How Often Do Ghost Shrimp Breed: (A Comprehensive Guide)

Ghost shrimp breeding is a fascinating aspect of aquarists’ hobby, but many questions surround their breeding habits. So, how often do ghost shrimp breed?

The truth is ghost shrimp are capable of breeding year-round in optimal conditions. 

However, they usually produce at higher rates during the warmer months. In cooler temperatures, they are less likely to reproduce.

Some aquarists claim that ghost shrimp breed rapidly, while others struggle to witness any breeding activity.

care of ghost shrimp

This ultimate blog post aims to shed light on the frequency of ghost shrimp breeding and provide valuable insights into their breeding cycle.

By understanding their reproductive behavior and implementing appropriate breeding tank conditions, you can successfully breed and raise these intriguing creatures.

Do Ghost Shrimp Reproduce Often?

Under the right conditions, ghost shrimp can reproduce often and quickly. Their breeding habits usually depend on their habitat, water temperature, and environmental quality.

In captivity, ghost shrimp can mate every two weeks in optimal conditions. Ghost shrimp breed in swarms and the number of young ghost shrimp produced at a time can be pretty impressive.

Ghost shrimp pregnancy
Ghost shrimp pregnancy

They lay eggs in their habitat, which hatch a few days later. The baby shrimp can feed and swim shortly after hatching, so they do not require much care from their owner.

It’s crucial to provide your ghost shrimp with the right environment for spawning. To ensure successful breeding, 

How Often Do Ghost Shrimp Breed?

How often can ghost shrimp have babies? Ghost shrimp can breed quite frequently, producing eggs every few weeks. The exact spawning frequency will depend on the environment in which they are located; if it is well maintained, they can spawn as often as once a week or even more, depending on their age and size.

As ghost shrimp grow older, they are likely to spawn less often due to weakened hormones and decreased overall health. In optimal conditions, female ghost shrimp can produce up to 50 eggs per clutch each time they spawn.

Ghost shrimp reach sexual maturity between five weeks and two months after birth. During this period, both glass shrimp males and females are ready to breed. The gestation period for ghost shrimp eggs is approximately three weeks.

After mating, the shrimp eggs take another three weeks to develop and hatch. Each female ghost shrimp can give birth to around 30 larvae, eventually growing into adult shrimps. Therefore, the complete ghost shrimp breeding cycle spans six weeks.

Will Ghost Shrimp Reproduce in My Tank?

Yes, ghost shrimp Palaemonetes paludosus (also called glass shrimp) can reproduce in your aquarium, provided the conditions are optimal.

While not as prolific breeders as other species of freshwater shrimp, if you have a community tank stocked with both males and females, it is possible for them to spawn and reproduce offspring.

The key factors to consider are the water parameters such as pH, temperature, hardness, and salinity; when they are ideal, this condition encourages breeding in ghost shrimp.

Additionally, they will need ample food -treats like blanched vegetables or algae discs – for the males to attract mates.

Once mating occurs under favorable conditions, the female will produce eggs that hatch into larvae after 2-3 weeks, depending on environmental temperatures within your tank.

All said and done, keeping a well-maintained home for your ghost shrimp could be a rewarding experience!

How Easily Do Ghost Shrimp Reproduce?

Ghost shrimp are easy to breed and reproduce in captivity. Female ghost shrimp produce up to 100 eggs at a time, and the larvae hatch within five days of the eggs being laid.

The fry can usually be found near the water’s surface and should be moved into a separate tank when they reach maturity, generally around 10-15 weeks after hatching.

It is crucial to provide a suitable habitat for the ghost shrimp. This includes maintaining optimal water parameters, such as temperature, pH, and hardness; a varied diet; and plenty of hiding places.

Also, the tank must be large enough to accommodate the adult ghost shrimp and have enough space for the young ones.

How to Breed Ghost Shrimp?

Keeping ghost shrimp can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it takes work to breed them.

Many people try and fail because they need to learn the specifics of breeding ghost shrimp, like water temperature and quality, proper tank parameters, and even the signs of mating behavior. 

With this video, you’ll learn how to set up your own ghost shrimp breeding area with everything you need for a successful setup. You’ll have your personalized guide that outlines everything so that you can breed them quickly.

Miniature versions of the adults, the larvae will appear after three weeks of incubation and can be moved to a separate tank. This is important so their parents do not eat them.

Ghost Shrimp Food

Shrimp ghosts need a varied diet like other freshwater invertebrates. A good mix of vegetarian and animal-based food is preferable, but the latter should be in moderation.

Some popular foods for ghost shrimp include blanched vegetables and fruits such as zucchini, bell pepper, cucumber, and apple. They also enjoy frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, algae wafers, and sinking pellets designed explicitly for shrimp.

It’s important to remember that ghost shrimp are scavengers and need a continuous food source to remain healthy. Regular feeding is essential for the successful breeding of ghost shrimp.

Have a Sponge Filter for the Breeding Tank

It’s important for shrimp owners to keep tanks clean and a breeding tank. Sometimes simple filters suckle the shrimp and kill them.

Ideally, buy a sponge filter for breeding tanks because it can go for fries. Unless the sponge filters are available, there may be a sponge inside. Make it lighter and clean for no contamination and keep it from leaking.

Install an Air Pump in Each Tank

Install air pumps into the tanks as needed. In early childhood, it is necessary to have more oxygen to develop, and water changes can be fatal unless the babies are tiny. Also, you should install the pumps to provide enough oxygen.

Gender Difference Between Ghost shrimp

The younger generation has no clue how to know this fact. Adult female-male sexual relations are more easily differentiated. 1. The female ghost shrimp are greenish and run down their belly under their tail, while the male shrimp do.

The egg underbellies are a bright green color. 2. Its convexity influences it. The female’s tails have an angled top axis. 2. How big are the fish? Females have a more prominent abdomen and a thicker abdomen compared to males. The males are usually shorter, and the females are longer.

Preparing a Larvae Rearing Tank for Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

While ghost shrimp are generally easy to care for, providing them with a suitable breeding environment is crucial. Here are some best-breed ghost shrimp practices:

  1. Purchase a Suitable Tank: opt for a 10-gallon aquarium tank to accommodate the larger space required once the babies grow. Introduce the males and female shrimps to this tank, remove them after mating process and birth, and allow the babies to grow in a separate space for more accessible care.
  2. Use a Sponge Filter: Standard filters can accidentally suck up small ghost shrimps and cause harm. A sponge filter for the breeding tank is advisable, as it provides adequate filtration without endangering the shrimps. If a sponge filter is unavailable, consider installing a sponge or a piece of cloth on the inlet to prevent accidental suction while maintaining water cleanliness.
  3. Install an Air Pump: Due to the large number of fry (20 to 30) during the development phase, installing an air pump in the tank is essential. The fry requires ample oxygen, and excessive water changes during their fragile stage can harm their health. An air pump ensures a continuous supply of oxygen to the water.
  4. Provide Substrate: Ghost shrimps are scavengers and benefit from having substrate in the tank. Adding gravel or fine sand provides a peaceful resting place for pregnant mother shrimps and a substrate for the babies to utilize as they grow.
  5. Add Live Plants and Hiding Places: Pregnant ghost shrimps appreciate hiding places, while live plants offer them a natural food source. Consider incorporating aquarium plants such as hornwort, Cabomba, and java moss. Additionally, include small flower pots placed upside down to provide additional hiding spots.

Breeding Tank Water Parameters

Maintaining optimal water conditions is vital for successful ghost shrimp breeding. Here are the recommended water parameters:

  • Water temperature: 65°F to 80°F
  • GH (General Hardness): 3-10 dGH
  • KH (Carbonate Hardness): 3-15 dKH
  • Nitrate: <20 ppm
  • Ammonia and Nitrites: 0
  • Water pH: 7.0-8.0

Install an aquarium heater to regulate the water temperature within the desired range and ensure all parameters align with the recommended values.

Adding Ghost Shrimp to the Breeding Tank for Mating

Once you have prepared the breeding tank, it’s time to introduce the male and female ghost shrimps. Correctly identifying and balancing the gender ratio is essential for successful breeding. Here’s how to determine the gender of ghost shrimps:

  • Male Ghost Shrimps: Glass shrimp males are Smaller (1.2 inches), lack a green line on their belly, display temperamental behavior during feeding, and become active during mating.
  • Female Ghost Shrimps: Slightly bigger (1.5 inches), possess a green line known as a saddle on their belly, exhibit peaceful behavior, have a bulged and larger belly shape, display curved body shape, use their pleopods for both swimming and oxygenating eggs, and have a more significant abdomen segment compared to males.

Introduce one male for every two females to ensure a harmonious breeding environment. It might take weeks for the shrimps to acclimate to their new surroundings and initiate mating.

Ghost Shrimp Breeding Cycle

Ghost shrimp have an exciting breeding cycle. For mating to occur, the two individuals must meet in a large group where they can locate each other with their antennae. After the meeting, the ghost shrimp will begin to form a bond by performing courtship behaviors such as swimming around each other and rubbing heads.

Once this connection is made, reproductive activities will begin as the male will start producing sperm and then transfer it to the female through her abdomen using unique processes called egg brushing or copulation.

The female ghost shrimp can store these sperm in organs called spermathecae until shrimp is ready to lay eggs – this allows her to mate multiple times and store different males’ sperm for future use if needed. 

After that, the female deposits her eggs onto hard surfaces like rocks or plant stems in small, yellow-orange clusters. These eggs require oxygenated water for development and hatch into ghost shrimp larvae after about four days, depending on temperature and humidity levels.

The laying and fertilizing of these eggs usually take 6 to 8 weeks through iteroparity – meaning multiple batches of eggs are produced over time rather than one extensive collection simultaneously!

Once hatched from their egg sacks, juvenile ghost shrimp become free-swimming creatures that rely on planktonic food sources while they mature further into adults after several months of growth.

The Mating Process of Ghost Shrimp

The mating process of ghost shrimp involves several stages. When a shrimp female is ready to mate, she molts, shedding her exoskeleton and releasing pheromones to attract males. The males will then approach the female, circling her.

Mating commences when the reproductive organs in the lower body segment come into contact. Fertilization occurs internally, and the eggs develop within the female’s body until they eventually hatch.

Ghost Shrimp Gestation Period

The gestation period for ghost shrimp is typically around 21 to 25 days. However, remember that the shrimps may require some time to fit into their new environment before the breeding begins.

Patience is critical during this period, allowing the shrimps to acclimate and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Furthermore, factors such as temperature and salt levels also affect the incubation period of the eggs.

Once the eggs are released, they will take around four days to hatch. After hatching, the larvae require a suitable environment and food source to survive.

Indications That Your Ghost Shrimp is Pregnant

When a female Ghost Shrimp is conceived, they have a clear green egg that its semi-transparent head can see.

In addition, you may realize a new belly has formed, and several new eggs appear each day. Females usually rest and conceal during the hatching period until the eggs are hatching.

If you observe that the female is not eating, hiding in a corner, or producing more eggs than usual, it may be a sign of pregnancy. Furthermore, the presence of a male shrimp in the tank may indicate that mating is taking place.

Caring and Feeding Your Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

During ghost shrimp pregnancy, it is essential to provide high-quality food for your ghost shrimp in addition to algae. If the tank lacks sufficient algae, you can purchase appropriate food options from pet stores.

Feeding the shrimp twice daily is recommended, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients. Additionally, regular water changes of at least 30% every week help maintain optimal conditions for the shrimp.

Transfer the Males and Females to the Breeding Tank

After approximately one week of mating, creating a peaceful environment for pregnant females during the gestation period is crucial. At this point, you should separate the males and return them to their original tank.

Visible green eggs can identify pregnant females on their semi-transparent bodies and gradually enlarging bellies. The female shrimps will spend most of their time resting and hiding until the eggs hatch.

The Birth of Your Baby Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp do not lay eggs externally. Instead, the eggs hatch internally within the female’s body, giving birth to larvae.

You will observe these larvae swimming around in the tank. It is essential to refrain from changing the water during this stage to avoid accidentally removing or harming the larvae.

Provide small amounts of spirulina or powdered fish food to nourish your baby shrimp. Once they develop legs, they transition to standard shrimp food for optimal growth and care.

Transfer Females Back to the Actual Tank

It is advisable to transfer the mother shrimp back to a separate tank. This separation allows the larvae to feed and grow independently. To protect the larvae from potential predation by adult shrimps, 

Please give them with specialized commercial diet designed for farming ghost shrimp babies until they can scavenge for food like the adults. Within two weeks, you will notice the antennae growing, and within five weeks, the shrimps will reach maturity and become ready to mate.

Baby Ghost Shrimp Care and Feeding

Once the larvae have been born, feeding them with commercial ghost shrimp fry foods specially formulated for baby shrimps, the same as baby brine shrimp, is essential. This will give them the varied nutrition they need to grow and develop properly.

Additionally, it is vital to keep the tank clean by regularly removing uneaten food, waste, and debris to prevent the water from becoming contaminated.

Finally, it is essential to keep the tank’s temperature and pH levels stable for the shrimps to thrive. By following these quick tips, you can ensure your baby ghost shrimps grow healthy and strong.

Commonly Asked Questions about How Often Do Ghost Shrimp Reproduce (FAQ)

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live?

Ghost shrimps typically live between one to two years, depending primarily on the quality of their food. The lifespan of a ghost shrimp can be extended to up to three years if they are provided with good living conditions.

What Is the Hardest Part About Breeding Ghost Shrimp?

The most challenging part of breeding ghost shrimp is controlling the ideal water temperature and pH levels necessary for successful fertilization. If the environment isn’t suitable, the mating process will be unsuccessful.

Can Ghost Shrimp Breed with Cherry Shrimp?

Yes, ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp can interbreed. However, the offspring from these two species may not be viable due to incompatibility in their genes. It is best to keep these two shrimp species separate and refrain from trying to breed them together.

Do Ghost Shrimp Need Brackish Water to Breed?

If the tank conditions are ideal, ghost shrimp can breed in freshwater. They don’t require brackish water and can lay eggs in freshwater tanks.

How Long Does it Take for Ghost Shrimps to Produce?

Ghost shrimps typically take around five to seven weeks to mature and commence breeding. During this time, the females will develop mature eggs, while the males will reach adulthood and become capable of fertilizing the eggs.

Is Breeding Ghost Shrimp Hard?

Breeding ghost shrimp is relatively straightforward. By ensuring that the breeding tank is appropriately prepared and meets the necessary water requirements, you can create an environment conducive to successful breeding.

How Do You Know if Ghost Shrimp Are Mating?

During mating, male ghost shrimps become more active and tend to circle the females. The females, on the other hand, remain calm. Observing these behavioral patterns can indicate that the shrimps are in the process of mating. It is helpful to keep the tank close during this time to witness their mating behavior.


Ghost shrimp are known for their fast breeding rate and can populate a tank quickly if the conditions are suitable. By understanding their breeding cycle and providing the right environment, you can successfully breed and raise ghost shrimp. Prepare a suitable breeding tank with appropriate filtration, substrate, hiding places, and live plants. Pay attention to the water parameters and maintain optimal conditions for the shrimps’ health. By implementing these guidelines and closely monitoring the breeding process, you can enjoy the beauty and fascination of ghost shrimp breeding. Good luck on your ghost shrimp breeding journey!

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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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