Why Do Ghost Shrimps Jump Out Of The Water?

why ghost shrimps jump out of the tank

Did your ghost shrimp ever try to jump out of the water when you were feeding them or cleaning the tank? Last week when I was feeding them one tried to jump which scared me. I had no clue why it did so I researched to find out. 

Ghost shrimps jump out of the water mainly if they feel stressed. Some other reasons can be an unsuitable environment, aggressive tank mates, higher bioload, etc. 

Jumping out from the water is a very common behavior of ghost shrimps. And the reason behind it can be a lot of things. So let’s know the reasons in detail to discover why ghost shrimps jump out of water. 

Why Do Ghost Shrimps Jump Out Of Water? 

There can be many reasons that can make a ghost shrimp jump out of the water. However, the most common reasons are, 

  • Stress
  • Aggressive tank mates
  • High bioload

Let’s take a look in these factors in details:


One of the main reasons why ghost shrimps jump out of water is they get stressed. There are also many reasons why they get stressed. Unsuitable environment, no hiding place are the common reasons why they get stressed mostly. 

Shrimps are very sensitive and peaceful species. They need a very suitable environment to live in. And for ensuring a suitable environment you have to make sure the water parameters are properly balanced. 

Also, if the water is too dirty they start to feel unhealthy. Dirty water rapidly changes the parameters of the water. This makes them very stressful. 

Shrimps love to hide themselves most of the time. They feel secure and safe when they are hiding. So if the tank has less hiding place they feel unsafe and get stressed out. 

These all make them feel uncomfortable in the tank and they start stressing. And if things start to get worse they try to jump out of the tank.

See also  How Big Do Ghost Shrimps Get?

Aggressive Tank mates

Ghost shrimps are peaceful and scared species. They feel very insecure when there are other tank mates around them. 

Big and aggressive tank mates can attack ghost shrimps as shrimps are small in size. There have been many cases where big fishes have eaten ghost shrimps. Fishes that have big mouths can gulp ghost shrimps and hunt them most of the time. 

This adds stress to the shrimps so they try to save themselves and jump out of the water whenever they get any chance.

High Bioload

Sometimes for higher bioload ghost shrimps feel uncomfortable and thus try to jump out of the water. 

High bioload means the amount of life existing in the tank is high in number than it should be. This reduces the oxygen in the water thus the existing species cannot take in oxygen the amount they need. High bioload also makes the water dirty and rapidly changes the parameters of the water. 

High bioload causes a change in the parameters thus the water gets unsuitable to live. They feel sick and unhealthy, and try to jump off the water to find a better place. 

How Do Ghost Shrimps Jump? 

Shrimp are very good jumpers. They can jump like flees and go one direction to another so fast like lighting. 

Ghost shrimps use their tail to jump. Basically, the tail helps them jumping and moving very fast. They take their tail forward and by kicking it backward fast they do the jumping and moving. 

This is a very helpful thing for them when they are in danger or gets attacked. In this same way when they feel uncomfortable or unhealthy, they try to jump out of the water. 

How To Prevent This Behavior Of Ghost Shrimps?

If you want to prevent this behavior you have to give ghost shrimps a suitable environment. As I already stated they try to jump out of the water or tank only when they feel stressed or uncomfortable in the water. So, if you give them the proper environment to live they will happily live in the tank. 

Let’s take a look at the things one has to maintain to give ghost Shrimps a Proper Environment,

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Ensuring Proper Water Parameters

The first thing to prevent your ghost shrimps from jumping off the water is to ensure proper water parameters. If the water parameters are fine they feel healthy and comfortable. 

Get a good test kit to check the water parameters once a week. Make sure the temperature, pH, and other parameters are in the right range. Change 30% of the water once a week and make sure the water doesn’t get dirty too fast as dirty water rapidly changes the water parameters. 

Ideal water parameter ranges:

Temperature68-82 degrees Fahrenheit
GH (General hardness)5-8 ppm
KH (Carbonate hardness)5-8 ppm
TDS (Total dissolved solids)150-200 ppm

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!

Appropriate Tank Mates

It is recommended to use a dedicated tank for the ghost shrimps. Ghost shrimps are seen most active when they are kept separate in one tank in groups. Keeping them separately helps them breed properly and they feel safe and comfortable. 

But if you have less space or any other problem then make sure you are choosing the right tank mates for them. Aggressive and big species are a big no if you ever think of them as their tank mates. 

Always remember shrimps are very peaceful species. So, as their tank mates try to choose the ones that are peaceful too. Small fishes that don’t grow too big are best to keep with ghost shrimps. You can search online for species that are appropriate for ghost shrimps to keep with.

Choosing the proper tank mates will make the shrimps feel safe. Other existing species will live peacefully and happily too. 

Quick overview of good and bad tank mates of ghost shrimps:

Good Tank MatesBad Tank Mates
Other shrimp speciesAny fish that are aggressive such as Barbs, Mollies, Serpae Tetra, Betta, etc.
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasDiscus
Small TetrasAngelfish
SnailsFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

Control The Bioload

Make sure the bioload is not high. The tank water gets dirty and the parameters change so fast if the bioload is high.  

See also  When Are Ghost Shrimps Most Active?

Ghost Shrimps cannot survive in dirty water for too long. So make sure you are not keeping too many species in one tank. Keep 3-4 shrimps in per one-gallon water. If you have other species too keep that number in your mind as well. 

Use a good filtration that will fightback the bioload and keep the water environment sustainable. Change the water whenever it looks too dirty and replace 30% of the water once a week. 

Enough Hiding Places

Ghost shrimps love to hide themselves when other species are around them as they feel unsafe. Hiding makes them feel safe and if you are keeping them to breed then hiding places are a must. 

Give big stones and trees to make enough hiding places and decorate your tank well. But do not over decorate. 

I like this Natural Driftwood for hiding places. It is natural, looks extremely good and shrimps love these type of woods too! They grow biofilm over them which is a natural food source for shrimps.

Get A Group Of Shrimps 

Ghost shrimps are social and love to live in groups. They feel safe as well when there are other shrimp mates with them.

If you keep fewer shrimps this can make them feel unsafe, and for lack of companionship, they try to jump out of the tank.

At least keep 10 ghost shrimps in a tank together. Also, ensure you have both male and females ghost shrimps. Keeping a good number will make them feel safe and they will not get stressed.

Use A Tank Cover 

Sometimes even if everything is fine and you see ghost shrimps jumping try to use a tank cover or lid. 

You will find lots of tank covers in the market for spot purchases. Local fish stores keep tank covers too. You can also find tank covers online in amazon. 

Covers will keep ghost shrimps secure in the tank even if they jump and try to escape from the tank. It will also protect your ghost shrimps and other species safe. 


Hope this article helped you to know why ghost shrimps try to jump out of the water. 

Following the above-mentioned methods, you can prevent this behavior of the ghost shrimps. Additionally, these methods will also help ghost shrimps live peacefully in the tank with other tank mates.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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