Why Do Ghost Shrimps Curl Up?

Why Do Ghost Shrimps Curl Up

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

If you are keeping ghost shrimps for a while now, you may have observed one of their very peculiar behavior: curling up the tail so that the whole body resembles a hard ‘U’. Are you wondering why do they do this? I’ve researched the answer for you.

Ghost shrimps curl up their body mainly for 2 reasons: either to clean their shrimplets or loosening the exoskeleton for molting.

I have discussed this behavior in detail in the rest of the article. I have also shared what you should do if you see your shrimps doing this.

Reason Why Ghost Shrimps Curl Up

Ghost shrimps mainly curl up due to 2 reasons: either to clean their body or prepare their body for molting.

When the ghost shrimps curl up, the tail can easily clean their swimlets. This is the easiest way for the shrimps to clean their body. Another most probably reason is molting.

Before molting, the ghost shrimps need to prepare their body. The preparation includes making the exoskeleton loose and flexible. They accomplish this by curling up the body.

When the ghost shrimps curl up, their body resembles a hard ‘U’ shape. This shape stretches the exoskeleton and makes it very loose. This also helps to keep the exoskeleton flexible.

It is very important to keep the exoskeleton loose and flexible before molting. Otherwise, the molting process can take too much time and cost too much energy of the shrimp.


What You Should Do?

Curling is a very natural process for ghost shrimps. So, there is no need for you to worry. However, as curling is a sign of molting, you can take some precautionary steps to ensure the ghost shrimps have a successful molting:

  • When the ghost shrimp is molting, it becomes very vulnerable. At this stage, other shrimps or fish can attack the shrimp. In serious cases, this can even lead to the death of the molting shrimp. So, if you see your shrimps curling, ensure there are enough plants and moss in the tank. Plants and moss offer excellent hiding places for the shrimps. Not only during curling, ghost shrimps need plants and moss all the time in their tank. They are especially important for the baby shrimps.
  • Provide high-quality foods to the ghost shrimps. A shrimp has to go through multiple molting stages throughout its life. Molting is necessary for the growth of the body. Each molting can take up a huge amount of energy from the shrimp. So, during this stage, the shrimps need very high-quality food for regenerating the energy.
  • After the molting, you’ll see the old exoskeleton lying on the substrate. It is just a whitish outer skin of the ghost shrimp. Don’t be tempted to take out the old exoskeleton. It is a wonderful source of calcium for the ghost shrimps. They’ll eat the exoskeleton naturally.


So, now you know why do ghost shrimps curl up their bodies. It is just a way for them to clean their bodies or prepare themselves for the molting process. If you have seen any other weird behavior of your ghost shrimps, let me know.

Happy Shrimp Keeping!

About Muntaseer Rahman

Latest posts

  • Can Chameleons Be Constipated? + Pro Tips

    Can Chameleons Be Constipated? + Pro Tips

    You probably have already seen hundreds of dirty reptiles in enclosures. Well, we bet you can’t say the same thing about chameleons as they’re relatively clean. But is your one looking too clean, like not even a single poop around? Hold on a second! Is your reptile constipating? But can chameleons be constipated?  Chameleons do […]

    Read more

  • Can Halfmoon Betta Fish Live Together?

    Can Halfmoon Betta Fish Live Together?

    Who doesn’t want to rise multiple Halfmoon betta together, which can spread their tails at 180 degrees angle? Considering the temperament, the betta hobbyists wonder whether Halfmoon betta can coexist in the same aquarium. So, a common question arises- can Halfmoon betta fish live together? Since Halfmoon bettas are social creatures, these fish can live […]

    Read more

  • How Often Do You Feed A Halfmoon Betta?

    How Often Do You Feed A Halfmoon Betta?

    The sound health and longevity of your stunning Halfmoon betta depend on a nutritious diet and a proper feeding schedule. If you own such a beautiful species of betta that can spread its tail at 180 degrees, you may want to keep these Halfmoon bettas healthy. For this, the owners often ask in betta forums- […]

    Read more