View Full Version : Ghost Shrimp

06-30-2008, 09:00 PM
I have a problem with overfeeding my fish. I just keep getting in a hurry and putting in too big of a pinch. What to do? Obviously, I decided I should get something to scavenge the extra food to make up for my clumsiness.

Enter the "Glass Shrimp," as seen here:
These little guys were on sale at the petshop for 25 cents a pop. "Great!" I thought. "Give me two bucks worth." I'd read in a number of places that the little guys are ravenous scavengers and that they're a great way to ensure that extra bits of food are gotten rid of. Granted they're generally sold as food for larger fish, but I figured that they were a cheap, easy way to deal with the problem of excess food.

I have two tanks, one ten-gallon tank with twelve happy danios, and one with two guppies plus whatever offspring they have that haven't grown up enough to be given away. Both tanks got four. The shrimp seemed happy, the excess fish food started disappearing, and I felt I'd made a good decision.

But then the little guys started to die. I kind of figured they would, since they were "feeder" animals and all, but the 100% death rate I ended up with is rediculous. I tried again, but after the third round of replacements, I decided it would be a good idea to come here first.

Some theories I've thought of and worked with:

-The pet store doesn't care for them much because they are food.
I can say that this isn't the case because the pet store in question takes good care even of their feeder fish, and in any event this doesn't explain why 100% of them are dead within a month.

-They are getting stressed out by attacks from the fish.
Guppies and danios are peaceful, nonviolent fish which only attack things small enough for them to eat. I've watched and they couldn't care less about the shrimp.

-There's something in the water that kills them.
This wouldn't explain why even the least well lived of them makes it several days, and some last several weeks.

So anyone got any theories here? I'd like to hang on to at least a few of these guys in each tank, possibly even breed replacements regularly, becuase they do a really good job of eating up everything that isn't algae.

06-30-2008, 09:08 PM
i got mine for 25 cents each too and I had em for a week now and they are doing well.....
It's prolly something in the water but idk...

06-30-2008, 09:26 PM
Yes ,there is something in the water killing them.Nitrates are a problem with shrimp of any kind.Also of you are using any algacide at all.Do you know what your nitrate levels are?

07-01-2008, 02:33 PM
Ghost shrimp are very sensitive to ammonia in tanks. You may want to test your water for awhile to make sure your ammonia isn't out of whack, do a water change the day before you are to get them, test the water the morning of, and then get them if/when the water is still at a stable no ammonia level.

I have several ghost shrimp, and I will say that mine just drop every now and then for some reason - even when the ammonia is at 0, but they usually last at least several months. Good luck!

You can also look into Red Cherry Shrimp. They're great as well. Mine hide all of the time because my danios bother the snot out of them, but they're great.

07-01-2008, 08:53 PM
Ammonia is most likely the cause, then. It's a new tank, so that means that it's still cycling, and as it is I have to change the water every weekend to keep the ammonia from going too nuts. I guess I'll just keep cycling the water and replacing the shrimp every now and again (they never die all at once) until they stop dying.

I hear that you can get them to breed by just separating the females with eggs and then waiting. Has anyone had success? I wouldn't mind a high death rate if I could breed replacements quickly and easily.

07-01-2008, 09:21 PM
Still cycling,that explains that.Shrimp do not stand a chance in an uncycled tank.How many other fish do you have in there?Sorry, I reread and I see how many.

07-02-2008, 02:34 AM
I would suggest not doing anything as far as adding new fish/inverts until the tank is completely cycled. Do you use a master test kit to keep track of how your cycle is going?

07-02-2008, 05:03 PM
Yes indeed as Ellen4God mentioned Ammonia and the Nitrite spike sure to follow are deadly to shrimp and as mentioned Nitrates can be a problem for some species if over 5 or so.

Shrimp as a rule need to be housed in a well matured aquarium with lots of bio film and Ammonia 0, Nitrites o, Nitrates low.

However if you have an emergency with a mini cycle happening I have found Sechem Stability (blue bottle) will render both Ammonia and Nitrites non-toxic and have had shrimp in a tank with .50 Nitrites showing and not die while using this product.

After your tank is fully cycled you should have no problem.

Cheers, Bill

07-02-2008, 05:16 PM
Wish my LFS sold cherry shrimp but I have about 8 ghost in my 10 gallon and have to say in the past month I've only lost 1 that I have noticed and its a fairly new tank. Good luck with yours, they are so interesting so dont give up hope.

07-02-2008, 05:46 PM
I would suggest not doing anything as far as adding new fish/inverts until the tank is completely cycled. Do you use a master test kit to keep track of how your cycle is going?

I don't have a master test kit as those are very expensive and I am running this tank on the cheap. However I do have an ammonia test kit and a pH test kit and I use both once a week. I tested for ammonia just last night and yes, it was slightly high, so I added some ammonia neutralizer. The surviving shrimp aren't dead, so I suppose it worked.

07-03-2008, 08:19 PM
if your trying to save money i would still recommend buying the individual nitrite test kit. You really shouldn't have to test your ph as often so long as you are always putting water in the tank during your W.C.'s from the same place. How many weeks has this tank been up and running?