The Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp.
Ghost Shrimp.

The Ghost shrimp, also known as glass shrimp or clear shrimp, is a type of freshwater aquarium shrimp known for their translucent appearance. They are generally smaller and less colorful than other species of aquarium shrimp.


These shrimp most likely get their name from their translucent or transparent appearance, which can make them seem ghostly or ethereal. For the same reason, they are also known as glass or crystal shrimp.

Natural Habitat

Ghost Shrimp are native to North America and can be found in various freshwater habitats, including streams, rivers, and swamps. In the wild, they feed on various plant and animal matter, including algae and detritus.


Ghost shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp are small and slender, with a subtle, transparent appearance.

Ghost shrimp have a streamlined, elongated body with a pair of antennae on their head and a pair of mandibles for feeding. They have ten legs, with the front pair modified into pincers. Their exoskeleton is hard and they molt regularly to grow.

Aquarium set up

Ghost shrimp grazing the substrate.

Ghost Shrimp are relatively easy to care for. Their small size means that they do not require a large tank. A 5-gallon tank is sufficient for a small group. They prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding places. They are not strong swimmers and do not do well in strong currents.

Ideal water parameters for Ghost Shrimps:

  • Temperature: 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C
  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Hardness: 3.0–12.0 dGH


Ghost Shrimps are scavengers and help clean up the tank’s excess food and debris. Their diet can be supplemented with algae wafers, frozen or live brine shrimp, shrimp flakes, and blanched vegetables.

A small pinch of food once a day is enough for these diminutive invertebrates.

Temperament And Good Tank Mates

Ghost Shrimp are peaceful and non-aggressive. They will often hide when they feel threatened or when there is a lot of activity in the tank. Ghost shrimp are social animals and do well in small groups of 5 or more. 

Ghost shrimp are not strong swimmers and prefer to rest and hide among plants and other decorations in the tank.

They make good tank mates for a variety of peaceful fish but are not suitable for tanks with larger, aggressive fish that may prey on them.

Excellent Ghost Shrimp tankmates:


Ghost shrimps are relatively easy to breed in an aquarium setting. Here are some tips for breeding ghost shrimp:

Provide good water quality: Ghost shrimp breed more successfully in a clean, well-maintained tank with stable water conditions. 

Feed a varied diet: Ghost shrimp breed more readily when they are well-fed and healthy. Offer a varied diet that includes a mix of flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods.

Maintain the right temperature: Ghost shrimp breed best at temperatures between 74°F to 78°F (23.5°C to 25.5°C.)

Provide plenty of hiding places: Use plants, driftwood, and other decorations to provide plenty of cover.

Introduce males and females: Ghost shrimp are sexually dimorphic, meaning that physical characteristics can distinguish males and females. Males are generally smaller and slimmer than females and have modified front claws used for courtship and fertilization. Introduce a mix of males and females to the tank to encourage breeding.

Be patient: Ghost shrimp will breed on their own when conditions are right, but it may take some time for them to do so. Be patient and keep the tank clean and well-maintained.

Once the shrimp have mated, the females carry the fertilized eggs in a small saddle on their abdomen. The eggs will hatch in about two weeks, and the newborn shrimp will look like miniature versions of the adults. 

They will grow quickly and be able to breed themselves in about three months.


The Ghost Shrimp is one of the hardiest freshwater shrimps. Most diseases can be avoided by keeping the aquarium clean and quarantining new additions.

Common Ghost Shrimp diseases:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections 
  • Muscular Necrosis
  • Parasites 

Avoid any medication with copper in it.

Conclusion (Summary)

These shrimps may have started as feeder shrimps, but their unique appearance has made them quite popular as pets. Their small size, easy care requirements, and affordability have increased demand for these interesting invertebrates.

Common NameGhost shrimp, Glass Shrimp, Clear Shrimp
Scientific NamePalaemonetes paludosus
Care LevelEasy
TankmatesNeon Tetras, Rasboras, Guppies, Hatchetfish, Kuhli Loach, Otocinclus Catfish, Corydoras Catfish, Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, Bamboo Shrimp, Nerite Snails
DietDetritus, algae wafers, frozen or live brine shrimp, shrimp flakes, and blanched vegetables
Size1.5 inches or 3.8 cm
Lifespan1-2 years

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