Ghost Shrimp

A ghost shrimp looking for food at the bottom of their aquarium

Are you looking for a unique and interesting fish to add to your aquarium? Ghost Shrimp may be the perfect choice for you! Ghost Shrimp, also known as Glass Shrimp, are small freshwater crustaceans that make great fish for new aquarium owners.

Ghost Shrimp have a transparent body and can grow up to two inches long. Because of their translucent shells they are known for being able to camouflage themselves perfectly. They are native to southeastern parts of the United States. They are very active, so they make a great addition to any aquarium.

Ghost Shrimp are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter. They feed on algae, small insects, and other organic matter in the water. They’ll often scavenge for food at the bottom of the aquarium. Ghost Shrimp are very hardy and can survive in a wide range of water conditions.

When it comes to housing, these Shrimp are very easy to care for. They do best in an aquarium with plenty of hiding places such as rocks, plants, and driftwood. They need a filter to keep the water clean and oxygenated. They prefer warm water temperatures between 65-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ghost Shrimp are very peaceful and calm, and are never aggressive with other fish. They are very easy to feed, and will accept most foods offered to them.

They make great pets for anyone who wants something simple, yet still has a lot of character. They’re also a good option for those who don’t have a lot of space, because they’re small enough to live in smaller tanks. They are not expensive and can be purchased for $1 to $3 each.

Ghost Shrimp are a great choice for first time pet owners. They are easy to care for and only need minimal maintenance. They are very peaceful, so they can be kept with many other fish in the same aquarium. Ghost Shrimp can live to around one year if given proper care.

Overall, Ghost Shrimp make great family pets. They are hardy, peaceful, and easy to care for. They are also very active and make a great addition to any aquarium. If you’re looking for a unique pet to add to your family, Ghost Shrimp may be the perfect choice for you!

Ghost Shrimp Information

  • Average Length: 1.5 inches
  • Scale Colors: Translucent
  • Attention Needs: Low
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: Yes
  • Good with Other Shrimp: Yes
  • Good with Other fish species: Only with small non-aggressive species
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Health Concerns: Bacterial Infections, Rust Disease, Vorticella and Scutariella Japonica
  • Average Life Span: Up to 1 Year

Ghost Shrimp, also called Glass Shrimp are from North America and have been kept in aquariums since as early as the 1850s. They usually live in bodies of water like lakes and rivers that have a moderate water flow and some sediment.

They are captive bred around the world and are generally used as feeder fish, food for other animals.

Ghost Shrimp is the name of a few types of Shrimp that belong to the Palaemonetes family. There are many species within the Palaemonetes family but only three types of Ghost Shrimp.

Physical Appearance of Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp have a slightly gray appearance with a translucent body. Their gray color is not that distinct and usually, you can see through their body. Their translucent body is how they got their name. Some species of Ghost Shrimp may have colored spots on the body.

Their translucent body lets you see their insides when they’re eating food. Watching them when they are feeding is interesting and is one of the reasons they are popular. Their unique appearance helps them escape from predators.

Ghost Shrimp have two sets of antennae – one short set and the other long. These act as sensory organs that give them information about their food and toxins in the water.

They have a beak-like part called rostrum between their eyes and front carapace. The carapace is the hard upper shell of the body that protects the softer organs inside.

They grow up to 1.5 inches long with females growing slightly longer than males.

Temperament of Ghost Shrimp

They are known for being calm and peaceful. They won’t harass or attack other fish in your tank.

They are active fish and usually spend their time looking for food in or near the substrate.

These Shrimp will sometimes hide in decorations to stay away from other tank mates. Because they have a translucent body it can sometimes be difficult to locate them.

Ghost Shrimp can live alone but are best kept in groups.

Best Habitat for Ghost Shrimp

Setting up their tank isn’t all that difficult. They do well in a small tank with lots of decorations that they can use to hide.

Tank size

Ghost Shrimp can be kept in a small 5-gallon tank but having a larger tank is better. Because they’re so small 3 to 4 can be kept per gallon of water.


Ghost Shrimp should be kept in water with a temperature kept between 65°F and 82°F. They can tolerate lower temperatures but will become less active.

Water Hardness and PH

The pH should be between 7 to 8 and water hardness between 3 to 10 dGH.


Standard aquarium lighting is good for them, but if all you plan to have in your aquarium is Shrimp, dim LED lights will be even better. Shrimp love to hide, and the dimmer the inside their tank is, the better that they can hide.


Plants like Hornwort, Java Moss and Cabomba will create many natural hiding spots and keep the bottom of the tank a little darker. These aquatic plants will create enough hiding spaces for your Ghost Shrimp so that they shouldn’t get stressed from other fish. Ghost Shrimp are tank cleaners and will eat the plant waste to keep your tank clean.

Rocks and other aquatic decorations can be added to create even more hiding spots for them.


Shrimp hang out at the bottom of the tank and having a substrate that lets them burrow is important. Fine gravel or sand are good choices because it’s not difficult to burrow in. Fine gravel and sand both won’t damage your shrimp’s antennae.

Tank conditions

Ghost Shrimp like to have a little water flow in their tank. Aquarium filters can be used to create light water flow.

Tank Maintenance

Ghost Shrimp are hardy but should have stable water conditions. High levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate can stress them. Regular 30% water changes will keep the level of toxic compounds within the safe range.

Don’t add medication or use a cleaning solution that has copper. Copper is toxic for shrimp and should not be added to their tank. Always check the label of any aquatic medication before adding it to their tank.

Best Tank Mates for Ghost Shrimp

Good tank mates include:

Its best not to put them in an aquarium with fish that are large enough to fit them into their mouth.

Betta fish should not be kept with Ghost Shrimp because Betta fish are aggressive and will eat them.

Feeding Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp are omnivores and will eat any plant or meat matter found in their tank. They are excellent cleaner species because they eat leftover food and decaying plant matter, keeping your aquarium clean.

Commercial food like sinking pellets and flakes should be fed to them. Algae pellets can also be given. One pellet a day should be enough to feed several shrimp.

They will swim up the tank to catch flakes and pellets. It’s best to drop the flakes to the substrate to let them feed.

Adding calcium supplements to the aquarium water is good for them because calcium helps them grow a stronger exoskeleton.

Related Questions:

Is it Common for Ghost Shrimp to Die After Being Introduced to a Tank?

Some Ghost Shrimp may die within a few days after introducing them to a new tank. Some may die while being transported from a pet store to your home. This is common because most of these shrimp are bred as feeder fish and kept in poor water conditions. Always ask your local pet store before you buy any if they were raised as feeder fish or for a home aquarium.

How to Tell if my Ghost Shrimp is Dead or Molting?

Ghost Shrimp molt regularly by shedding their hard exoskeleton. Because they are transparent sometimes it becomes difficult to see if your Shrimp is dead or just molting. A dead Ghost Shrimp will float in the water usually at the top of the tank and will be a milky white color and then turn pink. Ghost Shrimp that is molting will usually be hidden in the substrate.

If your Ghost Shrimp is dead, remove them immediately or the toxic chemicals in the water will shoot up. Don’t remove the old exoskeleton because your Shrimp will eat them for a calcium boost.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.