Whisker Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp: A Side-by-Side Comparison!

Whisker shrimp vs ghost shrimp: When selecting the proper inhabitants for your freshwater aquarium, shrimp species are among the most popular choices. Two captivating options that often catch the eye of aquarists are whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp. 

These tiny aquatic creatures bring life and diversity to your tank, all while playing essential roles in maintaining a healthy aquatic environment.

In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of whisker and ghost shrimps, exploring their features, behaviors, and suitability as tank mates. By the end of this ghost shrimp vs whisker shrimp detailed comparison, you’ll have a clear understanding of which shrimp might be the winner for your aquatic setup.

Whisker Shrimp: A Closer Look

Whisker shrimp (Macrobrachium sp.) are captivating freshwater shrimp known for their distinct appearance and lively behavior. These shrimp are generally larger compared to ghost shrimp, with some reaching up to 2 inches in length.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Algae

One key feature that sets whisker shrimp apart is their longer feelers, or “whiskers,” which give them their name. These sensory appendages help them navigate their environment and find food.

Tank Requirements and Behavior

Whisker shrimp are voracious eaters and play a crucial role in keeping your tank clean by consuming leftover fish food, algae, and other detritus. Their larger size and temperament make them suitable tankmates for peaceful fish like bettas, smaller tetras, and rasboras.

They are also known for being excellent scavengers, contributing to the overall cleanliness of your aquarium. For those interested in breeding whisker shrimp, it’s important to note that they may require a slightly larger tank with hiding spots, as they tend to be more territorial during this process.

Keeping your tank clean and ensuring proper water parameters are essential for their well-being.

Ghost Shrimp: A Comprehensive Overview

Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.) is another popular choice for freshwater aquarium enthusiasts. These transparent-bodied shrimp are often recognized by their orange bands at the base of their tails and red lines on their arms.

Ghost shrimp pregnancy

They typically grow up to 1.5 inches long and are known for their peaceful temperament.

Tank Compatibility and Behavior

Ghost shrimp are excellent tank cleaners and can thrive in various tank sizes, making them versatile additions to community aquariums.

They are particularly beneficial for smaller tanks and can even be feeders for more aggressive fish. Ghost shrimp are known to come up to the water’s surface to breathe, adding an exciting dynamic to your aquarium.

Whisker Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Ghost shrimp vs whisker shrimp: Let’s take a closer look at the critical differences between whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp to help you make an informed decision for your aquarium:

AspectWhisker ShrimpGhost Shrimp
SizeUp to 2 inchesUp to 1.5 inches
AppearanceLonger feelers, larger sizeTransparent body, orange bands
Tank CompatibilityPeaceful fish, some aggression during breedingPeaceful community tanks
Cleaning AbilitiesExcellent scavengers, help maintain tank cleanlinessEfficient detritus eaters
Breeding DifficultyMay require larger tank, territorial during breedingEasier breeding in community tanks
Water ParametersClean water, proper tank sizeStable water conditions

Are Whisker Shrimp Plant Safe?

Whisker shrimp (Amano shrimp or Yamato shrimp (Caridina multidentata) are generally considered safe for aquatic environments. They are popular additions to freshwater aquariums due to their attractive appearance and ability to help control algae growth.

Whisker shrimp are primarily herbivorous and can be beneficial for maintaining a healthy aquatic ecosystem. They feed on various types of algae and decaying plant matter, helping to keep the aquarium clean and reducing the levels of unwanted algae.

However, it’s important to note that while whisker shrimp are generally safe for plants, they may occasionally nibble on softer, more delicate plant leaves. If you have particularly fragile or sensitive plant species in your aquarium, there is a possibility that the shrimp may cause some minor damage.

To minimize the potential impact on your plants, you can provide the shrimp with a varied diet that includes algae-based foods and other suitable options. Additionally, ensuring that your aquarium has sufficient plant cover and hiding places can help reduce any potential grazing on delicate plants.

Overall, whisker shrimp are considered safe for aquarium plants. Still, it’s always a good idea to monitor their behavior and the condition of your plants to ensure a healthy and balanced ecosystem for all inhabitants.

What Are Ghost Shrimps Best For?

Ghost shrimp are best for:

  • Being aquarium cleaners. They are scavengers and will eat algae, leftover food, and other debris from the substrate. This makes them a great addition to any tank that needs a little help staying clean.
  • Being peaceful tank mates. Ghost shrimp are not aggressive and will get along with most other small, peaceful fish. They are also a good choice for community tanks with shrimp of other species.
  • Being low-maintenance pets. Ghost shrimp creatures are easy to care for and do not require much attention. They can be kept in various water parameters and do not need special lighting or food.

Here are some additional details about ghost shrimp:

  • Temperament: Ghost shrimp are peaceful creatures and will not bother other tank mates. They are a good choice for community tanks with fish of similar size and temperament.
  • Appearance: Ghost shrimp are almost entirely transparent, which gives them their name. They have long, thin bodies and tiny claws.
  • Water parameters: Ghost shrimp can tolerate a wide range of water parameters, but they prefer soft and slightly acidic water. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5, and the water hardness should be between 2 and 12 dGH.
  • Tank size: Ghost shrimp could be kept in Mini tanks as small as 5 gallons, but a larger tank is preferred. This will give them more space to swim and explore.
  • Tank mates: Ghost shrimp can be kept with other small, peaceful fish. Some good tank mates include guppies, mollies, danios, tetras, and barbs.

If you are looking for a low-maintenance, peaceful, and easy-to-care-for aquarium pet, then ghost shrimp are a great option. They are a beautiful addition to any tank and help clean your aquarium.

Are Whisker Shrimp Suitable for Your Aquarium?

Whisker shrimp can be a great addition to your aquarium, especially if you have a freshwater tank. These small and unique creatures, also known as freshwater shrimp, have long, delicate whiskers that make them an exciting sight.

They are relatively easy to care for and require a minimum water tank size of 10 gallons. Whisker shrimp are known to be peaceful and can coexist with other tank mates like snails. So, if you want to add diversity and charm to your aquarium, whisker shrimp might be the perfect choice. 

Whisker shrimp can be suitable for your aquarium if you meet the following conditions:

  • Tank size: A minimum of 10 gallons is recommended, as whisker shrimp can grow up to 3 inches long.
  • Water parameters: Whisker shrimp prefer slightly alkaline water with a pH of 7.0-7.8 and a 2-14 dGH hardness.
  • Tank mates: Whisker shrimp can be aggressive towards other shrimp and small fish, so keeping them in a tank with larger fish or snails is best.
  • Food: Whisker shrimp are omnivores and will eat various foods, including algae, detritus, and live prey.

If you can meet these conditions, whisker shrimp can be a great addition to your aquarium. They are relatively so easy to care for and can provide a valuable cleaning service.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when considering whisker shrimp for your aquarium:

  • Temperament: Whisker shrimp can be aggressive towards other shrimp and small fish, so it is crucial to choose tank mates carefully.
  • Growth rate: Whisker shrimp grow relatively quickly, so you will need to provide a large enough tank for them to grow.
  • Breeding: Whisker shrimp are relatively easy to breed, but you must provide a mature tank with plenty of hiding places.

Overall, whisker shrimp can be a great addition to your aquarium if you want a unique and exciting species. However, it is essential to research before adding them to your tank to ensure they are a good fit for your setup.

What Is The Main Difference Between Ghost Shrimp And Whisker Shrimp?

The primary distinction between ghost shrimp and whisker shrimp lies in their physical characteristics, size, temperament, and compatibility as tank mates.

Ghost Shrimp:

Ghost shrimp, or glass shrimp, are small freshwater crustaceans belonging to the family Palaemonidae. They are transparent or translucent, making them almost invisible in the water. Ghost shrimp typically have a straighter, more elongated body shape with a slightly curved tail.

Their size ranges from around 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in length. Regarding temperament, ghost shrimp are generally peaceful and coexist well with other non-aggressive fish species. They are known for their scavenging behavior, often helping to clean up excess food and debris in the aquarium. Due to their peaceful nature and smaller size, they are usually compatible with many tank mates.

Whisker Shrimp:

Whisker shrimp, commonly referred to as bamboo shrimp or fan shrimp, belong to the family Atyidae. These shrimp are characterized by their unique feeding appendages, which resemble delicate fans or whisks that filter tiny particles from the water.

They are typically larger than ghost shrimp, with an average body size ranging from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) or even more. Whisker shrimp have a more flattened body shape and prominently displayed fan-like structures near their mouth, which they extend into the water to catch food.

In terms of temperament, whisker shrimp are also relatively peaceful but may be more sensitive to water quality and flow. Due to their larger size and specific feeding behavior, they are best kept with moderate tank mates and in aquariums with proper water circulation to ensure they can effectively filter-feed.

Compatibility and Tankmates

When considering tank mates for both ghost shrimp and whisker shrimp, it’s essential to select species that are not overly aggressive or likely to prey on the shrimp. Small, peaceful fish like tetras, rasboras, guppies, and some livebearers can make suitable companions for both shrimp varieties.

However, due to their size, whisker shrimp may require slightly larger tank mates to ensure compatibility.

In summary, the main differences between ghost shrimp and whisker shrimp include their size, body shape, and unique feeding appendages of whisker shrimp. While both are generally peaceful and can coexist with appropriate tank mates, whisker shrimp might have slightly more specific care requirements due to their filter-feeding behavior and potential sensitivity to water conditions.

Always ensure proper research and care guidelines are followed to provide a suitable environment for whichever shrimp species you keep in your aquarium.

Commonly Asked Questions about Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp (FAQs)

Can whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp coexist in the same tank?

Yes, they can coexist, but monitoring their interactions and providing ample hiding spots is essential, especially if breeding whisker shrimp.

Do whisker shrimp require special care compared to ghost shrimp?

While both species have similar care requirements, whisker shrimp may need a slightly larger tank due to their size and territorial behavior during breeding.

Can ghost shrimp be kept with betta fish?

Yes, ghost shrimp are peaceful and can make compatible tankmates for betta fish, provided the bettas are not overly aggressive.

Are whisker shrimp more difficult to breed than ghost shrimp?

Yes, breeding whisker shrimp may be more challenging due to their territorial nature during breeding. Ghost shrimp are generally easier to breed in community tanks.

Can ghost shrimp and whisker shrimp be kept in small tanks?

Both shrimp species can thrive in smaller tanks, but it’s essential to provide suitable hiding spots and maintain proper water parameters.

Which shrimp is more efficient at cleaning the tank?

Whisker shrimp are excellent scavengers and contribute to maintaining tank cleanliness by consuming leftover food and detritus from the bottom of the tank.

What is the difference between Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp?

Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp are two types of shrimp that differ in various aspects, such as size, temperament, and tank requirements.

What are the water parameter requirements for keeping Whisker Shrimp?

Whisker Shrimp can live in freshwater with a temperature range of 72-82°F and a pH between 7.0-8.0.

Do Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp have the same temperament?

No, Whisker Shrimp are known to have a more aggressive temperament than Ghost Shrimp, which are generally peaceful.

What is the ideal tank size for Whisker Shrimp?

Whisker Shrimp require a minimum tank size of 10 gallons to ensure ample space to roam and thrive.

How does the size of Whisker Shrimp compare to Ghost Shrimp?

Whisker Shrimp are larger than Ghost Shrimp, growing up to 2.5 inches long when fully grown.

Can Whisker Shrimp live with other fish in a tank?

Yes, Whisker Shrimp can peacefully coexist with smaller fish in a well-maintained fish tank.

Can Ghost Shrimp also live with other fish in a tank?

Yes, Ghost Shrimp can live with other fish in a tank as they are peaceful and pose no threat to most species.

What is the major difference between a Ghost Shrimp and a Whisker Shrimps temperament?

The main difference lies in their temperament, as Whisker Shrimp have a more aggressive nature than Ghost Shrimp’s peaceful nature.

How does the size of Ghost Shrimp compare to Whisker Shrimp?

Ghost Shrimp are smaller than Whisker Shrimp, growing up to 1.2 inches long when fully grown.

Do Whisker Shrimp require any special care?

Whisker Shrimp are relatively easy to keep and do not require special care, but providing them with a suitable tank environment and proper water changes is essential.


Whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp are famous freshwater aquarium shrimp, but the two species have some critical differences. Whisker shrimp are giant and have longer antennae, while ghost shrimp are smaller and have orange bands on their legs and antennae. Whisker shrimp also prefer warmer water temperatures, while ghost shrimp can tolerate a broader range of temperatures.

Ultimately, the best shrimp for your aquarium will depend on your preferences and the other fish you have in your tank. Whisker shrimp may be a good choice if you want a giant, active shrimp. Ghost shrimp may be a better option if you are looking for a smaller, more peaceful shrimp.

Whisker shrimp vs ghost shrimp: No matter which species you choose, both whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp are beautiful and low-maintenance additions to any freshwater aquarium.

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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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