When I first got my ghost shrimp, I immediately wondered whether I would be able to get them living in the same tank with other shrimp. After months of testing and years of experience, I am willing to share what shrimp can live with ghost shrimp in the same tank and what types you should avoid.
Ghost shrimp can happily live with Cherry, Amano, Bamboo, Vampire, and Bee shrimp. These are relatively peaceful and feature similar size and water requirements as ghost shrimp. On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid species like Cardinal shrimp, which are too fragile, or any saltwater shrimp.
As we move forward, I will show you how to keep ghost shrimp with other creatures in the same tank, including fish. I will even mention which shrimp species may cross-breed with ghost shrimp, creating interesting hybrids you may have never seen before.
Which Shrimp Can Live With Ghost Shrimp?
Many people prefer to keep ghost shrimp with other shrimp because it is safer than keeping them with fish. After all, ghost shrimp are, for the most part, defenseless against fish.
But it isn’t enough to keep ghost shrimp with any random shrimp you encounter. You have to pair them with the right type. Otherwise, hostilities may break out in your tank. Some suitable tankmates from the shrimp community that can live with ghost shrimp include:
1. Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
Cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp can coexist in the same tank, as I’ve already discussed here. They have similar attributes and water requirements. They can also eat the same food. Additionally, they come in the same average size.
Cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp will only turn against one another if their tank is poorly maintained and you have deprived them of food. Otherwise, they can live peacefully with one another.
2. Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata)
People keep Amano shrimp because they are great algae eaters. They will also eat the leftovers in your tank. The creatures are easy to rear, so they won’t complicate your efforts to maintain your ghost shrimp tank.
They are hardy enough to survive in tanks with less than ideal conditions. And even though they eat similar food items to ghost shrimp, evidence suggests that Amano and ghost shrimp are unlikely to compete over food. That makes the two excellent tankmates for each other.
3. Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)
Bamboo shrimp are non-aggressive creatures, meaning they can live comfortably with other non-aggressive species, including ghost shrimp. They can also share a tank with Amano, Cherry, and Vampire shrimp, to mention but a few.
So long as they have a light current and a perch (for filtering feed), they will survive your ghost shrimp tank. They need micro food that remains suspended in the water.
4. Vampire Shrimp (Atya Gabonensis)
Despite what their name might suggest, vampire shrimp are friendly creatures. They are called vampire shrimp because their carapace is pale, and yet, their eyes have a red tinge. But for the most part, they are shy creatures with no interest in fighting with or aggravating their neighbors. Ghost shrimp are counted among a vampire shrimp’s most appropriate tankmates.
5. Bee Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
Bee Shrimp is a peaceful, omnivorous type of shrimp that only requires moderate care. The fact that they have an average size of one inch means that they do not pose a threat to your ghost shrimp.
Their peaceful temperament makes them suitable tankmates as well. They are more likely to survive in a tank with only ghost shrimp than a community tank with fish. Their small size makes them a temptation for hungry fish.
What Shrimp Shouldn’t Be Mixed With Ghost Shrimp?
As was noted above, you cannot keep ghost shrimp with any random shrimp you encounter. Certain types of shrimp are not compatible with a ghost shrimp tank, including:
1. Cardinal Shrimp (Caridina dennerli)
On the surface, cardinal shrimp do not seem so bad because they are timid. They are also too small to pose a threat to ghost shrimp. They are only problematic because of the time and effort it requires to care for them.
But cardinal shrimp are also fragile. They require harder water and a greater pH than other shrimp. This is why you are encouraged to keep them in tanks that only have cardinal shrimp. They are not meant for beginners.
They will make your ghost shrimp tank even more challenging to maintain. They are not worth the trouble, which is why you shouldn’t pair them with ghost shrimp, especially if you are already struggling to care for the ghost shrimp.
2. Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium lamarrei)
People confuse whisker shrimp with ghost shrimp because they share so many physical attributes. However, that doesn’t make whisker shrimp suitable companions for ghost shrimp. One of the reasons for that is the fact that whisker shrimp are larger.
The fact that they are scavengers that will eat the debris in the substrate makes them attractive. Unfortunately, they have an aggressive streak that compels them to bully ghost shrimp. This is why many people keep them with snails rather than fellow shrimp. They are more likely to attack smaller shrimp.
3. Black King Kong Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
Black king kong shrimp are not necessarily the worst tank mates. However, they are not as hardy as ghost shrimp. In fact, they are the opposite, which is why they are so challenging to keep.
Experienced aquarists may find them challenging as well, which is why they will make a poor addition to your ghost shrimp tank. Tiger and red tiger shrimp are in a similar boat. Some of them are pretty sensitive, which is a problem because they can be expensive to acquire.
4. Any Kind Of Saltwater Shrimp
Freshwater shrimp cannot survive in saltwater for long. For that reason, you are discouraged from keeping ghost shrimp and saltwater species like Blood Red Fire Shrimp, Scarlet Skunk Cleaners, Peppermint, and Harlequin Shrimp in the same environment.
What Fish Can Live With Ghost Shrimp?
Ghost shrimp can live with fish like Neon Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, Hatchetfish, Otocinclus Catfish, and Chili Rasbora. These fish feature similar water requirements to ghost shrimp and do not rely on algae as their main diet. They are also quite docile, so they are unlikely to attack shrimp.
Because ghost shrimp are small and incapable of fighting back against aggressive fish, you have to find tankmates that are unlikely to oppress, bully, or eat the creatures. Admittedly, every larger fish than a shrimp is more than capable of eating that shrimp if push comes to shove.
However, that outcome is less likely to happen with the following fish:
1. Neon Tetras
These are bright and colorful fish that only grow to a length of 1.4 inches. That puts them within the same range as ghost shrimp where size is concerned. They can also survive in the same water conditions as ghost shrimp. Additionally, they are peaceful and cheap. They do not have a reputation for antagonizing their neighbors.
2. Kuhli Loaches
Kuhli loaches are excellent tankmates because they are peaceful. They are happiest in groups. But that doesn’t make isolated loaches dangerous. Many schooling fish become aggressive when you separate them from their kind. But Kuhli Loaches become shy and reclusive when forced to live alone.
They spend their days in hiding, only emerging when the sun goes down. Your ghost shrimp are unlikely to encounter them during the day. And even if the ghost shrimp are awake and active at night, the loaches are scavengers that frequent the bottom of the tank. Unless the conditions in the tank are poor, they will steer clear of the ghost shrimp.
These are schooling fish that require groups of at least ten fish to thrive. They are often involved in skirmishes. But that shouldn’t scare you. First of all, those skirmishes typically occur within groups of Hatchetfish. They rarely involve other types of fish, snails, or shrimp. Secondly, those skirmishes are friendly. The Hatchetfish are playing, not fighting. They are not a threat to their neighbors.
4. Otocinclus Catfish
You can pair your ghost shrimp with the fish above, knowing full well that they won’t attack adult ghost shrimp. However, that doesn’t guarantee the safety of young shrimp. This is why Otocinclus Catfish are such amazing tankmates. They won’t eat young or adult ghost shrimp.
Their peaceful temperament makes them the perfect addition to freshwater tanks. But you have to keep them in a well-planted environment that has plenty of algae. Because they have a specific diet, feeding them may present a challenge once they have cleaned the aquarium.
5. Chili Rasbora
Chili Rasboras make great tankmates for ghost shrimp because they grow to a size of 0.8 inches. People call them mosquito rasbora because they are tiny, which means that they are less of a threat to ghost shrimp. They are also gentle and peaceful.
Because they are so small, feeding them might present a challenge for some people because you have to cut their food into small enough pieces to fit in the fish’s mouth.
What Shrimp Can Breed With Ghost Shrimp?
Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes Paludosus) may interbreed with shrimp from the Palaemonetes genus. That includes Florida Cave Shrimp (Palaemonetes Cummingi), Mississippi Grass Shrimp (Palaemonetes Kadiakensis), Daggerblade Grass Shrimp (Palaemonetes Pugio), and many others.
Generally, interbreeding is discouraged because it doesn’t always produce the best products. The resulting hybrids are often inferior to their predecessors. However, if you are determined to interbreed your shrimp, know that interbreeding is only possible if the shrimp are from the same genus and species.
You can determine the genus and species by looking at a shrimp’s scientific name. For instance, the scientific name of a Red Cherry Shrimp is ‘Neocaridina davidi’. The first word is the genus. The second word is the species.
The scientific name of the Crystal Red Shrimp is Caridina cantonensis. You cannot breed Red Cherry Shrimp with Crystal Red Shrimp because their genus and species are not the same.
That also applies to Ghost shrimp. Their scientific name is Palaemonetes Paludosus. So they can’t interbreed with Cherry Shrimp, Crystal Red Shrimp, Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata), Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis), etc.
Some aquarists will tell you that they have successfully interbred ghost shrimp with cherry shrimp. However, the resulting offspring were sterile. Many professionals believe that most attempts to interbreed ghost shrimp with other types of shrimp will produce similar products. The young hybrids will be sterile.
How Do I Grow Ghost Shrimp With Other Creatures?
The key to successfully growing ghost shrimp with other creatures is to establish a healthy aquarium environment that encourages algae growth. It is also essential that the water parameters are suitable for both your ghost shrimp and their companions.
These are the ideal water parameters for ghost shrimp:
- Water pH: 7.0 – 8.0
- Ammonia and Nitrites: 0 ppm.
- Nitrates: Below 20 ppm.
- Temperature: 65°-75°F (18.3°-23.8°C)
- GH: 3-10 dGH (50-166.7 ppm)
- KH: 3-15 dKH (53.6-268 ppm)
Obviously, the tankmate you choose for your ghost shrimp may require different water parameters. However, most of the time, you can find an overlap. For example, if a particular fish requires a minimum pH of 7.5, that would be okay for your ghost shrimp as well.
Here is the equipment that I use in my tank to measure these parameters:
- I use the API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT (link to Amazon) to measure the pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. This one is highly accurate and lasts for hundreds of measures, making it highly cost-effective.
- I installed the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Pro Aquarium Heater (link to Amazon) to keep my temperature within the desired range. After testing countless heaters, I can say confidently that this is the only device that actually kept my temperature stable. It is worth noting that water stability is essential when mixing different kinds of species.
- I use this Premium Water Hardness Test Kit (link to Amazon) to check my water hardness. Frankly, countless kits measure the water hardness, and it doesn’t really matter which one you get. But if you’re using tap water for your aquarium, you will definitely need one of those.
To promote algae growth, light your tank for at least 10 hours a day. If you prefer the lights on your tank to be dim, turn them off at 9 p.m. That provides enough light for algae but not enough to harm your shrimp’s night vision.
In case you found this article helpful, these may also interest you:
- Why Are My Ghost Shrimp Dying? (With 6 Practical Solutions)
- Will Fish Eat Ghost Shrimp? (With Over 10 Examples)
- Will Ghost Shrimp Eat Snails? (With 5 Prevention Tips)
- Ghost Shrimp Turning White: 5 Simple Solutions
- How to Hatch Ghost Shrimp Eggs: 5 Simple Steps
Keeping ghost shrimp with other shrimp can be an excellent idea. However, you must ensure that the shrimp species you choose can tolerate the same aquarium conditions. In some cases, your ghost shrimp will even be able to cross-breed with other shrimp. That may happen if both creatures share the same genus.
If you plan to mix ghost shrimp with other aquatic creatures, you must promote algae growth first. Bright lighting is also a good idea to increase the oxygen content of your water. Finally, make sure that all of your tankmates can live in aquarium conditions close to pH 7.0 – 8.0 and a temperature of 75°-77°F (23.9°-25).