Betta Care Fish Guide

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp: Signs, Care, Stages And More!

If you’ve always wondered how to care for pregnant ghost shrimp, and the ghost shrimps eggs, then you’ve found the right article!

In this article, you’ll learn about the signs to look for in a pregnant ghost shrimp and how to properly breed them to increase your aquarium’s ghost shrimp population. You’ll learn the ways that you can tell when your ghost shrimp is bearing eggs and what the different stages of pregnancy (or gravidity) look like.

You’ll also learn how to set up a breeding tank, care for your pregnant shrimp and newly hatched ghost shrimp fry. You’ll also learn the common mating behaviors your ghost shrimp may be exhibiting as well as behaviors of a pregnant ghost shrimp.

So get ready to take on the challenges of being a ghost shrimp breeder and watch your aquarium thrive!

Table of Contents

How Can You Tell When Your Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant?

There are six surefire ways to tell if your ghost shrimp is bearing eggs, and they all rely on your close observation of the gravid shrimp.

Green Specks

Before the eggs are fertilized or even grow large enough to develop, they appear as minute green specks near the abdomen of the female ghost shrimp on a part of her body known as the saddle. However, due to their small size, at this stage they may still be difficult to see.

Leg Fanning

Pregnant ghost shrimp will often fan the legs that have attached eggs to them, presumably to provide oxygen for the developing fry.

Specks Near Her Tail

Once the eggs begin to grow larger, they will migrate toward the tail and rear legs and away from the abdomen. If they are still green, they have not been fertilized; but if they are white, then a male has done his part.

Weight Gain

If the males that cohabitate the female’s tank begin competing for the female’s attention, chances are she’s bearing eggs, and they want to be the first in line to fertilize them.

The addition of 20-30 eggs will make your female ghost shrimp appear larger than previously observed.

Male Attention

Lastly, you may also notice that your females are suddenly getting a lot more attention from the males, which they didn’t have before.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages

Pregnancy (or gravidity) for ghost shrimp does not last long – only three weeks – but results in a few dozen offspring if successful.

The little green dots will appear on the female ghost shrimp’s saddle near the base of her abdomen. During this week you will notice barely any changes in your ghost shrimp and her behavior

The eggs will lighten in color and move down the legs toward the tail. Fertilization by the males usually occurs during week 2. During this stage you’ll also notice your ghost shrimps eggs are beginning to get bigger as well.

Fertilized eggs will turn white, and the eyes and stomach of the fry will be visible as black specks. By the end of week 3, the fry hatch from the eggs.

How Do You Know When Your Ghost Shrimp Is About to Give Birth?

There are a couple of tell-tale signs given by the appearance of the eggs, as well as the behavior of the female ghost shrimp, which indicate the fries are about to hatch.

Visible Eyes and Stomach

When the fries are ready to hatch, you should be able to distinctly see black specks within the white eggs, which are the developing eyes and stomachs of the ghost shrimp fry.

Female Behavior

The pregnant female ghost shrimp will often swim away from the bottom of the tank and use her forelegs to wipe off the eggs encouraging the hatching fry to exit their embryonic homes.

How Many Babies Do Ghost Shrimp Have?

If you plan on breeding your ghost shrimp, then it’s important to know how many babies you’re going to be dealing with.

Generally, ghost shrimp can have between 8-80 babies at a time. During the course of the year, this can definitely add up and if left unwatched they could end up having 100’s of babies. Fortunately, these can be a nice snack for other fish in your tank.

How To Setup A Breeding Tank For Ghost Shrimp

It’s important to keep a separate breeding tank for ghost shrimp as the newly hatched young can be difficult to keep alive, especially with hungry adult shrimp and fish looking to feast on them. Here are some steps to setting up a breeding tank to give the young ghost shrimp their best chance of survival.

Step 1: Set up tank and filter

Purchase a ten-gallon tank and equip it with a sponge filter for cleaning. You want to avoid using a regular fish tank filter to clean the water because the suction can be too strong for baby shrimp to fight and it may end up killing them.

Step 2: Install an air pump

Ghost shrimp need oxygenated water in order to live , And while a filter may be enough if there’s enough surface agitation, adding an air pump will ensure that your ghost shrimp will be happy.

Step 3: Bottom cover

Use sand or gravel to cover the bottom of the tank. Different colors will affect the shrimp’s appearance, so choose a lighter bottom cover to keep the shrimp transparent or a darker bottom cover to encourage the development of spots.

Step 4: Fill with water

Fill the tank with water and let it sit with the filter and air pump running for a full day before adding shrimp to make sure any unwanted chemicals have been cleaned out.

Make sure the water temperature is optimal for ghost shrimp, keeping it between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (or 22 and 28 degrees Celsius). And make sure you’re keeping the pH level in the tank between 7.0- 8.0 as well.

Step 5: Add plants

It is highly recommended to add plants to your breeding tank because the young shrimp will feed on the plant debris. Java moss is especially popular to use because it traps debris, making it easier for young ghost shrimp to access.

As well as this, plants are going to give your ghost shrimp plenty of places to hide! Even if there aren’t any predators in the tank it will still help them to feel safe and secure, reducing their stress levels!

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How Do You Care for a Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

Pregnant ghost shrimp are easy to care for as long as you feed them and pay close attention to the stages of their pregnancy.

Feed your pregnant ghost shrimp a diet high in baby shrimp and algae and with more than enough food available to feed multiple adults. Also, make sure there are plants in the breeding tank, as the ghost shrimp will eat any plant debris too.

Keep The Tank Warm Enough

You should also make sure you’re keeping the tank at the warmer end of the temperature scale when your ghost shrimp is pregnant to help simulate her natural environment. So keep the temperature close to 80 degrees farenheit.

Separate the pregnant ghost shrimp from the rest of the adults once the eggs are fertilized (have turned white) to reduce the chance of fry being devoured upon hatching.

Once all of the babies have hatched, also remove the no longer pregnant female shrimp from the vicinity of the fry as she will most likely try to eat them.

Keep The Tank Clean

And of course, you should make sure that you’re keeping the tank clean for your ghost shrimp as well. Once again installing a sponge filter is your best option. However, removing any uneaten food that is beginning to decay and performing small water changes is also essential for the health of your ghost shrimp.

How Do You Care for Ghost Shrimp Fry?

The biggest challenge for keeping ghost shrimp fry alive is getting them to eat and helping them avoid becoming meals themselves. Here are some tips to ensure your ghost shrimp fry will survive to adulthood.

Nursing Tank

Keep the ghost shrimp fry in a nursing tank equipped with a sponge filter separate from adult ghost shrimp to avoid becoming prey to the bigger crustaceans. Make sure there’s a layer of sand or gravel on the bottom and keep the temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aquarium Lighting

Baby ghost shrimp tend to be photophilic and can injure themselves by swimming into the glass walls of their nursery tank. Only use an overhead aquarium light and block out any ambient light by covering the sides of the tank with construction paper or fabric.

Without a constant flow of oxygen, ghost shrimp fry will perish. Be sure to install an air pump in the nursing tank. Adding plants will also increase the oxygen supply as well as provide shelter and food.

Do not neglect to feed your baby ghost shrimp, as starvation is the greatest killer of these little critters. Every three hours (yes, even through the night), they require a balanced diet of liquid fry food, microworms, daphnia, and baby brine shrimp.

Keep Your Tank Heavily Planted

You should also make sure you’re keeping the tank heavily planted for your ghost shrimp fry as well. Not only will this add more oxygen to the tank, but all the hiding places will give your shrimp the best chance of survival. And the plant debris in the tank can provide another source of food for your ghost shrimp!

What Is Common Ghost Shrimp Mating Behavior?

Males and females exhibit different types of behavior when it comes time to breed, but both recognize the other’s patterns and baby shrimp are the end result of their courtship.

When females are ready to mate, eggs will develop as small green specks on the saddle near the base of her abdomen. These will eventually move down to her rear legs under her tail, and she will exhibit a fanning behavior to oxygenate the eggs or perhaps make them more apparent to a male.

Males can detect when females are ready to breed, presumably through chemical cues released into the water. Male ghost shrimp will gather around the females and fight each other to compete for her approval to mate with her and fertilize her eggs.

Why Is a Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Curling Up?

The main reason why any ghost shrimp curls up is to clean itself or molt. Pregnant ghost shrimp may also be shedding unwanted eggs or eggs that are hatching.

Pregnant ghost shrimp still clean themselves while gravid and curling up may be a simple sign of cleaning.

Hatching Eggs

Another reason a pregnant ghost shrimp will curl up is if her eggs start to hatch. She may curl up and begin to use her forelegs to wipe off the eggs that are hatching to encourage the babies to be born.

How Long Does It Take for a Ghost Shrimp to Lay Eggs?

Female ghost shrimp will carry their eggs for a total of three weeks before they hatch. This time includes the development of the eggs as well as the fertilization. Most female ghost shrimp will carry 20 to 30 eggs at a time.

Will Ghost Shrimp Breed in a Community Tank?

Ghost shrimp will definitely breed in a community tank as long as the tank is adequately filtered, oxygenated, is the right temperature, and contains an abundance of food. Adding live plants to a community tank will further increase your chances of ghost shrimp breeding by providing additional food and shelter.

Just remember to keep baby ghost shrimp out of the community tank, or they will become quick prey to the adult shrimp and other inhabitants of the aquarium.

Will a Ghost Shrimp Die After Laying Eggs?

As long as a ghost shrimp is properly cared for, fed, and water conditions are optimal, a ghost shrimp should not die after laying eggs. Once their eggs are laid, they are viable to lay another set of eggs and keep cycling through the process until they do eventually die of old age.

Do Ghost Shrimps Lay Eggs or Give Birth?

Ghost shrimps lay eggs – they never carry the eggs inside their bodies and nourish them with yolks or through placental attachments. The eggs are fertilized externally by the male. As such female ghost shrimps bearing eggs are considered gravid, not pregnant.

Can Ghost Shrimp Give Birth in Community Tanks?

A ghost shrimp can hatch her eggs in a community tank. However, this is ill-advised. Newly hatched ghost shrimp are easy prey for adult ghost shrimp and other fish living in a community tank. If they do escape predation, the chances that they will fall victim to other aquarium hazards such as being sucked into the filter or starving to death are highly likely.

If you want your baby ghost shrimp to survive to adulthood, it’s best if they are hatched in a separate nursery tank and then moved to the community tank when they reach adulthood.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Their Babies?

Ghost shrimp will eat their babies, especially in cases where they are hungry. As well as this, if you house other fish in your tank, they will also eat your ghost shrimps babies. Providing plenty of hiding places is the best way to increase their chance of survival.

Why Are Your Ghost Shrimps Eggs Turning Black?

If your ghost shrimps eggs are turning black, it means they are starting to mature, and they’ll soon be ready to hatch. This will normally occur in the last phases of pregnancy when the embryos are just about to emerge.

Ghost shrimp are easy to care for and breed as long as you give them the proper attention and environment to thrive. Be sure to set up optimal conditions in their tanks, especially when it comes to oxygenation and food, and they will start breeding in no time.

Watch carefully for the mating behaviors of both males and females and observe how the gravid females progress through the stages of pregnancy. Note how the eggs turn from green to white as they become fertilized, and pay attention to the shedding behaviors of the female once eggs start to hatch.

It’s important to move newly hatched ghost shrimp fry to their own nursery tank in order to ensure they don’t fall prey to adult shrimp. Take extra caution in setting up their environment by eliminating any typical aquarium hazards such as the distraction of ambient light or the strong suction of normal filters.

Most importantly, feed those baby shrimp often as starvation is the number one killer of ghost shrimp fry. You are ready to start breeding your very own ghost shrimp – good luck!

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

Hey there! I'm Antonio, the passionate owner and chief editor of Betta Care Fish Guide. With over half a decade of hands-on experience, I've become your go-to expert for all things betta and tropical fish.

Over the past 5 years, I've not only kept bettas and other tropical fish but also connected with a diverse network of hobbyists, seasoned fishkeepers, and even veterinarians.

Now, I want to help other beginner fish keepers who had the same questions as me when they were just starting out! So they can save themselves a ton of time and keep their fish happy and healthy!

Complete Koi Betta Guide (Tank, Breeding, Diet, Care)

What do cherry shrimp eat (top 5 foods included).

ghost shrimp

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp – Helpful Caring Guide For Beginners

Popular in freshwater aquariums, ghost shrimp are prized for their unique appearance and engaging behavior. These diminutive, transparent critters are calm and simple to take care of, making them a favorite among new aquarists. But if your tank contains female ghost shrimp, you can soon discover a surprise: a ghost shrimp is pregnant, which means she is carrying eggs. We will talk about pregnant ghost shrimp in this post, including how to spot a pregnant female, what to expect during the pregnancy, and how to take care of the mother and her young.

Stages Of Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Three stages of development occur when a ghost shrimp is pregnant. The pre-egg, egg, and post-egg stages are as follows. The female shrimp saves food in her belly during the pre-egg stage so that the eggs can eat it when they hatch. The egg stage lasts from the time the eggs are laid until the shrimp fry and fourth-stage larvae emerge. All young ghost shrimp undergo their first molts during the post-egg stage, losing their exoskeletons to become juveniles (the first stage), which will eventually develop into adults.

But what does it imply if your shrimp has green dots under its tail? That implies that the ghost shrimp you have is a female who is carrying eggs. Let’s see some typical signs of pregnancy in ghost shrimp down below.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Signs?

The female ghost shrimp is the easiest to distinguish since she will be larger, plumper, heavier, and have a brown or black patch on the back of her abdomen. She may also be experiencing foam emerging from her anus as a result of egg yolk excretion. The presence of males in the tank frequently causes the female shrimp to become stressed, which results in her color changing in the presence of green dots. After the male ghost shrimp fertilize the eggs for a few days, the pregnant shrimp will start to exhibit pregnancy symptoms.

When a female dies, it happens instantaneously if she is still generating eggs . Females normally stop laying eggs approximately three weeks before they pass away. Your pregnant female ghost shrimp is probably going to live less time in an established tank (with the abundance of food) than if she were in a newly set up or established tank.

It depends on the species as to how long the pregnancy lasts. When pregnant, ghost shrimp from regions with differing temperatures may live less time than those from more tropical regions.

  • Throughout the entire pregnancy, a ghost shrimp will be present in the tank.
  • The shrimp’s tail appears transparent and is white and opaque .
  • There may be an additional pair of eyes on the top of the ghost shrimp’s head.

A pregnant ghost shrimp is a sensitive creature and should be avoided. In plain view of the other residents of the tank, a female will lay her eggs on the substrate (the watering area outside the filter).

pregnant ghost shrimp

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Caring

Using a fine substrate that allows for scavenging and adding living plants, like java moss or hornwort, which provide a food supply and shelter, are two suggestions for setting up an appropriate tank for ghost shrimp, not in a community tank. For the additional cover, add rocks, driftwood, or man-made caves. Ghost shrimp frequently lose their shells, so they require a place to hide while waiting for their new shells to develop. These additives can maintain a high level of oxygen in the water and give pregnant ghost shrimp a secure and comfortable environment.

How to set up a tank for pregnant ghost shrimp?

  • Install the tank with filter: Water that is pure and clean should be poured into a 10-gallon tank . To clean the water more effectively, it is suggested to utilize a filter with a larger surface area. Aquatic plants should be present in tanks as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the water to maintain water oxygenation.
  • Install a blower: Your shrimp won’t have any trouble breathing if you use an air pump. If you consider an air pump to be a financial waste. Well, you are mistaken. Your ghost shrimp will perish if it is not housed in a tank with an air pump.
  • Bottom of the tank cover: You should be more cautious about the gravel’s color in the case of ghost shrimps, though. Because it interferes with the newborn shrimps’ transparency, consequently, it is advisable to use gravel or sand that is light in color for young shrimp.
  • Pour water into: It is essential to fill the tank with clean, pure water because doing so promotes the healthy development of young shrimp. Moreover, you should have some pH testing strips on hand so that you can determine the pH of the water. In order to raise newborn shrimp, keep the pH of the water close to 7 (neutral).
  • Add greenery: It is a good idea to breed bottom with some plantations since it helps to create a favorable breeding habitat. Young ghost shrimp might find a nice hiding place in plants. 

suitable tank for pregnant ghost shrimp

What are the suitable water conditions for pregnant ghost shrimp?

As you can see, the fourth step involves filling the tank with water. So, which water parameters are effective? Secondly, make sure the water is crystal clear and incredibly clean. The filter should then be run before introducing the shrimp to the tank. All dangerous chemicals and undesired substances will be eliminated.

In a variety of water temperatures and conditions, ghost shrimp can survive. Maintain the water’s temperature between 65 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit for your shrimp’s best health (18 – 28 degrees C). The ideal pH range for water is between 7.0 and 8.0 . Maintain a water hardness range of 3.72 to 6.75.

Equipment you should have

The newborn and juvenile shrimp are not good swimmers, but adult ghost shrimp are. As I mentioned above, if you utilize a powerful system, there is a chance that they will be drawn into the filter. For the breeding tank, install a sponge filter. The moderate current created by this filter will be more relaxing for the adults in addition to safeguarding your young shrimp.

Together with the live plants, adding an air pump may keep the water properly oxygenated. If you have enough plant cover, ghost shrimp can spend their entire day at the bottom of the aquarium without any special lighting.

What Causes Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

In the majority of reef aquariums, pregnant ghost shrimp become pregnant for no apparent reason . The usage of common reef additives, water quality/filter capacity, illumination, or other natural elements is the most frequent culprit. The usage of common reef additives is the most frequent cause of pregnant ghost shrimps.

The most frequent food or supplement ingredients that can make ghost shrimp pregnant are carbon, iron, and Red Sea coral products. A female may store food in her intestine and become pregnant if there are iron or carbon supplements in the water.

By lowering the pH level of the female shrimp , carbon or iron supplementation may also have the same effect as reducing egg production. Moreover, other elements, like changes in temperature or abrupt changes in light, may also cause pH to alter. The pH of the water used by the shrimp has also changed as a result of iron or carbon additions. The male shrimp may be able to exude his fragrance. As a result, causing the ghost shrimp deposit eggs. This will induce an abrupt increase in egg production and pregnancy to occur.

Using various lighting setups when setting up your tank would be another factor. If you’ve never done this before, it could have an immediate impact on the quality of the water.

Baby Ghost Shrimp Caring

pregnant ghost shrimp giving birth

Even while pregnant, ghost shrimp are quite simple to maintain. Females who are pregnant could become more secretive and regularly withdraw to hiding places. As a result, it’s crucial to give them lots of hiding places in the tank.

Ghost shrimp thrive in a fine substrate because they hunt near the tank’s bottom for food. Live plants can be added to the aquarium to give the pregnant ghost shrimp more food options and cover. Examples of these plants are java moss and hornwort as hiding places after molting. Boulders, driftwood, or man-made caverns can also be used.

Regular water changes are advised since ghost shrimp during pregnancy depend on the water’s quality . Use a water conditioner to get rid of the chloramine and chlorine in your tap water.

How many ghost shrimp babies will come?

On a smaller scale, one female ghost shrimp can successfully fertilize eight to thirty eggs . Every 30 to 40 days, she will continue to lay clutches of eggs for fertilization.

In a whole year, the normal Ghost Shrimp can carry anything from eight to 85 eggs behind her tail. The chances of all the eggs surviving the phases of pregnancy and delivery are slim. During the duration of the entire year, the typical range of ghost shrimp lay eggs is between five and 70.

A young Ghost Shrimp must withstand its mother’s natural feeding urges after birth and consume enough food to grow to maturity.

What is the best food for baby ghost shrimp?

The best nourishment for baby shrimp is modest amounts of liquid or finely powdered food . Ghost shrimp that have just hatched, known as nauplii, eat minute amounts of bacteria and algae in the water, but as they get bigger, they need more substantial food sources. Baby ghost shrimp can be fed brine shrimp, micro worms, finely crushed flake or pellet feeds, and baby brine shrimp. To make sure they are getting enough to eat, it is crucial to feed them in modest amounts multiple times throughout the day. Also, it’s crucial to prevent overfeeding because too much food might harm the quality of the water.

How many times a year can ghost shrimp get pregnant?

Every few weeks, ghost shrimp can get pregnant and reproduce all year long. The number of times a year that ghost shrimp can reproduce is difficult to pinpoint because it depends on a variety of variables, including their age, health, and environmental circumstances.

Why are your ghost shrimp eggs turning black?

Ghost shrimp eggs can become black for a number of causes, such as fungus, bacteria, or bad water quality. In order to prevent additional harm to the eggs or the adult shrimp, it is crucial to address the root problem as soon as you realize that your ghost shrimp eggs are becoming black.

Why is a pregnant ghost shrimp curling up?

Curling up could be an indication of tension or pain in a pregnant ghost shrimp . To maintain the health and well-being of the pregnant shrimp as well as the other occupants of the tank, it is crucial to treat any possible problems as soon as they arise.


  • Wikipedia –
  • How To Breed Ghost Shrimp –

Annette M. Chaney

Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.

Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp 101: What to Expect and What to Do

  • by Dr. Mollie Newton
  • November 28, 2022
  • 10 minute read

Featured Image - pregnant ghost shrimp

Why are there green and white dots on my ghost shrimp’s abdomen?

In this article...

Seeing spots on your aquatic friend is usually a sign for concern, however, in this case it might mean that your ghost shrimp is pregnant.

Whether you’re breeding ghost shrimp, or just keeping them as tank mates, keep reading for a step-by-step guide to help identify if your ghost shrimp is pregnant, how to care for her, what to feed her, how to separate her from the community tank and how to start caring for your new baby shrimps.

Can ghost shrimp reproduce on their own?

A common misconception is that ghost shrimp are hermaphroditic (an animal that has both female and male sex organs). Hermaphroditic animals are able to reproduce on their own, however, ghost shrimp are a gonochoric species.

Gonochoric species have a female and male sex, both are required for fertilized eggs. Without a male counterpart the female will still produce eggs, however they will not hatch.

FUN FACT It’s incorrect to call ghost shrimps pregnant. All shrimp are egg layers and do not become pregnant (a term generally used for bearers of live-young). Instead female ghost shrimps are gravid with eggs. In this article we’ll mostly use the term pregnant as that’s what most people refer to gravid ghost shrimp as.

How to tell if a ghost shrimp is pregnant?

When deciding if female ghost shrimps are pregnant or not the first thing you will notice is bright green dots along their abdomen. This is an indication that your female is a gravid shrimp and almost ready for fertilization. These dots are actually unfertilized eggs that will stay in the abdomen region for roughly 7 days.

After a week you’ll see the little green eggs beginning to migrate closer to the saddle . At this stage that male ghost shrimp fertilize the eggs, thus turning them white, this generally takes about a week. Fertilized females will carry for 2.5 to 3 weeks, during the last week the mother shrimp will move her clutch of eggs to a lower part of her tail and use her swimmerets or her rear legs to fan the eggs.

NOTE Not sure what the saddle is? Pregnant ghost shrimps have a light green spot high up on their back just behind their head. The little green dots or eggs are held on the underside of their belly and migrate along the belly towards the saddle to be in position for fertilization.

I don’t see tiny green dots, is my female ghost shrimp pregnant?

Other ways to tell if a ghost shrimp is pregnant is an increase in size, appetite, and foraging behavior. Leg fanning , sometimes known as splaying, is thought to be performed for two main reasons;

  • Provide oxygen and aeration to the eggs to regulate temperature
  • Relieve the discomfort of carrying eggs
RECOMMENDATION You can keep an air pump in the tank to help your pregnant shrimps aerate their eggs.

How long do ghost shrimp stay pregnant?

Ghost shrimp can breed every 30-40 days . Keep in mind that the breeding process takes roughly 5 weeks, depending on how long it takes the male shrimp to fertilize the female’s eggs (1 to 3 weeks). Ghost shrimp can be bred at any time during their adult life, or from ages 3-9 months.

The table below shows ghost shrimp pregnancy from the time a female becomes pregnant until the female ghost shrimp lay eggs. This can help you plan for your baby ghost shrimps and make sure you have enough space to properly care for them!

How often can I breed my ghost shrimp?

Something that I am often asked is whether ghost shrimp die because of breeding? The short answer is no, though breeding consistently shortens their lifespan in my experience. Ghost shrimp generally live 1-1.5 years, meaning that once you’ve bred them 3 or 4 times their bodies might not be able to successfully continue laying eggs.

Fertilization/Egg Laying Timeline

How many eggs can ghost shrimp produce.

I have learned that how often ghost shrimp get pregnant greatly depends on the temperature of the tank water. The warmer the water temperature, the better it replicates summer months which is when wild ghost shrimp usually mate. Using a reliable heater is the most effective way to initiate mating.

However, keeping your temperature on the high end of the ghost shrimp tolerance range will decrease their lifespan.

How many eggs can ghost shrimp carry per pregnancy?

During each successful breeding pregnant ghost shrimp can carry 20-30 eggs , but the average number of hatchlings that are successfully released into the aquarium varies.

How many times a year can ghost shrimp get pregnant?

Once they reach breeding age each ghost shrimp can get pregnant 4 to 8x per year. Doing the math that means each ghost shrimp produces 80-240 eggs in a year, but most experts agree that only 5-70 will turn into hatchlings.

Can Ghost Shrimp Breed in a Community Tank?

While ghost shrimp can breed in a community tank that doesn’t necessarily mean they should. Especially, if your community tank contains bad tank mates such as oscars, cichlids, and other aggressive fish.

In fact, as soon as you notice your female ghost shrimp becoming gravid you should move her and the male ghost shrimps into a breeding tank. Some fish keepers claim that you should place 1 female for every 2 males. I’ve never experienced a difference in fertilization times regardless of how many males are in a tank.

Should I separate a pregnant ghost shrimp from the tank?

Once the female lays her eggs it’s suggested that you remove her from the breeding area as well. There’s no danger of the eggs being eaten before they are laid in community tanks, however, it’s much easier to remove the pregnant ghost shrimp than 20-30 eggs that are the size of pinheads.

Another hazard of leaving ghost shrimp larvae in a community tank is that other fish will eat the eggs and ghost shrimp fry. I recommend using a separate breeding tank until the young ghost shrimp are big enough to be introduced to the community tank around 5 weeks of age.

RECOMMENDATION If purchasing your ghost shrimp from a pet store or breeder for breeding yourself it’s recommended that you get at least 20 ghost shrimps to ensure that you have a mix of males and females.

Another option for separating your pregnant ghost shrimp from the members of the community tank is hanging a fine mesh basket from the top of your tank. This will allow the female ghost shrimp to safely lay eggs within the mesh basket without interference from other fish.

The benefit of this method is that you don’t have to cycle or maintain a separate tank. However, this does severely limit the amount of ghost shrimp fry you can have at once.

How big of a tank do I need for hatchlings?

Be sure to plan how many babies will fit in your ghost shrimp breeding tank before the eggs hatch. It’s recommended that you have a minimum tank size of 5 gallons with a maximum of 8-10 ghost shrimp per gallon, in my experience 3-4 ghost shrimp per gallon is a better number and allows plenty of foraging room for all ghost shrimps.

These tank size requirements apply to adult shrimps (2 inches long), or after 3 months of age.

NOTE Note: 5 weeks of age refers to from the time the baby shrimps were free-swimming, not from the time the eggs were laid!

How do I set-up a breeding tank for ghost shrimp?

Before your ghost shrimp emerge from the hatched eggs, you should start cycling the intended breeding tank. We’ve included some of the water parameters in the table below. Cycling a tank for your baby ghost shrimps should be no different than cycling other tanks.

What should I put in the tank?

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous and while you should feed your ghost shrimp according to the schedule we provide in the next two sections they will also forage for algae and other detritus in the water column. Hatchlings can begin foraging as soon as 48 hours after becoming free-swimming.

Therefore, provide live plants, terracotta pots or other decor where algae will collect to allow foraging behavior. Substrates such as sand or fine gravel will also be helpful for hatchlings as it will give them more foraging places and traction along the bottom of the tank.

RECOMMENDATION I suggest using a sponge filter and air pump in the baby shrimp tank.

My tank is set up, now how do I maintain it?

Even more important than the initial set up is the maintenance of the tank, the most common mistake: forgetting to change the water.

It’s important to have high quality water in your tank at all times when dealing with pregnant ghost shrimp and newborn ghost shrimp. You should perform a 20% water change every 1 to 2 weeks to ensure that you are ridding the tank of harmful substances while maintaining the levels of important minerals and elements.

20% water changes every 1 to 2 weeks is a good rule of thumb if your tank is well cycled, however you should monitor water parameters to see if you should do bigger or smaller water changes.

Tank Refill

When refilling your tank after a water change make sure that the new water is close to your tank parameters in regards to temperature, pH, hardness, nitrite, and nitrate levels.

You also want to make sure that you are either using bottled spring water (not distilled!) or tap water that has been dechlorinated. Other neutralizers may be needed depending on your source of water.

RECOMMENDATION How frequently you perform water changes depends on the size of your tank and your bioload. For example, it’s recommended that you have 3-4 adult shrimp per gallon, and the minimum tank size is 5 gallons. If you have 20 adult ghost shrimp (the max amount of biomass) in a 5 gallon tank you are probably going to have to do frequent or large water changes. If you have 20 adult shrimp in a 10 gallon tank you will have to do less frequent or smaller water changes.

Nitrate Level

Help! My ghost shrimp hatchling tank has a nitrate level of 10ppm! How big of a water change should I do??

For this example we’re going to assume that the tank in question is 10 gallons. Nitrate is a dissolved substance which means it’s equally distributed throughout the water column, in other words, 1ppm of nitrate per gallon of water. Nitrate levels are considered high if they are above 5-10ppm. In this tank, we’re going to try to get nitrate levels down to 3ppm.

A change of 7ppm means 7 gallons of the water need to be replaced or a 70% water change. This might seem drastic but a high amount of nitrates in the water can cause ammonium burns and even death. It’s especially important to monitor these levels in your breeding and hatchling tanks because pregnant ghost shrimp and ghost shrimp fry are especially sensitive to these changes.

What do Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Eat?

Pregnant ghost shrimps eat a mix of plant matter, organic matter, and other animals. During pregnancy you should be feeding your pregnant ghost shrimps a variety of algae wafers, small plant matter, microworms, and detritus or debris twice a day. You can also supplement her diet with additional nutrition using sources such as water soluble vitamins, nutrient-rich wafers, or high quality shrimp flakes.

It’s easy to overdose on these supplements and while it won’t necessarily do your ghost shrimp any harm, it’s also not beneficial. Aim to feed additional nutrition sources to your pregnant ghost shrimp no more than once a week.

You should provide live plants in both the community and breeding tank for your pregnant ghost shrimp to provide foraging opportunities during all stages of pregnancy. Ghost shrimps are foragers by nature and will supplement their diet themselves by finding algae or particles in the water column.

TIP Aquatic plants need high levels of dissolved oxygen and good circulation, keeping an air pump in your tank can help keep your plants and ghost shrimp happy!

Remember, you should feed your female shrimps good quality food so they lay good quality eggs!

Baby Ghost Shrimp Care and Feeding

Congratulations! You have 20-30 eggs that are about to hatch, but how are you going to care for them?

Luckily, you’ve already established the tank for your new baby shrimp. The breeding tank you set up and cycled at the beginning of this process can also serve as a nursery for your newborn shrimp. It’s important to note that you will likely need to do more water changes as a nursery tank then you did as a breeding tank as hatchlings make much more waste than eggs.

Feeding your baby shrimp is perhaps the most challenging aspect of care due to their tiny mouths. For the first few days we recommend feeding your babies infusoria. After 48 hours of free-swimming the baby ghost shrimp are able to forage and you can start feeding them algae powder, ground shrimp flakes, or tiny microworms. Other options include liquid fry food, sinking wafers, soft vegetables, or baby brine shrimp.

Transfer to Main Aquarium

After 5 weeks your baby ghost shrimp are ready to be introduced to the main aquarium. Before introduction, make sure to adjust them slowly to the water parameters of your community tank so they aren’t shocked. Then keep an eye on them for 48-72 hours and be ready with nutrient supplements in case they aren’t as efficient at foraging as the adult ghost shrimp in your community tank.

Wrapping up

In this guide we’ve looked at many aspects of pregnant shrimp identification and care. At the end of the day there’s no one way to breed ghost shrimp and it does take some experimentation to find the best set up for you. Closely monitoring your ghost shrimp is the best way to identify fertility and the various stages of pregnancy.

We think you’re ready to start caring for your own ghost shrimp, and wish you luck in your new aquarium adventure! As always let us know what you think about this article and share this post if you found it helpful!

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Dr. Mollie Newton

Founder of PetMeTwice. I'm a doctor of Veterinary Medicine and avid Aquarist. I love learning and teaching fellow fish lovers how to keep their fish healthy and happy. 🐠 🤩

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Pregnant Ghost Shrimp: Beginner’s Guide To Proper Breeding

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Last Updated: July 13, 2022 by Flora Gibbins

If you’re new to shrimp keeping, the chances are that you may not know what a pregnant ghost shrimp looks like. If you happen to see one in your tank, it likely became pregnant without your knowledge due to different causes. 

What to do?

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When pregnant, a ghost shrimp is more sensitive and require more care and attention, including making changes in the water parameters.

Pregnant ghost shrimp can be distinguished from non-pregnant shrimp by their physical appearance. They are plump and look like they have eaten a few pounds of food.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stage

Duration of pregnant ghost shrimp, possible causes of pregnancy, pregnancy phases for female ghost shrimp, pregnancy signs, breeding ghost shrimp, feeding baby brine shrimp to your pregnant ghost shrimp, watch this.

When ghost shrimp is pregnant, it will go through three stages of development. These are the pre-egg, egg, and post-egg stages.   The pre-egg stage is when the female shrimp is storing food in her abdomen for the eggs to eat once they are released.

The egg stage lasts until the eggs hatch into shrimp fry and becomes 4th stage larvae. The post-egg stage is when all young ghost shrimp have their first molts (shedding their exoskeletons) and become juveniles (first stage) which will eventually grow into adults.

But what does it mean if you see green dots under the tail of your shrimp? It means your ghost shrimp is a female and is carrying eggs.

This duration varies depending on the temperature of the water. In warmer temperatures (above 72 °F or 22 °C), the shrimp will only be pregnant for a few days to a week. It will be pregnant for 2 or 3 months in cooler temperatures, giving birth in colder water (around 60 °F or 15 °C).

Pregnant ghost shrimp obtain the pregnancy in most reef tanks without any known cause. The most common causes are the use of common reef additives, water quality/filter(s) capacity, lighting, or other natural factors. 

The most common reason which triggers pregnant ghost shrimps is the use of common reef additives.

The most common additives that can cause pregnancy in ghost shrimp are carbon or iron/RedSea coral supplements/foodstuff. Carbon or iron supplements in the water can cause a female to store food in her intestine and become pregnant.

This will result in the female’s abdomen being filled with eggs, which she will lay down after the ghost shrimp is pregnant.

It is also possible for carbon or iron supplements to reduce egg production by lowering the female shrimp’s pH level. Also, it may be possible for pH to change due to other factors such as temperature change, sudden changes in light, etc.

It is also possible for carbon or iron supplements to change the pH levels of the shrimp’s water. Because of this, it may be possible for the male shrimp to emit his scent, which causes the ghost shrimp lay eggs. This will result in a sudden increase in egg production and cause a sudden pregnancy period.

Another cause would be using different lighting systems when setting up your tank. This may have an immediate effect on water quality, especially if you have never used light before.

It is also possible that if there is an overabundance of nutrients in your tank, it will lead to an increase in coral diseases like ich and others, which can cause the female shrimp to produce eggs.

Pregnant ghost shrimps can become pregnant almost anytime during their adult life (3 to 9 months). The laying and fertilizing of the eggs usually take around 6 to 8 weeks. However, there will be some early signs that your female ghost shrimp will begin to lay eggs within a few days after fertilization.

If a female ghost shrimp is already pregnant, you will notice her laying eggs earlier than if you had never had any females in the tank.

The eggs are incubated within the female’s body cavity. For each fertilized egg, 2 cells develop into a source inside the mother shrimp until they grow to around 0.5mm in size.

These embryos hatch into shrimp fry after 1-2 weeks and then pass through several “instars,” meaning it could take anywhere from 1 to 3 months from when the eggs were deposited before they hatch.

Pregnancy Signs

The pregnant shrimp will show pregnant characteristics a few days after fertilization. 

The female ghost shrimp will be heavier and plumper, and she’ll grow in size and have a brown or black spot on the back of her abdomen.

She may also have some foam coming out of her anus caused by excreted egg yolk. Her color change with the presence of green dots is often triggered by the presence of males in the tank, which can cause stress to the female shrimp. 

Females typically stop laying eggs about 3 weeks before they die, which happens instantly if she’s still producing eggs.

The female ghost shrimp will lay her eggs at the end of her abdomen. The eggs are lighter and smaller than the non-pregnant ghost shrimp eggs, and they take longer to hatch shrimp fry.

When the female has deposited all her eggs into the substrate, she will die within a few days if she isn’t eaten by another tank inhabitant first.

In an established tank (with lots of food), your pregnant female ghost shrimp is likely to have a shorter lifespan than if she was in an established or newly set up tank.

The duration of the pregnancy can vary between species. When ghost shrimp is pregnant in areas that have different temperatures might have a shorter lifespan than those from more tropical areas.

The female will lay around 100,000 eggs in a single spawning. This usually takes 2 to 3 weeks (depending on the temperature). After she’s done fertilizing all her eggs and they’ve hatched, they remain in their “pre-lay” state for around 5-6 days before they are ready to hatch the shrimp fry.

The females may spend hours and hours just sitting, waiting for the right moment when they will deposit the eggs into the substrate.

After hatching the ghost shrimp fry, the baby ghost shrimp will usually remain at the same spot for a few days before moving to a new location. They will molt very shortly after hatching and will grow before getting ready to turn into adults.

Fun Fact : Do mollies undergo a similar phase, too? Read our post to find out — Pregnant Molly Fish: Beginners’ Guide To Mating & Breeding

If your pregnant ghost shrimp seems stressed or has any of the symptoms below, she’s likely pregnant, and you should take action immediately. 

Anything from an improper temperature to too much algae growth in the tank can make her stressed and release her eggs prematurely.

Symptoms of a pregnant ghost shrimp:

  • A ghost shrimp will be present in the tank during the entire pregnancy.
  • The shrimp is white and opaque, and its tail looks transparent.
  • The ghost shrimp may also have an extra set of eyes on top of its head.

Also, if you have other tank mates that are too dominant, she might release the eggs (such as an aggressive Plecostomus).

A pregnant ghost shrimp should be avoided since she is such a sensitive animal. A female will lay her eggs in the substrate (the watering area outside the filter) in clear sight of the other tank inhabitants.

Therefore, you should ensure that other tank inhabitants do not harass the female and that she is not allowed to go near the waterline (or filter).

Trying to remove a pregnant ghost shrimp from your tank or attempting to breed it would be pointless; she’s already finished laying her eggs and won’t be going anywhere soon. And if you separate her from her eggs, it will be almost impossible for them to hatch the ghost shrimp fry.

If your female ghost shrimps have been laying eggs for several weeks and haven’t died yet (if she was already pregnant), she was likely depositing eggs for another male and not her offspring.

In that case, you need to determine which male is impregnating the female because you don’t want to end up with many “half-breed” offspring that another male sired.

The easiest thing to do is get rid of all the other males in the tank and leave one male in there with her. Failing that, you will have to wait for her to go through several “instars” to determine which male fertilized the eggs.

The instars are the developmental stages between two molts. If she has stopped laying eggs, they will likely be infertile or turn into males because the right male did not fertilize them.

If your pregnant shrimp is displaying some of these symptoms and doesn’t seem to be stressed with the other inhabitants in the tank, then your female ghost shrimp may have simply forgotten where she was going to lay her eggs or couldn’t find a suitable location.

When this happens, they will plow a furrow with their abdomen and lay their eggs somewhere in the substrate, which some other tank inhabitants will probably remove.

You can get rid of the stress and anxiety that the female has by switching her to a smaller or less crowded tank.

Also, move all your other tank mates so that she won’t have to compete for food. Reducing any movement from the female will also probably help since it decreases competition for food among her offspring.

You also need to make sure that your temperature stays normal for her or at least as close to normal as you can get it. Try and reduce the amount of food, but don’t completely restrict her diet.

Breeding Ghost Shrimp

If your pregnant ghost shrimp is on its own in a tank, it’s likely that it will begin to get harassed by other inhabitants in your breeding tank and more likely to get eaten.

If you notice the bloat in your shrimp, it’s recommended that you move it to a more protected area, such as a cave in your tank with the baby shrimp.

In most cases, you want to remove the shrimp from your tank and put it into a separate aquarium. If this is not possible or not necessary, there are other ways of dealing with the situation.

On the bottom of the breeding tank, you may notice a brown or yellowish-brown crust that looks like tiny bricks floating around. This is often caused by algae (biotoxins) and is actually what turned your ghost shrimp pregnant .

If your shrimp is in a separate tank, you’ll need to remove all the algae from the breeding tank and clean it with a strong water hose. If it’s in your main tank, you need to clean out your gravel and fissure with hydrogen peroxide and water.

This will destroy all the algae. Once your aquarium is clean, you can find the culprit – either a small snail or an insect.

Before putting the ghost shrimp back into your breeding tank , ensure that nothing else has been introduced and that no eggs are hiding inside its body (they can hatch very quickly). Then, once you put the shrimp back, monitor it and make sure it doesn’t get eaten or killed.

Fun Fact : Let’s compare if neon tetra pregnancy has similarities with ghost shrimp pregnancy! Check out this article we prepared — Pregnant Neon Tetra: Things To Know About Fish Pregnancy .


Pregnant ghost shrimp are very sensitive to any new food changes. The most important thing to remember is that they will be going through a stressful time and need the right nutrients such as baby shrimp and liquid fry food. 

Feeding every day, or at least several times per week will help boost their immune systems and help keep them alive.

They are also sensitive to other additives such as vitamins, salt, minerals, and proteins. If you notice that the shrimp have turned a cloudy white color with purple spots and some green dots, this is a sign of an overdose of additives.

Once you notice this, immediately remove the shrimp from your breeding tank and treat it differently by feeding it baby shrimp, so it doesn’t become pregnant again.

One of the best foods to feed your pregnant shrimp is baby brine shrimp. They have a high nutritional value, which helps them recover from their previous pregnancies and boosts their immune systems.

The most important thing to remember is that pregnant ghost shrimp need to eat baby shrimp and plankton . They need to eat a lot of it, too. The more food your pregnant ghost shrimp consumes, the better their condition.

If you’re having a hard time keeping your pregnant ghost shrimp alive and you’ve tried all the above methods, there’s not much else you can do apart from keeping up a daily check to see if the shrimp is alive or checking to see if any eggs have hatched inside its body. It’s recommended that you give it plenty of oxygenated water and keep the tank clean.

The pregnant ghost shrimp you see in your tank may have become pregnant when its owner removed the water and didn’t treat it. It’s important to always treat your water with a de-chlorinator, even if you haven’t changed the water in a while.

A pregnant shrimp is often used to feed fish and other larger creatures, such as frogs and large crustaceans. If you choose to use it as a feeder, you will notice that ghost shrimp die very quickly. They’re very sensitive and are very low on the food chain.

Just remember to keep baby ghost shrimp out of the community tank, or they will become quick prey to the adult ghost shrimp and other inhabitants of the aquarium.

In any tank larger than 10 gallons, the majority of the ghost shrimp larvae will be able to avoid the filter intake of death.

When female ghost shrimps are carrying eggs, you can see males swimming and hovering around her as they compete to fertilize the eggs.

Fun Fact : Complement your newfound knowledge about ghost shrimp by reading our article, Ghost Shrimp: Tips And Hints In Caring For Your Spook Pet .

If you happen to capture pregnant ghost shrimps in your tank, it’s best to remove it from your main aquarium and put it into a separate tank. This is because they’re very sensitive to changes in the water parameters, such as ammonia and nitrite levels, temperature, and pH.

If you notice that the most common cause of being pregnant ghost shrimp is the removal of water from the tank, then this is why they’re so sensitive. If you have an algae problem in your tank, this would be another reason for them to become pregnant ghost shrimps.

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Flora Gibbins

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How to Tell if a Ghost Shrimp is Pregnant: 5 Signs

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

Updated on Sep 20, 2023

ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimp are some curious little creatures indeed. These shrimp are transparent, and you can actually see right through them. If you have male and female ghost shrimp in a tank, they will probably breed. As far as animals in aquariums go, ghost shrimp are easy breed.

The 5 Signs Your Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant

There are a few telltale signs that your female ghost shrimp is pregnant. Before we get into these signs, we do need to mention one thing, which is that ghost shrimp are never actually pregnant, per say. Only live-bearing animals that give live birth to their young are considered to be pregnant.

Egg layers like ghost shrimp are never actually pregnant. The term used to describe pregnancy in egg layers is “gravid.” So, how can you tell when your female ghost shrimp is gravid?

1. Green Dots

The first sign that you may notice, a strong indication that your shrimp is pregnant or gravid, is if you see small green dots near her abdomen, right by the part known as the saddle. At first, they will look like nothing more than miniature green dots, gut they will get larger and grow over time.

No, they don’t get huge, as ghost shrimp in general are very small, but if your ghost shrimp is gravid, you should see those green specks, which over time grow into very teeny tiny green balls. These are the eggs growing. Technically, this is not actually her stomach or abdomen, but what is known as a saddle. These eggs will be attached to her rear legs.

2. Fanning Her Legs

Another sign that a female ghost shrimp is pregnant or gravid is if she keeps fanning her legs that have the eggs on them.

Exactly why pregnant female ghost shrimp fan their legs is unknown, although it may have something to do with keeping the eggs well oxygenated, or it could be that the eggs are irritating here.

3. Green or White Dots Under Her Tail

Those green eggs, once the male has fertilized them, should turn white in color and they will increase in size just a little bit. If they are white, then you know that they have been fertilized, and as they grow in size, they may move lower down in the saddle at the rear of the rear legs.

4. She’s Gained Some Weight

One clear sign that a female ghost shrimp is pregnant is if she is gaining a bit of weight. The weight gain will be negligible, but having 20 to 30 eggs attached to her will definitely make her seem larger than before.

5. The Males Getting Real Friendly

If your female ghost shrimp is pregnant or gravid, you may notice that there are males all around her. As is the case in the animal kingdom, males will compete for dominance, for the right to fertilize those eggs and pass on their genes.

If you notice that male ghost shrimp are fighting with each other and fighting for the female’s attention, chances are almost 100% that she is pregnant.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages Explained

At first, the female ghost shrimp will start to produce eggs. Female ghost shrimp will produce eggs every 3 weeks, roughly. You will see those little green dots in her saddle, right by the base of the body, by the swimmerets.

For the first week or so, they will stay right there and will not change much in appearance. After the first week, those eggs will start to grow a little larger and may become slightly lighter in color, going from very dark green to a lighter green.

During the 7- to 14-day mark, you will notice these eggs getting slightly bigger by the day, and they will move further down the saddle, away from her body, and to the legs. By the beginning of the third week, the males should have fertilized the eggs, at which point they should start to turn white. You may even be able to see little black dots inside of the eggs at this point, which are the eyes and stomach of the shrimp fry.

By day 21, those eggs should hatch and the shrimp fry should emerge.

Do Ghost Shrimp Lay Eggs or Live Birth?

Ghost shrimp, as previously noted, are egg layers, which means that they do not give live birth. These animals carry their eggs for a set amount of time, and if the eggs are fertilized by the males, will then hatch and let loose the shrimp fry.

Once again, a pregnant female shrimp that is carrying eggs is referred to as gravid or berried.

How Long do Ghost Shrimp Carry Their Eggs?

On average, a female ghost shrimp will carry her eggs for a total of 3 weeks. These eggs start out in the saddle and slowly move out of the saddle and onto the hind legs over time.

From the time the eggs are first produced to the time when they hatch into shrimp fry, it should take no longer than 21 days or 3 weeks.

How Many Babies do Ghost Shrimp Have?

A female ghost shrimp will on average have 20 to 30 fry every time she produces eggs. They produce eggs every 3 weeks roughly. So, within a single year, a ghost shrimp can potentially have hundreds of babies.

Do Ghost Shrimp Die After Laying Eggs?

No, there is no evidence which would show that ghost shrimp die after laying their eggs. That said, ghost shrimp are very fragile and often die in aquariums due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to improper feeding, bad or fluctuating water conditions, and being eaten by fish.

Ghost shrimp are definitely not the easiest animals to take care of. They’re pretty sensitive to many things, and they make for great fish food too. That said, if you notice that a female is pregnant, get ready because your aquarium is about to have a new influx of inhabitants.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

  • Why is My Ghost Shrimp Turning White? (Causes & Cure)
  • Best Nano Tank For Shrimp: Top 5

Featured Image Credit: Nicholas Toh, Shutterstock

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></center></p><ul><li>Goldfish Tank</li><li>Cory Catfish</li><li>Ghost Shrimps</li></ul><h2>How to Care for Pregnant Ghost Shrimp: A Comprehensive Guide</h2><ul><li>August 19, 2023</li></ul><p>Are you a proud owner of ghost shrimp and suspect that one of your lovely crustaceans may be expecting? Congratulations! It’s an exciting time in the life of your aquatic pet. But  how to care for pregnant ghost shrimp  like a pro?</p><p>However, caring for pregnant ghost shrimp requires some special attention and knowledge to ensure the mother’s and her offspring’s well-being.</p><p>In this definitive guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of these translucent creatures and provide you with all the essential information you need to care for your pregnant ghost shrimp confidently.</p><p><center><img style=

As a responsible and caring shrimp keeper, understanding the specific needs of your pregnant ghost shrimp is crucial. We’ll cover everything from creating a suitable habitat to providing proper nutrition.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium enthusiast or a beginner venturing into the world of ghost shrimp, this ultimate article will equip you with the necessary knowledge to ensure a successful and rewarding experience.

So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of  shrimp care and feeding  and supporting your pregnant ghost shrimp throughout this miraculous journey of new life!

Table of Contents

How to Care for Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

Pregnant ghost shrimp require special care to ensure the mother’s and her offspring’s health and survival.

This complete guide will walk you through every aspect of caring for pregnant ghost shrimp, from setting up the right breeding environment to feeding, monitoring their development, and providing the best conditions for a successful breeding experience.

Here are the steps on how to take care of pregnant ghost shrimp:

  • Set up a breeding tank.  The  breeding tank for ghost shrimp  should be at least 10 gallons in size and have a sponge filter or other gentle filtration system. The water tank temperature should be between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, and the  pH level  should be between 6.8 and 7.8.
  • Add some plants to the breeding tank.  The aquatic plants will provide hiding places for the shrimp and help to  keep the tank  water quality high. Some good ghost shrimp breeding tanks include Java moss, hornwort, and anacharis.
  • Feed the pregnant shrimp a healthy diet.  The pregnant shrimp should be fed a diet of high-quality food, such as algae wafers, shrimp pellets, and frozen brine shrimp. You should provide them twice a day.
  • Keep the water clean.  Keeping the water in the breeding tank clean and free of ammonia and nitrites is essential. Perform a 25% water change every week.
  • Monitor the shrimp closely.  Once the shrimp has given birth, the baby shrimp will be tiny and vulnerable. You should monitor them closely and ensure they are getting enough food.

Here are some additional tips for caring for pregnant ghost shrimp:

  • Avoid putting fish in the  shrimp tank  with the shrimp, as  ghost shrimp are omnivorous  and may eat babies.
  • Refrain from overfeeding the shrimp, which can lead to water quality problems.
  • If you see any signs of stress in the shrimp, such as clamped claws or erratic swimming, improve the water quality or provide more hiding places.

With proper care, your pregnant ghost shrimp should give birth to healthy and thriving babies.

NOTE:  As ghost shrimp are scavengers, there is a good chance that the adult shrimp will eat the newly born babies.

Creating the Perfect Breeding Tank

– breeding tank setup for pregnant ghost shrimp.

Setting up a separate breeding container is essential to ensure optimal conditions for pregnant ghost shrimp. This provides a controlled environment where the pregnant shrimp can thrive without disturbances from other tank mates.

Use a tank with a capacity of at least 10 gallons and a sponge filter to prevent baby shrimp from being sucked in.

– Maintaining the Water Temperature

Ghost shrimp prefer a stable water temperature of around 72-78°F (22-26°C). Fluctuations in temperature can stress pregnant shrimp and their fry. Use a reliable aquarium heater to maintain the temperature within this range.

– Filtration and Aeration

A sponge filter is a ge= choice for the breeding tank. It provides gentle filtration without harming delicate baby shrimp. Ensure proper aeration to maintain oxygen levels, which is crucial for the well-being of pregnant shrimp and their offspring.

– Adding Live Plants

Live plants not only enhance the aesthetics of the tank but also provide hiding spots and surfaces for biofilm, a natural food source for baby shrimp, such as  liquid fry food and sinking wafers . Add plants like Java Moss, Anubias, or Hornwort to the breeding tank.

Monitoring Pregnant Ghost Shrimp: (Shrimp Care)

Identifying a pregnant female ghost shrimp.

Pregnant female ghost shrimp have a distinctive “gravid” appearance, where their bodies become larger and more rounded due to the eggs they carry. This is a sign that the shrimp is ready to give birth soon.

Stages of Pregnancy

Pregnant ghost shrimp go through several stages before giving birth. Each step requires specific care, from carrying eggs to hatching  shrimp larvae .

Monitoring Behavior

Pregnant ghost shrimp may exhibit changes in behavior, becoming more reclusive as they approach the time to give birth. They may also start fanning their eggs to ensure proper oxygenation.

Feeding Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Providing proper nutrition.

Feed your pregnant ghost shrimp a balanced diet consisting of high-quality shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables. This ensures they receive the necessary nutrients to support their health and their fertilized eggs’ development.

Baby Brine Shrimp for Fry

As the eggs hatch and the ghost shrimp fry   become more visible, you can introduce baby brine shrimp to their diet. Brine shrimp are a protein-rich food source that aids young shrimp’s growth.

Caring for Young Ghost Shrimp:

– separating pregnant shrimp from the rest.

Once the pregnant shrimp gives birth, separating her from the rest of the tank is essential to prevent other inhabitants from consuming the newborn shrimp. Move the pregnant shrimp back to the main tank after she gives birth.

– Providing Shelter for Young Shrimp

Baby ghost shrimp are incredibly tiny and vulnerable. Ensure the  bottom of the tank  is well-planted with plenty of hideouts to protect them from being eaten by larger tank mates . 

How To Tell If Your Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant?

You can look for several signs and behaviors to determine if your ghost shrimp is pregnant. Here are some indicators that can help you identify whether your female ghost shrimp is pregnant:

  • Abdominal Size and Color: A pregnant ghost shrimp, also known as a gravid shrimp, will have a larger and more rounded abdomen than a non-pregnant female. The color of the abdomen may also become more translucent.
  • Saddle Formation: A saddle-shaped structure, known as an ovary, may be visible on the back of a pregnant ghost shrimp. This saddle appears as a dark or yellowish spot near the head of the shrimp.
  • Behavior: Pregnant ghost shrimp may exhibit increased activity, frequent swimming, and searching for hiding spots. They may also become more aggressive towards male ghost shrimp.
  • Fertilization: Ghost shrimp reproduce sexually, with the female needing to mate with a  male shrimp  for fertilization. Observing mating behavior between a male and female ghost shrimp increases the likelihood of the female being pregnant.
  • Egg Laying: After fertilizing the eggs, the female ghost shrimp will carry them under her abdomen until they hatch. If you notice a female ghost shrimp with a clutch of eggs attached to her stomach, it indicates that she is pregnant.
  • Hatching: Depending on environmental conditions, ghost shrimp eggs typically take around 2-3 weeks to hatch. Seeing tiny, transparent baby shrimp swimming in your aquarium confirms that your female ghost shrimp was indeed pregnant.

It’s important to note that ghost shrimp are not livebearers, meaning they do not give birth to fully formed young. Instead,  ghost shrimp lay  eggs that hatch into baby shrimp.

Observing these signs and behaviors can help determine whether your female ghost shrimp is pregnant. However, remember that ghost shrimp breeding can be quite complex, and identifying pregnancy in every individual shrimp may not always be easy.

What Happens Before the Birth of Baby Ghost Shrimp?

Before the birth of the baby ghost shrimp, a fascinating process occurs within the female ghost shrimp. The  female shrimp  can carry hundreds of eggs within her abdomen. The male fertilizes these eggs during mating, and she then carefully cares for them until they are ready to hatch.

Inside the female, the eggs undergo a series of developmental stages, slowly growing and developing into fully formed baby ghost shrimp. As the eggs mature, they begin to darken in color, indicating that they are close to hatching.

Eventually, when the time is right, the female releases the baby ghost shrimp into the water, where they can fend for themselves. This process of carrying and nurturing the eggs is unique to the ghost shrimp species, making it a remarkable sight. 

Female ghost shrimp can carry  and protect their unborn offspring until they are ready to face the world outside the safety of their mother’s abdomen.

Commonly Asked Questions about Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages (FAQs)

How can i tell if my female ghost shrimp is pregnant  .

Pregnant female ghost shrimp exhibit a rounded, “gravid” appearance as they carry eggs.

What is the ideal water temperature for pregnant ghost shrimp?  

Maintain a water temperature between 72-78°F (22-26°C) for optimal breeding conditions.

How do I know when my pregnant ghost shrimp will give birth?

Pregnant ghost shrimp will become more reclusive and may exhibit behaviors like fanning their eggs. This indicates they are close to giving birth.

Could ghost shrimp breed in a community tank?

While it’s possible to  breed ghost shrimp  in a community tank, it’s recommended to set up a separate breeding tank to ensure the survival of the young shrimp.

What should I feed my pregnant ghost shrimp?

Feed them a balanced diet of shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables. Introduce baby brine shrimp once the eggs hatch.

How often can ghost shrimp breed?

Adult Ghost shrimp  can breed multiple times in their lifetime, depending on various factors such as water conditions and nutrition.

How do I care for pregnant ghost shrimp?

To care for pregnant ghost shrimp , provide them with a suitable environment in your aquarium. Set up a breeding tank specifically for the pregnant shrimp to give birth and keep the babies safe. Ensure the tank water parameters are correct, with a temperature around 72-78°F and a pH of 7.0-8.0. Also, feed your pregnant ghost shrimp with a varied diet to ensure the mother and the babies receive proper nutrition.

How do ghost shrimp give birth?

Ghost shrimp do not give birth in the traditional sense like livebearer fish. Instead, female ghost shrimp lay eggs. The female shrimp carries the eggs until they hatch into baby shrimp. The baby shrimp will then be released into the water, and the mother will not provide any further parental care.

How can I tell if a ghost shrimp is about to give birth?

A few signs can indicate when a ghost shrimp is about to give birth. The female’s abdomen may appear larger and more rounded as the eggs develop. She may also become more reclusive and spend more time hiding. Additionally, you may notice a darkening or graying of the eggs just before they hatch.

Should I set up a separate breeding tank for my pregnant ghost shrimp?

Setting up a breeding tank for your pregnant ghost shrimp is generally recommended. This will provide a safe environment for the babies to hatch and grow without being eaten by other tank inhabitants. Additionally, a breeding tank allows you to monitor the development of the eggs and provide any necessary care for the pregnant shrimp.

Providing a varied diet for your pregnant ghost shrimp is crucial to ensure they receive proper nutrition. You can feed them high-quality shrimp pellets, sinking wafers, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia, and blanched vegetables like spinach or zucchini. It is best to offer small amounts of food multiple times daily to prevent overfeeding and maintain good water quality.

How often do female ghost shrimp lay eggs?

Female ghost shrimp can lay eggs multiple times throughout their lifespan . After mating, a female ghost shrimp will carry the eggs until they are ready to be released. Once the eggs are hatched, female ghost shrimp will rest before producing another batch of eggs. The exact frequency of egg-laying can vary depending on various factors such as environmental conditions and the individual shrimp’s reproductive health.

Can I breed ghost shrimp in a community tank?

It is possible to breed ghost shrimp in a community tank, but protecting the baby shrimp from being eaten by other tank inhabitants can be more challenging. If you produce ghost shrimp in a community tank, providing plenty of hiding spots and vegetation where the baby shrimp can hide and grow without being preyed upon is essential. Additionally, closely monitor the tank for any signs of stress or aggression among the tank’s inhabitants.

How long do ghost shrimp eggs take to hatch?

Ghost shrimp eggs generally hatch within 2-3 weeks, depending on the water tank temperature and other environmental factors. It is vital to provide a stable and suitable environment for the eggs to develop correctly. Once the eggs hatch, the baby shrimp will be released into the water and need to fend for themselves.

How long do ghost shrimp live?

Ghost shrimp have a relatively short lifespan compared to other aquarium inhabitants. On average, they can live for about 1-2 years. However, their lifespan can be influenced by factors such as tank water quality, diet, and overall care. Providing optimal conditions and a balanced diet can help your ghost shrimp live long and healthy lives and stop your  ghost shrimp die .

Will ghost shrimp eat their own babies?

Ghost shrimp are generally not known for cannibalism and will not intentionally eat their babies. However, the adult shrimp may accidentally consume some of the baby shrimp, especially if they lack hiding spots or are extremely hungry. Providing plenty of hiding places and a well-balanced diet can help reduce the chances of cannibalism among ghost shrimp.

Final Thoughts

So, how to take care of pregnant ghost shrimp? In conclusion, caring for pregnant ghost shrimp is essential to maintaining a thriving aquarium. These fascinating creatures bring life and vibrancy to your underwater world, and providing them with the necessary care during their pregnancy is crucial. By creating a suitable environment with plenty of hiding spots, maintaining water quality, and providing a balanced diet, you can ensure the well-being of the pregnant ghost shrimp and their offspring. Remember, happy and healthy aquarium results from diligent care, observation, and attention to detail.

By understanding the unique needs of adult shrimp, you can create a nurturing tank environment that promotes successful breeding and the survival of their young. So, whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or a beginner enthusiast, investing time and effort into learning  how to care for pregnant ghost shrimp  is a rewarding endeavor. Your dedication will be rewarded with the joy of witnessing new life unfold. Happy shrimp keeping!

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ghost shrimp pregnant stages

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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Ghost Shrimp Eggs 101

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ghost shrimp eggs header

Fortunately, fertilized Ghost shrimp eggs can be easily spotted once you have a basic understanding of shrimp anatomy.

In any other case, the following post would’ve probably turned into a detailed account on shrimp reproduction, but the transparent body of these shrimp eliminates the need for this.

Here, you’ll find a simplified, yet complete answer, that won’t force you to look up unnecessary scientific terms like gravid.

Furthermore, I’ll show you some clear, easy-to-spot signs which tell when Ghost shrimp eggs are about to hatch.

Let’s dive in.

How to tell if Ghost shrimp eggs are fertilized?

Before I tell you how to find out whether the eggs of your Ghost shrimp ( Palaemonetes paludosus ) are fertilized, I will briefly explain what makes female specimens different from their male counterparts. And there’s a reason for this.

The most noticeable physical difference between male and female Ghost shrimp is the size of their body.

Males have slender bodies that typically reach a size of 1.2 inches, whereas females are more rounded in appearance and grow up to 1.5 inches.

While this doesn’t tell us all that much about their reproduction, females possess one key physical feature that’s not easy to spot for beginners.

female and male ghost shrimp

Female and male Ghost shrimp by Fonske

Many fishkeepers mistakenly believe the lower part of the abdomen to be the saddle, which leads to a lot of confusion when trying to identify whether a female is pregnant.

With that being said, here’s how to know if your Ghost shrimp eggs have been fertilized:

Every 30 to 40 days, female Ghost shrimp produce a clutch of unfertilized green eggs that’s stored in their saddle. When the eggs get fertilized by a male, they travel to the lower part of the female’s body where they get attached to her legs.

comparison of unfertilized and fertilized eggs

Saddled Ghost shrimp by CassCats and Berried Ghost shrimp by Fonske

Despite some common myths floating on the internet, the color of the eggs has no relation to fertilization.

Any female Ghost shrimp carrying eggs below her abdomen is considered pregnant or “berried”, regardless of their color.

Berried is another term used to describe a pregnant shrimp.

In most cases, Ghost shrimp eggs look like tiny green balls, but they might also be orange in color.

comparison of green and orange eggs

Berried Ghost shrimp with green eggs by aboynamedrat and Berried Ghost shrimp with orange eggs by tdoggydo

The only time you should be concerned about the color of the eggs is if they turn entirely black.

This usually indicates that they won’t hatch, but there’s nothing you can do to save the offspring.

How long do the eggs of a Ghost shrimp take to hatch?

Each time before pregnancy a female Ghost shrimp would molt and lose her old exoskeleton . Not every shrimp that molts is preparing to get pregnant, but every shrimp that becomes pregnant has recently molted.

From there on, pregnant Ghost shrimp go through two main stages.

In the first stage, she produces a fresh clutch of eggs in her saddle and releases a pheromone that draws the attention of male Ghost shrimp.

If a male manages to fertilize her eggs, the female enters a two-week gestation period.

During this time, she will occasionally fan her legs to supply the eggs with sufficient amounts of oxygen.

The first signs of hatching start to appear in the second week. During this time, each egg starts to develop eyes which can be seen as two tiny black specks.

shrimp eggs with eyes

by Gorgulax21

Meanwhile, the mother also starts to flick the eggs with her legs in an attempt to drop the fry.

Here’s a video of a pregnant Ghost shrimp that’s laying her eggs and trying to do just that:

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

It typically takes about 14 days for the fertilized eggs to hatch. If we take this and add the number of days a female needs to produce a batch of unfertilized eggs, then we can estimate that the entire process lasts between 44 and 54 days.

This means you can expect your Ghost shrimp to breed roughly six times a year.

The eggs have gone missing!

Even though Ghost shrimp typically carry between 20 and 30 eggs, only a small fraction of their babies make it into adulthood.

This usually happens because, while in their larval stage, the shrimplets either get sucked in by the water filter or get eaten by predatory fish.

In these cases, many fish keepers are left confused because the eggs of their Ghost shrimp have suddenly gone missing. If you can’t locate the eggs anymore it is likely that something in your aquarium into a quick meal.

The list of potential predators includes the mother Ghost shrimp.

However, you can increase the chances of survival of your Ghost shrimplets by following some simple precautions.

How to take care of Ghost shrimp babies?

The best way to ensure your baby Ghost shrimp live to see more than just a single day is to move their mother into a separate spawning tank.

This will not only save the newly hatched shrimplets from turning into fish food, but it will also minimize the risk of a miscarriage as a result of stress.

Author’s note: On some rare occasions, female Ghost shrimp might molt during pregnancy and prematurely drop their eggs.

The bottom of the spawning tank should be covered with a fine-grade substrate such as sand or soil. I recommend covering it with a fine-grade substrate such as black diamond blasting sand .

This type of sand will also make the otherwise plain physical features of your Ghost shrimp stand out.

After you’ve covered the spawning tank, you should fill it with dechlorinated water at a temperature between 70 °F and 80 °F with a pH level of roughly 7.0.

In terms of equipment, you’ll need the following:

  • Sponge filter
  • Aquarium lights

By adding an air pump, you will satisfy the high oxygen needs of the newborn shrimp. You can also add some small live plants like java moss to further increase the available oxygen in the water.

As an added benefit, the plants will also serve as food for the baby shrimp.

ghost shrimp babies

Unlike hang-on and canister filters , sponge filters don’t create a strong water current. This makes them perfect for baby shrimp as they’ll clean the water of debris, without posing a risk to them.

Furthermore, the sponge filter will also help maintain the spawning tank free of ammonia . In case you’re not willing to buy a sponge filter, you can simply perform daily water changes until the newborns are ready to be moved.

If you choose to go down this route, you should replace 10% of the water in the spawning tank with dechlorinated water.

After the mother has finished giving birth, you should immediately remove her from the tank.

If you fail to do so, there’s a high chance she’ll try to eat the baby shrimp.

Ghost shrimp are not like other dwarf shrimp species and will try to feed on their own shrimplets.

Once you’ve done this, you should cover the walls of the spawning tank with paper.

Newborn Ghost shrimp are drawn to light and might injure themselves by bumping into the glass.

Once the baby larvae hatch, they will be barely discernible due to their minuscule size.

They haven’t disappeared, they’re just too small to see yet.

You should be able to notice them in a few days’ time.

They will look like miniature versions of adult Ghost shrimp, but without legs.

The newborn shrimplets will need at least 1 to 2 weeks before they grow legs and start to resemble actual shrimp.

At the beginning, these tiny transparent creatures will have a hard time eating regular fish food due to the small size of their mouths. As a result, you should feed them with foods that are small enough for them such as infusoria and algae powder.

Alternatively, you can simply grind some fish flakes and sprinkle them into the water.

You shouldn’t worry too much about the feeding frequency as long as there are live plants in the tank.

Furthermore, Ghost shrimp are notorious algae eaters, so there’s a small chance they’ll starve if you feed them once a day.

In five weeks’ time, the newborns should have matured enough to be transferred to your main tank.

Closing Thoughts

Ghost shrimp are great aquatic pets that can be an indispensable part of your aquarium’s cleanup crew .

Noticing their new eggs may seem confusing at first, but as long as you provide them with a proper spawning environment, you should have no trouble.

Hopefully, your aquatic family will have a few new additions in the following weeks.

Feel free to come back and share your experience with newborn baby Ghost shrimp down in the comments.

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The Aquarium Guide

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp: Care, Breeding, Feeding & Tank Setup

Adam Edmond Image

  • By Adam Edmond

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

 #1 Green Dots

When you notice some green dots on your ghost shrimp, congratulations, she is pregnant. Green dots all over the body are the best sign that your ghost shrimp is pregnant. These dots are small and grow at a slow rate. These are eggs of the shrimp and have a small size. When these eggs grow their size slowly, you will notice that the visible dots also grow along with the eggs. 

#2 Fanning Her Legs

Another sign that the ghost shrimp is pregnant is that she keeps fanning its legs. However, the reason for fanning legs is unknown yet. However, there can be two main indications for doing so. Either the eggs keep irritating her, or she wants to keep her eggs well oxygenated by moving her legs back and forth. 

#3 Green Or White Dots Under Her Tail

One thing must be cleared: green shrimps do not carry their eggs in their bellies. Instead, eggs are attached to their body under their tail with their swimmerets. The green point is visible with naked eyes because it’s transparent. At the very first stage, the dots appear smaller in size. Later they attain bigger size. 

#4 She’s Gained Some Weight

Although the green shrimps (females) are bigger than the males, they become bigger when they are pregnant and gain more weight. It is because the area below their tail is swollen as they carry their eggs below their tail. It is because the area gets bumped out due to the mass of eggs. 

#5 The Males Getting Real Friendly

When a female shrimp is pregnant, she receives much attention from other male ghost shrimps. This phenomenon is natural. Male shrimps hover around female shrimps as they try to fertilize the eggs.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages 

Now, we will talk about the complete process of ghost shrimp breeding in detail. We will discuss all the essential requirements of a pregnant ghost shrimp such as water parameters, substrate, and much more.  

How To Breed Ghost Shrimp?

It is quite a simple process for the breeding process of Ghost Shrimps. Normally, a female ghost shrimp is larger than a male ghost shrimp. Therefore, you should keep at least two female ghost shrimps per male. It is an ideal ratio for the breeding process. 

Purchase The Tanks 

At least a 10-gallon tank is needed at first. After that, you should buy a tank that is clear and transparent. It would help you keep an eye on your ghost shrimps from outside.  

Install Filters And Air Pumps

Another thing to keep in mind is installing an air pump. Like other living aquatic organisms, they also need oxygenated water to stay alive. Therefore, it is necessary to have an air pump for the baby shrimp. 

Next, you would require a sponge filter for cleaning water. Do not use a regular filter to suck up the baby shrimps. It can also cause many of the baby shrimps to die. If the filter does not suck them up, it can irritate them.

Add Layers Of Substrate 

Next, you would need to take care of the bottom of the tank. It is advised to cover the bottom of the tank using light-colored gravel or sand as it helps the shrimps to be transparent. The color of gravel affects us a lot more than our thoughts. If you want your shrimps to bear some spots, you should use dark bottom colors. 

Correct Water Parameters 

Now, it comes to filling up the tank with water. First, you should ensure that the water is extremely clean and clear. Then, running the filter before adding the shrimps to the tank is advised. It will help to remove any unwanted chemicals and harmful agents. 

Water temperature is another factor to keep in mind. The preferable water temperature ranges from 65-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Water PH level is another factor to consider, which must remain neutral.

Breeding Time 

Now add some live plants to the tank, which would help the shrimps in their breeding process. And the plants also act as a hiding spot. Now, it is about preparing the water. Water should have no salinity as saline water would not allow the shrimps to grow well. 

First, it should not shock them when you are transferring the shrimps into their breeding tanks. Take them out of their usual habitat in a clear plastic bag and float the bag in the breeding tank water for about an hour. Now, replace the water of the old tank with the new one by one-fourth ratio. 

Put it into the new breeding tank when your ghost shrimp gets ready for the new environment. Also, remember to change 20-30 percent of the water every week. Then, everything is good to go when you have mature ones together in a breeding tank. One male per every two females is a good ratio. 

A female produces 20-30 eggs every three weeks and carries them for about two weeks. Now, allow the males to fertilize the eggs. After you notice the female shrimps with fertilized eggs, you can transfer the males back to their original tanks. Eggs take around 24 days to hatch once they are laid by female shrimp. It is advised to remove the eggs from the breeding tank as the adult shrimps can eat their larvae. 

Feeding Your Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

It is quite easy to feed a ghost shrimp. You can feed them with some quality flake food. A pregnant ghost shrimp prefers to have some frozen food occasionally. If there is another fish in the tank, you should be very careful. Their tank mates can eat them due to their slow-moving speed. 

Feeding them with nutrient-rich food is a very good idea. While feeding a pregnant ghost shrimp, sticky food can choke them up. Sinking wafers are a good source of protein and nutrients for a pregnant ghost shrimp.

Caring For Pregnant Ghost Shrimps 

Ghost shrimps are greatly sensitive, especially during pregnancy. Therefore, we should take good care of them while they are pregnant. The first thing is, of course, the environment. It means that the water in the tank must be clean and pure. Matten filter is another good option to have as it has a greater surface area (almost 3-4 times) than a regular filter. 

Another thing to check on is the water pH level of the tank, which must be neutral. The optimal range for the TDS level of water is 150 to 200. Ghost Shrimps are very peaceful organisms. Thus, they would need a hiding space in the tank. Hence, plants would be a must to have. The other important factor to take into consideration is their diet. 

Ghost shrimps can usually live by eating the algae. But during the breeding time (pregnancy), they need special care to lay good quality eggs. Therefore, you should feed your pregnant ghost shrimp with nutrient-rich food to help it lay good quality eggs. 

Caring For Baby Ghost Shrimps 

These babies are also as sensitive as their parents. If you don’t provide them with good care, you can see soon they will start dying. It implies that the baby shrimp can die easily. Therefore, it is advised to take good care of these little creatures to raise them healthy and in a good number. A good stress-free environment is a must, just like adult shrimps need. 

Next, you must take care of water parameters as it would affect the health of babies a lot. Good tankmates are also another factor for the care of babies. Hence you should select their tankmates carefully. Keep in mind that your shrimps do not get eaten by their mates. Even if the baby shrimps get chased by their mates, it will stress them out. 

They are small in size and can be easily caught and swallowed by their bad tank mates. Most importantly, you should keep them in a black background instead of keeping them in a light-colored environment. It makes it easy for them to see with their little eyes.

How To Setup A Breeding Tank For Ghost Shrimp

Step 1: set up tank and filter.

You would require at least 10 gallons of tank space for the breeding process of ghost shrimps. A 10-gallon tank should be filled with pure and clean water. It is advised to use a filter with a greater surface area to clean the water more efficiently. Tanks should contain some aquatic plants as these plants suck up carbon dioxide and keep the water oxygenated by releasing oxygen into the water. 

Step 2: Install An Air Pump

A very important factor to consider is the air pump. It’s crucial to install the air pump in your shrimp tank. With the help of an air pump, your shrimp will have no difficulty breathing. If you think an air pump is a waste of money. So, you are wrong. If your ghost shrimp don’t get a tank with an installed air pump, it will die.

Step 3: Bottom Cover

When you talk about the bottom of a tank, you can add gravel to the bottom of the tank. However, in the case of ghost shrimps, you need to be more careful about the color of the gravel. It is because it affects the transparency of the baby shrimps. Therefore, using light-colored gravel or sand is the best for baby shrimps.

Step 4: Fill With Water

Filling the tank with clean and pure water is a must as it facilitates the good growth of baby shrimps. Also, you should have some pH checking strips ready with you to check the water’s pH level. Make sure you keep the pH level of water near to 7 (neutral) to develop baby shrimps. 

Step 5: Add Plants

Breeding bottom with some plantations is a good idea as it helps create a good breeding environment. In addition, plants provide a good hiding spot for baby ghost shrimps. Finally, as the ghost Shrimps are omnivorous, the plants also act as a good food source for the young ones. 

Young ones can also get a good amount of algae to eat and survive with the help of the plants. Java moss, Anubias, Hygrophila difformis , Coontail, Echinodorus grisebachii, Buce, and Water lettuce are some good plants that you can add to your ghost shrimp breeding tank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Female ghost shrimp lay around 20-30 eggs at one time. It takes about 21 days to lay the eggs. However, these shrimps carry the eggs for about a week on their body. Then, they carry them under their tail. 

Ghost shrimp has a short life span of about one year. However, they grow at quite a fast rate, and within a few weeks, they grow into a small version of adults. After five weeks, these creatures become fully developed and can be used for breeding. It means they can now give birth to young ones.

Before laying the eggs, the ghost shrimp (female) carries the eggs along with it. First, it keeps fanning its legs to keep the eggs properly oxygenated. Then, a ghost shrimp carries her eggs under her tail until the eggs hatch. The eggs would hatch within three weeks. 

When the new ones come out of the eggs, they start growing faster. However, during their growth phase, they turn white, which is not an issue. It happens due to their processes of shedding their exoskeleton. It is advised to feed them with a boiled cuttle pet bone during this process. Also, some crushed eggshells can be added to the water as a cure to this milky color due to the shedding of the exoskeleton. Finally, you would be able to feed the young ones with liquid fry food and micro worms once they are separated from their mother’s swimmerets.

Wrapping Up

Ghost Shrimps are beautiful creatures to own. Their transparent bodies are eye-catching. The aquarium fills up with joy when these beautiful little creatures are joyfully swirling around into the water. Although these have a life span of one year, these beautiful creatures will leave a great emotional impact on you. When you keep them with non-aggressive small fish, they give the best view.

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Urban Fishkeeping

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp? Look For These 5 Signs First!

By Author Rohit

Posted on Last updated: December 15, 2022

Categories Shrimp

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp? Look For These 5 Signs First!

Sitting on the bottom tier of the aquarium hierarchy, it is easy to assume ghost shrimps don’t have much personality or specific needs. At least, this is what I thought. 

That’s why, when I first started rearing shrimps, I had 5 failed batches of eggs. As hardy as ghost shrimps are, they require delicate and unique care for breeding.

So, I’ll tell you all there’s to know about pregnant ghost shrimps in this blog.

This is your one-stop guide to ghost shrimp pregnancy, from pregnancy’s early signs to raising the fry. 

So, buckle up! It’s going to be a long ride. 

Top 5 Signs Of A Pregnant Ghost Shrimp 

  • Green dots under the tail, near the belly 
  • Attention from male shrimps 
  • Weight gain 
  • White/green dots under the tail 
  • Fanned legs 

Here’s a little disclaimer. 

The term ‘pregnant’ is, in fact, only used for livebearers like us. The correct term for egg-layers like ghost shrimps is ‘gravid.’ 

Here’s a video of a gravid ghost shrimp!

So, let’s see how to tell if a ghost shrimp is pregnant in depth! 

Green Dots Under The Tail

The first sign of a pregnant ghost shrimp is green dots under the tail. Ghost shrimps have several swimmerets under the rear part of the body that carry the eggs. 

So, technically, she doesn’t carry the eggs in her belly. 

Since ghost shrimps are transparent, it’s pretty easy to notice the green hues. In the start, they’ll simply look like teeny tiny green dots. 

Attention From Male Shrimps 

Your pregnant female ghost shrimp will naturally receive a lot of male attention – sometimes unsolicited – as males try to fertilize the eggs. 

So, if you see male shrimps hovering around a female, this is a telltale sign that she’s pregnant (gravid).

Weight Gain

Usually, female ghost shrimps are a bit bigger than males. When pregnant, they’ll get even bigger, although they’re pretty tiny, to begin with. 

You could see the abdomen and the area underneath the tail a bit swollen if you look carefully. After all, she’d be carrying 20-30 eggs at a time. 

White/Green Dots Under The Tail 

Once the eggs are fertilized, the green hues will turn white. They’ll also swell up more. 

The eggs will then also move a bit lower down in the saddle. 

Fanned Legs 

Across several forums, I read that pregnant ghost shrimps fan their legs frequently. But, to be honest, I didn’t realize this until I read about it. 

However, the reasons are still quite unclear as of yet. It’s thought that they fan their legs to keep the eggs oxygenated. 

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Are Ghost Shrimps Aggressive? Or Is It The Imposters?

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Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages

Ghost shrimps reach sexual maturity at around 4-6 months of age. So, it all begins when females start producing eggs. They’ll usually produce 20-30 eggs once every three weeks. 

In the beginning, during the first week, you can just see tiny green specks. Most probably, at this point, she wouldn’t have gained weight. 

Around the second week, the eggs will have gotten a bit bigger and moved further down the saddle. 

By the third week, the eggs will be ready for fertilization, upon which they’ll turn white. 

During the end stage of pregnancy, you could even see tiny black dots in the eggs, which are the eyes and stomach of the fry. 

After fertilization, the eggs will take around 12-14 days to hatch. 

Now that you’re equipped with knowledge of pregnant ghost shrimp, let’s see how to breed them correctly. 

How To Breed Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost Shrimp

Purchase Tanks 

The rule of thumb is at least a gallon per shrimp. So, if you have 10 shrimps, you’ll need at least a 10-gallon tank. 

You need two tanks since the fry will have to be kept separate from the adults. Otherwise, they’ll turn into tasty snacks for their seniors.

The fry tank doesn’t have to be as big as the main tank. However, the survival rate is always high in larger surface areas. 

Here’s a simple and cheap 10-gallon tank from COLIBROX that I use for my fry. 

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

Install Filters And Air Pumps

Shrimps need to molt, and they require clean water for it. So, it’s absolutely imperative to keep the water clean in both tanks all the time. 

You can use any filter in your main tank that works the best. For example, I use a canister filter since the tank also houses guppies and tetras. 

Most filters work by sucking in the water to clean it. And that’s going to be an issue in the fry tank as they can easily get sucked in. 

Thus, you should always use a sponge filter for the fry. 

Here’s a sponge filter from Hikari USA that provides fantastic value at a super affordable price. 

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

You also need to add air pumps in both tanks, so the water produces enough oxygen for everyone. Like the majority of tank creatures, ghost shrimps need the help of air pumps to breathe in water. 

Add Layers Of Substrate 

You need to add substrate layers to both tanks. It’s best to use sand or fine gravel since these bottom-dwellers cannot shift big-grained linings to scavenge. 

Also, it’s difficult to spot and examine ghost shrimps on a light substrate. So, I always go with darker sand. 

You can also add live plants like java moss and anacharis that will serve three valuable functions:

  • Oxygenate the tank 
  • Become a source of food for shrimps
  • Serve as hideouts during molting 

Correct Water Parameters 

In most places, tap water is treated with chlorine. So, if you’ll be using tap water, make sure to let it run on the sink for a few minutes first. However, the safer option is using water conditioners. 

Also, make a habit of doing partial water changes (10-25%) once every month to keep the levels of nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate in check. 

Breeding Time 

In nature, ghost shrimps usually spawn in the period between April-October. 

In northern regions, the ideal temperature for breeding is around 64-73°F (18-23°C), while in the south, it clocks in somewhere around 78-82°F (26-28°C). 

In the tank, the ideal temperature is reported to be around 75°C.

There’s no particular requirement or ritual for mating in shrimps. Simply add male and female shrimps in the primary tank, and you’ll end up with several gravid female shrimps. 

Caring For Pregnant Ghost Shrimps 

Once you start noticing pregnant ghost shrimps, promptly transfer them to the breeding tank. But make sure that you’re gentle, so you don’t harm the mother shrimp or her eggs. 

Use a net and swiftly move them to the already prepared and conditioned fry tank. If possible, keep the tanks adjacent when transferring the females. That’s because they’re known to drop the eggs under stress. 

Once fertilized, the incubation period can be anywhere between 21-24 days. During this period, it’s crucial to feed nutritious food to the gravid shrimps. 

Make sure they’re getting to eat a mix of both vegetation and insects. 

However, also make sure that you’re not overfeeding. As scavengers, they’re naturally inclined to forage on algae and dead matter in the tank. So give food just twice a day.

Once the eggs are hatched, the larvae will come out free swimming. As soon as you notice a lack of eggs in mothers, don’t forget to transfer mother shrimps to the main tank. 

Ghost shrimps are known to eat their own offspring! 

Don’t wait it out until you see the larvae because they’re barely visible to the human eye in the first few weeks.

Caring For Baby Ghost Shrimps 

Unfortunately, baby ghost shrimps have a high mortality rate. Thus, you really need to be extra careful when handling them. 

As you can imagine, baby ghost shrimps are extremely tiny and have even tinier mouths. So, you need to be selective about what they can ingest and what not!

For the first two weeks, they can sustain on infusoria. It refers to the minute debris produced by plants and algae. 

After this, you need to supplement their diet with other nutritious options, so they grow and molt well.

Here’s a list of food you can give to ghost shrimp fry 

  • Rotifers 
  • Baby brine shrimp
  • Spirulina algae (powdered)
  • Pulverized flakes

It pays off to closely monitor the feeding partner of the fry. If they don’t eat the food you offer, you need to immediately try a new option. They can starve very quickly. 

And once they develop eggs, they can finally walk into adulthood (no pun intended) and eat regular shrimp food. But it’ll be easier for them if you crush the food first. 

At 5 weeks of age, your ghost shrimp fry are ready to be transferred to a new tank! 

Can Ghost Shrimps Breed In Community Tanks?

Yes, ghost shrimps can breed in community tanks, but the success rate is relatively low. This is because your fish will snack on the larvae before they have the chance to grow up. 

Not just fish, even older ghost shrimps will devour the young ones. 

So, it’s best to transfer the pregnant shrimps into a new tank if you’re serious about breeding ghost shrimps. 

But if you don’t want to go through that hassle, here’s a smarter and cheaper alternative: A breeding box. 

Here’s one by Fluval that I have used a couple of times. 

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

This is designed to hang on the outside of the tank- so it doesn’t take up the tank’s space. 

How Long Are Ghost Shrimps Pregnant?

Once the eggs are fertilized, the incubation period can take around 12-14 days. It’s not unusual if it takes up to 3 weeks. 

How Many Fry Do Ghost Shrimps Give Birth To?

Ghost shrimps lay around 20 to 30 eggs during one egg-laying period. However, not all larvae make it to adulthood. The mortality rate in ghost shrimp fry is very high. You need to make sure everything is to the t, so they don’t die. 

How Are Ghost Shrimp Fry Born?

After the two-week-long incubation period, ghost shrimp larvae are born live and free-swimming. 

Do Ghost Shrimps Die After Giving Birth?

No, ghost shrimps don’t die after giving birth under normal circumstances. 

Researches have shown that ghost shrimps can lay eggs multiple times during their lifetime if the water temperature is favorable. 

However, we cannot rule out death due to complications during or after pregnancy. As hardy as they’re, ghost shrimps lead a very short life. They live for around a year. 

Do Ghost Shrimps Eat Their Babies? 

Yes, ghost shrimps eat their babies. The reason behind this is unclear, but if we go by the common theories, it could be due to two reasons:

  • Food scarcity
  • Eliminating weaklings for better survival of the species

That’s why as soon as the mother shrimp gives birth, you should transfer her back to the main tank. 

How To Take Care Of Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

It’s best to keep pregnant ghost shrimps in a separate tank so they aren’t stressed. It’s crucial to have a separate fry tank if you’re serious about raising ghost shrimps. 

They don’t require much care, but you can, of course, fortify their diet with some nutritious options. 

When transferring the pregnant shrimps to the new tank, there’s always the risk of dropping them. So, be very gentle and patient during the process.

How Long Does It Take For Ghost Shrimp Eggs To Fertilize? 

Fertilization happens within a few days if your shrimps are healthy and the optimal tank conditions are met. 

When a female ghost shrimp is carrying eggs, you can see males swimming and hovering around her as they compete to fertilize the eggs. 

If the eggs aren’t fertilized on time, the female will drop the eggs. And as you already know, the eggs will turn white once fertilized. 

Final Words: Pregnant Ghost Shrimp? 

Caring for pregnant ghost shrimp isn’t rocket science. However, there are a few things you need to get absolutely right. 

Ghost shrimps aren’t livebearers. They lay eggs. And one batch includes around 10-20 eggs. 

Once fertilized, the incubation period lasts for 12-14 days. There’s nothing extra or unusual that you need to do to take care of your gravid ghost shrimps. Just make sure to give nutrition-rich food. 

To give your ghost shrimp fry a better survival chance, you can use a separate fry tank. And you need to remove the mother shrimps as soon as the fry are born. If not, they’ll get eaten! 

Make sure to read through the whole article. I’ve tried to condense absolutely everything you need to know on this topic into one article! 

Keep Reading!

What To Feed Baby Ghost Shrimp? 8 Great Options!

Are Ghost Shrimp Nocturnal? The Secret Dark Knight

Will Ghost Shrimp Eat Fish? Are They Scavengers Or Predators?

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp – What to Look for, What to Do

Of all the aquatic creatures you can add to your home aquarium, the ghost shrimp is perhaps one of the most unique.

Close-up of a ghost shrimp on a sandy aquarium bottom

With their fully transparent bodies, they busy themselves along the tank bottom, cleverly blending in as they help clean your tank.

Ghost shrimp are prized by some aquarium keepers for their low biological footprint and their peaceful nature.

Other keepers value the shrimp for their use as feeders for larger fish in the aquarium.

ghost shrimp close-up on a white background

Take a close look at your ghost shrimp, and you will see their internal organs. You can even observe the food they eat as it makes its way through their digestive system.

But what does it mean if you see green dots under the tail of your shrimp? It means your ghost shrimp is a female and is carrying eggs!

Before you start celebrating, read on for information on caring for your pregnant ghost shrimp.

In this article

Ghost Shrimp Biology

Set up a breeding tank, feeding your pregnant ghost shrimp, the birth of your baby ghost shrimp, after your ghost shrimp gives birth, baby shrimp care and feeding, frequently asked questions, closing thoughts.

Female freshwater ghost shrimp not carrying the eggs on the bottom of aquarium

Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) are freshwater shrimp originating in the lakes and rivers of North America’s Atlantic Coastal Plain (extending from southern New Jersey to the tip of Florida).

While found primarily in freshwater, they can also tolerate brackish water of low salinity.

This species prefers the vegetation-dense bottom areas of wetlands and streams with clear water.

In the wild, the shrimp also enjoy waters with aquatic grasses or water hyacinths.

The males grow to an adult size of about 1.5 inches (4 cm) . Females can grow slightly larger, almost 2 inches (5 cm) , in length, and are more rounded in the abdomen.

Their lifespan can range from one to one and a half years .

Indications That Your Ghost Shrimp is Pregnant

Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) carrying green eggs in her belly in aquarium

Male and female ghost shrimp look very similar until they have reached breeding age.

At that point, you will be able to tell the female from the male by the presence of small, round, green eggs under her tail.

Due to the shrimp’s translucent body, these eggs will be easily visible.

Ghost Shrimp Gestation Period

Once you see these eggs, wait a few days to ensure the males fertilize them. After that, the gestation period is from 12 to 14 days .

Group of Ghost shrimp on the bottom of freshwater aquarium

While ghost shrimp do well in a community tank, when it comes to the successful birth and raising of baby shrimp, setting up a separate breeding tank is best.

Otherwise, the young can be eaten by the adult shrimp or other fish in the tank.

A good rule of thumb for how many ghost shrimp in a tank is no more than 10 shrimp per gallon of water in a species only tank.

Plan on keeping the young shrimp in this separate tank until they grow to a suitable size before introducing them to the community tank.

Line the bottom of the tank with a fine substrate . Ghost shrimp scavenge along the bottom and cannot shift larger grained linings to search for food.

Add some live plants as well, such as java moss or hornwort. These plants will serve many purposes.

Not only will these provide food sources for your ghost shrimp (they will snack on algae or organic matter attached to the plants), but they will give areas for your shrimp to find shelter. They will also help keep the water well oxygenated.

In addition to the live plants, consider adding driftwood , rocks , or artificial caves to give your ghost shrimp places to retreat if threatened or to hide after molting .

Ghost shrimp shed their shells frequently as they grow and need a place to hide for a little while to allow their new shells to harden.

Water Parameters

Ghost shrimp can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures and conditions.

For optimum health of your shrimp, maintain the water temperature between 65- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 28 degrees C).

Water pH level should be between 7.0 and 8.0 . Keep the water hardness between 3.72 and 6.75 .

Change out a portion of the water (anywhere from 10 to 25% of the tank) each month.

Doing this regularly will help to keep the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels from elevating. You can monitor these levels using test kits (very easy to use).

While adult ghost shrimp are decent swimmers, the newborn and young shrimp are not. As such, there is a danger of them being sucked into the filter if you use a high-powered system.

Install a sponge filter for the breeding tank. In addition to protecting your young shrimp, the gentle current provided by this filter will be more comfortable for the adults.

Adding an air pump , in addition to the live plants, can help keep the water well oxygenated.

Ghost shrimp spend their days on the bottom of the tank and do not require any specific lighting if you have adequate plant cover.

In the wild, ghost shrimp spawn in the months between April and October.

The ideal water temperatures for breeding depend on the area the shrimp inhabit.

They breed in water temperatures between 64.4- and 73.4-degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 23 degrees C) in the northern waters and 78.8- and 82.4-degrees Fahrenheit (26 and 28 degrees C) in the southern waters.

In these warmer waters, shrimp can breed twice per year (something to keep in mind for the shrimp in your aquarium).

There are no special requirements for breeding ghost shrimp. Often, simply having males and females in the tank will result in a pregnant female.

Unfortunately, in a community tank, there are some challenges to keeping the newborn shrimp alive long enough for them to mature.

The best course of action is to separate your pregnant female as soon as you notice the eggs developing within her.

Your pregnant ghost shrimp will not need any special diet in addition to what you are already feeding them.

In the wild, ghost shrimp are omnivorous scavengers . They will eat vegetation (both algae and plants) and some insects and detritus from animals or plants.

In your aquarium, it does not hurt to supplement your shrimp’s diet from time to time with some sinking wafers or high nutrition flakes.

Your ghost shrimp may also enjoy snacking on some soft vegetables as well.

Feed them two times per day and do not overfeed, as they can scavenge on algae and other detritus in the tank.

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

A female ghost shrimp can carry anywhere from 8 to 85 eggs in a group near her tail.

Once fertilized, the incubation period is from 12 to 14 days. Afterward, the tiny, delicate larvae are born free swimming.

You want to ensure that your baby ghost shrimp have a chance to grow into adults.

The separate breeding tank you have set up will ensure they do not get eaten by other fish in the community tank.

It will also allow them to get the food they need to grow, as it will not be consumed by other fish. Finally, the lack of predatory fish will allow the baby shrimp to mature and grow large enough to be introduced into the community tank.

Make sure and remove the adult shrimp from the breeding tank after the young are born.

Due to their scavenger nature, there is a good chance the adult ghost shrimp will eat the newly born babies.

Keep the young separate until they have grown large enough to be introduced into the community tank, usually about five weeks .

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

The newborn shrimp have tiny mouths and thus require very small-sized food .

For the first week or so, infusoria is a good size and easy enough for them to ingest.

Some breeders found success using java moss mops in the breeding tank to promote algae growth for the baby shrimp to eat.

You can even try liquid fry food .Excellent foods to feed your baby shrimp for the first few weeks include:

  • Algae powder
  • Cultured microworms.

After about a week, as the shrimp grow larger, some breeders recommend using pulverized fry food , such as flakes. As the shrimp grow bigger, introduce:

  • Finely pulverized flakes
  • Baby brine shrimp.

1. How long do ghost shrimp stay pregnant?

Once the eggs are fertilized, ghost shrimp females will carry them for about two weeks (12 to 14 days), fanning them frequently.

After that timeframe, the young are born as live larvae.

2. How many babies do ghost shrimp have?

A female ghost shrimp can give birth from as few as eight to as many as 80 young at a time.

3. How do ghost shrimp give birth?

After about two weeks of gestation, ghost shrimp larvae are born live and free-swimming.

In one to two weeks, they will look like miniature versions of the adult shrimp.

4. How do you take care of a pregnant ghost shrimp?

There is not much to do to care for pregnant ghost shrimp.

The most important things are to set up a separate breeding tank, remove the female shrimp after the young are born, and allow the larvae to grow before they are introduced to the community tank.

5. Will ghost shrimp die after laying eggs?

That question is easy to understand, given that ghost shrimp have a short lifespan of about one year.

However, researchers have seen that the ghost shrimp breed multiple times in warmer waters, so the answer is: no , they do not die directly after laying eggs.

6. Can ghost shrimp breed in a community tank?

Yes, ghost shrimp can breed in a community tank, although it may be more difficult to ensure the young’s survival because they can be eaten by the adult shrimp or other fish in the tank.

To prevent this from happening, it is better to set up a separate breeding tank until the shrimp have grown to a large enough size to introduce to the community tank, typically around five weeks.

Whether you intend your ghost shrimp to be lovely and interesting additions to your aquarium or plan to use them as feeders for your fish, it is helpful to understand how they breed and give birth to increase your odds of having healthy, surviving young.

Luckily, there are not many adjustments required to breed your ghost shrimp, and with so many benefits to your tank in the way of cleaning it and visual interest, it is easy to see why the ghost shrimp is a popular addition to many home aquariums.

Have you had success in breeding your ghost shrimp? What have you found works best for a breeding tank setup?

What food have you found works best for your newborn shrimp?

We would love to hear from you!

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Fish Parenting – Ultimate Fishkeeping Guide

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Ghost Shrimp – Food, Care, Breeding, and Tankmates

Ghost Shrimp Care – Food, Breeding, Lifespan and Tankmates

Ghost Shrimps are tiny, unique, and peaceful freshwater creatures. Many aquarists often keep them for tank cleaning purposes as they are scavengers. Fish keepers of any experience level can keep them as they are low maintenance.

They are a great addition to any aquarium because they are non-aggressive and friendly. One of the easiest freshwater species to keep as pets is Ghost Shrimps, often known as glass shrimps. This name was given due to its transparent and glass-like appearance.

It is an inexpensive shrimp to buy, and it can live for one year, sometimes even longer. They make an excellent live feeder for larger predatory fish because of their low price. If you wish to add unique freshwater species to your aquarium, read more about ghost shrimp.

Table of Contents

All About the Ghost Shrimp Species

Freshwater Ghost Shrimp Origin

You can keep these invertebrates in just about any tank, and they will thrive. Water fluctuation isn’t a problem for them, but they are still sensitive. Make sure to check the nitrate level in the aquarium before keeping ghost shrimp. The ideal nitrate level for them is 0, and they are highly sensitive to nitrate.

Keeping ghost shrimp in your freshwater aquarium is a unique experience. Some aquarists use these small creatures as feed for much bigger fishes. Their striking looks and surprisingly playful behavior make them popular pets among some people.

Glass Shrimp is a genus of Caridean Shrimp and has its origin in North America. They are dwarf freshwater species that remain around 1.5 inches long. If you have a freshwater aquarium and are looking for an effortless yet stunning creature, these resilient creatures are an excellent choice.

Ghost Shrimp have a clear, transparent color, and a few might have different color spots on their body. They have a distinctive appearance that feels appealing to the eyes. It has a couple of long and short antennas.

Their rostrum sits between their eyes right on top of their heads. They have a carapace behind their rostrum. Many inner activities are visible inside the carapace, especially when feeding. They are so transparent that you can see through them easily. Sometimes, they are harder to spot in a crowded fish tank due to their appearance.

Author’s Note – If it is looking cloudy, white, or milky in appearance, you should take it out of the tank and keep it in a separate place. Ghost Shrimp can change color based on the substrate and terrain of their aquarium as they grow. For example, a brown or black surface could cause them to darken.

Ghost Shrimp Care

Size – How Big Do They Get?

Ghost Shrimp might be the tiniest creature in your aquarium as they are only 1.5 inches in size. It’s impossible to see baby ghost shrimp when they hatch because their bodies are small. Their small size makes them a wrong fit for some fish aquariums. They are quickly attacked because they are small and delicate.

If kept in a favorable environment, pet shrimps can live longer than one year. They are not wider in size either, and also, they are thick as a rubber attached at the end of a pencil.

Life Span – How Long Do They Live?

Ghost Shrimps Life Span – How Long Do They Live

The lifespan of a ghost shrimp is not more than a year. They are short-lived creatures and sometimes live only a couple of days. However, a few have lived more than two years. They grow rapidly throughout their life.

They may not last long if you buy them for feeding large fish. Since most of them are wild-caught, they’re tough to transport. It is not uncommon for feedlot animals to be mistreated and housed, unlike pets.

A large group of them is a good idea if you plan to keep and raise them. Hopefully, you will get some that are tough enough to survive and reproduce.

Gender Identification – Male vs. Female

There are many other ways in which these invertebrates can be sexed. Males do not have a saddle, but female ghost shrimps have a green saddle on their belly. However, there is no prominent color difference between male and female ghost shrimp. A very distinct ridge runs from the top end of the tail to the base of the tail on females, making them appear larger than males.

Male have longer antennae compared to females. Baby ghost shrimps look similar, and it becomes impossible to distinguish whether they are male or female. When they reach maturity, they begin to differ from each other. Identifying males and females requires waiting at least three weeks.

Ghost Shrimp Care

Diet and food.

Ghost shrimps are not fussy eaters, so feeding them is effortless. Their picking skills are excellent, and they eat like machines. Some forms of algae, dead plant material, and detritus may be included in their food. Fish pellets, flakes, algae wafers, or other food left uneaten by other species are their favorites.

They often feed on eggs, larvae, small insects, and decaying organic matter as omnivorous creatures. They can also consume tiny amounts of plant matter. Although these omnivorous species are tiny, they feed on nearly everything they can get their hands on.

In fact, they don’t require a lot of feeding since they constantly graze on things in the tank. You can feed any flakes of food that sink to the bottom of the tank to your fish. Feeding ghost species every day is fine if you have a large colony.

Temperament & Social Behavior

These creatures have a peaceful and social temperament, making them a perfect pet. They can be introduced to any aquarium with not-so-large fishes, and they will thrive. They are vulnerable to being eaten by larger fish species because of their size. These invertebrates are constantly searching for food in the tank and are very active.

You may come across quite a few behaviors when watching your little buddy roaming around in the aquarium. The creatures can swim around aimlessly, burrow through intersecting channels, or clear the tank. They become aggressive when feeding and try to grab as much food as possible from the water. Though, they are not bothersome or troublesome to other fish.

They devote most of their time eating and hiding in the tank. Observing your tiny water buddy molting is nothing to worry about. As they grow and eat, their shells fall off.

Breeding, Eggs, Pregnancy Stages

Breeding ghost shrimps is not daunting, and their breeding cycle is quite similar to other dwarf shrimps. You will observe 20 – 30 dots in the tank every few weeks as females lay eggs every two to three weeks. When cared for properly, your female shrimps should produce eggs every couple of weeks. The female lays tiny green-grey eggs on her legs.

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It takes one to two weeks for them to develop all their legs and grow into miniature versions of the adults. The fish will be fully grown after five weeks. At that point, they can be moved to the other tank. After 3 to 4 weeks, remove the larger ghost shrimp from the breeding tank if you have a younger batch of eggs or larvae.

It will take about three weeks to see the ghost shrimp fry. Even if there is no activity, it is crucial to continue feeding. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you do not foul the water by adding too much food. Keep track of if they are eating food and add more as per requirement.

Common Diseases

An unhealthy environment and dirty water are the leading causes of diseases in them. They are prone to many diseases, including bacterial and fungal infections, internal parasites, muscular necrosis, and chitinolytic bacterial diseases.

It is challenging to treat diseases in miniature shrimp. If still, you want to treat them, antibiotics or a saltwater bath might help. Unfortunately, an invertebrate that stops eating due to infection is more likely to die.

Infections are pretty easy to spot in these species as they have transparent bodies. So, if they have a bacterial infection, they are likely to have a swollen pinkish spot.

Tank Recommendations

Aquarium size.

Small aquariums, such as 5 to 10 gallons and larger, are ideal for keeping these freshwater species. If you plan to keep them in groups, try to buy a bigger tank than 5-gallons. In that case, a 20 gallons tank can house a large group of shrimps and other water species comfortably.

Quick Tip: When considering a small aquarium, be aware of the tank’s limited water volume and surface area. Therefore, do not overcrowd the tank.

There is very little waste they produce, and they help reduce nitrates. For this reason, you can keep ten shrimp per gallon. It is imperative to pay attention to the temperature and water conditions in highly stocked tanks. As temperatures rise, the dissolved oxygen content of water will decrease, increasing reproduction rates. Also, water quality is easier to regulate in a larger tank.

Tank Setup, Décor, and Plants

Any community aquarium or shrimp’s aquarium is incomplete without live plants. These tiny creatures can use the plants for food and hide from predators. Live plants are necessary for your little water friend to thrive. Consequently, your substrate and lighting will also need to be plant-grade. This should ensure the shrimp’s health.

Ghost shrimps are hardy and can survive in harsh conditions too. Therefore, you don’t need to go too far in terms of filtration. You install a standard filter that is enough for the tank.

Make sure the tank has enough hiding spots and crevices for these shrimps so they don’t always feel threatened. Stress and premature death are two of the most common causes for these crustaceans.

Lighting Requirement

In reality, fish and shrimp don’t require much light. Lightning is installed as a source of illumination, so we can see what’s inside the tank. Quite a few species prefer to retreat into shady areas. It relieves their stress.

If you are planting live plants in your tank, lighting needs to be everywhere, from dim to bright. Plants within the aquarium will determine your aquarium’s lighting mainly. Several plants require more lighting than Hornwort and Anubias, such as Amazon Swords and Vallisneria.

Ghost Shrimp will be comfortable in bright lighting as long as they have enough hiding places. These crustaceans retreat to caves and dense plants for shelter and security.

Ghost Shrimps Tank Size and Water Parameters

Water Parameters

The ideal water temperature for these tiny species is between 22 degrees and 27 degrees Celsius. Therefore, you should pair them with fish species that prefer warm water conditions to maintain their health. Shrimps’ growth and reproduction rate can be accelerated by higher temperatures, whereas colder temperatures can lower their immunity and resistance to disease.

Ghost shrimps are very adaptable to different water parameters. Therefore, it is essential not to overdo the water parameters and maintain the conditions that allow them to live well. The temperature, pH, and water hardness are important factors to consider when setting up a tank for them.

Pollution such as pesticides, fertilizers, and algae blooms can affect these water species’ habitats and them too when consumed. These pollutants can impact the life cycle of Ghost Shrimps that live in shallow waters.

You should change tank water every week if you don’t have a filter. Keeping nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels low in their environment is crucial, as they are very sensitive to pollutants.

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Compatible Tankmates

Providing the aquarium with a stable environment is the role of aquarists. Putting the right mates in their tank is one of the closest things they can do to make their aquarium’s babies comfortable. A few tank mates that your Ghost Shrimps are compatible with include tetras, hatchet fish, Danios, small catfish, and kuhli loach.

A large range of water species should not be kept together with these invertebrates, including crayfish, frogs, turtles, Goldfish, and Oscars.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many ghost shrimps can be kept in a 10-gallon tank.

If you’re only keeping ghost shrimp in your aquarium, you can easily keep 50 shrimp in a 10-gallon aquarium. Ghost shrimp can live in small tanks because they are so small. However, for maintaining a breathable and healthy environment, 30 – 40 of them are enough for a 10-gallon tank.

What do baby ghost shrimp look like?

The ghost shrimp fry is so tiny, and you cannot spot them at first. All you will see are small dots inside the tank. You will be able to see them properly after three weeks when they develop legs and other body parts.

How do ghost shrimp reproduce?

A spermatophore is transferred from the male to the female at a right angle to an abdomen receptacle specialized for fertilization during the mating process. A female begins laying eggs six to twenty hours after mating, which she carries under her abdomen, and they hatch and are released after a few hours.

Can ghost shrimp live with cherry shrimp?

The answer is yes. Cherry and ghost shrimp can be kept in a tank together. They are compatible and can breed together. This match won’t require individual attention or supervision so it will add variety to your aquarium. Both species have very similar care requirements, so it is easy to take care of them together.

What does a ghost shrimp look like?

This creature has a unique appearance, and it has a transparent body that enables you to see through them easily. They have ten legs, a segmented body, and a maximum size of 1.5 inches. Some of them have yellow and orangish spots on their bodies, especially their tail.

Why are my ghost shrimp dying?

They are susceptible to many common infections and diseases, so the reasons can be plenty. Two of the most common are fungal and bacterial infections. Sometimes when they cannot acclimate, they die. After picking them up at the pet store, dropping shrimp into your home aquarium could cause them serious harm. They were kept at a temperature and with water parameters that differ from yours. They will die if they cannot adapt quickly. You should look for their symptoms to know the actual reason behind their death.

Final Remarks – Do They Make Good Pets for Your Aquarium?

Ghost shrimps are relatively inexpensive and easy to keep in bulk quantities. You can keep them in small aquariums or raise them in colonies. They reduce nitrates and algae and have a very low biological footprint.

The only exception is viewing a tank containing both fish and shrimp. They can survive for up to two years with careful tank monitoring. Ghost shrimps are the perfect addition to your tank if you do not want to deal with the hassle of caring for complex fish. I hope you find this guide about caring for ghost shrimp helpful.

Related Readings –

Crystal Red Shrimp Grades and Care Info

18 popular types of koi fish varieties

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Victoria lamb.

Victoria is a freshwater aquatics specialist, fish keeper, and amphibian enthusiast. She has had more than 6 years of experience caring for aquariums and keeping several fish species, and her home boasts of 3 aquariums and a garden pond. Her goal is to educate fish owners on raising healthy and happy aquatic pets. Career Highlights:…

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Aquaponics Advisor

How Long Are Ghost Shrimp Pregnant? Your Ultimate Guide Here!

Last Updated on April 30, 2022 by Marco C.

Have you ever wondered how long are ghost shrimp pregnant?  Well, lucky for you, we have written this article to answer that question! 

Ghost shrimp are a great choice for many fish tank owners because they are low maintenance and help keep your tank clean.  Their transparent color has earned them the name, “ghost” shrimp.  You can put a few of these in your tank where they will hang out at the bottom, eating excess debris.  

They are also considered a very peaceful species to raise.  This means you will not have to worry about them eating the other fish in your tank.  

It is for these reasons that someone might be interested in breeding ghost shrimp.  Breeding is the process of supporting a fish to create more of the same species.  This is probably why you want to know: how long are ghost shrimp pregnant?  

If you know the amount of time it takes for ghost shrimp to produce babies, you can properly plan your breeding schedules. We have written this article to provide you with guidance on all details about breeding ghost shrimp. 

After reading this article, you should be ready to confidently get started.  Keep reading now to learn more!

Table of Contents

Is It Difficult To Breed Ghost Shrimp?

Whenever you want to breed anything, you will need to create the ideal conditions for it to occur.  In the case of ghost shrimp, there will be some things that you need to know before getting started.  They are not considered the easiest species to breed.  

If you want to have a high success rate you should raise them in a separate tank without any other fish.  This will allow you to create the perfect conditions to promote pregnancy.  

When the shrimp are first born, they are very small.  This makes them extremely susceptible to being eaten.  The best way to avoid the babies from becoming prey is to keep them in a tank without anything else.

Keep in mind that larger ghost shrimp could also possibly eat the babies.  Pay attention to the habits of your shrimp and remove larger shrimp if you notice they are being eaten.  

Once you set up a separate breeding tank, make sure you do not overcrowd it.  You can happily raise about 10 shrimp per gallon of water.  

Of course, if you want your shrimp to produce healthy babies, you need to keep the tank in the ideal environment.  The main things to pay attention to are the water temperature and PH.

Try to maintain a water temperature of between 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.  If your water temperatures drop below or above this, your ghost shrimp will not produce babies. 

The ideal PH level is between 7-8.  You can test your PH frequently during the breeding time to be sure that you are providing a stable environment for the pregnant ghost shrimp.

Is It Difficult To Breed Ghost Shrimp

Learn more about:  How Many Shrimp Per Gallon?

How Can I Tell If My Ghost Shrimp Is Pregnant?

One of the most amazing things about ghost shrimp is that they are completely transparent.  This means you can see inside their body.  All of their organs are visible to the naked eye.

When a female ghost shrimp is pregnant, you can see bright green eggs forming underneath its tail.  

In fact, you will not be able to tell if a ghost shrimp is female until eggs are formed.  Prior to that, males and females look exactly identical! 

Once you see the green eggs, the female needs a male shrimp to fertilize them.  When the eggs are fertilized it takes between 12-14 days for the baby shrimp to be birthed. 

One female ghost shrimp can carry between 8-85 eggs!  If they all are birthed successfully, you could have a lot of small ghost shrimps! 

Once they are born, you will need to begin feeding.  Ghost shrimp are omnivores, eating both plants and animals.  According to Loyola University in New Orleans , “ Beach ghost shrimp spend their time-consuming phytoplankton and other organic matter that they filter from water moving into and out of their tunnels.”  

Remember, the baby ghost shrimp are very small.  This means you will need to provide tiny pieces of food.  Some good sources of food for this stage are powdered algae, infusoria, or ground-up flake food.

After about 5 weeks, the shrimp should be big enough to live with other species.  Keep in mind that when the shrimp are small, they are susceptible to being eaten or swept away in your filter.  One way to protect this from happening is to put a small sponge in front of your filters and pumps.

It is within these first 5 weeks that you have to take the most care.  

Hopefully, you now understand a lot more about ghost shrimp.  You should especially know the answer to the question: How long are ghost shrimp pregnant?  

Take good care of your ghost shrimp and good luck! Feel free to comment and ask questions below.

How long do ghost shrimp take to have babies?

Once the female’s eggs are fertilized, it takes about 2 weeks to have babies. At this point, the shrimps are very small and thus susceptible to dying. In order to increase the chances of your shrimps growing to adult size, make sure to provide a safe environment with plenty of food. It takes about 5 weeks for the shrimps to grow to a good enough size to survive safely with other fish.

How do you know if shrimp is pregnant?

When a female ghost shrimp is pregnant, you can see green eggs forming near her abdomen. It is at this point that a male shrimp will approach her to fertilize the eggs. If you notice the males approaching the females a lot, you can assume that it is because she is pregnant. Also, females will fan their eggs. If you notice the shrimp moving her legs in a fan pattern, it is likely she is pregnant.

Are ghost shrimp easy to breed?

Ghost shrimp are not easy to breed. In fact, because they are so small, many of them die in the first weeks of their life. To prevent this from happening, provide a safe space for the shrimps away from any potential predators.

How many ghost shrimp should be kept together?

A good rule of thumb is to keep 10 ghost shrimp per gallon of water in your tank. Do not exceed this number as it will limit your ability to successfully raise shrimp.

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

Cand ace is an aqu apon ics expert with over 5 years of experience in the field . She has a degree in environmental science from the University of California , Berkeley and a degree in aqu apon ics from the University of Florida . She is passionate about sustainable agriculture and has a deep knowledge of aqu ac ulture and hyd rop onics . She has worked on numerous projects and has been involved in the development of aqu apon ic systems and fish farms . She also has experience in designing and constructing aqu apon ic systems . With her expertise , Cand ace is able to advise clients on the most effective and efficient way to construct and manage their aqu apon ic system . She is an active member of the aqu apon ic community , often speaking at conferences and seminars . Cand ace is dedicated to helping others understand the importance of aqu apon ics , and she is a strong advocate for sustainable food production . is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.


How To Know a Pregnant Shrimp (Observation & Care)

Knowing whether your shrimp is pregnant can be a challenge due to their small size and unique shape. 

However, by observing a few key signs, you can determine if your shrimp is expecting. 

In this article, we will explore how to observe and detect pregnancy in shrimp and provide essential care tips for both ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp.

How To Know a Pregnant Shrimp (Observation & Care)

Observing the Behavior of Pregnant Shrimp

How do you know if your shrimp is pregnant? Apart from physical signs, the behavior of a pregnant shrimp can also give you valuable clues.

Pregnant shrimp tend to display a more reclusive nature, seeking out hiding spots and staying away from other tank inhabitants.

They may also spend more time grazing and searching for food, as the energy demands of egg development increase.

By carefully observing these behavioral changes, you can gain further confidence in identifying a pregnant shrimp.

Some of the behavioral changes shown in a pregnant shrimp are found below:

1. Increased Nest Building:

One of the noticeable behavioral changes in pregnant shrimp is an intensified focus on nest building. Female shrimp create intricate and well-structured nests to protect their eggs. 

They meticulously arrange pieces of substrate , such as leaves or moss, to form a safe haven for their developing offspring. This behavior helps safeguard the eggs from potential threats, ensuring their survival.

2. Heightened Aggressiveness:

During pregnancy, female shrimp can exhibit heightened aggression towards tank mates, particularly if they perceive them as a threat to their eggs. 

They may become territorial and display aggressive behavior by chasing or nipping at other shrimp or fish. 

It is crucial to provide sufficient hiding spots and separate pregnant shrimp if necessary to avoid stress and potential harm to the eggs.

3. Decreased Activity Levels:

Pregnant shrimp tend to exhibit reduced activity levels compared to their non-pregnant counterparts.

They become more sedentary and spend significant amounts of time near or inside their nests. 

This decrease in activity is attributed to the energy-intensive process of egg development. Shrimp owners should ensure a calm and stress-free environment to support the pregnancy and minimize disturbances.

4. Altered Feeding Behavior:

Shrimp pregnancy can also lead to changes in feeding behavior. Pregnant shrimp may display decreased appetite and become more selective in their food choices. 

This change is influenced by hormonal shifts and the energy demands of pregnancy. It is essential to provide highly nutritious and easily digestible food options to support the health of pregnant shrimp and the development of their eggs.

5. Increased Sensitivity to Water Parameters:

Pregnant shrimp are more sensitive to changes in water parameters compared to non-pregnant individuals. They require stable and optimal conditions for successful egg development. 

Fluctuations in temperature, pH, or water quality can negatively impact the health of the eggs and the overall breeding process. Regular monitoring of water parameters and maintaining stable conditions are crucial during shrimp pregnancy.

Stages Of Pregnancy In Shrimps

  • Gravid Stage
  • Egg Incubation
  • Larval Development
  • Juvenile Stage 

How to Detect Pregnancy in Shrimp

Look for egg clusters.

If your shrimp is pregnant, you will notice egg clusters near its abdomen.

Depending on the shrimp species, you may even be able to see the eggs themselves. For example, ghost shrimp often have visible green eggs.

Observe Color Changes

Pregnant shrimp often experience changes in color, including fading or becoming transparent.

These color variations are more noticeable as the pregnancy progresses. 

Although the color usually returns to normal after delivery, it may remain faded in some cases.

Notice Fanning Behavior

Shrimp may fan their legs to provide oxygen to the eggs or alleviate discomfort caused by them.

If you observe your shrimp fanning its legs, it is likely a sign of pregnancy.

Observe an Increase in Size

Pregnant shrimp will have a visibly larger belly due to carrying a substantial number of eggs. Some shrimp species can carry up to 80 eggs at once, making their bellies appear noticeably larger.

Monitor Male Shrimp Behavior

Male shrimp tend to follow and engage with pregnant shrimp to assert dominance and fertilize the eggs. If you witness males fighting over a particular shrimp, it is a strong indication of pregnancy.

Look for White Dots Under the Tail

The presence of white dots near the rear legs indicates that the shrimp’s eggs have been fertilized, confirming pregnancy.

Notice Behavior Changes

Pregnant shrimp will often seek out hiding spots to give birth in a safe and concealed area. 

If you observe your shrimp going missing or constantly searching for a secluded place, it is a sign that they are about to give birth.

Caring for Pregnant Shrimp

1. separate pregnant ghost shrimp.

To maximize the survival rate of baby ghost shrimp, transfer the pregnant shrimp to a separate tank. Ghost shrimp are transparent, making it easy to identify the eggs. As soon as you spot the eggs, move the pregnant shrimp to the new tank.

2. Provide Appropriate Food for Baby Shrimp

Baby ghost shrimp have small mouths and require specialized food. Purchase dry food, moss, or algae powder suitable for their nutritional needs. Feed them in small portions to prevent starvation.

3. Keep Baby Shrimp in a Separate Tank

Maintain a separate tank for the baby shrimp for approximately five weeks. During this time, they will grow large enough to join the community tank.

Ensuring Optimal Conditions for Breeding Cherry Shrimp:

For cherry shrimp, you can breed them in the same tank as adults but ensure certain conditions are met:

Remove Predators

Ensure there are no predators in the tank that might harm the baby shrimp.

Provide Sufficient Cover

Offer plenty of hiding spots and covers for pregnant shrimp to safely give birth and provide shelter for the baby shrimp.

Choose the Right Filter

Opt for a sponge filter or use a cover to prevent baby shrimp from getting sucked into the filter.

In conclusion, understanding the signs of a pregnant shrimp and providing appropriate care is crucial for shrimp enthusiasts. 

By observing certain indicators and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure the well-being of your pregnant shrimp and support the successful development of their offspring.

Shrimp have a reproductive process that involves the female releasing eggs into the water, which are then fertilized externally by the male. The fertilized eggs develop and hatch into tiny larvae, which undergo a series of stages before maturing into adult shrimp.

Shrimps lay their eggs inside the river or pond for their male specie to fertilize it.

Shrimp will typically carry between 20 – 30 eggs, and even if all of them hatch without problem, you will probably only see a handful of babies in the first few days.

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How To Take Care Of Pregnant Ghost Shrimps?

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how to take care of pregnant ghost shrimps

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

If you are keeping ghost shrimps for a while now, then you know the female ghost shrimps reproduce more often if kept in a good environment. Ghost shrimps are sensitive species and they need more care while they are pregnant. Good care and maintenance ensure their proper breeding. 

Many shrimp keepers get worried when their ghost shrimps get pregnant. They look around and search about how to take proper care of them so that the pregnant shrimp and the shrimplets get a healthy life. 

I have a lot of ghost shrimps and did some research on how to take proper care when any gets pregnant. So, if you are searching for detailed information on care guides of pregnant ghost shrimps, I will suggest you to go through this article. 

Possible Causes Of Ghost Shrimp Pregnancy

You might wonder thinking what are the possible causes of ghost shrimp pregnancy. There are several natural factors responsible for ghost shrimp pregnancy.

If you maintain a reef tank for your ghost shrimp, the reef tank additives can trigger their pregnancy. Such common additives are coral supplements, iron or carbon supplements, red sea reef energy supplements, etc.

In addition, the water quality, temperature, lighting, nutrients, and other factors play a significant role in ghost shrimp pregnancy. However, if you search for the best reef additives, I shall recommend Tropic Marin All For Reef , Red Sea Reef Energy AB+ , and BRS Pharma Bulk Reef Supply .

Taking Care of Pregnant Ghost Shrimps

Keeping a suitable environment .

A suitable environment is the first thing you need to ensure for pregnant ghost shrimps. A suitable environment plays a big role in successful breeding and keeping both the pregnant ghost shrimp and shrimplets healthy. 

A suitable environment does not only mean the tank water should be clean, it is more than that.

The elements you need to maintain for ensuring a suitable environment are:

1. Pure Water :

The tank water is the very first thing that needs to be maintained properly before anything else. If the water is pure and clean, the other things get very easy to maintain. The water should be free from toxins like ammonia and nitrite. It should not get dirty fast because dirty water changes the water parameters rapidly. 

Dirty water gives stress to the ghost shrimps and pregnant ones get stressed more. If the water is not pure, the environment gets unhealthy, and pregnant ghost shrimps cannot live in it. The whole breeding process gets hampered in an unsuitable environment. Besides that, for ensuring a higher success rate of shrimplets, you’ll need to have clean water.

Water change helps to keep the tank water clean and toxin-free. You should change 30% of the water once a week and add the same amount of freshwater in the tank. Also, use a filter for the tank as it keeps the water clean and purified.

Filters are a must for a shrimp tank. I am recommending some filters for a shrimp tank, you can choose any of the following filters: a matten filter, sponge filter, or a HOB (Hang On Back) filter.

Matten Filter

matten filter

If you have only ghost shrimps in your tank, matten filters are the best option. I personally love this filter a lot because the mechanism is extremely simple. 

The reason why I said this is the best filter for a shrimp tank is it has a large surface area which makes a great feeding surface for shrimps. The surface area is 2-4 times larger than a typical sponge filter. Beneficial bacteria thrive there and make it an ideal place for shrimps to find natural food. Besides this, it creates the proper water circulation for a shrimp tank.  

Moreover, matten filters are very cheap compared to a Hang on Back or sponge filter. If you are totally new in this hobby and searching for a filter, I would recommend you to give it a try. 

However, matten filters are rare and you can’t find them on many fish stores. Fortunately, FlipAquatics sell top-notch quality matten filters according to various tank sizes. They are the ones to go if you want professional-grade Matten Filter for your shrimps!

Sponge Filter

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

If I have to recommend a sponge filter, I will recommend the one from Powkoo. The kit comes with everything you need to install and start the filtration process. You will get the air pump, airline tubing and check valve with the filter itself. 

The main features of this sponge filter are:

  • Comes with a 10-layer shape with a ribbing pattern. This creates more surface area for a larger beneficial bacteria colony, meaning the tank will be cycled more quickly.
  • There are two sponges. So, 2 x mechanical as well as biological filtration with double cycling speed.
  • The air pump oxygenates the water and provides a good water flow. 

If you are interested in sponge filter and want one for your shrimp tank, I don’t see any better option other than this filter from Powkoo .

HOB Filter 

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

The Penguin HOB filter from MarineLand will be the best choice if you have a moderate level of livestock in your tank. This filter is not appropriate for a small bedside tank. 

The features of this filter are: 

  • Perfect for a tank/aquarium that is big, like up to 70 gallons 
  • Has a rotating bio-wheel which provides excellent biological filtration
  • Provides 3 stage filtration: mechanical, chemical, and biological
  • Comes with two C filter cartridges (Rite-Size)

If you do not have a budget problem, do not think twice and get this HOB filter for your tank. Trust me you will never regret buying it.

2. Balanced Water Parameters And Temperature:  

Water parameters and temperature both are important for ghost shrimps, and extremely important for pregnant ghost shrimps. Any imbalance of the temperature or the parameters can make the whole tank environment unsuitable. 

The tank environment gets very unsuitable for pregnant ghost shrimps if these cross the limit ranges. They start to stress out and feel very insecure. They cannot concentrate on the breeding process. This is why in this crucial time, maintaining the optimal temperature and parameters is very important. 

The ideal temperature and parameters for ghost shrimps are,

  • Temperature : The suitable temperature for ghost shrimps is 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit. But they are seen most active when kept in 70-80 Degrees. If you want to get the correct temperature reading of your shrimp tank, I’ll highly suggest this digital aquarium thermometer . It is cheap yet very reliable! It will show you the temperature in digital reading so that you know exactly what is going on in the tank!
  • pH:  pH is the measure of acidic/basic water. pH less than 7 indicates acidity and Greater than 7 indicates a base. The suitable pH range for ghost shrimps is 7-8. If you need a test kit for measuring the pH, I’ll recommend API Master Test Kit . With this master test kit, you can measure ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and many other water parameters. It is certainly a worthwhile investment for any shrimp keeper!
  • GH : GH stands for general hardness and it indicates the level of calcium and magnesium in the water. The GH range should be 5-8 ppm to make the water suitable for ghost shrimps. 
  • KH : KH is the abbreviation of Carbonate Hardness. This indicates how quickly the pH can drop or change. 5 ppm to 8 ppm range of KH is suitable for ghost shrimps. With this GH & KH Test Kit , you can measure both the GH & KH of your shrimp tank water. There is no need to buy two separate test kits. Certainly, a handy test kit that will help you a long way!
  • TDS : TDS stands for total dissolved solids. The range of TDS suitable for ghost shrimps is 150-200 ppm. 

It’s best to maintain the optimal ranges as pregnant shrimps feel better and live the fullest in it. However, if you are not able to balance the optimal ranges, at least try to maintain the limit ranges.

How To Treat Horsehair Worm In Ghost Shrimps

3. Good Tank Mates:

Good tank mates are also needed if you want to keep the environment suitable for pregnant ghost shrimps. Ghost shrimps are very peaceful. The pregnant ones most of the time hide themselves and like to be alone.

There have been many cases where big fishes chased and ate ghost shrimps. If you don’t have peaceful and good tank mates, the pregnant shrimps feel stressed about getting attacked. They don’t get any place for breeding alone peacefully.

This kind of environment is not good for pregnant ghost shrimps. This is why for ensuring a good environment good tank mates are important. With small and peaceful tank mates ghost shrimps feel secure and roam around in the tank without any stress.

I always recommend ‘shrimp only’ tank because ghost shrimps are seen as the most active when kept together. They don’t attack or cause any harm to each other.

However, if you want to keep them with tank mates, I am giving a list below of good and bad tank mates for ghost shrimps,

4. Heavily Planted Tank: 

Plants play a very important role in keeping the tank environment suitable. They produce oxygen and absorb the carbon dioxide and ammonia that the species generate. Moreover, it creates a natural ecosystem in the tank which helps to keep the environment suitable and healthy. 

Live plants also help in controlling the water parameters. Besides that, pregnant ghost shrimps get enough hiding spots for breeding peacefully. This is why, for ghost shrimps, a heavily planted tank is always recommended.

Proper Food And Balanced Diet 

Normally ghost shrimps can survive eating Algae and biofilm that naturally grows in the tank. But you should take care of ghost shrimps during their breeding time. Because pregnant ghost shrimps need much more than these for successful breeding and hatching good quality eggs.

 If you feed them foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients, it will benefit both the pregnant shrimp and the shrimplets. You should find foods that contain vitamins and nutrients. Many shrimp keepers suggest shrimp pellets. You can feed shrimps pellets but before buying make sure those contain a good amount of vitamins and nutrients in it. 

As I keep ghost shrimps too, I am recommending some shrimp pellets that I feed them, 

1. Mineral Junkie:

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

The mineral junkie is an excellent supplement food for every type of species. This is best for ghost shrimps as it provides necessary nutrients for proper breeding, molting, and preventing diseases. 

The features of this food: 

  • Contains natural minerals as well as inorganically combined minerals for ensuring a proper and healthy health
  • Contains vegetable extracts and herbs too for providing more nutrition
  • Helps to prevent failed molting, breeding and mineral deficiencies 

My ghost shrimps love this supplement food. Within 3-5 minutes of dropping this food, they finish it. I will highly recommend Mineral Junki e if you have a good budget. 

2. Bacter AE: 

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

Bacter AE is another awesome shrimp food available in the market. If you have baby shrimps in your tank, I highly recommend this food. The food spreads itself in the tank, and tiny shrimp babies easily get a feast. 

Features of this food: 

  • Helps in increasing the survival rate of baby shrimps
  • Nutritious and healthy for shrimps
  • Promotes the growth of biofilm
  • Doesn’t pollute the water like most other powdered foods

Check out the latest price of Bacter AE on Amazon here .

3. Shrimp Dinner: 

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

Shrimp Dinner is the kind of food that you can feed every day to your shrimps as a part of the diet without worrying. It ensures shrimp growth at a healthy rate, successful molting, and reaching the reproductive health sooner. 

 Features of this food:

  • High in protein which is great for pregnant shrimps 
  • Contains vitamins and minerals which helps to ensure a healthy life
  • Great food for all ages of shrimps 

If you have other species with ghost shrimps then I will recommend you to go for the first one. And if you have a shrimp only tank then you can choose either the Bacter AE or the Shrimp Dinner . 

Feeding the proper and the right foods ensures the ghost shrimps their proper growth and the pregnant shrimps a successful breeding. 

Don’t Let Them Get Stressed 

Stress is one of the main reasons for an unsuccessful breeding. No matter what you do, do not do anything that makes the ghost shrimps stressed, mainly the pregnant ones. 

Stress can lead the pregnant ghost shrimps to many serious problems including the loss of shrimplets. In extreme cases, it can lead both the pregnant shrimp and the shrimplets to death. 

They can get stressed for many reasons. The common ones are:

1. Imbalance of Water Parameters: 

Any imbalance of the water parameters makes them stressed. They don’t feel healthy and comfortable if the water parameters are not in the limit ranges. 

There have been cases where ghost shrimps tried to jump off the tank because of stress as the parameters were not in the limit ranges. So, the water parameters need to be balanced well for keeping them away from getting stressed. 

2. Bad Tank Mates: 

Aggressive and big species most of the time chase ghost shrimps. They also eat the baby shrimps soon after they are hatched.

The fear of getting chased and attacked makes ghost shrimps very stressed. They feel very insecure and unsafe around big and aggressive species. So, do not keep them with these kinds of species and keep them stress free.

Ghost Shrimp Molting

Separate If Needed 

You can separate the pregnant ghost shrimps if needed. It reduces the risks of getting attacked by the other shrimps. 

Sometimes, the male ghost shrimps attack pregnant ghost shrimps out of sexual desire, which is very rare. This can happen if you have more male ghost shrimps than female ghost shrimps.

The baby shrimps also get attacked sometimes by other species. Many species eat up the eggs soon after the female ghost shrimps hatch it. So, for avoiding these risks, you can separate the pregnant ghost shrimps. 

For separating the pregnant ones, you can use a new tank. And, if you have space problems or budget problems you can simply use a tank separator. However, I will recommend you to use a second tank if you have that option. 

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages

Ghost shrimp remain pregnant for around 3 weeks. In these weeks, these shrimp go through several phases. Let’s take a quick look at the pregnant ghost shrimp stages.

Week 1: Production Of The Eggs

Generally, ghost shrimp produce eggs every few weeks. So, in the first week, there will appear eggs as tiny green dots in the saddle of ghost shrimp. There doesn’t happen much change in these tiny eggs in this phase. This arrival of green dots means that your female ghost shrimp are pregnant.

Week 2: Development Of The Eggs

By the starting of 2nd week, the shrimp eggs start getting mature. The green color becomes lighter. Also, the ghost shrimp eggs get a bit bigger than the first week.

In the last of 2nd week, the fertilization process of ghost shrimp eggs starts.

Week 3: Fertilization & Hatching Of The Eggs

The pregnant ghost shrimp start secreting a hormone in the water that attracts the male shrimp. So, there remains competition among male ghost shrimp to fertilize the eggs by depositing the sperm onto the bodies of female shrimp.

As a result, the fertilization process occurs externally when the shrimp eggs pass towards the rear legs. When the shrimp eggs get fertilized, they’ll turn white. You may notice black specks in the fertilized eggs.

By the end of day 21, you’ll get new shrimp fry from the hatched eggs. In this way, the egg stage lasts by releasing shrimp fry.

Stage 5: Post Egg Phase

This stage doesn’t include the pregnancy phase of ghost shrimp. In this stage, the newly hatched shrimp fry will turn into shrimp larvae. Gradually, these larvae will become juvenile shrimp by having their first molt .

What Does It Look Like When Ghost Shrimp Lay Eggs?

Like any other living, ghost shrimp show certain signs when they lay eggs. If you’re a beginner, you may not be aware of these signs. Let’s check out the following traits of how ghost shrimp look when these crustaceans become gravid.

1. Green Dots Under Tail Or Near Abdomen

You might know the reason behind the naming of ghost shrimp. Its belly is so transparent that you can even notice the digested food in its stomach through naked eyes. Due to this transparency, you will be able to notice the eggs when your ghost shrimp becomes pregnant.

The most visible sign of a pregnant ghost shrimp is the green dots underside of the tail. Shrimp do not carry eggs inside their belly like livebearers. These ghost shrimp carry eggs on the rear side of their body under the tail.

So, when your ghost shrimp is pregnant, there remain clutches of eggs. These eggs will be visible as tiny green dots. As the eggs grow with time, these green dots may appear as green balls.

2. Weight Gain

It’s pretty natural to gain weight for shrimp when these crustaceans become gravid or pregnant. Due to carrying 20-30 eggs, your gravid ghost shrimp will gain extra weight. Besides, the gravid ghost shrimp will look bigger because of their swollen abdomen with eggs.

3. Fanning Legs

To make the eggs hatch, the pregnant ghost shrimp tend to fan their legs constantly. As mentioned before, the ghost shrimp carry the eggs in the saddle near the legs. Hence, the pregnant ghost shrimp constantly fan their legs to oxygenate the eggs.

Besides, fanning prevents any growth of mold and bacteria over the eggs. So, your ghost shrimp must contain eggs when it’s fanning legs.

4. Attention From Male Shrimp

Another natural trait among shrimp is the males getting friendlier with pregnant shrimp. When a ghost shrimp becomes pregnant, suddenly, it will get more attention from male ghost shrimp.

It happens because the male shrimp compete among themselves to fertilize the eggs. Don’t forget to miss this sign to check whether your ghost shrimp are laying eggs or not.

5. White Or Green Dots Under Tail

It is a sign of fertilized eggs. When the shrimp eggs become fertilized, the eggs will pass to the belly from the saddle. In the very first sign, I mentioned the eggs being green in color.

When these eggs become fertilized after a successful mating session, the green eggs will turn into white eggs. So, the white dots under the rear side of the tail refers to the developing eggs of ghost shrimp.

How Do You Know When Ghost Shrimp Eggs Are About To Hatch?

If you don’t know yet, only fertilized eggs can be hatched. So, if you want to know when ghost shrimp are about to hatch, you should know the signs of fertilized ghost shrimp eggs.

As mentioned before, ghost shrimp carry eggs underneath their tail in the saddle. The ghost shrimp receive the sperm of male ghost shrimp in a tube through which the eggs pass. After passing through the tube, the ghost shrimp eggs go along the belly from the saddle.

Once you notice the ghost shrimp eggs in the belly, you can be sure of its being fertilized. The fertilized shrimp eggs may grow up to 0.5 mm in size. After this fertilization period, these shrimp eggs hatch within 1-2 weeks.

How To Tell If Ghost Shrimp Eggs Are Fertilized?

You can easily determine whether the ghost shrimp eggs are fertilized by noticing their appearance. When the green eggs turn into white balls, these shrimp eggs are fertilized. This fertilization happens in the third week of shrimp pregnancy.

The fertilized shrimp eggs will turn darker gradually over time. However, ghost shrimp tend to drop the unfertilized eggs like other shrimp. Besides, the fertilized eggs will be visible inside the shrimp belly.

How Do You Know When A Ghost Shrimp Is About To Give Birth?

There are some visible signs to understand when a ghost shrimp is about to give birth. As mentioned prior, the fertilized shrimp eggs will appear as tiny white balls.

When the pregnancy of ghost shrimp comes to an end, black specks will appear in the shrimp eggs. These are developing stomachs and eyes of the new shrimp fry.

Besides, you’ll notice several changes in the behavior of the pregnant ghost shrimp. These female ghost shrimp tend to hide when they are about to give birth.

When it is the right time, the shrimp will wipe off the hatched eggs with the help of their forelegs. It may take only 12-15 days to give birth after the fertilization period of ghost shrimp eggs.

If you’re a beginner, you should check out this write-up: how to take care of ghost shrimp babies ?

What Does It Mean When A Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Curl Up?

In general cases, ghost shrimp curl up for two reasons. By bending their body, these shrimp try to lose their exoskeleton for molting. Otherwise, these crustaceans curl up to clean their bodies.

When a pregnant ghost shrimp curl up, there may remain different reasons. In this way, the pregnant ghost shrimp shed the eggs that they’re hatching. It is the way of throwing the eggs that are hatching out.

Besides, they may clean the shrimplets with their tail in this U position. Also, pregnant ghost shrimp tend to curl up when they want to shed their unwanted eggs.

Why Do My Ghost Shrimp Eggs Appear To Be Turning Black?

Generally, the eggs of ghost shrimp look like green dots. When the eggs become gradually mature, these eggs turn darker. Besides, these shrimp eggs become darker until these eggs start hatching.

In the last stage of pregnancy, the embryo of the shrimp eggs will form, which looks like a black area. The black part will be the eyes and stomach of the new shrimp fry.

However, there is still some time left to hatch the eggs. For this reason, the eggs of the berried ghost shrimp appear to be turning black.

ghost shrimp pregnant stages

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Stay Pregnant?

The researchers found that the pregnant ghost shrimp carry eggs for around one week. Afterward, the shrimp eggs become fertilized and hatched. But, the duration of ghost shrimp pregnancy varies according to the temperature of the water.

This entire phase of pregnancy can last for 2-3 weeks for ghost shrimp. After 21 days, the pregnant ghost shrimp lay around 20-30 eggs at once.

If the water remains warm, the pregnancy phase may last only a few weeks. On the other hand, it may take around 1-3 months when the water temperature is cool. However, the ideal temperature for pregnant ghost shrimp is approximately 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do Ghost Shrimp Die While Giving Birth?

There’s a myth that ghost shrimp die after giving birth. But, this is not true. Ghost shrimp remain fine after giving birth. If your ghost shrimp die after giving birth, there may remain some other issues.

You can also go through this article to know details about the care guide for ghost shrimp eggs.

Care Guide For Shrimplets 

Soon after the pregnant ghost shrimp hatch eggs , you will hardly find or see any in the tank. Do not get worried because this is very common. 

After a few days you will be able to see the shrimplets in your tank and most of the time they will hide themselves. You have to take good care of the shrimplets because, at this stage, good care will ensure them a healthy adulthood . 

Keep enough hiding places in the tank as shrimplets will find places to hide. You can also use cholla woods, driftwood, etc. for the shrimplets to hide.

During the first few days, the shrimplets will mainly feed on the algae and biofilm. However, soon they’ll need proper nutrition which you can provide from a commercial shrimp food like Bacter AE. 


I believe I’ve covered everything in detail related to the care guide of pregnant ghost shrimps. If you want to see shrimplets and increase the number of ghost shrimp in your tank, you have to take good care of the pregnant shrimps first. 

So, maintain everything I described above and soon you will see baby ghost shrimps in your tank. If you don’t take proper care of the pregnant shrimps, you can lose both the pregnant shrimp and the shrimplets. So, always remember you have to put effort if you want something in return. 

Happy shrimp keeping!

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About Muntaseer Rahman

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Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping exotic pets such as shrimps, snails, crabs, crayfish, etc. for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these pets. I really believe that these pets deserve more care and attention from us. It is very important that people know how to take care of them properly. That’s why I’ve created this website to share my knowledge with you.

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What to do with a pregnant ghost shrimp?

So I currently have 4 ghost shrimp in my tank, one of which is pregnant. I also have guppies, kuli loaches, and dwarf frogs in the tank as well.

Do I need to isolate the pregnant shrimp? Will the other tank mates eat the babies? If I do move her, do I need to take her out once the babies detach from her? Will she eat her own babies? So may questions...

Fins2MyHeart avatar

I think all the babies would be pray in that tank. what most people do is just put a new panty hose over the filter (the part thats actually submerged) aso the babies dont get sucked up also provide LOTS of live plans

(you can isolate her but that may cause stress...)

Owen avatar

I have separated several females, in an attempt to try to spawn some ghost shrimp, and have never been successful. Ghost shrimp are not the hardiest of creatures, and I've never successfully had one produce fry. I would just leave her in the tank and let things happen as they may. Unless of course you'd like to give it a shot, then by all means go for it!

blaneyoba avatar

most Ghost shrimplets have a plankttonic larval stage after hatching that live in the water column for the first few days and can be really hard to raise for beginners or seasoned shrimp keepers due to the super small size,I've done it numerous times now but I have only been succesful in a filterless tank with plants while providing plenty of food in the form od green water and numerous types of micro bacteris harvested from my ponds , I kept the adults in with them and once I provided the right conditions I was getting a good number of shrimp per batch , I was unsuccessfully raising these buggers for a while but trial and error prevailed in the end 😊

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Pregnant ghost shrimp stages? (2023)

  • 1. What are the stages of ghost shrimp pregnancy?
  • 2. How do you know when a ghost shrimp is about to give birth?
  • 3. How many days are ghost shrimp pregnant?
  • 4. How long will my shrimp be pregnant?
  • 5. Where do ghost shrimp give birth?
  • 6. How do you tell if a shrimp is carrying eggs?
  • 7. Why is my ghost shrimp laying on its side?
  • 8. How many babies do pregnant shrimp have?
  • 9. Will dropped shrimp eggs hatch?
  • 10. How long do shrimp eggs take to hatch after being laid?
  • 11. How fast do ghost shrimp multiply?
  • 12. How many ghost shrimp to start with?
  • 13. What do you feed baby ghost shrimp?
  • 14. Why can't i find my pregnant shrimp?
  • 15. Why is my ghost shrimp white?
  • 16. Do ghost shrimp need a bubbler?
  • 17. How fast do shrimp give birth?
  • 18. Do ghost shrimp breed easily?
  • 19. Why are my ghost shrimp eggs black?
  • 20. Why do ghost shrimp curl up?
  • 21. Why does my shrimp smell like eggs?
  • 22. Can frozen shrimp eggs hatch?
  • 23. What does a dead ghost shrimp look like?
  • 24. How do you know if ghost shrimp are stressed?
  • 25. Why is my ghost shrimp white and not moving?
  • 26. How many shrimp do I need to start breeding?
  • 27. Where do shrimp give birth?
  • 28. What do baby shrimp look like when they are born?
  • 29. Can I move a pregnant shrimp to a new tank?
  • 30. Do unhatched brine shrimp eggs sink?
  • 31. Will snails eat baby shrimp?
  • 32. How long does it take for an egg to fully form before it is laid?
  • 33. How long do shrimp eggs take to hatch?
  • 34. How can you tell the difference between a fertilized egg and an unfertilized egg?
  • 35. How do you tell if an egg is fertilized without breaking it?
  • 36. Do ghost shrimp eat dead ghost shrimp?
  • 37. How often do ghost shrimp breed?
  • 38. Do ghost shrimp eat other dead ghost shrimp?
  • 39. Can I save the eggs from a dead shrimp?
  • 40. Can unfertilized eggs hatch?
  • 41. Why are my shrimp eggs not hatching?
  • 42. How many eggs do ghost shrimp lay at a time?

What are the stages of ghost shrimp pregnancy?

When ghost shrimp is pregnant, it will go through three stages of development. These are the pre-egg, egg, and post-egg stages . The pre-egg stage is when the female shrimp is storing food in her abdomen for the eggs to eat once they are released.

If you notice white dots under the tail of a female Ghost Shrimp , then it means that the mating session was successful and that she is already carrying a clutch of developing eggs. You will be able to observe those same white dots grow in size and opacity as your Ghost Shrimp progresses through her gestation period.

Female ghost shrimp lay around 20-30 eggs at one time. It takes about 21 days to lay the eggs. However, these shrimps carry the eggs for about a week on their body.

Once bred, the female will carry the eggs underneath her, fanning and moving them around so they stay clean and oxygenated, for about 30 days . Baby shrimp are exact duplicates of the adults, but very tiny. It is important to make sure there are no predators in the tank because most will easily consume a newborn shrimp.

Ghost shrimp spawn readily—and often — in the aquarium . It's common to see females carrying masses of 20 to 30 pinhead-sized, green eggs between the swimmerets underneath their tails. The swimmerets paddle to bring oxygen to the eggs, which hatch in about three weeks.

If a shrimp is pregnant, you'll be able to see egg clusters near its abdomen . Depending on the shrimp type, you might even be able to see the eggs. For example, if you have ghost shrimp, you'll see green eggs.

You may on occasion notice shrimps lying on their side, possibly motionless or constantly twitching. Unfortunately this could mean that they're trying to molt but have gotten stuck somehow .

Shrimp will typically carry between 20 and 30 eggs , and even if all of them hatch without problem, you will probably only see a handful of babies in the first few days.

Similarly, you could hold the net over your spring filter or airstone, so the air bubbles gently tumble the eggs inside the net. After a few days or weeks, the babies will hopefully hatch and flee the net . They'll find a new hiding spot nearby, and graze on biofilm until they're ready to explore.

They have 20–30 eggs, which take 2–3 weeks to hatch. The eggs are green or yellow, depending on the color of the saddle. They turn darker and darker until the young shrimp hatch after about three weeks. As the eggs near the end stages of growth, tiny dark eye spots of the developing shrimp within can be observed.

How fast do ghost shrimp multiply?

If you've cared for your ghost shrimp properly, the females should produce eggs every few weeks at least . These are bunches of 20–30 tiny green-grey eggs attached to the females' legs.

To start a colony, you need ten ghost shrimp in your community fish tank. Keeping two females for every male is best. Breeding ghost shrimp is simple with the right water conditions.

Pregnant ghost shrimp stages? (2023)

Ghost Shrimp food can include some forms of algae, dead plant latter and detritus. These shrimp love fish or shrimp pellets, fish flakes, algae wafers or bits otherwise uneaten food . And its a good idea to find food supplements with Calcium, as Calcium is necessary for healthy shell growth.

The female shrimp will hide when it's time to give birth. She will search for hidden spots with biofilm and plankton to feed her babies, so if you notice that the pregnant cherry shrimp has gone missing, you can consider that a sign that new members will be joining the tank very soon .

The most common reason for your Ghost shrimp turning white is the natural process of aging . The shrimp typically start showing signs of aging at around six months old, roughly halfway through their natural lifespan. At first, the shrimp develops white patches on its body and might even become more transparent.

Use an air pump to add oxygen to the water . Even if you're using an external tank filter, it's best to install an additional air pump, which you can find online and at pet stores. Ghost shrimp need high oxygen levels in order to breed and shed their exoskeletons.

It usually takes between 25 to 35 days for the eggs to hatch. A female shrimp can carry anywhere from 21 to 51 eggs at once.

Ghost Shrimp are easy to breed . Ensure the tank is stocked with both males and females. Females are much larger than males, usually about 1.5x the length. It is optimal to have twice as many females as males.

Usually ghost shrimp eggs are black . My female ghost shrimp has been pregnant with black eggs 3x now. Just be sure IF she is pregnant, to seperate her/the pair from the fry/baby shrimp when they hatch. The parents/female eat the babies.

Most of the time it means that they are cleaning their swimlets . It can also just be a way of stretching/loosening their shell.

Why does my shrimp smell like eggs?

If they smell like ammonia or rotten eggs, it means the shrimp are old . Shrimp should not smell like chlorine, either. Washing shrimp in chlorine to kill bacteria is legal, but not acceptable. Shrimp should not smell like gasoline.

Keep in mind that freezing can lower metabolic activity and delay hatch-out . We suggest removing egg from the freezer one day in advance of using it to allow the embryos to acclimate. The above storage guidelines apply to all brine shrimp eggs, whether in opened or unopened tins.

Ghost shrimps turn pinkish when they die, and this can happen for a variety of reasons. Some common causes include molting issues, improper male-to-female ratios, and poor water quality.

Some of the most common signs of stress in shrimp include lethargy, lack of appetite, loss of color, decreased growth, and molting problems. Signs of stress in aquarium shrimp can be difficult to detect. They are often subtle and may not always be readily apparent.

If you find the ghost shrimp has become white and lazy, it implies they are nearing the end of their lives . During molting, the ghost shrimp may turn white. This indicates that they are losing their exoskeleton to create a new, bigger one.

Just make sure you have a decent group of shrimp to start ( at least 10-15 ) so that the males won't have a hard time finding the females.

Unlike most fish, which either lay eggs or retain eggs inside the body to give live birth, shrimps carry their eggs on the underside of their body . A shrimp carrying eggs is known as a berried shrimp.

Depending on the temperature the embryonic development of the eggs can last from 25 to 35 days. Newly hatched shrimplets look like a tiny version of the adult shrimp with an average total length of 2.3 mm .

I'd advice against it . Shrimp are quite sensitive to changes in water parameters, and moving her will stress her. Furthermore, baby shrimp mostly survive by eating biofilm and algae, which are mostly existing in well-established tanks.

Harvesting Brine Shrimp Let settle for 5 to 10 minutes. Empty shells will float, unhatched eggs will sink to the bottom and live shrimp will be in the middle of the cone.

Will snails eat baby shrimp?

Do snails eat shrimp? Live shrimp will not get eaten by any snails, with the exception of assassin snails in rare cases . On the other hand dead shrimp will be eaten by almost all snails and shrimp alike, they're very efficient nutrient recyclers.

Ovulation (release of the yolk from the ovary) occurs every 24 – 26 hours regardless of fertilization (so a rooster is not needed). A hen ovulates a new yolk after the previous egg was laid. It takes 26 hours for an egg to fully form (white and shell added), so a hen will lay an egg later and later each day.

Did you know you can determine if an egg is fertile or not by looking at the germ spot? The germ spot is the white spot on the yolk. The non-fertile germ spot contains only the female's cells and looks like a solid white spot . In a fertile egg the germ spot contains both the female and male cells.

  • Air Sac: Both fertile and infertile eggs have air sacs at either end of the egg. ...
  • Eggshell Pores: Eggshells contain pores that show up as lighter spots during candling.
  • Yolk: The yolk is visible in infertile eggs as a darker spot near the center of the egg.

Ghost Shrimp food may also include their fallen tank mates, as they will even feed off dead fish or dead shrimp .

If you've cared for your ghost shrimp properly, the females should produce eggs every few weeks at least. These are bunches of 20–30 tiny green-grey eggs attached to the females' legs.

The Ghost Shrimp appears interested in ingesting both the flesh of the dead shrimp as well as its soft shell . A Ghost Shrimp will eat soft shells to recoup their minerals to help get themselves ready for their next molt.

Death. A berried shrimp dying is quite rare, but it's absolutely possible to save the eggs and help them grow into healthy adults . You will need to remove the mother from the tank and carefully remove the eggs, using tweezers or a toothpick. Be extremely careful not to damage the eggs, as they're quite fragile.

An unfertilized egg WILL NEVER develop a chick even if the mother hen incubates it . A fertilized egg COULD develop into a chick under the right circumstances. Even if you have a rooster, as long as you are collecting eggs every day you will not crack open an egg to find a developing chick.

Why are my shrimp eggs not hatching?

Not Enough Air Bubbling Through the Eggs : If the eggs come to rest they won't hatch, and brine shrimp need oxygen to live.

Ghost shrimp spawn readily—and often — in the aquarium. It's common to see females carrying masses of 20 to 30 pinhead-sized, green eggs between the swimmerets underneath their tails. The swimmerets paddle to bring oxygen to the eggs, which hatch in about three weeks.


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  1. Pregnant Ghost Shrimp: Signs, Care, Stages And More!

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  2. Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages: (5 Successful Breeding Tips)

    May 14, 2023 Ghost shrimp are an incredibly prolific species of invertebrates, and it's not uncommon for them to reproduce in home aquariums. You may find yourself overwhelmed if your tank suddenly has a lot of pregnant ghost shrimps. But what are the pregnant ghost shrimp stages? Newborn ghost shrimp But don't worry!

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    Three stages of development occur when a ghost shrimp is pregnant. The pre-egg, egg, and post-egg stages are as follows. The female shrimp saves food in her belly during the pre-egg stage so that the eggs can eat it when they hatch. The egg stage lasts from the time the eggs are laid until the shrimp fry and fourth-stage larvae emerge.

  5. Pregnant Ghost Shrimp 101: What to Expect and What to Do

    FUN FACT It's incorrect to call ghost shrimps pregnant. All shrimp are egg layers and do not become pregnant (a term generally used for bearers of live-young). Instead female ghost shrimps are gravid with eggs. In this article we'll mostly use the term pregnant as that's what most people refer to gravid ghost shrimp as.

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  7. How to Tell if a Ghost Shrimp is Pregnant: 5 Signs

    The first sign that you may notice, a strong indication that your shrimp is pregnant or gravid, is if you see small green dots near her abdomen, right by the part known as the saddle. At first, they will look like nothing more than miniature green dots, gut they will get larger and grow over time.

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    August 19, 2023 Are you a proud owner of ghost shrimp and suspect that one of your lovely crustaceans may be expecting? Congratulations! It's an exciting time in the life of your aquatic pet. But how to care for pregnant ghost shrimp like a pro?

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    When ghost shrimp is pregnant, it will go through three stages of development. These are the pre-egg, egg, and post-egg stages. The pre-egg stage is when the female shrimp is storing food in her abdomen for the eggs to eat once they are released.