Ghost shrimps belong to the decapod crustaceans class. They are invertebrates. These organisms hardly grow 1.5-3.1 inches. These organisms are transparent and have a yellow or orange dot on the center of their tail. These are small; therefore, they can be eaten by their tank mates. Hence, keeping them with small fish in your fish tank is advised.
This article will study Ghost Shrimps, especially about pregnant Ghost shrimps and how to take care of them. We will also study how to take care of the eggs laid by them and their babies. Along with all this, we will study the breeding process, so it remains with us till the end.
How Do You Know When A Ghost Shrimp Is About To Give Birth?
Most people are willing to know how they can recognize that their ghost shrimp is ready to give birth to its young ones. Therefore, we have brought five signs to help you solve your doubts regarding pregnant ghost shrimp.
#1 Green Dots
When you notice some green dots on your ghost shrimp, congratulations, she is pregnant. Green dots all over the body are the best sign that your ghost shrimp is pregnant. These dots are small and grow at a slow rate. These are eggs of the shrimp and have a small size. When these eggs grow their size slowly, you will notice that the visible dots also grow along with the eggs.
#2 Fanning Her Legs
Another sign that the ghost shrimp is pregnant is that she keeps fanning its legs. However, the reason for fanning legs is unknown yet. However, there can be two main indications for doing so. Either the eggs keep irritating her, or she wants to keep her eggs well oxygenated by moving her legs back and forth.
#3 Green Or White Dots Under Her Tail
One thing must be cleared: green shrimps do not carry their eggs in their bellies. Instead, eggs are attached to their body under their tail with their swimmerets. The green point is visible with naked eyes because it’s transparent. At the very first stage, the dots appear smaller in size. Later they attain bigger size.
#4 She’s Gained Some Weight
Although the green shrimps (females) are bigger than the males, they become bigger when they are pregnant and gain more weight. It is because the area below their tail is swollen as they carry their eggs below their tail. It is because the area gets bumped out due to the mass of eggs.
#5 The Males Getting Real Friendly
When a female shrimp is pregnant, she receives much attention from other male ghost shrimps. This phenomenon is natural. Male shrimps hover around female shrimps as they try to fertilize the eggs.
Pregnant Ghost Shrimp Stages
Now, we will talk about the complete process of ghost shrimp breeding in detail. We will discuss all the essential requirements of a pregnant ghost shrimp such as water parameters, substrate, and much more.
How To Breed Ghost Shrimp?
It is quite a simple process for the breeding process of Ghost Shrimps. Normally, a female ghost shrimp is larger than a male ghost shrimp. Therefore, you should keep at least two female ghost shrimps per male. It is an ideal ratio for the breeding process.
Purchase The Tanks
At least a 10-gallon tank is needed at first. After that, you should buy a tank that is clear and transparent. It would help you keep an eye on your ghost shrimps from outside.
Install Filters And Air Pumps
Another thing to keep in mind is installing an air pump. Like other living aquatic organisms, they also need oxygenated water to stay alive. Therefore, it is necessary to have an air pump for the baby shrimp.
Next, you would require a sponge filter for cleaning water. Do not use a regular filter to suck up the baby shrimps. It can also cause many of the baby shrimps to die. If the filter does not suck them up, it can irritate them.
Add Layers Of Substrate
Next, you would need to take care of the bottom of the tank. It is advised to cover the bottom of the tank using light-colored gravel or sand as it helps the shrimps to be transparent. The color of gravel affects us a lot more than our thoughts. If you want your shrimps to bear some spots, you should use dark bottom colors.
Correct Water Parameters
Now, it comes to filling up the tank with water. First, you should ensure that the water is extremely clean and clear. Then, running the filter before adding the shrimps to the tank is advised. It will help to remove any unwanted chemicals and harmful agents.
Water temperature is another factor to keep in mind. The preferable water temperature ranges from 65-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Water PH level is another factor to consider, which must remain neutral.
Now add some live plants to the tank, which would help the shrimps in their breeding process. And the plants also act as a hiding spot. Now, it is about preparing the water. Water should have no salinity as saline water would not allow the shrimps to grow well.
First, it should not shock them when you are transferring the shrimps into their breeding tanks. Take them out of their usual habitat in a clear plastic bag and float the bag in the breeding tank water for about an hour. Now, replace the water of the old tank with the new one by one-fourth ratio.
Put it into the new breeding tank when your ghost shrimp gets ready for the new environment. Also, remember to change 20-30 percent of the water every week. Then, everything is good to go when you have mature ones together in a breeding tank. One male per every two females is a good ratio.
A female produces 20-30 eggs every three weeks and carries them for about two weeks. Now, allow the males to fertilize the eggs. After you notice the female shrimps with fertilized eggs, you can transfer the males back to their original tanks. Eggs take around 24 days to hatch once they are laid by female shrimp. It is advised to remove the eggs from the breeding tank as the adult shrimps can eat their larvae.
Feeding Your Pregnant Ghost Shrimp
It is quite easy to feed a ghost shrimp. You can feed them with some quality flake food. A pregnant ghost shrimp prefers to have some frozen food occasionally. If there is another fish in the tank, you should be very careful. Their tank mates can eat them due to their slow-moving speed.
Feeding them with nutrient-rich food is a very good idea. While feeding a pregnant ghost shrimp, sticky food can choke them up. Sinking wafers are a good source of protein and nutrients for a pregnant ghost shrimp.
Caring For Pregnant Ghost Shrimps
Ghost shrimps are greatly sensitive, especially during pregnancy. Therefore, we should take good care of them while they are pregnant. The first thing is, of course, the environment. It means that the water in the tank must be clean and pure. Matten filter is another good option to have as it has a greater surface area (almost 3-4 times) than a regular filter.
Another thing to check on is the water pH level of the tank, which must be neutral. The optimal range for the TDS level of water is 150 to 200. Ghost Shrimps are very peaceful organisms. Thus, they would need a hiding space in the tank. Hence, plants would be a must to have. The other important factor to take into consideration is their diet.
Ghost shrimps can usually live by eating the algae. But during the breeding time (pregnancy), they need special care to lay good quality eggs. Therefore, you should feed your pregnant ghost shrimp with nutrient-rich food to help it lay good quality eggs.
Caring For Baby Ghost Shrimps
These babies are also as sensitive as their parents. If you don’t provide them with good care, you can see soon they will start dying. It implies that the baby shrimp can die easily. Therefore, it is advised to take good care of these little creatures to raise them healthy and in a good number. A good stress-free environment is a must, just like adult shrimps need.
Next, you must take care of water parameters as it would affect the health of babies a lot. Good tankmates are also another factor for the care of babies. Hence you should select their tankmates carefully. Keep in mind that your shrimps do not get eaten by their mates. Even if the baby shrimps get chased by their mates, it will stress them out.
They are small in size and can be easily caught and swallowed by their bad tank mates. Most importantly, you should keep them in a black background instead of keeping them in a light-colored environment. It makes it easy for them to see with their little eyes.
How To Setup A Breeding Tank For Ghost Shrimp
Step 1: Set Up Tank And Filter
You would require at least 10 gallons of tank space for the breeding process of ghost shrimps. A 10-gallon tank should be filled with pure and clean water. It is advised to use a filter with a greater surface area to clean the water more efficiently. Tanks should contain some aquatic plants as these plants suck up carbon dioxide and keep the water oxygenated by releasing oxygen into the water.
Step 2: Install An Air Pump
A very important factor to consider is the air pump. It’s crucial to install the air pump in your shrimp tank. With the help of an air pump, your shrimp will have no difficulty breathing. If you think an air pump is a waste of money. So, you are wrong. If your ghost shrimp don’t get a tank with an installed air pump, it will die.
Step 3: Bottom Cover
When you talk about the bottom of a tank, you can add gravel to the bottom of the tank. However, in the case of ghost shrimps, you need to be more careful about the color of the gravel. It is because it affects the transparency of the baby shrimps. Therefore, using light-colored gravel or sand is the best for baby shrimps.
Step 4: Fill With Water
Filling the tank with clean and pure water is a must as it facilitates the good growth of baby shrimps. Also, you should have some pH checking strips ready with you to check the water’s pH level. Make sure you keep the pH level of water near to 7 (neutral) to develop baby shrimps.
Step 5: Add Plants
Breeding bottom with some plantations is a good idea as it helps create a good breeding environment. In addition, plants provide a good hiding spot for baby ghost shrimps. Finally, as the ghost Shrimps are omnivorous, the plants also act as a good food source for the young ones.
Young ones can also get a good amount of algae to eat and survive with the help of the plants. Java moss, Anubias, Hygrophila difformis, Coontail, Echinodorus grisebachii, Buce, and Water lettuce are some good plants that you can add to your ghost shrimp breeding tank.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Female ghost shrimp lay around 20-30 eggs at one time. It takes about 21 days to lay the eggs. However, these shrimps carry the eggs for about a week on their body. Then, they carry them under their tail.
Ghost shrimp has a short life span of about one year. However, they grow at quite a fast rate, and within a few weeks, they grow into a small version of adults. After five weeks, these creatures become fully developed and can be used for breeding. It means they can now give birth to young ones.
Before laying the eggs, the ghost shrimp (female) carries the eggs along with it. First, it keeps fanning its legs to keep the eggs properly oxygenated. Then, a ghost shrimp carries her eggs under her tail until the eggs hatch. The eggs would hatch within three weeks.
When the new ones come out of the eggs, they start growing faster. However, during their growth phase, they turn white, which is not an issue. It happens due to their processes of shedding their exoskeleton. It is advised to feed them with a boiled cuttle pet bone during this process.
Also, some crushed eggshells can be added to the water as a cure to this milky color due to the shedding of the exoskeleton. Finally, you would be able to feed the young ones with liquid fry food and micro worms once they are separated from their mother’s swimmerets.
Ghost Shrimps are beautiful creatures to own. Their transparent bodies are eye-catching. The aquarium fills up with joy when these beautiful little creatures are joyfully swirling around into the water. Although these have a life span of one year, these beautiful creatures will leave a great emotional impact on you. When you keep them with non-aggressive small fish, they give the best view.