Ghost Shrimp vs Whisker Shrimp [Differences Explained]

ghost shrimp vs whisker shrimp

Ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps are very similar in appearance thus many think these two are the same type of shrimp. People who are new to this hobby get confused and barely know the difference between ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps. As many cannot differentiate these shrimps they end up buying the wrong shrimps for their tank.

Whisker shrimps are generally bigger in size and they have longer feelers than ghost shrimps. This is the main difference between ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps.

Before jumping into other differences, I would like to briefly talk about ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps so that people who are new to this hobby get some idea about these two shrimps.

AspectsGhost ShrimpWhisker Shrimp
SizeCan grow up to 1.5 inchesCan grow up to 2 inches
AppearanceClear transparent bodyClear transparent body
Cost1$-3$ per piece3$-5$ per piece
Algae eating capabilityBetter than whisker shrimpsNot as good as ghost shrimps
MaintenanceEasyEasy

Ghost Shrimps

Ghost shrimps are also known as freshwater shrimps and these are native to the southeastern United States. They are very small in size and non-aggressive species. Ghost shrimps have a transparent body and can grow up to 1.5 inches.

Ghost shrimps are very delicate and sensitive thus they need good care to survive. Any imbalance in the environment of the tank can lead them to many diseases and in extreme cases they can die.

You will find ghost shrimps in most of the local stores near you. For the availability and the low survival rate of ghost shrimps it is sold at a cheaper price than the other available shrimps in the market. However, even though its small, ghost shrimps benefit you in many ways if you keep some in your tank.

Whisker Shrimps

Whisker shrimps are also freshwater shrimps and they are native to India. Whisker shrimps are also transparent thus they are often mistaken for ghost shrimps.

They are larger in size than ghost shrimps and can grow up to 2 inches. They are not totally peaceful as there have been several cases where whisker shrimps attacked other species. However, whisker shrimps are also sensitive thus you need to maintain the tank environment properly if you want them to survive for a long time.

Difference Between Ghost Shrimps And Whisker Shrimps:

ghost shrimp vs whisker shrimp

Difference In Size And Body

The main difference between a ghost shrimp and a whisker shrimp is their size. Whisker shrimp is larger in size than ghost shrimps. Both of these have a transparent body, torsos and tails but the size is different.

Ghost shrimps can grow up to 1.5 inches, on the contrary whisker shrimps can grow up to 2 inches long. The whisker shrimp have a longer body and longer feelers.

Another difference between ghost shrimp and whisker shrimp is, whisker shrimp does not have orange bands at the base of their feelers or on the front legs like ghost shrimps. To notice this, you have to look at the shrimps very closely.

Difference in Behavior

Another difference between ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps is their behavior. Ghost shrimps are known as a very peaceful species and on the other hand whisker shrimps are a little bit aggressive.

Whisker shrimps can get aggressive or pick on  even other shrimp species. But, ghost shrimps never try to harm other species. They mind their own business and gaze around algae most of the time.

Mostly whisker shrimps get territorial if the tank is overcrowded and attack other species. They can not take if any other species come into their way. Also, whisker shrimps easily get aggressive during feeding. Though ghost shrimps can also get aggressive, but it is very rare.

Difference Of Water Parameter Ranges

Every species needs to be kept in water that has the proper water parameters for surviving properly. Same goes for ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps. Both of these shrimps are sensitive and needs to be kept in a suitable environment.

As I already mentioned, ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps look alike but they are not same. This is why the water parameter ranges are also not as same for ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps.

Lets get a quick look into the ideal water parameter ranges for ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps one by one.

Ideal water parameters for ghost shrimps:

ParameterLimit ranges
Temperature62-82 degrees Fahrenheit
pH7-8
GH (general hardness)3-15 ppm
KH (Carbonate Hardness)3-12 ppm
TDS (total dissolved solids)100-400 ppm

If you want to know more about the ideal water parameters for ghost shrimps, click here to read my guide on it.

Idea water parameters for whisker shrimps:

ParameterLimits
Temperature65-82 degrees Fahrenheit
pH7-7.8
GH (general hardness)3-15 ppm
KH (Carbonate Hardness)1-8 ppm
TDS (total dissolved solids)200-500 ppm

Difference In Tank Mates

As ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps are not the same by nature, you cannot keep any type of species with them. You need to be very careful while choosing tank mates for them to make sure both the shrimps and the other species feel safe with each other in the tank.

There have been many cases where ghost shrimps or whisker shrimps got attacked by other species. Big fishes that have big mouth can eat the shrimps in one try. These aggressive fishes hunt and chase shrimps most of the time which gives the shrimps stress. 

Again, there are also some cases where these shrimps attacked the other tank species though it is very rare. So, if you want to keep both alive and live happily choosing good tank mates is important.So, lets take a look at the good and bad tank mates for ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps one by one!

Good vs bad tank mates for ghost shrimps:

Good tank matesBad tank mates
Other shrimp spicesAny fish that are aggressive such as Barbs, Mollies, Serpea Tetra, Betta, etc
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasdiscus
Small tetrasAngel fish
SnailsFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

If you want to know more about the ideal tank mates for ghost shrimps, click here to read my guide on it.

Good vs bad tank mates for whisker shrimps:

Good tank matesBad tank mates
SnailsAny fish that are aggressive such as Barbs, Mollies, Serpea Tetra, Betta, etc
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasGold fish
Other small and peaceful speciesFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

Difference In Cost

Ghost shrimps are cheaper than whisker shrimps as ghost shrimps are available and have a low rate of survival. Ghost shrimps can cost you 1-3$ per piece. For this low rate ghost shrimps are widely used as feeders.

On the other hand, whisker shrimps are sold at a price of 3-5$ per piece. Whisker shrimps can not be found in every local fish store and this is why the price of it is a little bit higher than ghost shrimps. However, the price varies in many factors including shrimp quality, shop type , breeder etc.

Conclusion

Now that you know the difference between ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps I think you will not get confused while looking for them. Many pet stores sell ghost shrimps in the name of whisker shrimps and sometimes whisker shrimps in the name of ghost shrimps as they even do not understand or can not figure out the differences.

So, I hope this article will help people who are seeking for the difference between ghost shrimps and whisker shrimps.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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