Ghost Shrimp Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for an interesting and low-maintenance pet, ghost shrimp might be the perfect choice for you. These tiny creatures are fascinating to watch and can be a great addition to your aquarium. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ghost shrimp care, from setting up their tank to feeding and breeding.

Ghost Shrimp is a freshwater shrimp species that requires a minimum tank size of 5 gallons. They prefer a pH range of 7.0-8.0 and moderately hard water. They are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of algae, biofilm, and prepared foods. Regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary for their well-being.

As someone who has kept ghost shrimp for years, I can tell you that they are one of the easiest pets to care for. They don’t require a lot of attention and can thrive in a variety of conditions. Plus, they’re incredibly entertaining to watch as they scuttle around their tank and clean up any leftover food or debris.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the basics of ghost shrimp care, including tank setup, water parameters, feeding, and breeding. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarium owner, you’ll find plenty of useful tips and information to help you create a healthy and happy environment for your ghost shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp

Species Summary

Ghost shrimp, also known as glass shrimp, are popular freshwater aquarium pets.

In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the Ghost Shrimp species, including their origin, lifespan, appearance, size, growth rate, behavior & temperament, and how to distinguish between males and females.


Ghost shrimp are native to North America and can be found in various freshwater habitats, including ponds, streams, and rivers.

They are often sold in pet stores and are commonly used as feeder shrimp for larger fish.


The lifespan of ghost shrimp varies depending on the conditions in which they are kept. In ideal conditions, they can live up to two years.

However, in less than optimal conditions, their lifespan can be significantly shorter.


Ghost shrimp are transparent, which makes them unique and interesting to watch. They have long, slender bodies, and their legs are often tinted with red or brown.

They have two pairs of antennae, with the longer pair being used for sensory purposes.


Ghost shrimp are relatively small and usually grow to be 1-2 inches in length.

However, some individuals can grow up to 3 inches in length.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of ghost shrimp is relatively fast, and they can reach their full size within a few months under ideal conditions.

Behavior & Temperament

Ghost shrimp are peaceful creatures and are generally not aggressive towards other fish or shrimp.

They are active and curious, and they spend most of their time scavenging for food and exploring their environment.

Male vs Female

Distinguishing between male and female ghost shrimp can be challenging. However, females are usually larger and have a more rounded abdomen.

Males, on the other hand, have a slightly curved abdomen and are usually smaller than females.

Personally, I’ve had a great experience keeping ghost shrimp in my aquarium. They are fascinating to watch, and their transparent bodies make them stand out in the tank. With proper care and attention, ghost shrimp can make great additions to any freshwater aquarium.

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for your ghost shrimp is crucial for their health and well-being. Here’s what you need to know:

Tank Size

When it comes to tank size, bigger is always better. Ghost shrimp are active creatures and need plenty of space to move around.

A minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for a small group of ghost shrimp.


Ghost shrimp do not require any special lighting, but it’s important to provide a light source for any live plants you may have in your tank.

A basic aquarium light will suffice.

Filtration & Aeration

Proper filtration is essential for maintaining clean water in your ghost shrimp tank. A sponge filter or hang-on-back filter is recommended.

Additionally, aeration is important to provide oxygen for your shrimp. An air stone or bubbler can help with this.


Ghost shrimp are sensitive to temperature changes, so a heater is necessary to maintain a steady water temperature.

Aim for a temperature between 72-78°F.


A fine-grained substrate, such as sand or gravel, is best for ghost shrimp.

Avoid sharp or coarse substrates that could harm your shrimp.


Ghost shrimp enjoy having hiding places and areas to explore.

Adding decorations such as rocks, driftwood, or caves can provide this.


Live plants not only provide hiding places for your ghost shrimp, but also help maintain water quality.

Some good plant options for a ghost shrimp tank include java moss, anubias, and hornwort. I remember when I first set up my ghost shrimp tank.

It was exciting to see them explore their new home and find hiding places among the decorations. Taking the time to properly set up their tank ensured that they were happy and healthy.

Water Quality

When it comes to taking care of your Ghost Shrimp, water quality is essential. It’s important to maintain a healthy environment for your shrimp to thrive in.

In this section, we’ll discuss the different factors that affect water quality and how to maintain them.

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Ghost Shrimp is between 72-82°F. It’s important to keep the temperature consistent to avoid stressing your shrimp.

You can use a heater to regulate the temperature, and a thermometer to monitor it.

Water pH

Ghost Shrimp prefer a slightly alkaline water pH between 7.0-8.0. You can test the pH levels using a water testing kit, and adjust it using pH adjusters if necessary.

Avoid sudden changes in pH levels as it can cause stress to your shrimp.

Water Hardness

Ghost Shrimp thrive in soft to medium-hard water with a hardness level between 3-10 dGH.

You can test the hardness using a water testing kit, and adjust it using a water softener or hardener if necessary.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are crucial to maintaining good water quality. You should aim to change 10-20% of the water in your tank every week.

This will help remove any excess waste and debris, and replenish the water with fresh nutrients that your shrimp need to stay healthy.

Personally, I found that maintaining good water quality is the key to keeping my Ghost Shrimp happy and healthy. By monitoring the water temperature, pH, and hardness levels, and performing regular water changes, you can create a thriving environment for your shrimp to live in.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping your ghost shrimp happy and healthy requires regular tank maintenance. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

First and foremost, you’ll need to keep the tank clean. Ghost shrimp are sensitive to poor water quality, so you’ll need to perform regular water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite levels low. Aim to change 20% of the water in your tank every week to keep your shrimp happy and healthy.

Another important aspect of tank maintenance is keeping the substrate clean. Ghost shrimp are scavengers, so they’ll happily eat any leftover food or debris that falls to the bottom of the tank.

However, if you let this debris build up, it can lead to poor water quality and even harm your shrimp. Use a gravel vacuum to suck up any debris from the substrate during water changes.

Finally, make sure your tank is properly aerated. Ghost shrimp require plenty of oxygen to thrive, so you’ll need to make sure your tank has adequate surface agitation. You can achieve this by using a filter or air stone to create bubbles and keep the water moving.

Personally, I’ve found that taking the time to perform regular maintenance on my ghost shrimp tank has made a huge difference in the health and happiness of my shrimp. By keeping the water clean and the substrate free of debris, I’ve been able to enjoy watching my shrimp thrive and grow.

Tank Mates

If you’re thinking about adding Ghost Shrimp to your aquarium, you might be wondering what other fish species are compatible with them.

In this section, we’ll cover compatible and incompatible fish species, as well as how many Ghost Shrimp you should keep together.

Compatible Fish Species

Ghost Shrimp are peaceful creatures that get along well with most fish species. Some good options for tank mates include:

  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Corydoras Catfish

These fish are all relatively small and won’t pose a threat to your Ghost Shrimp.

However, it’s important to note that even peaceful fish can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they don’t have enough space in the tank.

Incompatible Fish Species

While most fish species are compatible with Ghost Shrimp, there are a few that you should avoid. These include:

  • Cichlids
  • Angelfish
  • Large Gouramis
  • Aggressive Bettas

These fish are known for being aggressive and may see your Ghost Shrimp as a tasty snack. It’s best to avoid keeping them together.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Should Be Kept Together

Ghost Shrimp are social creatures and do well in groups. It’s recommended to keep at least 3-4 Ghost Shrimp together.

However, keep in mind that the more Ghost Shrimp you have, the more space they’ll need in your tank.

Personally, I’ve found that adding a few Ghost Shrimp to my community tank has been a great addition. They’re fascinating to watch and have added a new level of activity to my tank.


When it comes to taking care of your ghost shrimp, it’s crucial to provide them with a balanced diet.

In this section, we’ll cover what to feed your ghost shrimp, how often to feed them, and some tips to keep in mind.

What to Feed

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous, which means they eat both plant and animal matter.

In their natural habitat, they feed on algae, detritus, and small organisms such as worms and insect larvae.

When it comes to feeding your ghost shrimp in captivity, you can provide them with a variety of foods, including:

  • Algae wafers or pellets
  • Shrimp pellets or flakes
  • Frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia
  • Blanched vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, or cucumber

It’s important to vary their diet and offer a mix of both plant and animal-based foods to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.


Ghost shrimp have a high metabolism and require frequent feeding. It’s recommended to feed them once or twice a day, in small portions that they can consume within a few hours.

Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and health problems, so it’s important to avoid giving them more than they can eat.


Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your ghost shrimp:

  • Remove any uneaten food after a few hours to prevent it from decomposing and polluting the water
  • Offer a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet
  • Use a feeding dish or clip to prevent food from sinking to the bottom and getting lost in the substrate
  • Consider supplementing their diet with calcium to support their exoskeleton growth

Personally, I’ve found that my ghost shrimp enjoy a mix of algae wafers and frozen brine shrimp. They’re always eager to eat and it’s satisfying to see them actively foraging for food. By providing them with a varied and balanced diet, you can ensure that your ghost shrimp stay healthy and happy.

Common Diseases

When it comes to keeping Ghost Shrimp as pets, it’s important to be aware of the most common diseases that can affect them.

By being able to recognize the symptoms, you can take action to treat the illness and prevent it from spreading to other shrimp in your tank.


Some of the most common diseases that Ghost Shrimp can suffer from include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasitic infections.

These can be caused by poor water quality, overcrowding, or introducing infected shrimp to your tank.


The symptoms of these diseases can vary, but some common signs to look out for include lethargy, loss of appetite, discoloration, and abnormal behavior.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent the disease from spreading.


The treatment for these diseases will depend on the specific illness and its severity. In some cases, you may need to administer medication to your shrimp or quarantine them to prevent the disease from spreading.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian or aquatic specialist to determine the best course of action.


The best way to prevent these diseases from affecting your Ghost Shrimp is to maintain good water quality and avoid overcrowding your tank.

You should also quarantine any new shrimp before introducing them to your tank to prevent the spread of disease.

Personally, I have had experience with bacterial infections in my own Ghost Shrimp tank. It was a stressful time, but by being vigilant and taking quick action, I was able to successfully treat the illness and prevent it from spreading. Remember, the key to keeping your Ghost Shrimp healthy is to be proactive and attentive to their needs.

Signs of a Healthy Ghost Shrimp

When it comes to keeping ghost shrimp, it’s important to know what signs to look for to ensure that your pet is healthy and happy. Here are some things to keep an eye on:

  1. Active and Alert A healthy ghost shrimp will be active and alert, constantly moving around and exploring its environment. If your shrimp is lethargic or spends most of its time hiding, it could be a sign of a problem.
  2. Clear and Bright Appearance Ghost shrimp should have a clear and bright appearance, with no cloudiness or discoloration. If your shrimp appears dull or discolored, it could be a sign of poor water quality or an underlying health issue.
  3. Strong and Steady Movement Healthy ghost shrimp should move with ease, without any signs of weakness or difficulty. If your shrimp is struggling to move or appears to be swimming sideways, it could be a sign of a problem.
  4. Healthy Appetite A healthy ghost shrimp will have a healthy appetite, eagerly eating any food that you offer. If your shrimp is refusing to eat or appears to be losing weight, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

I remember when I first got my ghost shrimp, I was worried about how to tell if they were healthy. But after observing their behavior and appearance, I quickly learned what signs to look for. With a little bit of knowledge and attention, you can ensure that your ghost shrimp are happy and healthy pets.

Signs Your Ghost Shrimp is Sick

As a responsible pet owner, it is important to keep an eye on your ghost shrimp’s health. Here are some signs that your ghost shrimp may be sick:

  1. Loss of appetite: If your ghost shrimp is not eating, it could be a sign of illness or stress.
  2. Lethargy: If your ghost shrimp is not moving or is staying in one spot for long periods of time, it could be a sign of illness.
  3. Discoloration: If your ghost shrimp’s color is fading or changing, it could be a sign of illness or poor water quality.
  4. Abnormal behavior: If your ghost shrimp is behaving strangely, such as swimming erratically or hiding more than usual, it could be a sign of illness or stress.
  5. Physical symptoms: If your ghost shrimp has visible physical symptoms, such as lesions, missing limbs, or bloating, it could be a sign of illness or injury.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action quickly to address the issue. The first step is to check the water quality in your ghost shrimp’s tank.

Poor water quality can lead to a variety of health issues, including stress and illness. You should also check the temperature and make sure it is within the appropriate range for ghost shrimp.

If the water quality and temperature are fine, you may need to take your ghost shrimp to a veterinarian who specializes in aquatic animals. They can diagnose the problem and recommend a course of treatment.

Remember, prevention is the best medicine. Keep your ghost shrimp’s tank clean and well-maintained, and provide them with a healthy diet and plenty of hiding places.

By taking good care of your ghost shrimp, you can help ensure a long and healthy life for your aquatic friend.

Personally, I once had a ghost shrimp that stopped moving and lost its appetite. I was worried and took it to a veterinarian who diagnosed it with a bacterial infection. With the right treatment, my ghost shrimp made a full recovery and lived for many more months. It’s important to pay attention to your pets and take action when you notice something is wrong.


If you’re interested in breeding Ghost Shrimp, it’s important to understand the process and the care required to do it successfully. Here’s what you need to know:

Breeding Setup

First, you’ll need a breeding setup. This can be a separate tank or a breeding box within your main tank.

The setup should include a sponge filter, a heater set to 78-80°F, and plenty of hiding places for the shrimp. You can use plants, rocks, or other decorations to create hiding spots.

How to Breed

When it comes to breeding Ghost Shrimp, the process is fairly simple. Once your breeding setup is ready, add a few males and females to the tank.

The shrimp will mate and the females will carry eggs for about 3 weeks before they hatch. During this time, it’s important to keep the water clean and maintain the temperature and hiding places in the tank.


Once the eggs hatch, the baby shrimp will need to be fed. You can use powdered fish food or specialized shrimp food for this.

It’s important to feed them small amounts several times a day to ensure they get enough to eat. As they grow, you can gradually decrease the frequency of feedings.

It’s also important to note that Ghost Shrimp will eat their own young if they’re not well-fed or if they feel threatened.

To prevent this, make sure there are plenty of hiding places in the tank and that the shrimp have enough to eat.

Personally, I found breeding Ghost Shrimp to be a rewarding experience. Watching the females carry their eggs and seeing the baby shrimp hatch was fascinating. With the right setup and care, anyone can successfully breed Ghost Shrimp.

Product recommendations for Ghost Shrimp:

  1. Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit – This is a great starter kit that is perfect for Ghost Shrimp. It comes with everything you need to get started, including a filter, heater, and LED lighting.
  2. Hikari Shrimp Cuisine – This is a high-quality shrimp food that is perfect for Ghost Shrimp. It contains all the essential nutrients that your shrimp need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  3. API Aquarium Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  4. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Ghost Shrimp and other freshwater animals.
  5. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – This substrate is perfect for creating a natural environment for your Ghost Shrimp. It contains essential minerals and is easy to maintain.
  6. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  7. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Ghost Shrimp healthy.
  8. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Ghost Shrimp. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  9. Seachem Flourish Excel– This is a liquid carbon supplement that is perfect for promoting healthy plant growth in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Ghost Shrimp and other freshwater animals.
  10. Zoo Med Hermit Crab Drinking Water Conditioner – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify chlorine and chloramines in your aquarium water, making it safe for your Ghost Shrimp to drink.


Now that you have read through this article, you should have a good understanding of what it takes to care for Ghost Shrimp.

Remember, these little creatures require a bit of effort and attention, but they can make great additions to your aquarium.

If you are considering adding Ghost Shrimp to your tank, make sure you have the appropriate set up and equipment to keep them healthy.

You will need a tank with plenty of hiding spots, a good filtration system, and a consistent water temperature.

It is also important to keep in mind that Ghost Shrimp are sensitive to water conditions, so regular water changes and testing are necessary.

Additionally, make sure to feed them a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding.

Overall, Ghost Shrimp can be fascinating and rewarding pets to keep. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy watching them thrive in your aquarium.

Personally, I have found that keeping Ghost Shrimp has been a fun and interesting hobby. Watching them scurry around the tank and interact with other fish is always entertaining.

I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you feel confident in your ability to care for these unique creatures.


If you’re considering adding ghost shrimp to your aquarium, you probably have some questions. Here are some common FAQs:

Q: What should I feed my ghost shrimp?

A: Ghost shrimp are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. You can feed them a variety of foods, including algae wafers, shrimp pellets, and blanched vegetables like zucchini or spinach. You can also give them small amounts of live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Q: How many ghost shrimp can I keep in my tank?

A: Ghost shrimp are social creatures and should be kept in groups of at least three. However, you should also consider the size of your tank. A good rule of thumb is to have one gallon of water per inch of adult shrimp. So, if you have a 10-gallon tank, you could keep up to 10 adult ghost shrimp.

Q: Do ghost shrimp need a filter?

A: Yes, ghost shrimp need a filter to keep the water clean and oxygenated. They are sensitive to poor water quality and can become stressed or sick if the water is not properly filtered.

Q: Can ghost shrimp live with other fish?

A: Yes, ghost shrimp can live with other peaceful community fish. However, you should avoid keeping them with aggressive or predatory fish, as they may be eaten or injured.

Q: How often should I clean my ghost shrimp tank?

A: You should perform regular water changes and clean the tank as needed. A good rule of thumb is to change 10-20% of the water once a week. You should also remove any uneaten food or debris from the tank to prevent it from decaying and polluting the water.

Personally, I’ve found ghost shrimp to be fascinating creatures to watch in my aquarium. They’re active and curious, and they add a unique element to the tank. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance and interesting addition to your aquarium, ghost shrimp are definitely worth considering.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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