Ghost Shrimp Species Profile – How to Care Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are an interesting freshwater crustacean that lives only one year on average. However, this makes them much more affordable than other species of fish with longer lifespans and the same habitability factor! You can use ghost shrimps as feeders for larger types or keep them clean by cleaning your tank yourself at home – they’re perfect additions to any community aquarium where you want non-aggressive but still adorable pets (like my betta).

Ghost Shrimp Characteristics:

Ghost Shrimp Species Profile – How to Care Ghost Shrimp

As their name suggests, ghost shrimp are white (or cream colored) and transparent! Their coloration tends to change slightly throughout their lives. Younger shrimps tend to be more clear-white with no patterning, while older specimens may have slight brown markings.

For the most part, ghost shrimp are actually quite small; generally only an inch in length or significantly less. As crustaceans they will molt (shed their exoskeleton) at certain intervals during their development. However, make sure you give your new shrimp plenty of time before adding them into your aquarium – for both food purposes and temperature acclimatization purposes!

Ghost Shrimp Origin:

Ghost shrimps originate from many parts of Asia – namely China and Japan! Their natural habitats are still relatively unknown, but they’re generally found in densely vegetated ponds or clean freshwater springs. Experts know that the fry of these shrimp live underwater for part of their lives – however, there is no scientific data on how long this may be!

Ghost Shrimp Size:

Ghost shrimps average around an inch in length including all legs and antennae. However, it’s important to note that you receive what you pay for with shrimp; some specimens will be much larger than others (which may mean they’re already more than a year old), while others will be younger and smaller than your standard ghost shrimp purchase price.

Ghost Shrimp PH:

The optimal pH range for ghost shrimps is 7.0 to 8.0 – however any pH from 6.2 to 8.0 will be safe for them as well!

Ghost Shrimp Colors and Markings:

Ghost shrimp are generally white or cream in coloration, with some brown marking on older specimens (however these markings fade once the shrimp molts). Most of their body is transparent, but they do have a dark spot at their base which tends to correspond with reproduction! Experts can tell sex by looking at the shape of their base; males tend to have more of an oval-shape while females’ bases are more heart-shaped. The best way for you to determine gender though is simply watching your tanks for activity – if your ghost shrimp are mating, you’ll know what they’re up to!

Ghost Shrimp Aquarium:

Ghost shrimp tanks need only a few things to be happy and healthy – some plants or other decorations, substrate (gravel or sand), and their food of choice. Experts recommend lightly sprinkling some fine gravel for your shrimp as it will help them eat better by keeping from getting trapped by larger gravel pieces! Plants and/or driftwood can also help break the water’s surface and provide shade, if you’d like to keep things more natural.

Experts also recommend using a quality aquarium heater with your species at all times; this will ensure that all your conditions remain optimal throughout the year. Remember though that these species originate in cool water habitats – keep the temperature below 80 degrees F!

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Ghost Shrimp Tankmates:

Small bottom-feeders and ghost shrimp go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Experts say that a different species of shrimp will likely do well with their own kind as long as they’re from the same area! However, make sure you know all your fish’s feeding habits before adding them to your tank – after all, ghost shrimps are small enough to be eaten by larger fish who may not even realize they’re biting any food at all. Experts also recommend staying away from fish with sharp teeth such as cichlids and saltwater species – this will help prevent any accidental nips to your ghost shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp Care:

Ghost Shrimp Species Profile – How to Care Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimps don’t require much of their owners, but they do need some regular maintenance! Experts recommend feeding once a day and checking their water parameters weekly (make sure you’re not allowing the water to get too cold or hot). Experts also suggest sifting over the substrate once or twice a month to ensure that your fish aren’t eating their food before it reaches the tank floor! Experts also recommend vacuuming the gravel every time you perform a water change (about every 2-3 weeks as well as removing uneaten food).

Ghost Shrimp Lifespan:

Ghost shrimps are very hardy, but their lifespan is not terribly long! Experts say that shrimp maintained in proper conditions can live for about 2-3 years – however it’s likely that your ghost shrimp will die before they reach this old age. Experts recommend purchasing several at a time to ensure you always have some healthy specimens in the tank.

Ghost Shrimp Diet and Feeding:

Ghost shrimps require little feedings (1-2 times per day) compared to their larger cousins! Experts recommend feeding only what your fish will eat within 5 minutes; any uneaten food must be removed immediately or else it will cause bacteria blooms which lead to cloudy water and/or toxic gases. Experts also suggest using a quality sinking shrimp food (or your own home made blend) and pellet – ghost shrimps don’t necessarily need algae in their diet, but it’s still a good idea to provide some! Experts also recommend supplementing food with regular feedings of blanched vegetables like zucchini or cucumber.

Ghost Shrimp Differences:

Ghost Shrimp are extremely similar to their cousins – small, feed on large food particles, and aren’t generally demanding. Experts say that two of the most important differences between ghost shrimp and other types is their feeding habits and breeding! Experts recommend never using anything larger than a size #1 or 2 gravel with these species as they tend to get caught in larger particles. Experts also recommend trying to make a spawning area for your ghost shrimp under a broad plant leaf or driftwood as they love to breed! Experts also note that neon yellow tiger shrimp are similar but have bigger claws and longer bodies – these guys require brackish water which you’ll definitely want to keep out of your freshwater tank!

Ghost Shrimp Breeding:

Ghost shrimps are extremely prolific and easy to breed – experts say the trick is getting them into proper conditions first! Experts recommend filling an aquarium with about 3 inches of filtered, conditioned water from the main tank. Experts also suggest placing a few Java Moss plants inside the spawning area for extra cover and protection. Experts recommend creating a gentle flow throughout the tank and pairing up all males and females (usually 2 of each will be fine). Experts also recommend feeding the shrimp a diet rich in protein like freeze dried brine shrimp or krill. Experts suggest leaving the shrimp alone for about 2 weeks; if you see any eggs, make sure to remove them immediately


Ghost shrimp are very easy to care for – just feed them regularly and keep their water clean with weekly water changes! Experts say that these shrimps only require about 3-4 hours of light per day, so they’re great options for low tech tanks or as part of a community tank with other low maintenance species. Experts also recommend ghost shrimps over most others because they do not require special equipment like filters or air pumps! Experts conclude by saying that these types of shrimp are best suited for small aquariums (5 gallons) without any aggressive fish – although many of the larger varieties of freshwater fish will leave these guys alone.