Will Ghost Shrimp Climb Out of the Tank? 6 Tips To Stop Their Escape


You may have heard of the horror stories surrounding keeping Shrimp in an aquarium, so it’s a good move to know what the real deal is when it comes to their behavior. If you know what to expect, this will help you to avoid losing your pets.

Can Shrimp Climb Out Tanks?

If you’ve seen Shrimp on the tank walls, on top of the lid, or down on your carpet, they got there on their own.

Yes, Shrimp can climb out of tanks. Ghost Shrimp not only can climb out of a tank, but they can jump out of shock.

Jumping out of tanks is not a rare occurrence for Shrimp. But there may be people that don’t have this problem. That’s why there’s a divide between opinions.

Why Did My Ghost Shrimp Jump Out Of Tank?

If there’s no reason for your Shrimp to escape, there wouldn’t be any attempts. So let’s find out what those reasons are.

There are 2 main reasons why Ghost Shrimps jump or climb out of tanks: habit and stress.

Not all Ghost Shrimp love to climb out. But those that do may have no reason at all for doing it. They’re just doing it out of habit as they have the ability to do so.

The second reason is something you should be wary about: stress.

When Ghost Shrimp want to get out of the water, it proves that they’re not comfortable where they’re now so they’re trying to escape.

Do Ghost Shrimp Get Stressed?

Let’s tackle the second and more important reason of the two.

Yes, Ghost Shrimp get stressed mainly due to poor water quality. But they may also get shocked by sudden strong movements like waves and vibrations. This causes them to jump.

Shrimp get scared easily. Shock, or sudden stress, may be caused by everyday things like suddenly turning on the light, kids tapping the aquarium glass, a door slamming shut, or even your sudden appearance.

On the other hand, chronic (or long-term) stress causes your Shrimp to get sick over time and make them want to escape. Thus, you may see them swimming near or climbing to the top of your tank. You may find them in places other than your water.

Will Shrimp Climb Out of The Tank
Will Shrimp Climb Out of The Tank

Normal behavior would be hiding or lurking underneath leaves, rocks, decors, moss, and sometimes even your filter. This is a natural behavior to avoid the attention of predators. So, be alert if they’re not hiding as there must be a reason they’re risking their cover of safety.

Look for these possible causes of stress:

Stressor #1: Poor water quality

A person suffocating in a burning house would quickly get out of it. It’s the same for Ghost Shrimp suffocating in dirty water. It will use ways to get out of the tank using decor, plants, and tubing to get out of a bad situation where it cannot live properly.

Stressor #2: Lack of hiding spaces

Ghost Shrimp need to feel secure to thrive. This is how they stay healthy and breeding. They need

Stressor #3: Overcrowding and bullying

Ghost Shrimp don’t need a lot of space, but it’s not good to put many living creatures in a small tank, either.

The problem with overcrowding is that it can lead to bullying. There can be a struggle with food and space.

Always be careful with new tank mates as they might not get along. The conflict will cause them stress compounded by stressor #2 or the lack of hiding places to run to.

Never put a fish that’s big enough to eat your Shrimp in the same tank. Otherwise, your Shrimp may constantly try to escape.

To avoid the lack of space, you can limit Ghost Shrimp numbers in a community tank to 2 Shrimp per gallon, but you can have more if it’s in a species only tank.

Can Ghost Shrimp Be Out Of Water?

If you’ve seen dead, dried-out Shrimp on the floor, you might’ve wondered if it plunged instantly to its death or climbed out in the hours that you were gone.

Ghost Shrimp can come out of the water for some time until their bodies dry out. This may range anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours.

Even pregnant Shrimp in the wild are known to transfer to another body of water if they feel it’s not safe for them or their babies. They try to do this before they dry out. It’s an instinctual sacrifice they make to find better living conditions.

It’s very important that if you see a Ghost Shrimp lurking somewhere outside your tank, put it back quickly in the water before it dries completely. The longer it stays outside, the less likely it is to survive.

How Do You Keep Shrimp From Escaping?

Now it’s time to give you tips to prevent your Ghost Shrimp from climbing out of your tank.

Tip #1: Keep it steady

We’ve said this time and time again, but please remember that you have to keep the water parameters in your tank steady. Any kind of Shrimp, including Ghost Shrimp, don’t like extreme changes. This will push them to try and escape.

Tip #2: Keep a lid on your aquarium

Keep a mesh or glass lid on your tank and make sure they fit well. Little spaces in between might still be big enough for them to climb through. Check the spaces allowed for your filter, tubing, or heater cable, then glue some mesh material on them if the spaces are too big.

Not only will the lid help you keep your Shrimp inside, but it will help minimize water evaporation in the tank.

But remember, you have to keep the environment healthy. Otherwise, you just put your Shrimp in a death trap.

Tip #3: Special lighting

To lessen the shock you give your Shrimp, you can try aquarium lighting with a timer and dimming function from your pet store or online. You can buy that and install it on your aquarium if you have the budget. This way, you can program an automatic day-night cycle in your tank.

Tip #4: Plants

For most people, however, having lots of plants to hide in is enough. They might get surprised once you turn that light on or off, but they’ll be safe as long as they have somewhere to hide. The abundance of plant leaves also blocks out that light.

Tip #5: Reduce the level of your water

It will be easier for Shrimp to climb or jump out of your tank if your water level is near the top of the aquarium wall. Hence, reducing the water will give you some time to spot it before it gets away.

Tip #6: Give them their own tank

If your tank is overcrowded or if you have a Shrimp-eating fish, transfer your Ghost Shrimps into another tank. Alternately, you can start a species-only tank which will be more conducive for your Ghost Shrimp to live in.

Don’t put too much Shrimp again. Allot some space for possible future babies so you won’t encounter the overcrowding problem again.

Healthy Shrimp, Happy Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp don’t need to climb out of your tank if they’re content in there. This means they have the right water parameters, the right temperature, ample food, no bullies, and enough space.

But the most important of all would be to keep those parameters steady. Ghost Shrimp are hardy, but they do hate sudden changes in temperature, alkalinity, or water cleanliness.

If these are all in check, you should have healthy and happy Ghost Shrimp that would rarely attempt to escape their aquarium.

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