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How to Take Care of Ghost Shrimp

Two Methods:Setting up the tankCaring for ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimp, also known as glass shrimp are of the more interesting types of aquatic creatures you could keep as a pet. Translucency is their most popular quality and they can most often be found dwelling at the bottom of a fish tank feeding on detritus. A ghost shrimp's natural habitat is in the brackish-water of wetlands, but they are a creative addition to any home aquarium. They are unique spectacles alone in a tank or add them to more populated aquariums for character. Taking care of them is simple and rewarding.

Method 1
Setting up the tank

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    Purchase a tank. If you aren't planning on breeding your ghost shrimp, a small tank will do. Don't get anything smaller than 5 gallons (18.9 L). In general, ghost shrimp aren't picky about the shape or color of their tank, but as adults they can get aggressive with one another so giving them ample space is important.
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    Purchase a filter. Even though ghost shrimp do much of the cleaning themselves, a filter is necessary for a healthy aquarium. Now there are two types of filter you should consider. It would be good to actually purchase both. External filters are good for changing water and filtering out the bad stuff. Internal Sponge filters are highly recommended. Because they can also be as food source for shrimps. Filters come in a huge range of prices starting at about $25.00. For a few ghost shrimp a heavy duty filter is unnecessary.You must purchase an external filter that pulls the water out of the tank before filtering if you have a huge tank.
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    Purchase an air pump. Ghost shrimp need a pump in their tank to oxygenate their water. Pumps start at about $15.00.
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    Purchase gravel or sand for the bottom of your tank. Ghost shrimp are bottom dwellers and they get their sustenance from pieces of food that have fallen from above. Gravel or sand at the bottom of the tank works to catch their food and provide easy access to a meal. Gravel and sand can be bought at any pet store and will come in multiple different colors, styles and prices.
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    Purchase your ghost shrimp. Ghost shrimp can cost as little as 30 cents to as high as $3.00 for a single shrimp. Consider whether you want to buy a single shrimp or an assortment. Many pet stores and online vendors sell in them in bulk for a discount. Note that for many stores, availability is seasonal. When picking a shrimp out, pay attention to color: not all ghost shrimp are alike and can range from completely clear to red.

Method 2
Caring for ghost shrimp

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    Feed your ghost shrimp twice a day. Give them as much as they can eat in about 1-3 minutes. They should be fed sinking pellets that fall to the bottom of the tank.
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    Keep the water at 65-82°F (18-28°C.). Purchase a heater that you can attach to your fish tank if you are living in a colder climate.
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    Add plants to your aquarium. Ghost shrimp like a medium level of fine-leaf vegetation in their tanks. Make sure to purchase aquatic plants from a pet store. Also, Ghost Shrimp can tell the difference between a real and a fake plant. If you want them to feel a lot more like home, it is suggest that you use actual plants. Plus, they do look very nice!
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    Give your shrimp companions. Ghost shrimp live well with other aquatic creatures like snails and small fish. Don't put them in with fish that are too much bigger than them or they will get eaten.
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    Keep baby ghost shrimp away from other fish. Wait to add them to community tanks until they are adults. You don't want them to be dinner for a bigger fish.
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    Don't fret if your ghost shrimp doesn't make it. Ghost shrimp are known to live up to 2 years, but just because yours doesn't live that long doesn't mean you did something wrong. If your ghost shrimp doesn't last, don't feel like a failure--it might have nothing to do with your quality of care.


  • Ghost shrimp turn different colors based on what you feed them. Notice patterns developing on their skin as they feed on different types of food.
  • Ghost shrimp have transparent bodies so it can fun to watch them digest their food
  • Ghost shrimp will be more visible if the bottom of the tank is filled with darker material.
  • Remember to give your ghost shrimp hiding places, like plants or hollowed-out shells. (You can also buy moon rocks at Walmart or Petsmart).
  • Shrimp spawn rapidly. If you notice one of your females is carrying around eggs and you want them to survive move her to a separate tank with a simple sponge filter. Any other sort of filter will filter out all of the micro-plankton that the larvae will need to survive. Once the larvae are starting to look like small shrimp, you can move them back to the tank with a normal filter.
  • Ghost shrimp are good tank maids. Purchase them for your fish tank to help with the chores.
  • Ghost shrimp tend to be more active at night so keeping your tank in a dimly lit room will encourage them to come out more.
  • Betta fish and adult ghost shrimp work really well together, consider making them a team.
  • Don't worry if you see a skin like thing in the tank; it means one of the shrimp moulted. Just take it out with a net and throw it away.
  • Add some colored lights to make your tank sparkle and shine.
  • Get creative and use a jar or a vase as a tank for your ghost shrimp.
  • Consider decorating your tank with items that you can't buy in a pet store--old Christmas ornaments or old jewelry are inspiring additions.
  • Do not throw away the molted skin/shell they will eat it for nutrition.
  • As to the shrimp molting, don't chuck the shell away as the shrimp gets a lot if calcium/nutrients from it.
  • Don't throw away the molted exoskeleton because the shell will provide extra calcium for your ghost shrimp to create a new shell.


  • Ghost shrimp can jump out of their tanks if the water is too high or their tank is without a lid.
  • Buy ghost shrimp sold especially for pets. Shrimp sold for feeding are typically kept in worse conditions and may die quicker when transferred to a new environment.
  • Prevent your Ghost shrimp from being eaten by keeping it with creatures its size.

Article Info

Categories: Fish | Fish Health