“Ghost Shrimp Caresheet” – by Mari from Aquariadise.com

Ghost shrimp, also sometimes referred to as glass shrimp, are a collection of freshwater shrimp in the genus Paleomonetes. They are appreciated in the aquarium hobby for their scavenging capabilities and are also often used as inexpensive live food.


Natural habitat

Because the name ‘ghost shrimp’ doesn’t apply to one single shrimp species, natural habitats can differ greatly. Most of the ghost shrimp in the aquarium trade originally hail from freshwater habitats, although nowadays they are mass bred at shrimp farms. Some brackish varieties might also end up in pet- and aquarium stores.



Ghost shrimp lend their name from their translucent appearance, though they can be speckled with a small amount of brownish pigment. Size can vary quite a bit between different species and sexes, with females being larger than males.

Ghost shrimp are one of the hardiest aquarium shrimp species and can survive in less than optimal conditions


Ghost shrimp are one of the hardiest aquarium shrimp species and can survive in less than optimal conditions. Still, a filtered and cycled aquarium of at least around 10 gallons (38L) is recommended.

Keep these shrimp in groups to help them feel safe; due to their low bioload, you can keep multiple specimens per gallon of aquarium water without a problem. Plenty of aquarium plants and other decorations will be appreciated as hiding places and result in significantly less shy shrimp.



As with all shrimp, care should be taken to avoid any larger tankmates that might have an appetite for small things. If you wish to keep your ghost shrimp in a community setup, make sure all its other inhabitants are peaceful, especially if you’re interested in breeding. Also keep in mind that ghost shrimp themselves, especially the larger varieties, might prey on slow, sick or juvenile fish.



Ghost shrimp are omnivores that will eat whatever they can find, which makes them a good addition to your aquarium ‘cleaning crew’. They can help keep water quality high by consuming any foods that were missed by your fish and might otherwise rot away.

To prevent your ghost shrimp from going hungry when there is nothing else for them to feed on, regularly offer sinking (algae) pellets, blanched veggies and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae. Be sure not to overfeed, shrimp don’t need a lot of food and leftover bits can foul the water!
Breeding: To breed your ghost shrimp, firstly make sure you have both males and females in the tank; sexing these shrimp can be a little difficult, but as discussed before the females will be noticeably larger. They might also carry eggs between their swimmerets.

Ensure your water quality is high and all care requirements are met and females should soon start becoming berried. Larvae are initially quite vulnerable and need to feed on infusoria and other very small foods. They are at risk of being eaten by the parents or other tankmates and can easily be sucked into the filter.

In heavily decorated planted tanks with plenty of hiding places and a filter with a pre-filter sponge this shouldn’t be much of a problem and a percentage of the fry should survive. If your tank is relatively bare you might need to move the fry to a safe grow-out tank.