How Many Ghost Shrimp In A 10-Gallon Tank? Find Out If They Breed Rapidly


One of the most important considerations when taking care of Ghost Shrimp is to know where to put them. Let’s start with the most common question because most beginners have this tank size most available to them.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Can You Have In A 10-gallon tank?

You should be only about 2 to 5 Ghost Shrimp per gallon of water. Keep only 2 per gallon if you have a lot going on in your tank. If you have a species-only aquarium with minimal contents and no plan to breed, you can keep up to 5 Ghost Shrimps per gallon.

What determines your number of Shrimp is if you have other factors to consider. These include breeding preferences, displacement, and the kind of tank mates they have in the same aquarium.

How Many Gallons Does A Ghost Shrimp Need?

On a basic level, it’s easier if Ghost Shrimps have their own tank.

Ghost Shrimps can live in as small as a 5-gallon species-only tank. In that size, you can fit 10 adult Ghost Shrimp easily.

This size is a good non-crowded start for a breeder tank. You won’t have to worry about bioload for when the babies arrive.

In this setup, you can also fit some floating and grounded plants on a simple substrate. A nano heater and a sponge filter will also fit.

This is the minimum size we recommend that won’t give you headaches in water chemistry. You can also consider smaller sizes but it would be harder for those who don’t have much experience. We’ll let you know why next.

How Many Ghost Shrimp In A 3-Gallon Tank?

The smaller 3-gallon tank is a possible habitat for your Ghost Shrimp, but you have to be very careful when going small.

A 3-gallon tank can house around 8 to 10 Ghost Shrimps if the base of the tank is wide. Taller tanks will have less space at the bottom where the Shrimps frequent so you have to limit them to about 6 adults.

Ghost Shrimps are bottom feeders. If they don’t have enough territory, they might turn against each other and start becoming aggressive.

How Many Ghost Shrimp In 10-Gallon Tank
How Many Ghost Shrimp In 10-Gallon Tank?

Another thing that we mentioned above (and that you need to know) is that the less water there is, the harder it is to keep your chemistry stable. Shrimps are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of parameters as long as these are constant. They don’t like sudden extreme changes to their temperature, pH, hardness, or nitrate levels.

If something goes wrong with your 3-gallon tank and you’re not there to correct it within the day, your whole system might crash and kill your Shrimp.

How Many Shrimp Can I Put In A 10-Gallon Tank With A Betta?

Ghost Shrimps only grow to about 1 and a half to 2 inches long. They don’t need a lot of space nor create a lot of waste. This makes them easy to take care of and can become ideal tank mates for many other species.

However, some of the biggest mistakes that cause a tank to fail are caused by overcrowding. Too many species in your tank lead to them fighting over territory and food. It certainly isn’t an exception with Ghost Shrimp as they can become aggressive if threatened by others, including other Shrimp. This is why you hear stories of Ghost Shrimp attacking other Shrimp or even other smaller fish such as Bettas.

These species are fighting not just for territory to breed, groom, and swim, but also for food. Faster swimmers might get to the food first even if you scatter them all over the tank. Ghost Shrimp are generally bottom feeders but they do climb leaves and ornaments to get to algae and uneaten food. However, that won’t matter if there’s nothing left for them to eat.

How Fast Do Ghost Shrimp Multiply?

Ghost Shrimp are sometimes bred to become live feeders as they present fewer health threats to a fish than, say, live bloodworms. The crustaceans present a “hunting” challenge that predators love, and they’re tasty and nutritious.

Ghost Shrimp are relatively easy to breed. As long as they are fed enough and have stable water conditions, a female will get berried every 6 months or twice in its lifetime. Each mama Shrimp will give birth to about 10 to 50 live Shrimplets.

Considering Ghost Shrimps only live about a year, that’s still a lot of babies.

This makes them a stable food source for bigger Cichlids such as Oscars, Angelfish, and Discus if you have enough females. They’re also eaten by other bigger pets like Arowanas, Goldfish, and even turtles and frogs.

A Ghost Shrimp breeder tank should have some plants for the Shrimplets to hold on to as they are not strong swimmers. These will provide them with safety, security, and food as they feed off the algae on the leaves.

With that in mind, a 10-gallon Ghost Shrimp breeder tank can have around 20 adults. That’s enough space for when the babies arrive.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Can You Have In A 10-Gallon Tank With Guppies?

Some aquarists are minimalists, while some, well, like the “bustling city” theme. The latter fill their tanks with ornaments, plants, driftwood, rocks, and substrate. Then they put in colorful livebearers along with Ghost Shrimp.

Keep only 2 Ghost Shrimp per gallon at most in an already crowded tank. Livebearers contribute much to the bioload because they breed very easily.

While this shouldn’t be a problem if you have a large tank, it’s not ideal if you only have a 10-gallon community aquarium. Overcrowding doesn’t only pertain to the fish and Shrimp, but also to anything that displaces water: ornaments, plants, substrate, filter, and heater.

Competition for food will be fierce where there are lots of live organisms eating the same food living in the same space. In this setup, the Guppies take center stage and the Ghost Shrimps become mostly cleaners.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Should Be Kept Together?

No matter how big or small your tank is, Shrimp survival depends on your care and provision.

Observe the maximum of 5 Ghost Shrimp per gallon in a spacious, well-kept tank. Always consider these factors to find out how much to reduce from that number:

  • future occupants when breeding – how many babies you think there will be
  • displacement due to plants, ornaments, and substrate – how much volume of water is reduced because of these elements
  • the number and types of tankmates – will the other species tolerate the Ghost Shrimps’ presence.

Stay on the safe side. You can always add in more Shrimp later than to have them die off from the get-go.

The Undemanding Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimps are not fussy. Some hobbyists have left them in an old tank and have found them alive and well in a good setup even if unattended for weeks. The key is to start with it right.

We keep repeating the same concepts because that’s all it takes to succeed in a Ghost Shrimp tank. Your initial decisions on tank size and setup matter. After that, you can let them just live their happy little lives.

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