Ghost Shrimp Turning Brown – 5 Causes & Proven Solutions

Ghost shrimp are fascinating creatures to have in your aquarium. Their transparent bodies and energetic behavior add a unique touch to any aquatic environment. However, it can be concerning to notice your Ghost shrimp turning brown.

If you’re a ghost shrimp owner, you may have noticed that your shrimp’s color has changed to brown, which can be alarming.

Not to worry, this is a usual issue that various reasons can cause. This article will explore the causes behind this phenomenon and provide proven solutions to address the issue.

Ghost shrimps

Whether you’re a new or experienced low-grade neocardina shrimp owner, this guide has everything you need to know to keep your ghost shrimp healthy and vibrant.

We’ll also provide proven solutions to help restore your adult ghost shrimp’s natural color and prevent future discoloration. 

So, let’s dive in and discover the causes and solutions to brown ghost shrimp. 

Why Did My Ghost Shrimp Change Color?

Ghost shrimp (glass shrimp) are known for their ability to shift color based on their environment, mood, and health. There could be several reasons why your glass shrimp changed color:

1. Molting: Ghost shrimp undergo molting, where they shed their outer skin to grow. During this process, their color may appear duller than usual until their new exoskeleton hardens and their color returns. A few shrimp molting at the same time is common but possible.

2. Stress: It may change color if your shrimp is stressed. The shrimp is turning white due to inadequate water quality, overcrowding in the tank, predatory fish, or bad tank mates. If you suspect stress, it’s essential to identify the cause and take steps to address it.

3. Illness: Color changes can also indicate illness in ghost shrimp. If your female ghost shrimp shows other symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or uncommon behavior, it may be sick and need treatment.

4. Genetics: Some ghost shrimp may change color due to genetic factors. For example, some shrimp may be able to change color in response to light or dark environments.

It’s essential to monitor your ghost shrimp’s behavior and closely monitor any changes in color or other symptoms.

If you notice any concerning changes, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinarian or experienced aquarium hobbyist for advice on caring for your sick ghost shrimp or other shrimp together.

What Color Are Dead Ghost Shrimp?

The dead shrimp will appear milk white and then turn darker opaque pink. When you see an empty shrimp, you should immediately throw out any contaminated with smog or transmitting diseases that can be dangerous to other creatures in your aquarium.

Dead ghost shrimp will soon turn brown and eventually start to rot and smell. Removing them from the tank immediately before they become an additional source of contamination to other fish species in the aquarium is best.

Why is my Ghost Shrimp Turning Brown?

Nothing to worry about if ghost shrimp turn white or brown. During growing times, ghost shrimps vary in color depending on the ground or the material in the tanks. The soil can become brown or black as it gets darker.

Ghost shrimp egg

Ghost Shrimp naturally loses their transparency as they age, but they become darker in color. While switching the substrate might not be noticeable, running some tests using an alternate substrate tank is possible. The ghost shrimp are algae eaters. Eventually, the colors will change as they get older.

5 Common Causes of Ghost Shrimp Turned Brown

The Ghost Shrimp Is Going To Molt

Sometimes shrimp eyes and bodies turn white as they are ready to molt. The eyes begin to pale white as they will lose the exoskeleton to create new ones. The new exoskeleton is initially lighter but a transparent white color.

The shrimp are hidden behind tree trunks and structures during shedding to avoid predator attacks. Shrimp have the highest vulnerability now because the outer layer cannot protect their body.

Fungal And Bacterial Infection

Everything seems perfect, but Ghost the Shrimp’s tail turns green with no purpose. This can occur when the sick shrimp display agitated behavior and unintentional shaking. Furthermore, the eyes will become pale, cloudless, and white, reducing the shrimp’s appetite.

If you see this behavior in a tank, isolating the shrimps from contaminated waters is necessary. A second problem is muscle necrosis, which affects shrimps in old age. In this instance, the abdomen and head are covered with white spots.

Moreover, prevalent illnesses such as Muscular Necrosis can cause the shrimp to turn white; unfortunately, there is no known reliable cure.

Too Much Copper In The Tank

Copper can cause a poisonous effect on ghost shrimp. Sadly, many aquariums accumulate copper because the water conditioners used contain copper carbonate or copper sulfate for water purification.

When shrimp were exposed to some copper, their brows would be whiter. The shrimps also have blisters and are very ugly. In extreme circumstances, it is often covered by white patches and splinters shaped like spider webs that grow throughout the shrimp’s body. You can also eliminate copper from the tanks you use.

Poor water parameters

If poor water quality has been the main reason for ghost shrimp turning white or brown, then it is time to change all the parameters. For example, ammonia and nitrites can lead to discoloration.

The presence of ammonia and nitrites in the water will make adult ghost shrimp become brown or darken over time. Poor water parameters can also cause fungal and bacterial infections, the primary culprit behind ghost shrimp turning brown.

The Ghost Shrimps Are Getting Old

Lastly, unless you’ve excluded everything else, the ghost shrimp’s face is white because of its appearance. As a child ages, naturally, the exoskeleton turns yellow. The eyes are typically white, and the whole look is entirely white.

The exoskeleton also hardens, which prevents the rat from swimming properly or moving. It would also indicate old age when only one turns white or yellow. It might help if you offered them a unique environment, which would reduce stress for them.

How Do I Restore My Ghost Shrimp’s Color?

If you have specified the cause of your ghost shrimp turning brown and taken steps to address it, you can begin restoring their natural color. Here are some tips for converting your ghost shrimp turn white one’s vibrant colors and keeping them healthy:

  • Proper Diet: Make sure your ghost shrimp eat a balanced diet that includes high-quality foods like algae wafers, blood worms, spirulina fish flakes, and other nutritious options.
  • Quality Water: Provide your shrimp with clean, high-quality water by regularly testing for parameters and making necessary changes.
  • Stress-Free Environment: Ensure your shrimp have plenty of hiding spots, an optimal tank size, and compatible tank mates.
  • Proper Lighting: Provide your shrimp with the optimal lighting for their environment and use a timer to simulate a natural day/night cycle.

Following these tips can help restore your shrimp’s color and keep them healthy and vibrant.

Why Are My Ghost Shrimp Not Transparent Anymore?

The reason ghost shrimps change color can differ. Bacteria contaminate shrimps in the water as well as another infection that is present in the tank.

Affected by water may be irritants that react with the pH of the water column in the environment.

Proven Solutions to Address Brown Ghost Shrimp

Improve Water Quality:

Regular water changes, proper filtration, and maintaining appropriate levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are crucial for the well-being of ghost shrimp. Monitor water parameters consistently and take necessary actions to keep the tank water environment clean and a healthy shrimp.

Reduce Stress Factors:

Create a peaceful environment for ghost shrimp by minimizing stressors. Avoid sudden changes in water temperature or pH, ensure good hiding places, and choose community tank mates that are compatible and non-aggressive. Using test kit strips, check the water parameters regularly to ensure the tank is well-stocked.

Provide Proper Nutrition:

Feed your ghost shrimp a balanced diet to maintain their health and vibrant color. Offer a variety of foods such as fish food such as high-quality pellets, algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and occasional protein-rich treats. Supplement their diet with minerals and vitamins to prevent deficiencies.

Treat Diseases and Parasites:

If you suspect that your ghost shrimp’s brown coloration is due to a disease or parasite, it is essential to take prompt action. Quarantine the affected shrimp to prevent the spread of the infection to other tank inhabitants. Consult a veterinarian or aquatic specialist to identify the issue and obtain appropriate medication or treatment.

Assist with Molting Process:

Proper molting is crucial for the overall health of ghost shrimp. Provide a suitable environment for molting by ensuring the presence of hiding spots and soft substrates. Calcium supplements can also be beneficial in supporting the formation of new exoskeletons during the shedding process, single ghost shrimp.

By addressing these underlying causes, you can restore your ghost shrimp’s vibrancy and natural color. Monitor their behavior and appearance closely to gauge the solutions’ effectiveness.

How Can I Know If My Ghost Shrimps Are Molting?

Ghost shrimps are known for their molting process, a natural part of their life cycle. You may notice changes in your ghost shrimp’s behavior during the molting.

One of the most evident symptoms of your ghost shrimp molting is an appetite decrease; they commonly stop eating for a few days or weeks until they finish the process. Other signs to look out for include: 

• A pale and grayish appearance – Molting ghost shrimps will have an ashen and dull color compared to when they aren’t in their molt period.

• Shell cracking – This is one of the most apparent indications that a shrimp has begun its molt cycle as it sheds its old shell during this time. 

 Lethargy and sluggishness – Ghost shrimps in the cycle usually appear lazy, almost like they’re always tired. This could be due to physical exhaustion from breaking out of their old shell and preparing for growth into a new body size. 

 Potentially strange behavior – As your ghost shrimp gets accustomed to its new body, it may behave differently than usual due to unfamiliarity, resulting in erratic movement or swimming patterns. 

If you suspect your grass shrimp are molting, don’t panic, as this is entirely normal! The best thing you could do during this time is to make sure that there’s plenty of food available after their molt if needed and keep an eye on your pets just in case any problems arise during their development period – otherwise, enjoy watching them go through each stage!

Commonly Asked Questions about Ghost Shrimp Turning Brown (FAQs)

Why Are My Ghost Shrimp Turning White or Brown?

Ghost shrimp can turn brown or white for various reasons, including poor water quality, stress, nutritional deficiencies, diseases or parasites, and molting issues. Identifying the underlying cause is essential to address the problem effectively.

How Can I Improve the Water Quality of Ghost Shrimp?

To improve water quality, perform regular water changes, maintain proper filtration, monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, and ensure a well-balanced ecosystem. Consistency in monitoring and maintenance is critical.

What should I feed my ghost shrimp to prevent browning?

Offer your glass shrimp a diverse diet, including high-quality pellets, algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and occasional protein-rich treats. Additionally, consider providing mineral and vitamin supplements to infected shrimp to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Can I use Medications to Treat Brown Ghost Shrimp?

If you suspect a disease or parasite is causing the brown discoloration, consult a veterinarian or aquatic specialist. They can guide appropriate medications or treatments to address the specific issue.

Is Molting a Normal Process for Ghost Shrimp?

Yes, molting is a natural process for ghost shrimp. They periodically shed their exoskeletons to grow. Providing a suitable environment with hiding spots and shrimp calcium powder supplements can assist in their shedding process.

How Long Do Freshwater Ghost Shrimp Live?

Unlike some low-grade ocarina shrimp, Ghost shrimp is relatively easy to grow and can live up to two years or more.

How Long Does it Take Ghost Shrimps to Molt?

Healthy Shrimp molt every three weeks. But younger animals molt more often than older ones – about once a week. In this case, you must keep water conditions in the main tank in check, which helps achieve an excellent molting process.


Seeing your ghost shrimp turn brown can be a worry, but with the proper knowledge and actions, you can help them regain their natural coloration and thrive in your aquarium. Ensure optimal water quality, minimize stress, provide a nutritious diet, treat diseases or parasites, and assist with the newly molted shrimp. By following these proven solutions, you can create a healthy and vibrant environment for your shrimp.

You might also like

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.

Recent Posts

Stay Updated

Get outdoor trends, data, new products, and tips delivered to your inbox.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top