Ghost Shrimp

Quick Facts about Ghost Shrimp

Species NamePalaemonetes paludosus
Common NameGhost Shrimp
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan1 year
Adult Size1.5-2 inches
DietOmnivore (algae, detritus, commercial shrimp food)
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Temperature65-80°F (18-27°C)
Water ConditionsModerate hardness
Optimal PH7.0-8.0
Optimal KH3-10

About the Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp, known scientifically as Palaemonetes paludosus, have become an increasingly popular addition to many freshwater aquariums. These translucent crustaceans are prized for their fascinating appearance and the efficiency with which they clean tanks by consuming detritus. As a native species to the southeastern United States, they’ve been incorporated into aquariums around the world due to their low maintenance requirements and captivating behavior.

Ghost Shrimp Lifespan

Ghost Shrimp have a relatively short lifespan of up to 1 year when kept in ideal conditions. While this may seem brief, their active nature and the intrigue they bring to the tank during their lifetime makes them a worthy addition for many aquarists. Ensuring optimal tank conditions can help in maximizing their lifespan.


The Ghost Shrimp’s defining characteristic is its almost transparent body, which gives it its ghostly moniker. This translucency allows enthusiasts to witness the inner workings of the shrimp, from its digestive process to the rhythmic beating of its tiny heart. This unique appearance makes them a fascinating watch, especially when observed closely.

Average Size

In a well-maintained tank, Ghost Shrimp typically reach an adult size of about 1.5 to 2 inches.

Ghost Shrimp Care

Ghost Shrimp are relatively easy to care for, making them perfect even for beginner aquarists.

Tank Size

A 10-gallon tank serves as a good starting point for these shrimp. If one wishes to host a larger colony or introduce tank mates, considering a bigger tank would be ideal.

How To Set Up Their Tank

A sandy or fine gravel substrate, coupled with plenty of live plants and hiding spots, creates a favorable environment for Ghost Shrimp. They also appreciate driftwood and caves, which not only serve as excellent hiding spots but also provide surfaces for the growth of biofilm, a natural food source for the shrimp.

Lighting Requirements

Ghost Shrimp aren’t particularly finicky about lighting. A moderate lighting setup that supports the growth of live plants is generally adequate. As with other aquatic species, maintaining a balance between light and dark periods is beneficial.

Water Parameters (Water Type, Temperature, Hardness)

Ghost Shrimp thrive in freshwater settings with a temperature range between 65-80°F (18-27°C). They prefer moderately hard water, although they are adaptable to various water conditions.

Water PH

An optimal pH level for Ghost Shrimp lies between 7.0 and 8.0, ensuring they remain healthy and active.


Maintaining a consistent temperature between 65-80°F (18-27°C) ensures their comfort and overall well-being.


A standard aquarium light is sufficient for Ghost Shrimp. While they don’t have specific preferences, a well-lit tank can enhance their translucent appearance.

Best Substrate for Ghost Shrimp

A fine sand or small gravel substrate is ideal. This allows them to sift through the substrate in search of food, which is a common behavior observed in these shrimp.

Reproduction of Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp reproduce by laying eggs. A pregnant female will carry her greenish eggs in her swimmerets. After several weeks, tiny shrimp will emerge, starting life in a larval stage before growing into their adult form.

Disease Potential

While generally hardy, Ghost Shrimp are susceptible to common aquatic diseases if water conditions deteriorate. Regular water changes and monitoring for early signs of distress can help keep them healthy.

Food & Diet

Ghost Shrimp are omnivorous scavengers. They feed on detritus, algae, and biofilm in the tank. Supplementing their diet with commercial shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and occasional protein-rich treats ensures they receive a balanced diet.

Behavior and Temperament

Ghost Shrimp are peaceful and industrious creatures. They are often seen busily scavenging the tank floor, sifting through the substrate, or picking at biofilm on surfaces.

Are Ghost Shrimp Reef Safe?

Ghost Shrimp are freshwater creatures and are not suited for reef or marine tanks.

Ghost Shrimp and Suitable Tank Mates

They coexist well with peaceful community fish such as tetras, guppies, and rasboras. Larger, aggressive fish may see them as food, so it’s essential to choose tank mates wisely.


Breeding Ghost Shrimp in a home aquarium can be a rewarding experience. With proper care, a conducive environment, and regular feeding, Ghost Shrimp will breed, ensuring a steady population in the tank. If you wish to raise the offspring successfully, consider setting up a separate breeding tank to protect the larvae from potential predators.

Ghost Shrimp FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)