/Ghost Shrimp – A Comprehensive Care Guide, Appearance and Lifespan
Ghost shrimp appearance

Ghost Shrimp – A Comprehensive Care Guide, Appearance and Lifespan

Ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimps, also known as glass shrimps, are one of the most popular choices when looking for shrimps for freshwater tanks. These are popular amongst tank keepers as they are easily available in pet shops and are comparatively easier to care for. Many people are curious about ghost shrimp care, what do ghost shrimp eat, ghost shrimp breeding, and ghost shrimp tank mates.

This article contains all the information that you need to know about ghost shrimps. From their tank requirements to nature and feeding tips, by the end of this article, you will be all set to go ahead and add a ghost shrimp to your tank.


Ghost shrimp tank

Ghost shrimps are bred in almost all countries around the world. Most commonly, the ghost shrimp is used as bait by fishermen. They are also added to larger fish tanks with the intention of feeding fish. But other than this, shrimps are also great for controlling algae and eating up leftover food thus serving as tank cleaners.

Usually, ghost shrimps are very active in the tank. One can see them swimming around in the tank. When hungry, they go on a scavenger hunt and look for leftover food in the tank. Another great thing about the ghost shrimps is the fact that they can be kept in a group and can also be added to the tank individually.

Ghost Shrimp Appearance:

Ghost shrimp

As the name indicates, live ghost shrimp is transparent in color. The reason behind their clear color and transparency is to ensure their safety. The transparent color helps the shrimp hide from predators and thus protects them.

Some types of live shrimp also have spots on their back. These spots vary in colors and shapes. Generally, the female ghost shrimps grow larger in size as compared to male ghost shrimps. But the average size of these shrimps is around one point five inches.

To detect tactile information and sense chemicals around them, ghost shrimps have a pair of antennas placed on top of their head. One of these antennas is longer whereas the other one is short. Antennas also help the shrimps socialize.

Lifespan And Molting:

lifespan and Molting

Generally, a live ghost shrimp can live for up to one year. However, this is a general life span. Depending on the level of care and the conditions provided, this life span may vary. Since these shrimps are easily available and are pretty cheap, therefore, tank owners are often interested in using these shrimps as baits and for feeding the larger fish in their tanks. Moreover, most tank owners tend to keep them in their tanks without adjusting the tank’s conditions which in turn increases their mortality.

Another aspect that one should be careful about is the molting of this freshwater shrimp. Tank owners should be able to distinguish whether the situation is ghost shrimp molting or dying. When these shrimps are fed, they grow in size and as a result, their shell becomes smaller. As a result, the shrimp sheds its old shell and the new shell takes its place. During the initial phase of the shell change, the shrimp is vulnerable. Some time is needed for the shrimp to harden. But while the shell is hardening, it is more likely for the shrimp to get injured.

Ghost Shrimp Molting

During the molting of the shrimp, make sure that there are ample hiding places in the tank so the shrimp can hide and protect itself. Also, be prepared for the molting period. Tank owners with shrimps often freak out when they a shell lying around. The first thing that crosses their mind is maybe their shrimp is dead. But there is no need to freak out. It is just the old shell of the shrimp. The shrimp itself will be hiding somewhere in the tank, waiting for the new shell to harden. If you find an old shell in the tank, no need to remove it from the tank as it will become a source of food for the other tank mates.

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Ghost Shrimp Tank Conditions:

Tank Requirements

The natural habitat of these shrimps in water bodies like rivers and lakes. Therefore, they are used to an environment where the water flows and there is plenty of room for the shrimps to hide in. In tanks, plants, ornaments, and shells are their favorite places to use as hiding spots to protect themselves as needed. These hiding spots are especially important during the molting period of the shrimps while they are vulnerable and prone to getting injured.

Due to their small sizes, they can easily be added to small-sized tanks as well. They don’t really need a lot of space to be happy. But in case you want to add these shrimps in the form of a group, you will surely need to invest in a bigger tank.

Adding ghost shrimps to the tank does increase the biological waste of the tank. But on the other hand, these shrimps serve as tank cleaners and feed away on leftover food. Since they remove extra food from the tank, the algae growth is also controlled.

These shrimps love to be around plants. Most of the time, these shrimps can be found dwelling in the bottom section of the tank. Therefore, the tank owners should be considerate about the gravel type that is used. Gravel that is hard or coarse, can rub against the bodies of these ghost shrimps and can injure them.


All in all, the ghost shrimps are highly recommended for both beginner level tank owners as well as the people who own larger tanks. These shrimps make great tank cleaners and are also a popular choice as a live feed for larger fish.

Due to being easily available and comparatively cheaper, ghost shrimps are found in the majority of community fish tanks. Ghost shrimp bait is also very popular amongst fishermen. These are calm shrimps that are not temperamental at all. Therefore, they make great tank mates and people love to keep a combination of ghost shrimp and betta in their tanks.

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