How Long Do Ghost Shrimps Live?

how long do ghost shrimps live

Before petting ghost shrimps, lots of questions pop up in our minds. The most common question is- how long do ghost shrimps live. I have researched about ghost shrimp’s lifespan and got a few important things to share with you.

The ghost shrimps only thrive for 1 year. They have a smaller lifespan than other shrimps.

Handful numbers of factors control the lifespan of ghost shrimps directly or indirectly. I will discuss the factors throughout this content. Let’s know about these factors.

Important Factors of Ghost Shrimp’s Lifestyle

A number of factors can affect the lifespan of the ghost shrimps in one way or another. Ghost shrimps are peace-loving and sensitive to some factors. A safe and sound surrounding for the ghost shrimp is a must.

The important factors that can affect the lifestyle of the ghost shrimps are:

  • The environment in the tank/Habitat
  • Water quality
  • Compatibility
  • Foods

Let’s know the important factors in detail.

The environment in the tank/Habitat

Ghost shrimps prefer to hide in the aquarium. They even hide from small guppy fishes in the tank.

The tank or aquarium should contain a minimum of 5 gallons of water. Well, a bigger tank is better.

You can organize or decorate the tank with

Add plants, like –

  • Java moss,
  • Hornwort and
  • Cabomba

These can give the home-like feel to the ghost shrimps. As the ghost shrimps love to hide, they will feel safer and more like home in the tank.

When the shrimps molt, they look for the place to hide. The exoskeleton may look scary and give the keeper tension.

Do not worry. Your shrimp is not dead. It is a phase of their lives.

On a special note, no need to remove the exoskeleton in the tank. It will gradually become their food.

The ghost shrimps have sensitive antennae. These antennae can sense the presence of toxicity, chemicals, and foods of the water. Sand, fine grain can protect the antennae from damage.

Try to keep fewer shrimps in one tank. It is comfortable for the shrimps to stay a maximum of 4 of them in one gallon. You can maximize the number later.

5 Different Cherry Shrimp Types x
5 Different Cherry Shrimp Types

Shrimps are the biological cleaner of the tank. They eat and consume the debris from the plants and the tank. You do not have to waste the energy to wash the aquarium.

Placement of the tank

Place the tank in a silent zone of your house. Shrimps do not like to live in noisy environments.

Staying in the TV room, the drawing room makes them stressed. Noise can badly impact the ghost shrimps. Before starting your hobby, make the best place for them to live in.

Water Quality

The water quality can directly affect how long do ghost shrimps live. Let’s take a look at the table.

FactorsOptimum level
Temperature65-85 degree Fahrenheit
NitriteLess than 10ppm
WaterMinimum 5 gallons
Light intensityModerate
Water flowModerate

Now, I will explain the factors and how they affect the shrimp’s lives.


pH shows whether the water is acidic or basic. The pH scale range is 0-14.

The pHlevel of water can control the life of a shrimp. The breeding, molting, feeding are dependent on pH. In basic or acidic conditions the water accelerates their lives faster.

The pH scale is measured-

  • 0 -6 means acidic water
  • 8-14 means the water is alkaline in nature
  • 7 means the water is neutral

The optimum range for ghost shrimps is 7.0-8.0.

Low pHHigh pHOptimum pH
Molts fasterMolts fasterSlow molting
Dies soonDies soonLives longer

If you need a test kit for measuring the water parameters, I’ll recommend API Master Test Kit. With this master test kit, you can measure ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and many other water parameters. It is certainly a worthwhile investment for any shrimp keeper!


Temperature effect on how long do ghost shrimps live. The ghost shrimps love high temperatures.

For ghost shrimps, the optimum temperature is 65- 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a heater if you have kept the aquarium in a cold place.

I love this digital thermometer for my shrimp tanks. It provides a very accurate reading and the cost is extremely low.

What Happens At Higher Temperatures?

In higher temperatures, the shrimps feed more than usual. Their physical functions accelerate more than lower temperatures.

Consequently, ghost shrimps will eat more food. They will grow quicker.

Molting is in their nature. By leaving the older exoskeleton, they grow a new exoskeleton to protect the body.

To add, the molting uses their reserved energy. The more molting takes place, the closer the ghost shrimps are to the death.

What Happens At Optimum Temperatures?

At optimum temperature, the shrimps feel comfortable. The physical and chemical functions of the body are slower than higher temperatures.

They feel comfortable and eat less at the optimum temperature. Breeding, feeding, and other physical activities continue naturally.

In a nutshell, the ghost shrimps can live their lives to the fullest. It would be efficient if you could place a heater in the tank.

What Happens At Lower Temperatures?

The ghost shrimps are calmer than other species. When they live in low temperatures, they become inactive.

Consequently, they change their behavior towards other species in the tank. The ghost shrimps try to attack them.

A lower temperature in the environment makes them stressed. It is important to monitor the balanced temperature in the tank or aquarium.


Nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate should have zero levels in the aquarium. These are toxic chemicals for the shrimps when the level is higher.

The maintenance of the tank can increase or decrease the nitrite level in the water. An increase in the level of toxicity can harm the normal lifestyle of ghost shrimps.

Make sure the level is approximately 5-10ppm. It will be beneficial if you can change the water in a routine manner.

Also, the accumulation of copper should not occur in the tank. It causes death to the shrimps.

Regular monitoring of these chemicals is a must. Thus, you can provide the shrimps with a healthy environment to survive longer.

Water Volume

The volume of the water has to be a minimum of 5 gallons. If you can arrange a larger tank or aquarium, it will be more convenient for the shrimps.


KH expresses the carbonate hardness in the water. The hardness of the water should not be more than 5-8 DKH. This is the optimum range for ghost shrimps.

Nevertheless, the KH range is stretchable up to 12DKH (Degrees of Carbonate Hardness). The high level of KH will not be suitable for the shrimps.

To measure the level of KH, you can buy a KH measuring kit from the market.


GH stands for General Hardness. The acceptable level of General Hardness (GH) is up to 8. GH measuring kits are available in the market.

General hardness shows how soft or hard is the water quality. How long do ghost shrimps live depends on the GH level, as well.

The higher level of GH in water makes the life of the shrimps tougher. Check the water parameter before you start keeping shrimps in the tank.

With this GH & KH Test Kit, you can measure both the GH & KH of your shrimp tank water. There is no need to buy two separate test kits. Certainly a handy test kit that will help you a long way!

Light Intensity

They love to swim in soft lights. Why? Because they love to hide themselves to feel safe.

 When the lights are off, they feel comfortable to swim here and there. The baby ghost shrimps roam around the tank, mostly, at night.

Water flow

Moderate water flow is suitable for the ghost shrimps. They feel safer in the moderate or low tides in the tank.


Ghost shrimps are 1.5” in size. They are peaceful in nature. All the tropical fishes are not peaceful to other fishes.

Hence, the ghost shrimps need to be kept with small peaceful fishes. The large fishes or aggressive fishes tend to eat ghost shrimps as their foods. Also, they can attack ghost shrimps on and often.

The compatible fishes with ghost shrimps are:

  • Danios
  • Small barbs
  • Characins
  • Loaches with peaceful nature
  • Small catfish

Fishes with large mouths to consume a shrimp should not be kept with ghost shrimps. The territorial fishes are not suitable as companions. They tend to be aggressive towards ghost shrimps.

On the contrary, fishes that need the same temperature can be kept together. Otherwise, one species will be comfortable in the tank whereas another species will not survive longer.

Well, different shrimp species maintain the same temperature. You can add some other shrimps with ghost shrimps. For example, cherry shrimps.

Only shrimps in the tank may add boredom. For diverse conditions, snails are a good option.

Food Habit

This is an important factor to discuss. As a shrimp keeper, you must know that ghost shrimps require less amount of food.

Ghost shrimps are omnivorous. Omnivorous means they can eat everything. From dirt to algae, they can consume everything leftover in the tank.

How you should provide food:

  • Let the shrimps enjoy naturally grown algae and biofilm in the tank
  • Provide a good commercial shrimp food 2-3 times a week. I love Bacter AE and my shrimps get crazy over it!
  • Do not put anything before the shrimps completely eat it
  • No need to feed them every day. Depending on the numbers, you can feed the shrimps every other day of the week. 

Providing food regularly can damage water quality. It can shorten the lifespan of ghost shrimps.

The dead fishes are also a source of nutrition for ghost shrimps. However, it is wise to remove the dead bodies from the aquarium.

 The dead bodies produce ammonia spikes in the tank. These spikes are harmful to your lovely shrimps.

Final Words

To conclude, ghost shrimps are easy to maintain. I hope this article will help you to learn how long do ghost shrimps live. Try to provide them a comfortable environment to live long.

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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