Ghost Shrimp Gestation Period: What to Look for & What to Do

Ghost shrimp gestation period: If you’re an aquarium enthusiast or a newbie to the world of aquatic pets, you might be fascinated by the intricate lives of ghost shrimp.

These small, transparent creatures are known for their unique behaviors, including their gestation period and reproduction process.

Where Do Ghost Shrimp Lay Eggs

In this article, we’ll delve into the intriguing realm of ghost shrimp gestation, exploring everything from the signs of ghost shrimp pregnancy to the proper care and maintenance of these delicate aquatic beings.

Understanding the Ghost Shrimp Gestation Period

Ghost Shrimp and Their Mysterious Gestation

Ghost shrimp, scientifically known as Palaemonetes paludosus, are captivating creatures that often surprise aquarium owners with their unexpected pregnancies.

These shrimp are omnivorous scavengers, playing an essential role in maintaining your tank’s ecosystem.

The ghost shrimp incubation period is a fascinating spectacle in your aquarium, showcasing nature’s wonders.

Signs that Your Female Ghost Shrimp is Pregnant

Female ghost shrimp are the ones who carry and protect the eggs until they hatch. Observing these signs can help you identify a pregnant ghost shrimp:

  • Swollen Abdomen: Pregnant ghost shrimp exhibit a slightly swollen abdomen, indicating the presence of eggs. This subtle change is one of the first signs that your ghost shrimp of impending motherhood.
  • Green Eggs Visible: As the ghost shrimp pregnancy progresses, you may notice tiny green dots under the female shrimp’s tail. These eggs are fertilized and will eventually hatch into baby ghost shrimp.
  • Behavioral Changes: Pregnant ghost shrimp might display altered behavior, such as seeking more hiding spots or becoming less active.

How Often Will My Ghost Shrimp Breed?

Ghost shrimp are prolific breeders and can produce a new clutch of eggs every 2 to 3 weeks. The female ghost shrimp will carry the eggs under her tail for about two weeks, then hatch into tiny shrimplets. The shrimplets will proliferate and reach adulthood in about three months.

Here are some factors that can affect how often ghost shrimp breed:

  • Water temperature: Ghost shrimp can breed more quickly in warmer water. The ideal water temperature for breeding is 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Water quality: Ghost shrimp need clean, well-oxygenated water to breed. The water should have a ph level of 6.8-7.8 and a hardness of 8-12 dGH.
  • Food availability: Ghost shrimp need a diet of live food, such as Baby brines and bloodworms. A good food supply will help to encourage breeding.
  • Space: Ghost shrimp need at least a 10-gallon tank to breed. The bottom of the tank should have plenty of hiding places for the shrimplets.

If you provide your ghost shrimp with the right conditions, they will breed quickly and easily. You can expect to see new batches of shrimplets every few weeks.

Here are some additional tips for breeding ghost shrimp:

  • Add a sponge filter to the tank. This will help to provide the shrimplets with a safe place to hide.
  • Add some floating plants to the tank. These plants will provide the shrimplets with food and shelter.
  • Remove any dead or dying shrimp from the bottom of the tank. This will help to stop the spread of disease.
  • With a bit of care for pregnant ghost shrimp, you can quickly breed ghost shrimp in your aquarium.

Nurturing Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Setting Up a Breeding Tank

It is crucial to create a suitable environment for the pregnant shrimp and their soon-to-hatch offspring. Follow these steps to set up a proper breeding tank:

  1. Selecting the Tank: Choose a separate breeding tank with appropriate water conditions and temperature. A tank size of about one to five gallons is ideal.
  2. Substrate and Decor: Add a fine substrate to the tank, such as sand, to mimic their natural habitat. Include hiding spots like plants or small caves to provide shelter.
  3. Water Quality: Maintain optimal water quality using a filter and perform regular water changes. Ghost shrimp are sensitive to ammonia and nitrate levels.
  4. Feeding: Feed your pregnant ghost shrimp a balanced diet of algae-based foods and other small particles.

Caring for Newborn Ghost Shrimp

Once the eggs hatch, the baby ghost shrimp, or fry, will be small and delicate. To ensure their survival, consider these steps:

  • Feeding the Fry: Provide them with appropriate food, such as baby brine shrimp, which can be purchased or cultured at home.
  • Separation: If you have other tank inhabitants, consider separating the fry to prevent them from becoming a potential meal.
  • Maintaining Water Conditions: Regularly check water quality, as young shrimp are more susceptible to environmental changes.

How Can You Tell When Your Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant?

It can be challenging to tell when your ghost shrimp is pregnant, but there are critical indicators to look out for.

First, observe the female ghost shrimp’s abdomen, which may appear larger and more rounded when she is pregnant. Pregnant ghost shrimp may exhibit a behavior change, becoming more reclusive and less active.

Another way to tell if your ghost shrimp is pregnant is by inspecting her underbelly. If you notice a cluster of tiny eggs attached to her body, it strongly indicates that she is carrying eggs.

A pregnant ghost shrimp can typically take anywhere from 20 to 30 eggs. However, it’s important to note that simply having eggs does not guarantee that they are fertilized.

To determine if the eggs are fertilized, you must observe the female shrimp closely, as the eggs will turn from a translucent color to a greenish hue when fertilized.

Overall, being attentive to changes in appearance, behavior, and the presence of eggs will help you identify when your ghost shrimp become pregnant.

How Do You Know When Your Ghost Shrimp Is About to Give Birth?

Breeding ghost shrimp can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but knowing when your pregnant female ghost shrimp is about to give birth is essential.

The signs that a female ghost shrimp is ready to give birth are not always obvious, but there are a few indicators to look out for. One of the first signs is the visible bulging of the female’s abdomen, indicating that she is carrying eggs.

As the birthing process approaches, you may notice her becoming more reclusive and spending more time hiding in caves or plants. The female ghost shrimp may also exhibit increased aggression towards other tank inhabitants.

Just before giving birth, the female ghost shrimp will lay eggs, which hatch into tiny shrimp called fry. Creating a safe environment for the fry is significant by providing plenty of hiding places and ensuring they have access to food. With proper care, you can watch the incredible journey of the ghost shrimp fry as they grow and thrive in your tank.

How do You Keep Baby Ghost Shrimp Alive?

Keeping baby ghost shrimp alive requires carefully balancing their environment and nutrition. Firstly, it is crucial to maintain the water parameters. The water should be clean and preferably filtered to remove any harmful substances. Additionally, a heater may be needed to maintain a stable temperature between 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for nutrition, baby ghost shrimp are scavengers and eat any available food particles in the tank. However, it is recommended to provide specialized shrimp pellets or powdered foods to ensure they receive proper nutrition.

Additionally, it is essential to avoid overfeeding, as excess food might decay and pollute the water. Regular water changes and aquarium cleaning are necessary to keep the environment suitable for their growth.

As baby ghost shrimp hatch from eggs, providing hiding places in plants or structures is essential to keep them safe. With proper care and attention to their environment and nutrition, baby ghost shrimp can thrive and grow into healthy adult ghost shrimp.

Here are some tips on how to keep baby ghost shrimp alive:

  • Provide the right water conditions. Baby ghost shrimp are sensitive to water quality, so keeping the water clean and free of ammonia and nitrites is essential. The ideal water temperature is 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit (22-28 degrees Celsius), and the pH should be between 7.0 and 8.0.
  • Use a sponge filter. A sponge filter is a gentle way to filter the water and provide aeration for the baby shrimp. It is also less likely to suck up the tiny shrimp than a power filter.
  • Plant the tank with live plants. Live plants help to filter the tank water and provide hiding places for the baby shrimp. Some good choices for live plants include anacharis, java moss, and hornwort.
  • Feed the baby shrimp small food. Baby ghost shrimp have tiny mouths, so they need minimal food. Some good options for food include infusoria, baby brine shrimp, and microworms.
  • Avoid overfeeding. It is essential to avoid overfeeding the baby shrimp, as this can pollute the water. Only feed them a small amount of food they can eat in a few minutes.
  • Be patient. It can take some time for baby ghost shrimp to grow and thrive. Be patient and provide them with the right conditions; they should eventually do well.

Here are some additional tips:

  • You can start with a small group of baby ghost shrimp in a separate tank. This will help to reduce the risk of them being eaten by other fish or shrimp.
  • Add some floating plants to the tank, such as duckweed or water lettuce. These plants will help to provide shade and hiding places for the baby shrimp.
  • It is essential to monitor the water quality closely when you have baby ghost shrimp in your tank. Do water changes regularly and test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

You can successfully keep baby ghost shrimp alive and healthy with a bit of care and attention.

How To Setup A Breeding Tank For Ghost Shrimp

Setting up a breeding tank for ghost shrimp requires careful consideration and specific conditions to ensure the successful hatching and survival of the fry. Follow these steps to set up a breeding tank for ghost shrimp:

  • Select a separate breeding tank: Choose a smaller tank or aquarium (around 5-10 gallons) designated explicitly for breeding ghost shrimp. This will allow you to monitor and control the conditions for optimal breeding closely.
  • Provide suitable water conditions: Ghost shrimp prefer clean, well-filtered water with stable parameters. Maintain a temperature of around 75-80°F (24-27°C) using a reliable aquarium heater. The pH range must be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.5. Ensure the water is free from harmful chemicals like chlorine or chloramine, either by using a dechlorinator or letting tap water sit out for over 24 hours before adding it to the tank.
  • Create hiding spots: Ghost shrimp need hiding spots to feel secure and provide shelter for pregnant females and newly hatched fry. Use live or artificial plants, rocks, caves, or even PVC pipes to create hiding spots in the tank. These will also serve as surfaces for the female shrimp to attach their eggs.
  • Introduce adult shrimp: Add adult ghost shrimp to the breeding tank. Aim for a ratio of two females per male shrimp to increase the chances of successful fertilization. Before introducing them to the breeding tank, ensure that your ghost shrimp are healthy and free from any diseases or parasites.
  • Feed your pregnant ghost shrimp: Provide a diverse diet to ensure the health of your pregnant female shrimp. Ghost shrimp are omnivorous and will eat a combination of algae, detritus, and small organisms. Offer them a mix of high-quality sinking pellets, algae wafers, algae powder, blanched vegetables like spinach or zucchini, and small live or frozen foods like daphnia or brine shrimp. A well-fed female shrimp will have better chances of carrying and hatching healthy ghost shrimp eggs.
  • Observe mating behavior: Ghost shrimp breed through internal fertilization. The male ghost shrimp will deposit sperm packets, called spermatophores, which the female shrimp will collect and use to fertilize the eggs. Watch for mating behavior, such as the male chasing the female and the female curling her abdomen to receive the spermatophore.
  • Separate pregnant females: Once you notice a female shrimp carrying eggs, it’s advisable to move her to a separate tank to protect the eggs from being eaten by other adult shrimp. A breeder box or a dedicated maternity tank with similar water conditions will work well. Ensure the water parameters in the maternity tank match those of the breeding tank.
  • Provide optimal conditions for hatching: The ghost shrimp eggs will develop and hatch within a few weeks. Maintain stable water conditions in the maternity tank, similar to the breeding tank. Avoid sudden fluctuations in temperature or water quality. Provide gentle aeration or sponge filter to maintain water circulation without creating strong currents that could harm the delicate fry.
  • Feed the baby shrimp: After hatching, the baby ghost shrimp, known as fry, will swim freely in the tank. Feed them with powdered or liquid fry food specially formulated for shrimp. You can also offer crushed flakes or powdered spirulina as supplementary food. They gradually introduce small live or frozen foods like baby brine shrimp or microworms as they grow.
  • Continue care and maintenance: Regularly monitor water parameters, perform partial water changes, and clean the tank as needed. Gradually introduce the young ghost shrimp to the main tank once they have reached a size where they are less likely to be eaten by adult shrimp or other tank inhabitants.

By following these steps and providing the necessary care, you can successfully set up a breeding tank for ghost shrimp and increase your chances of successfully hatching and raising healthy baby ghost shrimp.

How to Breed Ghost Shrimp?

Breeding ghost shrimp can be an exciting and rewarding experience for aquatic enthusiasts. To breed ghost shrimp, the first step is to set up a breeding tank. This tank should be clean and spacious enough to accommodate a small group of shrimp.

Next, introduce a few adult ghost shrimp into the tank. These shrimp should be healthy and sexually mature. Please provide them with a well-balanced diet to ensure optimal breeding conditions. Maintaining a stable water temperature and quality is essential, as fluctuations can affect breeding success.

Ghost shrimp breed through “external fertilization,” where the female ghost shrimp lays eggs, and the male fertilizes them. Provide hiding spaces and plants for the shrimp to lay their eggs.

Once the ghost shrimp eggs are fertilized, the female will carry them under her abdomen for a few weeks until they hatch into baby shrimp.

Keeping ghost shrimp in a separate breeding tank will prevent the babies from being eaten by other tank inhabitants. With proper care and conditions, breeding ghost shrimp can be a fascinating endeavor for any aquarium keeper.

FAQs about Ghost Shrimp Gestation Period

Can Ghost Shrimp Produce in a Community Tank Successfully?

Yes, but be prepared for the challenges of ensuring the survival of the newborn shrimp in a community tank.

How Can You Tell if My Ghost Shrimp is Pregnant?

Gestation period for ghost shrimp: Look for signs like a swollen abdomen and green eggs under the ghost shrimp’s tail.

What Should I Feed My Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

Provide a balanced diet of algae-based foods and other small particles.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Their Babies?

Yes, ghost shrimp are omnivorous scavengers, and there is a possibility they might consume their fry.

How Many Eggs Can a Female Ghost Shrimp Carry?

A female ghost shrimp can carry around 20-30 eggs. That is correct. Female ghost shrimp can have many eggs, usually 20 to 30. These eggs are kept underneath their abdomen until hatching, which generally takes 2 to 3 weeks. 

What is the gestation period for ghost shrimp?

The gestation period for ghost shrimp is around 2 to 3 weeks.

How can I tell if a ghost shrimp is pregnant?

You can tell if a ghost shrimp is pregnant by observing a green coloration in its eggs. Female ghost shrimp carry green eggs when they are pregnant.

What should I feed my pregnant ghost shrimp?

It is essential to feed your pregnant ghost shrimp with a varied diet. You can provide them algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and small, live foods like daphnia or brine shrimp.

How do ghost shrimp hatch from their eggs?

Ghost shrimp eggs are fertilized internally by the male shrimp. The eggs are then incubated in a specialized sac called an “egg pouch” on the female’s body until they hatch into baby ghost shrimp.

Can ghost shrimp generate in a community tank?

Ghost shrimp could breed in a community tank, but raising the fry to adulthood in a community tank is difficult as other fish may prey on the tiny shrimp.

What should I do to set up a breeding tank for ghost shrimp?

To set up a breeding tank for ghost shrimp, you will need a separate tank with a sponge filter, hiding places like caves or plants, and a substrate suitable for the shrimp to lay their eggs on.

How many baby shrimp can a female ghost shrimp produce?

A female ghost shrimp can produce hundreds of baby shrimp during a single breeding cycle.

What do ghost shrimp eat?

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous and will eat various foods, including algae, small invertebrates, decaying plant matter, and commercial shrimp pellets.

How many ghost shrimp can I keep per gallon of water?

Keeping around 1 to 2 ghost shrimp per gallon of water is recommended to ensure proper space and filtration for the shrimp.

Why do my ghost shrimp die after giving birth?

Ghost shrimp may die after giving birth due to the physical stress of the birthing process or malnutrition. It is essential to provide proper care for your pregnant ghost shrimp to prevent such issues.


Witnessing the gestation period of ghost shrimp is a remarkable experience that showcases the marvels of aquatic life. From their subtle signs of pregnancy to the delicate care required for newborns, these tiny creatures add a layer of complexity and wonder to your aquarium. By understanding ghost shrimp pregnancy length and their needs and behaviors, you can provide a safe and nurturing environment for your pregnant ghost shrimp and the future ghost shrimp gestation period.

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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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