Ghost shrimp (palaemonetes paludosus), have other names like glass shrimp or eastern grass shrimp is a type of freshwater shrimp from the southeastern United States.
Ghost shrimps contribute to the beauty of community aquariums because they are peaceful and easy to care for, and a great food source for many big, aggressive fish kept in tanks.
For those reasons, aquarium owners probably want to learn about ghost shrimp breeding and how to hatch ghost shrimp eggs. Now let’s explore this interesting knowledge in this post.
- What is Ghost Shrimp?
- Can Ghost Shrimp Breed in a Community Aquarium?
- How to Care Your Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?
- How to Hatch Ghost Shrimp Eggs?
- How Do You Find Whether Ghost Shrimp Eggs Are Fertilized?
- How Many Eggs Can Ghost Shrimp Lay?
- Where Do Ghost Shrimp Lay Their Eggs?
What is Ghost Shrimp?
Ghost shrimp is a name that can regard as three species of shrimp, but only the Palaemonetes one is widely known in the aquarium trade, both as tank pets and excellent food for larger fish.
They are derived from North America, but now they have broadly spread throughout the globe thanks to their popularity among fish keepers.
The shrimp are incredibly hardy and can survive in conditions that other freshwater dwarf shrimp species cannot.
When you build a specialized ghost shrimp aquarium, it’s ideal to have at least 5 to 10 gallons of tank space, with the water temperature fluctuating between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and a ph level of 6.5 to 8.2. And a gallon of water for each additional inch of shrimp you bring to the aquarium.
You can bring your group of shrimp to a community tank with other shrimp or shrimp-friendly fish such as pygmy cories. Nevertheless, on average, they only grow up to an adult length of 1.5 inches, so you should avoid any fish that can fit them in its mouth.
When it comes to their behavior, ghost shrimp like to pick at the gravel, sifting through small substrate grains searching for bits of organic matter and other food.
One crucial thing to remember is there are various types of shrimp that look like American ghost shrimp and can be bewildering to the untrained eye; hence, ensure you buy the right species from your local pet store.
Can Ghost Shrimp Breed in a Community Aquarium?
If you raise your ghost shrimp in a safe tank with shrimp-friendly fish, there is a possibility that they will breed in a community aquarium. Nevertheless, it’s not appropriate to keep the fry in a rank with other fish as they are a prey species and among the most popular food for bigger fish.
Moreover, even mature ghost shrimp will snack on their own when kept in the same tank.
If you plan to have even the slightest success breeding your shrimp in a community tank, add some live plants before you begin the breeding process. Besides, you can add caves and broken spots to create hiding areas for the adult shrimp and spawning mops or carpet plants for the shrimp eggs and fry.
You also should ensure that the water conditions in your community tank are proper and safe for your glass shrimp to breed.
Overall, it’s vital to appreciate that even if you successfully breed glass shrimp in a community aquarium, chances are you might not get many (if any) fry growing to adult size. One way or the other, they may end up dead, either as a quick snack or from general tank perils.
How to Care Your Pregnant Ghost Shrimp?
Firstly, you can start caring for spawning adult ghost shrimp is to feed them a high-quality diet, with a lot of algae. The balanced diet is particularly perfect for conditioning the fish for breeding and stimulates spawning.
Provide them a daily amount of fish food, with a single crushed pellet per day enough to feed six adult shrimp. You should use sinking pellets as they live at the bottom of the aquarium.
In addition, bear in mind that shrimp will develop on algae and plant debris, so add some plants that trap foods on tender leaves for your fish to scavenge on.
Since it’s time to bring your ghost shrimp to the breeding tank, make sure your water settings replicate what the shrimp are used to. Besides, acclimate them slowly to ensure they don’t suffer from temperature or ph shock.
Normally, floating a bag with your shrimp inside at the top of your tank for 20 minutes before beginning the acclimation process makes sure your shrimp are appropriately adjusted in the tank temperature.
Make water changes in your fish aquarium one time a week after that and continuously check the temperature, ph, and chemical levels to prevent a dangerous spike.
You should remove 20 to 30 percent of the water with every change for desired results, although 40 to 50 percent changes every other week will also work, particularly if you keep few or no fish with the shrimp.
In a wide tank, only add small fish with your breeding ghost shrimp (if you must), as nearly all medium and large-sized fish will consume your shrimp.
Finally, feeder shrimp are bred to create a high number of young ones but tend to be fragile, with a short lifetime. Therefore, if your want shrimp for pets, it’s important to purchase healthy breeding. Search for shrimp kept in a clean fish tank with numerous live plants and space.
How to Hatch Ghost Shrimp Eggs?
Step By Step to Hatch Ghost Shrimp Eggs
Step 1: Prepare a breeding tank.
Fill the breeding tank with water, and let it stand for 24 hours.
This will remove chlorine and detrimental chemicals. You can employ some water weeds to help decrease the level of ammonia and nitrates, which are popular pollutants in your tank.
A 20-gallon tank or larger would be proper. The conditions in the new tank should mimic those in the old one. This will keep the eggs laid in your tank alive and healthy.
Add some wooden branches or pebbles to the tank for the eggs to attach to. These will work as a spawning place for your ghost shrimp eggs. Make sure you do not put any fish in this tank, as they might eat your eggs.
The decoration must be set up properly to let the water flow freely so that the eggs can have enough oxygen. Several ghost shrimp species would prefer closed spawning sites, which can be provided using plastic or dishes containers.
Plants are necessary to provide shading, and water weeds are essential to mitigate nitrate and ammonia pollution.
Step 2: Bring the female to the breeding tank
After 24 hours, you can transfer the female shrimp with her eggs to the new tank. It is vital to keep the shrimp in shallow water so that the eggs can adhere to her abdomen.
During the transfer, you should be really careful not to damage the shrimp or her eggs. She might release some eggs if she is injured. After moving to the new tank, you can feed the ghost shrimp mother instantly.
Step 3: Separate the ghost shrimp and her eggs.
After several days, all the eggs will be deposited, so there will be no eggs on the mother’s body. At this time, you can bring her back to the main tank and keep her there until she can breed again.
The hatching rate can be higher if you separate the mother from her eggs. This helps her clean her body from the eggs’ mucus, which is not good for her health. Some breeders tend to leave the mother shrimp in the breeding tank. However, she might consume her own offspring later on.
Step 4: Maintain proper water conditions
To ensure the eggs can hatch, you must maintain ideal water conditions in your breeding tank. The temperature must fluctuate from 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Provided that the right temperate is maintained, the eggs will hatch in several weeks.
What’s more, the water should have good levels of dissolved oxygen and ph (7.0 to 8.0). The eggs won’t hatch if these requirements are not satisfied, even if they have been fertilized.
Anything that decreases dissolved oxygen levels can affect egg hatching. This consists of overstocking, overcrowding, and poor aeration. To keep the proper water conditions, you can utilize a filler with an air pump to keep the water clean and flowing.
Furthermore, lighting is important. You should let your ghost shrimp eggs be exposed to a 12-hour light cycle. Also, you can utilize fluorescent lighting for this case. A strong light bulb will be a good alternative if you don’t have any light fixtures in your aquarium.
Step 5: Feed the newly hatched shrimp.
After the ghost shrimp eggs hatch, you must feed the newborn shrimp. You can provide them with flake fish food or other commercial food for young shrimp. The newborn ones must consume an adequate amount of protein and chitin, which are contained in commercial foods.
They can get other essential nutrients from vegetable matter like algae, but they need some protein to grow well.
It is necessary for them to get the right amount of food. It should not be too much or too little as this can kill the shrimp or hinder their growth. In the initial days, give them a bit of food at regular intervals. As a rule of thumb, you need to get them food one or two times per day.
How Do You Find Whether Ghost Shrimp Eggs Are Fertilized?
You can know that ghost shrimp eggs are fertilized by watching their color. If they are fertilized, the eggs will turn back over time and have dark green shades. If you find that the eggs are dim and white, they are likely not fertilized and possibly rotten.
You can utilize a magnifying glass to determine whether the eggs are fertilized. This will allow you to see the eggs’ embryos and their eyes (tiny black spots). If you don’t find any black spots, the eggs might not be fertilized.
How Many Eggs Can Ghost Shrimp Lay?
Ghost shrimp can lay 20 to 30 eggs once. They often lay more effs than the number of babies they can create at one time. Actually, the female ghost shrimp might lay more eggs during longer breeding periods.
After 10 days, most of the ghost shrimp eggs will hatch. Nevertheless, not all of them will hatch at one time. Some of them may need a few weeks to hatch after they are laid.
Where Do Ghost Shrimp Lay Their Eggs?
Ghost shrimp usually lay their eggs in fine gravel. The eggs will be laid in a line, one by one, with the last egg being smaller than the others. Besides, ghost shrimp also like laying their eggs in caves created by plants or rocks. As a cover-up, they might lay eggs on the underside of the aquarium.
Moreover, you can see ghost shrimp eggs in unexpected places, like crevices between the aquarium wall and their decoration. In these areas, they will adhere to a firm object to hold them in place. You might even find some eggs in your aquarium’s filter or heater.
Ghost shrimp eggs are definitely not the easiest things to take care of. You should be really careful and patient to have healthy ghost shrimp fry.
As soon as you identify a female shrimp is pregnant, get ready and prepare all the necessary equipment and knowledge to take care of pregnant ghost shrimp and hatch its eggs successfully.