Pregnant Ghost Shrimp – Helpful Caring Guide For Beginners

Popular in freshwater aquariums, ghost shrimp are prized for their unique appearance and engaging behavior. These diminutive, transparent critters are calm and simple to take care of, making them a favorite among new aquarists. But if your tank contains female ghost shrimp, you can soon discover a surprise: a ghost shrimp is pregnant, which means she is carrying eggs. We will talk about pregnant ghost shrimp in this post, including how to spot a pregnant female, what to expect during the pregnancy, and how to take care of the mother and her young.

Stages Of Pregnant Ghost Shrimp

Three stages of development occur when a ghost shrimp is pregnant. The pre-egg, egg, and post-egg stages are as follows. The female shrimp saves food in her belly during the pre-egg stage so that the eggs can eat it when they hatch. The egg stage lasts from the time the eggs are laid until the shrimp fry and fourth-stage larvae emerge. All young ghost shrimp undergo their first molts during the post-egg stage, losing their exoskeletons to become juveniles (the first stage), which will eventually develop into adults.

But what does it imply if your shrimp has green dots under its tail? That implies that the ghost shrimp you have is a female who is carrying eggs. Let’s see some typical signs of pregnancy in ghost shrimp down below.

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Signs?

The female ghost shrimp is the easiest to distinguish since she will be larger, plumper, heavier, and have a brown or black patch on the back of her abdomen. She may also be experiencing foam emerging from her anus as a result of egg yolk excretion. The presence of males in the tank frequently causes the female shrimp to become stressed, which results in her color changing in the presence of green dots. After the male ghost shrimp fertilize the eggs for a few days, the pregnant shrimp will start to exhibit pregnancy symptoms.

When a female dies, it happens instantaneously if she is still generating eggs. Females normally stop laying eggs approximately three weeks before they pass away. Your pregnant female ghost shrimp is probably going to live less time in an established tank (with the abundance of food) than if she were in a newly set up or established tank.

It depends on the species as to how long the pregnancy lasts. When pregnant, ghost shrimp from regions with differing temperatures may live less time than those from more tropical regions.

  • Throughout the entire pregnancy, a ghost shrimp will be present in the tank.
  • The shrimp’s tail appears transparent and is white and opaque.
  • There may be an additional pair of eyes on the top of the ghost shrimp’s head.

A pregnant ghost shrimp is a sensitive creature and should be avoided. In plain view of the other residents of the tank, a female will lay her eggs on the substrate (the watering area outside the filter).

pregnant ghost shrimp
Can you see the eggs in the ghost shrimp? (Youtube: Homestead Wannabes)

Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Caring

Using a fine substrate that allows for scavenging and adding living plants, like java moss or hornwort, which provide a food supply and shelter, are two suggestions for setting up an appropriate tank for ghost shrimp, not in a community tank. For the additional cover, add rocks, driftwood, or man-made caves. Ghost shrimp frequently lose their shells, so they require a place to hide while waiting for their new shells to develop. These additives can maintain a high level of oxygen in the water and give pregnant ghost shrimp a secure and comfortable environment.

How to set up a tank for pregnant ghost shrimp?

  • Install the tank with filter: Water that is pure and clean should be poured into a 10-gallon tank. To clean the water more effectively, it is suggested to utilize a filter with a larger surface area. Aquatic plants should be present in tanks as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the water to maintain water oxygenation.
  • Install a blower: Your shrimp won’t have any trouble breathing if you use an air pump. If you consider an air pump to be a financial waste. Well, you are mistaken. Your ghost shrimp will perish if it is not housed in a tank with an air pump.
  • Bottom of the tank cover: You should be more cautious about the gravel’s color in the case of ghost shrimps, though. Because it interferes with the newborn shrimps’ transparency, consequently, it is advisable to use gravel or sand that is light in color for young shrimp.
  • Pour water into: It is essential to fill the tank with clean, pure water because doing so promotes the healthy development of young shrimp. Moreover, you should have some pH testing strips on hand so that you can determine the pH of the water. In order to raise newborn shrimp, keep the pH of the water close to 7 (neutral).
  • Add greenery: It is a good idea to breed bottom with some plantations since it helps to create a favorable breeding habitat. Young ghost shrimp might find a nice hiding place in plants. 
suitable tank for pregnant ghost shrimp
A typical tank for pregnant ghost shrimp (Youtube: Water St TV).

What are the suitable water conditions for pregnant ghost shrimp?

As you can see, the fourth step involves filling the tank with water. So, which water parameters are effective? Secondly, make sure the water is crystal clear and incredibly clean. The filter should then be run before introducing the shrimp to the tank. All dangerous chemicals and undesired substances will be eliminated.

In a variety of water temperatures and conditions, ghost shrimp can survive. Maintain the water’s temperature between 65 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit for your shrimp’s best health (18 – 28 degrees C). The ideal pH range for water is between 7.0 and 8.0. Maintain a water hardness range of 3.72 to 6.75.

Equipment you should have

The newborn and juvenile shrimp are not good swimmers, but adult ghost shrimp are. As I mentioned above, if you utilize a powerful system, there is a chance that they will be drawn into the filter. For the breeding tank, install a sponge filter. The moderate current created by this filter will be more relaxing for the adults in addition to safeguarding your young shrimp.

Together with the live plants, adding an air pump may keep the water properly oxygenated. If you have enough plant cover, ghost shrimp can spend their entire day at the bottom of the aquarium without any special lighting.

What Causes Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?

In the majority of reef aquariums, pregnant ghost shrimp become pregnant for no apparent reason. The usage of common reef additives, water quality/filter capacity, illumination, or other natural elements is the most frequent culprit. The usage of common reef additives is the most frequent cause of pregnant ghost shrimps.

The most frequent food or supplement ingredients that can make ghost shrimp pregnant are carbon, iron, and Red Sea coral products. A female may store food in her intestine and become pregnant if there are iron or carbon supplements in the water.

By lowering the pH level of the female shrimp, carbon or iron supplementation may also have the same effect as reducing egg production. Moreover, other elements, like changes in temperature or abrupt changes in light, may also cause pH to alter. The pH of the water used by the shrimp has also changed as a result of iron or carbon additions. The male shrimp may be able to exude his fragrance. As a result, causing the ghost shrimp deposit eggs. This will induce an abrupt increase in egg production and pregnancy to occur.

Using various lighting setups when setting up your tank would be another factor. If you’ve never done this before, it could have an immediate impact on the quality of the water.

Baby Ghost Shrimp Caring

pregnant ghost shrimp giving birth
Female ghost shrimp is giving birth (Youtube: Abdullah Aldhfyan).

Even while pregnant, ghost shrimp are quite simple to maintain. Females who are pregnant could become more secretive and regularly withdraw to hiding places. As a result, it’s crucial to give them lots of hiding places in the tank.

Ghost shrimp thrive in a fine substrate because they hunt near the tank’s bottom for food. Live plants can be added to the aquarium to give the pregnant ghost shrimp more food options and cover. Examples of these plants are java moss and hornwort as hiding places after molting. Boulders, driftwood, or man-made caverns can also be used.

Regular water changes are advised since ghost shrimp during pregnancy depend on the water’s quality. Use a water conditioner to get rid of the chloramine and chlorine in your tap water.

How many ghost shrimp babies will come?

On a smaller scale, one female ghost shrimp can successfully fertilize eight to thirty eggs. Every 30 to 40 days, she will continue to lay clutches of eggs for fertilization.

In a whole year, the normal Ghost Shrimp can carry anything from eight to 85 eggs behind her tail. The chances of all the eggs surviving the phases of pregnancy and delivery are slim. During the duration of the entire year, the typical range of ghost shrimp lay eggs is between five and 70.

A young Ghost Shrimp must withstand its mother’s natural feeding urges after birth and consume enough food to grow to maturity.

What is the best food for baby ghost shrimp?

The best nourishment for baby shrimp is modest amounts of liquid or finely powdered food. Ghost shrimp that have just hatched, known as nauplii, eat minute amounts of bacteria and algae in the water, but as they get bigger, they need more substantial food sources. Baby ghost shrimp can be fed brine shrimp, micro worms, finely crushed flake or pellet feeds, and baby brine shrimp. To make sure they are getting enough to eat, it is crucial to feed them in modest amounts multiple times throughout the day. Also, it’s crucial to prevent overfeeding because too much food might harm the quality of the water.


How many times a year can ghost shrimp get pregnant?

Every few weeks, ghost shrimp can get pregnant and reproduce all year long. The number of times a year that ghost shrimp can reproduce is difficult to pinpoint because it depends on a variety of variables, including their age, health, and environmental circumstances.

Why are your ghost shrimp eggs turning black?

Ghost shrimp eggs can become black for a number of causes, such as fungus, bacteria, or bad water quality. In order to prevent additional harm to the eggs or the adult shrimp, it is crucial to address the root problem as soon as you realize that your ghost shrimp eggs are becoming black.

Why is a pregnant ghost shrimp curling up?

Curling up could be an indication of tension or pain in a pregnant ghost shrimp. To maintain the health and well-being of the pregnant shrimp as well as the other occupants of the tank, it is crucial to treat any possible problems as soon as they arise.


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