrition, and environment that must be considered when attempting such a rewarding task.

With an increased understanding of all these factors, plus plenty of patience and due diligence—you can become a successful breeder of ghost shrimp.

care of ghost shrimp

Read on to learn more about unlocking success with ghost shrimp reproduction.

Do Ghost Shrimp Breed Easily?

Yes, ghost shrimp, also called glass shrimp or freshwater shrimp, are relatively easy to breed. They are popular in the aquarium hobby due to their small size, peaceful nature, and engaging behavior.

Creating the right environment and conditions makes it easy to see success in breeding ghost shrimps.

What You Must Know About Ghost Shrimp Breeding:

When attempting to breed any species of aquatic life—it’s essential to be aware of their specific needs and requirements for successful reproduction. 

Here are the top essential things to know about ghost shrimp breeding:

  • Temperature: Ghost shrimp prefer cooler water temperatures, typically between 68-74°F. Maintaining this temperature range with a thermostat or aquarium heater is crucial if needed.
  • Diet: A varied, nutritious diet is essential for healthy reproduction in any species of aquatic life. Ghost shrimp are no exception! They need a varied diet of algae, zooplankton, detritus, and other organic material.
  • Environment: Ghost shrimp need plenty of hiding spots in caves, rocks, or driftwood to feel safe and secure. This will also give them places to spawn and produce eggs.
  • Breeding Habits: Ghost shrimp form monogamous pairs that remain together for an extended period, sometimes even throughout the entire spawning season.
  • Spawning Season: The best time to breed ghost shrimp is during their natural spawning season, which typically runs from around April-August.

How Many Babies Do Ghost Shrimp Have?

Ghost shrimp typically give birth to between 5 and 70 babies at a time, with the exact number of offspring depending on the individual female’s age, health, and size. On average, a ghost shrimp can produce about 30-50 babies when they reach sexual maturity (age 1-2 months).

Ghost shrimp pregnancy
Ghost shrimp pregnancy

The young ghost shrimp are released into the water shortly after birth; in terms of care for their young, ghost shrimps do not provide any parental supervision.

Ghost Shrimp Breed: Unlock the Secrets of Successful Raising

Ghost shrimp breeding is an art that requires patience, knowledge, and attention to detail. Following the proper steps and providing the ideal conditions can create an environment where ghost shrimp flourish and reproduce. Let’s delve into the secrets of successful ghost shrimp breeding:

Creating the Ideal Habitats

To kick-start the breeding process, you need to create an ideal habitat for your adult ghost shrimp. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Water Parameters: Ghost shrimp thrive in freshwater aquariums with a pH level of 7.2 to 8.0 and a temperature range of 71°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C).
  • Tank Size: Provide enough space for the shrimp to roam and breed comfortably. A breeding tank with a minimum capacity of 10 gallons is recommended.
  • Substrate: Use fine gravel or sand as the substrate, allowing the shrimp to burrow and scavenge for food.
  • Plants and Decorations: Live plants and hiding spots like caves or driftwood provide a sense of security for the shrimp and encourage breeding.

Selecting Healthy Breeding Stock

The success of your glass shrimp breeding venture heavily relies on selecting healthy breeding stock. Follow these guidelines when choosing your shrimp:

  • Gender Identification: Distinguish between male and female shrimp by examining their abdomens. Females have a rounder and larger abdomen compared to males.
  • Vibrant Colors: opt for shrimp with vibrant colors, as it is an indication of their overall health and vitality.
  • Active Behavior: Look for vibrant and lively shrimp. Avoid those that appear lethargic or show signs of illness.
  • Avoiding Inbreeding: Introduce new shrimp from different sources to prevent inbreeding and maintain genetic diversity.

Providing Optimal Nutrition

A well-balanced diet is crucial for adult ghost shrimp’s health and breeding success. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Variety is Key: Offer a diverse diet of high-quality shrimp pellets, algae wafers, blanched vegetables (such as spinach or zucchini), and occasional protein-rich treats like brine shrimp or bloodworms.
  • Feed in Moderation: Ghost shrimp have tiny appetites, so avoid overfeeding. Provide small portions that can be consumed within a few minutes, removing any uneaten food promptly.

Triggering Breeding Behavior

It would help if you created the proper conditions to encourage ghost shrimp to breed. Here are a few techniques to stimulate breeding behavior:

  • Increase Temperature: Gradually raise the water temperature by a few degrees to simulate the onset of the breeding season.
  • Photoperiod Manipulation: Adjust the lighting duration to mimic the changing seasons. Decrease the daily light exposure to 8-10 hours to simulate winter, gradually increasing it to 12-14 hours to mimic spring.

Providing Breeding Accessories

It is essential to provide the right accessories in your ghost shrimp tank. To facilitate successful breeding,

  • Moss or Mesh: Adding moss or a fine mesh can serve as a breeding ground for the shrimp. They will attach their eggs to these surfaces.
  • Breeding Boxes: Utilize breeding boxes or mesh containers to separate pregnant females from the rest of the population, protecting the eggs from potential predation.

Identifying and Caring for Eggs

Once your shrimp successfully breed, it’s essential to identify and care for their eggs:

  • Egg Identification: Ghost shrimp eggs are tiny and greenish. They are usually found attached to the female’s swimmerets.
  • Separating Pregnant Females: Move the pregnant ghost shrimp to a separate tank or container to prevent other shrimp species from consuming the eggs.
  • Water Quality Maintenance: Ensure optimal water conditions by performing regular water changes and maintaining proper filtration. High water quality is crucial for the survival of the eggs.

Hatching and Raising the Fry

Watching the eggs hatch and raising the baby ghost shrimp is an exciting part of ghost shrimp breeding. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Hatching Period: Ghost shrimp eggs typically hatch within two to three weeks. During this time, ensure stable water conditions and avoid disturbances in the breeding tank.
  • Feeding the Fry: The shrimp fry will consume microscopic organisms and biofilm in the tank once hatched. Supplement their diet with liquid fry food or powdered shrimp food.
  • Gradual Introductions: When the baby ghost shrimp reaches a specific size, you can introduce them back into the main tank, providing ample hiding spots and avoiding larger tank mates that may prey on them.

Feeding Baby Brine Shrimp To Your Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

During pregnancy, mature ghost shrimp should have baby brine shrimp as they are a good source of protein.

The high nutrients are beneficial in their recovery and boost their immunity. Remember, pregnant ghost shrimp should be fed baby shrimp plankton.

Ghost Shrimps in their Natural Habitat

Ghost Shrimp live on fresh and lightly brackish seas throughout the Eastern USA. A simple method is to dive in the water near shorelines and docks and find some of the best ghost shrimps.

The transparent limbs and the cryptic mottled colors offer excellent camouflage in the dark shade caused by tangled aquatic vegetation.

Glass shrimp are generally viewed as opaque, and frequently, the fish feel exposed and stressed. Avoid purchasing shrimps whose color has become white; these shrimp will die within minutes.

The translucent pigments are a signal of healthy living in frogs! Ghost shrimp prefer similar arrangements to an aquarium: full vegetation cover and preferably live plants.

Do Ghost Shrimp Reproduce in Tanks?

Will ghost shrimp breed in an aquarium? Ghost shrimp breeding in freshwater aquariums is widespread. They will likely reproduce in your tank if you provide the right conditions and food.

The breeding process can take weeks to two months, depending on the breeding tank size and water conditions. It is vital to provide the right environment, accessories, and food. To ensure successful breeding,

It is also essential to monitor water quality and temperature levels to ensure optimal conditions for breeding.

How to Breed Ghost Shrimp

Breeding glass shrimp can be a challenging and time-consuming task. With so many changeable to consider, it’s easy to make mistakes that could endanger the health and well-being of your shrimp.

Not only might you be wasting time and resources, but you also risk losing your investment if you don’t breed correctly. That’s why finding reliable information is critical. 

This How To Breed Ghost Shrimp video series provides step-by-step instructions for successful grass shrimp breeding and tips for maintaining healthy shrimp in an aquarium. Get the knowledge and peace of mind knowing that your shrimp will start multiplying in no time!

What Is the Best Way to Breed Ghost Shrimp?

The best way to breed ghost shrimp is by providing them with suitable living and breeding conditions. To do this, you must provide the perfect environment in your tank or aquarium, provide proper nutrition, maintain good water quality and temperature levels, and utilize suitable accessories like breeding boxes or mesh containers.

Additionally, monitoring the tank regularly and performing daily maintenance tasks such as removing uneaten food, cleaning filter media, and performing regular water changes are essential.

By following these main tips, you can ensure your shrimp have the best chance of successful breeding in captivity.

What Is the Hardest Part About Breeding Ghost Shrimps?

The hardest part about breeding shrimp is keeping the young fry alive. This species of freshwater shrimp is very delicate and have a short life span, making it challenging to ensure the survival of their offspring.

The water conditions they breed must be monitored carefully and kept at an optimal temperature and PH level to reproduce successfully.

Additionally, since these small shrimp species are so small, it can take time to find food sources they can consume easily while still providing them with all the necessary nutrients for growth and development.

Ensuring accurate feeding schedules and avoiding overcrowding during breeding are essential considerations when raising healthy ghost shrimp populations.

What Shrimp Can Ghost Shrimp Breed With?

Ghost shrimp can breed with other freshwater shrimp species, especially those belonging to the genus Neocaridina. Specifically, they can produce cherry Shrimp, Amano, and honeycomb/bee shrimp. 

The best way to ensure successful shrimp breeding is to keep a ratio of one male ghost shrimp for every three females per separate aquarium. This will allow each female enough space while avoiding overcrowding and reducing competition among the males.

When creating an aquarium habitat for breeding ghost shrimp, it’s essential to provide plenty of vegetation plus hiding places to reduce stress levels and encourage mating behavior within the group.

Additionally, you must make sure that the tank water temperature is appropriate (typically 68-79° F) and that water chemistry is slightly acidic (pH 6-7). 

Once ready, both sexes will engage in courtship rituals before eventually mating as they release their eggs into open waters.

The female will then carry her fertilized eggs until hatching time arrives – usually within 2-3 weeks, depending on conditions such as temperature and cleanliness – after which she’ll release them into the water column for further development outside her body until adulthood at about eight weeks old. 

How Many Species of Ghost Shrimp Are There?

There are currently three recognized species of ghost shrimp: Palaemonetes paludosus, Palaemonetes kadiakensis, and Palaemonetes juliae. All three species share some similarities in coloration, with most having a translucent white body with black stripes.

However, they also differ in size and habitat, with P. paludosus typically living in marshes and ponds, while P. kadiakensis inhabits lakes and rivers.

Ghost shrimp are incredibly adaptable creatures that survive in various environments, from brackish water to freshwater streams and even artificial habitats like aquariums and ponds.

They are considered a pest species in some areas due to their ability to reproduce quickly, which can lead to overpopulation in specific habitats if left unchecked.

However, they also serve an important role in the ecosystem as they are natural scavengers and provide an essential food source for larger aquatic creatures such as fish.

How Long Does It Take to Breed Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimps can become pregnant throughout their adult lives, typically between 3 to 9 months. The laying and fertilization process of their eggs usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.

Look for early indications that your female ghost shrimp will begin to lay eggs, visible within days of fertilization.

Once the eggs are visible, they’ll take 10 to 12 days to hatch into ghost shrimp larvae and reach adult size within eight weeks. The total breeding cycle of ghost shrimp takes an average of 2-3 months.

Ghost Shrimp Tank Size & Requirements

Ghost shrimp are small and don’t require a huge tank to survive. If you provide ample room to swim and hide out of sight, they should thrive in tanks as small as 5 gallons.

However, bigger is always better for any aquarium fish habitat, and a 10-gallon tank is a much more suitable size for a thriving ghost shrimp colony.

When setting up your ghost shrimp tank, providing plenty of vegetation and hiding places such as rocks, driftwood, and aquarium plants is essential. This will help decrease stress levels and create an environment where they can quickly breed without competition from other species.

You should also provide a fish tank with a sandy substrate or fine gravel, as ghost shrimp are bottom dwellers and feel more secure in these substrates. Additionally, make sure to use an appropriate aquarium filter suitable for your size and type of tank.

Ghost Shrimp and Live Plants

If there is something to choose from the tree, the Ghost Shrimps will be happy with your choice. See our guide to low-light aquariums for easy options for Ghost Shrimp tanks.

Rock, driftwood, or other tank decoration allows ghost shrimp to climb, perch, and explore! Make a creative idea and do as much as you want: the better the security of Ghost Shrimp, the more it stays open.

Feeding Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimps can efficiently scavenge in aquariums. It will eat everything naturally and will not move. Leftover fish food will satisfy your appetite for food.

Because of the transparency of the animal’s gastrointestinal system, it is usually seen that ghost shrimp eat more food and have bright colors when fed brightly colored flakes.

They are very competitive, too, and often try to steal the flake and go out rather than share. Ghost shrimp takes bits of water if they are hungry for it.

Ghost Shrimp Care and Tank Set-up

Contrary to what people think, ghost shrimps are highly susceptible to predatory activities, particularly in waterways and lakes that contain many fish.

Therefore, if a person is putting in tanks in a similar environment compared to other tanks, it is critical to adapt to their surroundings quickly and accurately.

The small size of these shrimps can often be found in the smaller fish tank with just enough room inside. This article explains the basic tank configuration for your comfort as a beginner.

Firstly, you need to ensure that the temperature is kept in the 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit range. For this purpose, a heater or temperature regulator is recommended.

For filtration, a sponge filter helps to keep the water clean and clear of any dirt. For the substrate, you could use either sand or fine gravel. The substrate must also be deep enough for your ghost shrimps to burrow and hide.

Finally, add plenty of decorations such as rocks, driftwood, or aquarium plants for your shrimps to explore and hide in. This will help reduce stress levels for the shrimps and create a more secure environment for them to live in and breed.

Ghost Shrimp Breeding Setup

It can be difficult for a ghost shrimp to grow and mature. They can be called lower-order shrimp and have planktonic swimming phases, which begin in the early stages when the adult morphs. Usually, like cherries and bees, shrimp look more like small fish than kids.

When they are born, they are very close to vision and often sighted without glasses. In typical aquariums, glass shrimp rarely develop beyond the first few years.

The Mating Process of Ghost Shrimp

A breeding process is similar to that for a dwarf shrimp. During the breeding phase, the molting takes place. Eventually, her Phenomones train male searchers. It fertilizes the eggs inside the body.

The semen then is held underneath her abdominal cavity on her ovaries, and here the eggs develop. There are no special conditions required for breeding Ghost Shrimps. They can easily be kept in aquariums.

Note: It’s also another time that adult ghost shrimps may eat larvae and tiny shrimp. So it is wise to isolate the tank and monitor the environment closely.

Best Plants for Ghost Shrimp Tank

As mentioned, fine sand and gravel are suitable materials for building these Ghost shrimp tanks. They have easy access to it but do nothing to damage the shrimp as they go to the bottom of the aquarium to get the food. But relying solely on your substrate will make it much more manageable.

Instead, it would help if you used various aquatic living plants in tanks to replicate the environment in the water and lakes that they live in. Plants such as jasmine or hornwort offer one of the best-growing choices. The Ursula graminfolia has been beneficial.

This plant helps reduce algae growth, which is considered a problem for aquariums. They also provide cover for Ghost shrimp and other fish. In addition, a tank with aquatic plants will look and feel natural, helping to create an optimal environment for the shrimp to thrive.

The Behavior and Aggression of Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are usually found in freshwater in nature. However, some of them are found in little salty waters. Due to predators, their life mode prefers nocturnal.

Aside from being unobserved by large predatory fish, they aren’t hidden within vegetation, so they’re easily spotted anywhere. They are much bolder than those Amano shrimps, which other shrimps of similar size ignore.

Many articles on ghost shrimp claim that American shrimp is mainly aggressive. Some of these are reportedly aggressive.

Ghost Shrimp Lifespan

Ghost shrimp usually have around eight months to two years of life expectancy. It’s not an average period; some are less likely to live than others. Several aquarists also use grass shrimp in the aquarium to be feeder fish for the larger-sized species.

In those situations, their health does not matter to aquarists as the family has poor lives and thus has to endure a harsh environment resulting in death early on the tank. Another component of their life cycle worth noting is their usual molting processes and molting.

Tank mates for Ghost shrimp

There are some differences. Keep them out of any fish that eats dead shrimp, though. Ghost shrimp should have been kept within a limited tank. However, peace of mind is what works well.

Just be aware ghost shrimps are sometimes more aggressive than most dwarf shrimp, especially when they are a much larger fish and a little more active. Therefore a shrimp should be kept in the same size (or larger) species as the Ghost Shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp Common Diseases and Treatment

Like most invertebrates in tanks, ghost shrimps may carry waterborne disease, of which aquarists are aware. The primary disease affecting the Ghost shrimp is Vorticella. The illness arises through algae eaten by shrimp, making their bodies and shell appear white and moldy.

Other than vorticella bacteria, bacteria can lead to the infection of shrimp. The shrimps are fatigued and show bright pink scaliness in their shells; a lack of water could cause this.

To reduce the possible risk, it is best to maintain the water’s quality. Regularly replace 10-15 percent of the water with clean aquarium water and examine the tank’s parameters.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ghost Shrimp Reproduction (FAQs)

What Kind of Shrimp Are Ghost Shrimp?

Shrimp is a freshwater species belonging to the same family as Amani shrimp. They are found in many world sites and are easy to keep in aquariums.

Can Ghost Shrimp Breed in a Community Tank with Other Fish?

Yes, ghost shrimp can breed in a community tank, but it’s essential to provide adequate hiding spots for the shrimp and ensure that tank mates are not aggressive or predatory such as betta fish.

How Many Eggs Can a Female Ghost Shrimp Produce?

A female ghost shrimp can produce hundreds of eggs at a time. Depending on the tank’s conditions, some of these eggs may even hatch and develop into adult ghost shrimp molt once.

How Long Does it Take for the Ghost Shrimp Eggs to Hatch?

Ghost shrimp eggs usually hatch within two to four weeks, depending on the water temperature and other environmental factors.

Do Ghost Shrimp Require a Special Diet During Breeding?

While ghost shrimp have specific dietary needs, their diet during breeding remains similar to their regular diet. A varied and balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and breeding success.

Do Ghost Shrimp Require a Heater for Breeding?

Ghost shrimp prefer stable and warm water conditions, so a heater is recommended to maintain the optimal temperature range for successful breeding.

How Long Does it take for the Ghost Shrimp fry to Reach Maturity?

Ghost shrimp fry proliferates and reaches maturity within a few months, depending on food availability and the overall tank conditions.

Do Ghost shrimp Need Brackish Water?

They don’t require sulfur to grow and reproduce. They could be kept alive in salty water, but it’s different. Eggs from shrimp are unable to develop at 10-20ppm salinity.

Will Ghost Shrimp Reproduce in My Tank?

Yes, ghost shrimp are prolific breeders and can reproduce in most tanks. However, they require optimal conditions such as warm water and stable parameters for successful breeding.

How Fast Do Ghost Shrimp Reproduce?

Ghost shrimp can reproduce quickly under the right conditions. When their needs are met, they can lay hundreds of eggs at a time and reach maturity in just a few months.

Do Ghost Shrimp Reproduce Easily?

Ghost shrimp reproduce when kept in the right conditions. They require clean water, warm temperatures, and a varied diet for successful breeding. With proper care, they breed multiple times in a single year.

What Size Tank is Best for Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp require space to thrive. A 10-gallon tank offers a good amount of space for them to live and reproduce. However, larger tanks can be beneficial if you keep many ghost shrimp.

Do Ghost Shrimp Need Brackish Water to Breed?

No, ghost shrimp do not require brackish water to breed. They can produce and reproduce in freshwater if the tank water is clean and the temperature is within their preferred range.

Do Ghost Shrimps Molt?

Ghost shrimp will molt every two weeks, mainly if it eats more than it usually would. Glass shrimp body gets bigger as it grows and cannot stay on the skin anymore, and molting is a means for it to shed. It is the period during which the animal undergoes regrowth.


Ghost shrimp breeding is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. By understanding the secrets of successful breeding and providing the right conditions, you can witness the fascinating life cycle of these remarkable creatures. Remember to create an ideal habitat, select healthy breeding stock, provide optimal nutrition, and trigger breeding behavior. With patience and care, you can become a master breeder and enjoy the beauty of your aquarium’s thriving ghost shrimp population. Happy keeping ghost shrimp.

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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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