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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Ghost Shrimp Facts You’ll Never Forget

Interesting facts about Ghost Shrimp talk about what this species of Shrimp like to eat.

The Ghost shrimp, also known as Glass Shrimp or Eastern Glass Shrimp, is a species of skilled scavenger shrimp found mainly in North America and the Southeastern United States. They are considered to be great aquarium cleaners that usually feed on the leftover food in the tank, making them great tank mates living peacefully and harmoniously amongst fish. These tank mates possess transparent bodies, and their food-searching behavior is frenetic. This makes the unique symbiotic species of shrimp known as Glass Shrimp a great addition to any aquarium. What also makes them great tank mates is that they can easily adapt to any fish while inhabiting the bottom of the tank from where they get their supply of food. The water parameters for Ghost Shrimp care and breeding Ghost Shrimp are very important for these tank mates. The Ghost Shrimp lifespan usually extends up to one year, and hence, the water parameters in the tank should be followed thoroughly for Ghost Shrimp care.  Small benign fish that do not pose much of a threat of eating the Ghost Shrimp make them symbiotic tank mates.

Ghost Shrimps possess a transparent body with a distinctive yellow or orange-colored spot, which is located at the very center of their tail. They have a set of 10 legs, with the first four sets possessing minuscule claws, which are used by the shrimp when they eat. The Glass Shrimp or Ghost Shrimp are quite small in size compared to other invertebrates. They can reach up to the maximum size of 1-1.5 in.

Read on for more information regarding Ghost Shrimps. For facts on other shrimps, take a look at shrimp and mantis shrimp.

Ghost Shrimp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Ghost Shrimp?

The Ghost Shrimp is a species of crustacean that belongs to the family called Palaemonidae. More than being treated as an aquatic animal that haunts the lakes, they are quite the opposite. They are mere shrimp with transparent bodies which actually look quite cool and can be great tank mates with fish surrounded by live plants in a freshwater aquarium.

What class of animal does a Ghost Shrimp belong to?

The Ghost Shrimp or Glass Shrimp, which are also referred to as Eastern Glass Shrimp, belongs to the class known as Crustacea.

How many Ghost Shrimps are there in the world?

There is quite a large number of Ghost Shrimps present around the world. This is owing to the creatures being popular pets used as tank mates along with other fish in aquariums. This makes it very difficult to quantify a proper number to estimate the total population, and conversely, there are no data or methodology present to do so.

Where does a Ghost Shrimp live?

A wild Ghost Shrimp usually inhabits freshwater bodies or a water body that is slightly brackish and hence, mostly in lakes in North America and the Southeastern parts of the U.S. The Ghost Shrimp is nocturnal and likes to remain hidden amongst live plants and vegetation during the day because they are preyed upon by birds and fish. During the nighttime, they emerge from their hiding spots to feed themselves. Since they are considered to be a popular food source amongst species of fish and others, Ghost Shrimp is considered to be a keystone species.

What is a Ghost Shrimp's habitat?

A Ghost Shrimp will always like living amongst vegetation and live plants. They usually flourish in slightly moving water in freshwater or slightly brackish aquatic environments especially found in lakes. If you are planning to keep Ghost Shrimp as pets, decorate their tank with rocks and vegetation amongst which they would like to hide, making it an ideal environment for them.

Who do Ghost Shrimps live with?

Ghost shrimp usually like to live in groups because it is ideal for Ghost Shrimp breeding. These freshwater shrimp species can also thrive with other peaceful fish if kept as a pet in a tank or aquarium.

How long does a Ghost Shrimp live?

The Ghost shrimp lifespan can extend up to one year if they survive in the wild or if kept in a tank with harmless small fish like Tetras. What also adds to their longevity in captivity are tanks with good water conditions, proper feeding, and lots of hiding places and plants. A 10-gallon tank of freshwater with live plants that make good hiding places and a developed substrate is the ideal tank structure for the survival and breeding of Ghost Shrimp.

How do they reproduce?

Ghost shrimp live in large groups of both males and females that help them breed. When a female Ghost Shrimp is pregnant, she can be seen carrying the eggs. These eggs appear to be minuscule green colored dots located under the tail. A tank should always have an equal number of females and males. They can be identified after maturing because they are much larger than male Ghost Shrimp and also have a green-colored saddle below their bodies. The females produce 20-30 eggs every few weeks. To keep the female and her babies safe, if you're keeping them as a pet, shift her to a separate tank up until the baby shrimp hatch. The female can be returned back to the main tank, while the baby shrimp can be fed liquid food or rotifers.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Ghost shrimp is Least Concern because of the prolific number of Ghost Shrimps in the world. They are also popularly kept pets with fish in aquariums as well as the key food source for other carnivorous fish.

Ghost Shrimp Fun Facts

What do Ghost Shrimps look like?

Ghost Shrimp are small invertebrates belonging to the family of decapods crustaceans and have distinctive transparent bodies that can grow up to a maximum length of 1.5-3 in. Despite the fact that they are transparent, they can be easily spotted because of the orange or yellow-colored spot that is found at the center of their tails. Their bodies are segmented, each having a particular use along with 10 legs that are both used to eat and swim. The female Ghost Shrimp is larger than the males and can be differentiated because of the green saddle attached beneath their body which is absent in males. They can also be recognized by the very noticeable ridge located at the top of their tails.

Ghost Shrimp fun facts let us know facts about breeding Ghost Shrimp species.

How cute are they?

More than being cute, a Ghost Shrimp can be an interesting addition to your tank, along with fish. Shrimps usually don't have a cute quotient because of their odd-shaped bodies and pointy legs. The Ghost Shrimp, however, is very fascinating to look at because of their unique bodies. Since the Ghost Shrimp is so transparent, the food they eat and digested is also clearly visible from the outside of their bodies, which is quite gross to think about but quite interesting to look at. Hence, a Ghost Shrimp is a great tank accessory.

How do they communicate?

The Ghost Shrimp is very sociable in nature and thrives well with groups. However, if they are left alone, they are most likely to get aggressive amongst one another. If you want a pet Ghost Shrimp, make sure you keep them in groups so that they can communicate with each other and this also aids in Ghost Shrimp breeding.

How big is a Ghost Shrimp?

The Ghost shrimp is a relatively small species of shrimp that can only extend to a size of 1.5-3 in. The female Ghost Shrimp is distinctively larger than the male Ghost Shrimp. It is as big as the size of most normal-sized shrimps and small crustaceans.

How fast can Ghost Shrimps move?

Ghost shrimp are quite inactive during the day to avoid being preyed upon by bigger carnivorous fish and birds. They are much more fast and active at night when they come out of their hiding places and search for food or feed of plankton.

How much does a Ghost Shrimp weigh?

The Ghost Shrimp species is a relatively small and light species of crustaceans who barely weigh 0.03-0.17 oz (1-5 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Ghost shrimp females and Ghost Shrimp males have no distinctive names to distinguish amongst them for their genders. They are usually differentiated because of their size and looks.

What would you call a baby Ghost Shrimp?

Baby Ghost Shrimp are usually referred to as hatchlings or Ghost Shrimp spawn. A collection of baby Ghost Shrimp is usually called a clutch of Shrimp.

What do they eat?

The Ghost shrimp species spend most of their lives inhabiting lower levels of water because of the sandy substrate, which is greatly necessary for their survival. This is primarily because one of their main food sources is the food that sinks down to the surface and is scavenged by the Ghost Shrimp. Ghost shrimp are omnivorous, and they are known to feed on plants in the wild which are generally consumed by them in the detritus form. When they are struggling to feed themselves, the Ghost Shrimp might also feed on the live plants. Their primary diet consists of algae that grow on solid rocks or surfaces, which are eaten by them when they pass by. Other than these primary food sources, their diet consists of any type of marine fodder that is tiny enough to be eaten and digested by them. Since they are omnivores, they are also known to feed on eggs, larvae, tiny insects, and scavenge for dead organic matter. Baby Ghost Shrimp can eat algae and also tiny amounts of plant detritus.

Are they harmful?

Ghost shrimps are the exact opposite of harmful if kept in a tank along with other benign fish mates. They are known as a scavenging species of omnivores who usually feed on dead and decaying organic matter keeping the tank clean. They are great, and natural cleaners and hence will make a wonderful addition to your tank. They are known to be peaceful and harmless and usually don't bother other fish at all since they like to stay hidden amongst the rocks and vegetation in their tank environment. The only unlikely behavior you might notice is that they are cannibalistic in nature, and once a shrimp or any other fish dies in the tank, they will most likely swarm around it to feed on its carcass. There is really not much to be alarmed about this behavior as they are a naturally omnivorous scavenging species of shrimp. The dead shrimp should not be left in the tank water for too long because it might lead to a surge in the ammonia levels in the tank water, thereby increasing the water's toxicity levels. Interestingly, the Ghost Shrimp, despite being so tiny in size, secrete more than enough nitrous waste to pollute the tank water and the tank atmosphere in general. This might lead to excessive toxic levels in the tank if not kept in check leading to the deaths of all the Ghost Shrimps and the smaller and weaker companions in the tank.

Would they make a good pet?

Ghost shrimps do make exceptionally useful pets not only because they are cheap and fascinating to look at but also because of their resourceful and benign nature. If you want this species of shrimps as pets, it is imperative to keep a proper working freshwater tank environment similar to their natural and wild habitat. The Ghost Shrimp is also commonly kept by fish keepers who don't even have high experience levels with aquarium fish. They are extremely easy to care for and make beautiful additions to tropical tank environments consisting of less aggressive and gentle fish.

Did you know...

Omnivorous shrimp species like the Ghost Shrimp are integral in organizing the environmental structure of the community since they play a very important role by helping in the reduction of sediments on substrates of rocks, which leads to the increase in algal populations.

This species of shrimp, despite being greatly preyed upon, are also used as hosts by the parasitic isopod known as Probopyrus pandalicola. These parasites are known to make females their hosts by sterilizing them hence preventing the maturation of their ovaries. In male hosts, this parasite thwarts the growth of outer characters of their sex. This parasite is also known to cause these changes by draining their bodies of nutrients and interfering with their hormonal balance.

The Ghost Shrimp's strength

The Ghost shrimp are known to have poor strength and are required to be taken care of very well in an aquarium. They most likely will not survive in a cycling aquarium because they do not have a significant amount of bioload. They are less sensitive to nitrates but avoid adding ammonia to the aquarium since it could lead to disaster killing your Ghost Shrimp quickly. Shrimps usually die of old age if water quality and ideal environmental conditions are well-maintained. Conversely, Ghost shrimp species are particularly known to die easily if the pre-requisites of the environmental conditions integral to their survival are not met.

What fish can live with Ghost Shrimp?

Benign and gentle species of harmless fish are ideal companions in any aquarium that is home to Ghost Shrimp. Fish species to consider keeping in an aquarium along with Ghost Shrimp are danios, smaller sizes of catfish like Cory catfish, small algae eaters, hatchet fish, cherry barbs. Tetras are considered the most ideal tank mates for these Shrimps. Other peaceful bottom feeders are the freshwater snails, Kuhli loaches or zebra loaches, Amano shrimp, cherry shrimp. Ghost shrimp can thrive with these species because they are known to be very peaceful. In turn, these marine creatures will not cause harm or prey upon the Ghost Shrimp, leaving them unperturbed. Ghost shrimp should most definitely not be paired with carnivorous or predatory fish in a tank. Infant shark species, lionfish, and the like should never be paired with Ghost Shrimp species or any other smaller species of shrimp because they will not last long in a confined aquarium environment with limited places to go and hide in the water.

Many tank owners keep betta fish in a water tank consisting of Ghost Shrimp. This is because they can live together peacefully, but there might be a risky chance of the betta killing and eating the Ghost Shrimp. Ghost shrimp species, however, are quite cheap and hence popularly kept paired with bettas as tank mates to see how aggressive the betta might be. If the betta does not harm the Ghost Shrimp, it is most likely not going to kill or cause harm to other fish. Aquarium or tank owners start with adding two or three of these shrimp species in the tank along with the betta fish. If they are benign, they will not harm the shrimp. In the other case, however, it is important that you keep your betta isolated in its own tank.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods, including slipper lobster, or sea snake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Ghost Shrimp coloring pages.

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