Can You Keep Ghost Shrimps In Brackish Water?

when are ghost shrimps most active

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

Recently many of you have been asking me about keeping ghost shrimps in brackish water. Even I was not sure about it. So, I did some research and here is the answer I found:  

Yes, ghost shrimps can be kept in brackish water and they will survive for some time. However, it is better to keep ghost shrimps in freshwater as they are freshwater shrimps. 

Ghost shrimps have a salinity tolerance level and they can survive in brackish water if you maintain the salinity tolerance level properly. Let’s dig more to know detailed information regarding this topic. 

Do Ghost Shrimps Require Brackish Water? 

No, ghost shrimps don’t require brackish water as they are not marine shrimps. But those that are marine will definitely require brackish water to survive. 

If you put marine shrimps into normal freshwater, they will survive for some days, but you will see them dying soon one by one. So, you have to keep marine shrimps in brackish water. 

However, ghost shrimps are not marine so they don’t need brackish water at all for anything. You can simply keep them in freshwater and if everything seems suitable to them, they will survive for a long period. 

In markets, you will see some shrimp sellers selling ghost shrimps that require brackish water. Do not get those thinking they can survive healthily if you keep them in brackish water. They will surely survive for some time but end up dying soon. So, remember, there are no ghost shrimps that require brackish water. 

Does Brackish Water Help Ghost Shrimps In Better Breeding? 

Yes, brackish water helps ghost shrimps in better breeding but it has some consequences too. 

There have been cases where shrimp keepers saw ghost shrimps breeding better in brackish water. However, the eggs of ghost shrimps cannot develop in 10-20 ppt salinity. Meaning, even though they breed better in brackish water, the eggs don’t develop if there is an imbalance of the salinity. 

Ghost shrimps have a salinity tolerance level. Adult ghost shrimps can survive at 30ppt salinity. 

So, if the salinity tolerance level is maintained, they will survive for some days. You will also see them breeding normally but the eggs won’t develop. 

The salinity range changes rapidly in brackish water. And any imbalance of the salinity can lead ghost shrimps to many unwanted diseases and in extreme cases, they can die. So, as ghost shrimps are freshwater shrimps, it is better to keep them in freshwater. 

What Happens If You Keep Ghost Shrimps In Brackish Water For Too Long? 

Here are some of the problems you may face:

Hampers Egg Development: 

In brackish water, ghost shrimps breed normally like freshwater. They don’t face any problem in breeding at all. But after the ghost shrimp hatch the eggs, those don’t develop properly in brackish water.

Most of the eggs don’t develop properly which means the shrimplets don’t get a proper growth. Even many shrimplets die while growing in brackish water. 

The quality of the offspring decreases drastically. And those that get bigger somehow, get sick and diseases more often. 

Fewer Chances Of Survival: 

Ghost shrimps are very sensitive species. Any imbalance of anything makes them sick, and in extreme cases, they can die. 

Ghost shrimps are freshwater shrimps thus, they will survive for a long time if you give them a suitable environment in freshwater.

In brackish water ghost shrimps will survive but not for too long. They will get sick and lastly die one day. The survival chances are very low in brackish water for ghost shrimps and shrimplets if you keep them for long. Many can even die as soon as you put them in brackish water! 

Effects The Activity: 

Ghost shrimps require freshwater and are seen as the most active if kept there. 

Brackish water is not what they require but they survive if they are kept maintaining the salinity tolerance level. However, they don’t feel that comfortable in brackish if you keep them for too long. So, you will see, they are roaming and responding less. This hampers in breeding and on their growth too. 

If you observe for some days, you will see their behavioral changes and they will seem less active as days pass. Meaning, even though they survive in brackish water it is not the same as freshwater. 

Gives Stress: 

Brackish water rapidly changes the salinity level. If you don’t control it properly, it gives stress to ghost shrimps. They feel very uncomfortable and insecure in the tank. 

Stress makes them escape the tank and they start jumping to get out of the tank. If this continues and you don’t separate them, they end up dying. If you are keeping ghost shrimps then you must not do anything that makes shrimps stressed. 

The salinity increases in brackish water day by day if you do not take care properly. Thus, keeping ghost shrimps for too long there is not safe at all as they can die soon. 

Maintenance Tips For Keeping Ghost Shrimps In Brackish Water

If you are keeping ghost shrimps in brackish water you have to strictly maintain the salinity level besides the other water parameters. 

Adult ghost shrimps can survive at a salinity of 30ppt and shrimplets cannot Develop in 10-20ppt. So, you have to make sure you are balancing the salinity properly. If there is any imbalance in the tank water you will see all your ghost shrimps dying one by one.  

Some other things you need to maintain are:

  • Change 30% water once a week and add the same amount of freshwater/ brackish water in the tank
  • Check the salinity level two-three times a week using a salinity testing kit. This salinity testing kit will be great for that purpose.
  • Besides salinity, make sure the other water parameters are well balanced too and check those once a week. 
  • If the salinity level starts to get high rapidly separate ghost shrimps from the brackish water. 

However, it is recommended to keep ghost shrimps in freshwater rather than brackish water. If you have the option of keeping them in freshwater keep them there. The maintenance of ghost shrimps in a freshwater tank is way easier! 


Through-out this whole article, you came to know that, you can keep ghost shrimps in brackish water but it is better not to. So, keeping them in freshwater is the best way if you want them to have a proper growth and survive long. 

However, if you still want to keep ghost shrimps in brackish water then do maintain the water salinity level and other water parameter ranges properly. 

Happy shrimp keeping! 

About Muntaseer Rahman

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