What Does Ghost Shrimp Eggs Look Like: (5 Common Questions)

Have you ever wondered what does Ghost Shrimp eggs look like? It can be fascinating if you haven’t seen them before.

These tiny transparent green eggs are usually laid on the bottom of an aquarium, where they remain until they hatch into the adult form of a pink or yellow shrimp.

Ghost shrimp, also known as glass, mother ghost shrimp, or skeleton shrimp, are small, transparent crustaceans commonly found in freshwater and brackish water environments.

They have a fascinating life cycle, and part of that cycle involves reproducing and hatching their eggs.

What do ghost shrimp eggs look like

Ghost shrimps are great additions to any home aquarium. They help keep things clean by scavenging for bits of food and algae while providing entertainment as they search for food and hide among the decorations in ghost shrimp breeding tank.

Keep reading to discover more about these unique creatures, including what do shrimp eggs look like!

What are Ghost Shrimps?

Before diving into the details of their eggs, let’s briefly understand what ghost shrimp are.

Ghost shrimp belong to the family Palaemonidae and are closely related to other shrimp species. They are known for their transparent bodies, which make them almost invisible in the water.

Shrimp Ghost

Ghost shrimp are scavengers known for their ability to clean up leftover food and debris in aquariums. They are tiny, usually growing to about 1.8 cm in length, and can live for up to two years.

What Does Ghost Shrimp Eggs Look Like?

What does it look like when ghost shrimp lay eggs? Ghost shrimp eggs are very small, white or light green dots that can be found under the tail of a pregnant shrimp.

These tiny eggs develop and hatch within the body of the female shrimp before being released out into the water, so they don’t need to be external; a male fertilizes the eggs.

what does shrimp eggs look like? The presence of these eggs can usually be identified by taking a good look underneath the tail area; if you see several white or light green dots there, those are most likely Glass shrimp eggs!

How Long Ghost Shrimp Lay Eggs?

Ghost shrimp typically carry their eggs for about 2 to 3 weeks before they are ready to hatch. During this time, the female ghost shrimp will carry the eggs in a mass underneath her abdomen, where they are protected and nourished until they are ready to hatch.

Once the shrimp eggs are ready to hatch, the female shrimp will release them into the water, where they will develop into larvae. The larvae will then go through several stages of development before reaching adulthood.

Do shrimp give birth? The complete process from egg to adult can take several months, depending on the environmental conditions and the species of ghost shrimp.

Where Do Shrimps Lay Their Eggs?

Shrimp usually lay their eggs on the bottom of an aquarium or other body of water. This protects them from predators and ensures they have adequate access to food and oxygen.

The eggs are usually attached to rocks, plants, or other objects in the aquarium to protect them from predators further.

Shrimp eggs are typically laid in two to three hundred groups and hatch into tiny larvae after a few weeks.

Their eggs are relatively small-sized and can be challenging to spot in the aquarium. However, looking closely, you could see the eggs near the bottom of the aquarium, usually attached to plants or other objects.

How Long Do Shrimp Eggs Take to Hatch?

Typically, shrimp eggs take about three weeks to hatch. The exact time depends on the shrimp species and the environmental conditions such as temperature, salinity, water hardness, and oxygen levels.

In ideal conditions, the larvae can be expected to hatch in 2-3 weeks; however, it may take much longer (up to 6 or 7 days) in less optimal environments.

For some species of shrimp, like white legs and giant tiger prawns, the larvae are relatively large when they first emerge from their egg cases.

For others, such as red fire shrimp, berried females release very tiny larvae that look nothing like adult shrimp at all — instead, they are just tiny white specks with a few spots visible through a microscope. 

Once hatching is complete, most newly emerged larvae will begin swimming around looking for food. However, it typically takes them another week or two before they are fully grown and ready to start mating. 

In areas with an abundance of food sources, such as coral reefs, these larval stages can usually be completed within 30 days, while in other habitats where resources are scarce, it may take up to 90 days until maturation is achieved.

How to Tell if Your Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant

Your Ghost Shrimp may have three apparent symptoms. First, the female’s abdomen will become swollen. Second, she may start to move slower and be less active than usual. Third, you can see about 20-30 eggs under her tail.

Here are some other helpful signs to look out for:

– White or Light Green Dots Under the Tail

It could be the best indication you have of the pregnancy of the ghost shrimp. Seeing white dots under her tail means he had completed his marriage and had a new egg to carry. You’ll observe these white dots increase in size throughout her pregnancy period. Grass shrimp carrying eggs are very easily seen because of their opaque outer coverings of ghost shrimp. That’s one reason pregnant ghost shrimp are so wonderful.

– Consistent Leg Fanning or Splaying

In recent times Aquaracters observed a growing number of pregnant Ghost Shrimps who were splaying out legs. These actions help to aerate eggs and keep them at a reasonable temperature. Other fish keepers believe being gravid can upset females, so they fan their rear legs and reduce any excess weight from the eggs growing within the body.

– Obvious Weight Gain

Ghost Shrimps grow more significantly than females, but pregnant female Ghost Shrimp can increase in size even further. In addition, a greater appetite for food may indicate that you have an upcoming child.

Do Ghost Shrimp Die After Releasing Eggs? No, most ghost shrimp will not die after releasing eggs. Some species may become exhausted or weak from carrying the eggs for extended periods, but most ghost shrimp will return to their normal activities after releasing their eggs.

Sometimes, it can take some days for the female to regain strength, but she will usually be fine within a week.

Pregnancy Phases for Female Ghost Shrimp

Pregnancy is almost always possible in adulthood, and the young ghost shrimp can often be pregnant at three or nine months. Egg laying and fertilization takes about six to seven weeks in general. Your ghost shrimp may start laying eggs just before fertilization.

When a female ghost shrimp is pregnant, it is likely to start laying eggs before the other female. Incubation occurs in the femur’s stomach. For fertilized eggs, two cells are developed inside the egg layers of the mother shrimp until it has reached the maximum height of 1.5 cm.

When the egg matures, the female shrimp will release the eggs into fresh water and sink to the bottom of the community fish tank. It might take up to 26 hours for the eggs to hatch, but it’s much faster in warm water. When the larvae are ready, they will swim off to find food.

Ghost Shrimp Gestation Period

Ghost shrimp do not have a gestation period traditionally, as they are not mammals and do not carry their young inside their bodies. Instead, female ghost shrimp carry their eggs outside their bodies, attached to their pleopods or swimmerets.

Once a male has fertilized the female ghost shrimp, she will carry the eggs for about 2 to 3 weeks until they are ready to hatch. During this time, she will carefully tend to the eggs, ensuring they are well-oxygenated and free from predators.

After the eggs hatch, the ghost shrimp larvae undergo several developmental stages before adulthood.

This process can take several weeks to three months, depending on the species of ghost shrimp and the natural conditions in which they are raised. Proper shrimp care and attention are essential during this time to ensure the larvae grow into healthy adult shrimp.

Life Cycle of Ghost Shrimp

The life cycle of ghost shrimp consists of several stages, from hatching to adulthood. Understanding their life cycle will give us a better perspective on their reproductive process and the appearance of their eggs.


Ghost shrimp eggs are typically laid by adult females and attached to their swimmerets, small appendages on the underside of their bodies. The eggs are initially green in color but gradually change to a darker shade as they develop.

Larval Stage

Once the eggs are laid, they undergo a period of incubation, usually lasting about two to three weeks. The eggs undergo several changes during this time, and the embryos develop into larvae. The shrimp larvae are released into the water column after hatching.

Juvenile Stage

As the larvae grow, they undergo molts, shedding their exoskeletons to accommodate their increasing size. They resemble miniature versions of adult ghost shrimp at this stage but lack complete transparency. The juveniles continue to develop and grow until they reach adulthood.

Adult Stage

Once the ghost shrimp larvae have completed their molting process and reached a specific size, they enter the adult stage. At this point, they become fully transparent and gain their characteristic appearance.

Reproduction of Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp reproduce sexually, with both males and females involved. The reproduction process consists of mating, egg development, and the eventual appearance of the eggs.

Ghost Shrimps Mating

When it comes to mating, male ghost shrimp typically initiate the process by performing a courtship dance to attract the attention of females. This dance involves a series of movements and gestures to demonstrate their fitness as potential mates. Once a female is interested, mating occurs, and the male transfers sperm to the pregnant female ghost shrimp’s reproductive organs.

Egg Development

After successful mating, the female ghost shrimp carries the fertilized eggs with her, attached to her swimmerets. The eggs undergo development within specialized pouches, where they are protected and provided with oxygen. During this time, the eggs gradually change in color, often becoming darker and more visible.

The appearance of Ghost Shrimp Eggs

Shrimp eggs are relatively small and can vary in color regarding their stage of development. Initially, they appear green and somewhat translucent. However, as the embryos develop, the eggs darken and become more opaque. They may take on shades of brown, gray, or even black. The appearance of the eggs can give a glimpse into their development and indicate how close they are to hatching.

Caring for Ghost Shrimp Eggs

If you want to hatch successfully and rear ghost shrimp eggs, creating a suitable environment and providing proper care are essential. Here are some considerations when caring for shrimp eggs:

Creating a Suitable Environment

Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial for the health and development of shrimp eggs. Ensure the water temperature, pH levels, and overall water quality are appropriate for the species. Research the specific requirements of ghost shrimp and make necessary adjustments to provide a suitable environment for the eggs.

Protecting the Eggs

Ghost shrimp eggs are delicate and vulnerable to predation. To protect them, consider hiding places like moss or plants where the female shrimp can keep her eggs safe from other tank inhabitants. It’s essential to keep the breeding tank free from threats that may harm the eggs, such as aggressive fish or invertebrates.

Hatching and Rearing the Larvae

As the eggs close to the end of their incubation period, they will darken further, indicating that hatching is imminent. At this stage, it’s crucial to prepare for the arrival of the larvae. Set up a separate rearing tank with appropriate water conditions and provide suitable food sources for the growing larvae, such as infusoria, liquid fry food or commercial shrimp fry food. Carefully transfer the hatched larvae to the rearing tank, ensuring a smooth transition.

Caring for and Feeding Ghost Shrimp Fry

Now that the Ghost Shrimp has been born, you’ve wondered how to treat it. The biggest obstacle in breeding Ghost Shrimp is not to make the two females mate together and produce eggs again but to help the new baby Ghost Shrimp survive their first week in the aquarium.

Here is some pro advice that will help you boost your baby Ghost Shrimps into adulthood.

  • Provide clean and warm water: Start by providing a clean, friendly environment for your baby Shrimp. The optimal temperature range is 73-79°F (23-26°C).
  • Feed the baby Ghost Shrimp with microorganisms: Baby Ghost Shrimps feed on microscopic organisms, such as infusoria and algae. Live foods like baby brine shrimp are also an excellent option for baby Ghost Shrimp.
  • Install a filter: It’s essential to install a sponge filter in the newborn ghost shrimp tank as soon as possible to help keep the water clean and oxygenated.
  • Avoid overcrowding: Crowded tanks can quickly become toxic, so limiting the number of baby Ghost Shrimp in the breeding tank is essential.
  • Regularly monitor the water parameters: Monitor pH, temperature, ammonium, and nitrates to ensure they remain within the recommended range for Ghost Shrimp.
  • Offer supplemental food: Once your baby Ghost Shrimp reaches adulthood, you can start offering them different foods like flake, pellets, and frozen shrimp.
  • Quarantine new individuals: it’s important to quarantine any new Ghost Shrimp before introducing them to the original community tank. This allows you to assess their health and check for signs of stress or disease to prevent the spread of disease.

By following these practical tips, you can enjoy the benefits of successful Ghost Shrimp breeding. With patience and care, you’ll have thriving adult Ghost Shrimp in no time!

5 Common Questions about Ghost Shrimp Eggs

Here are some common questions that enthusiasts often have about ghost shrimp eggs:

How Long Does it Take for Ghost Shrimps Eggs to Hatch?

The incubation period for shrimp ghost eggs usually is around 2 to three weeks, depending on water temperature and conditions.

Do Ghost Shrimp Lay Many Eggs at Once?

Yes, female ghost shrimp can lay many eggs at once. It is common for them to carry hundreds of eggs.

Can Ghost Shrimp Eggs Survive in Freshwater?

Shrimp eggs require brackish water or slightly saline conditions for optimal development. Freshwater alone may not be suitable for the eggs to hatch successfully.

How Can You Tell if Ghost Shrimp Eggs Are Fertile?

Fertilized ghost shrimp eggs will show signs of development and change in color over time. As they develop, they will become darker and more opaque.

Can you Artificially Hatch Ghost Shrimp Eggs?

It is possible to artificially hatch shrimp eggs by simulating the conditions they require for successful development. This process involves carefully monitoring and adjusting water parameters, providing the proper nutrients and food sources, and creating a controlled environment miming their natural habitat.

Final Thoughts

So, what do ghost shrimp eggs look like? In conclusion, shrimp eggs go through a fascinating transformation during their development. From the initial green and translucent eggs attached to the female’s swimmerets to the darker and more opaque eggs indicating their readiness to hatch, observing the egg changes can be an exciting experience for aquarium enthusiasts. Caring for shrimp eggs involves creating a suitable environment, protecting the eggs from potential threats, and providing the conditions for successfully hatching and rearing the larvae.

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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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