Ghost Shrimp and Betta: Can they Live together?

If you own a betta, you surely know all about its needs and what are the requirements necessary for keeping a fish of such magnificent beauty. But knowing what tank mates can live with it is quite a different thing. We are going to tell you about the challenges that you need to deal with if you want to join a betta with a ghost shrimp. It is one of the kinds that can get along with a betta but with bettas you never know.

There are a majority of cases where bettas and ghost shrimp live together as tankmates peacefully if you have provided the right tank for both. 

Water Conditions for Ghost Shrimp and Bettas

Providing a tank and perfect water conditions is not so difficult if you deal with just one kind of fish. But in this case, you want to bring in a mate to your betta, a ghost shrimp, so you need to deal with its requirements too.  We will inform you thoroughly about all the things you need to know and how to make the habitat compatible for both species if you decide to join these two.

Ghost shrimp, as well as bettas, accept a wide range of conditions and that is why it is not that difficult to match them. Ghost shrimps tolerate the water between 65 and 80 degrees. With bettas, it is between 76 and 82 which is almost a perfect match. Both kinds of fish like warm water so they do not have to adapt. If you keep the temperature at 78 F it will suit both kinds. Talking about nitrite and ammonia levels the parameters are the same 0ppm. 

Talking about Bettas, the pH of the water should be between 6,5 and 7,5 while the range with a ghost shrimp is between 7 and 8, so keeping it at 7 is an ideal number. 

When it comes to the size of a tank generally, they need at least 5 gallons for a comfortable life. Take into account that bettas are territorial and they like their space so if you decide to keep a betta and several ghost shrimps you need at least a 20 gallons tank. Arrange a proper surrounding, lots of plants and decorations and arrange the bottom of the tank properly. The thing you should provide is a substrate which should be sand, soil or gravel. Since ghost shrimps like foraging, this way they will enjoy and will not have the chance of hurting themselves. 

Do Ghost Shrimps get along with bettas?

Ghost shrimps are very interesting to watch but they are a kind that easily gets scared. They like to hide because they don`t like sudden movements and noise. If they feel comfortable in their surroundings you can see them foraging in the foreground. Mostly they leave their hiding places at night when there is less chance to be attacked or eaten by other fish.

One thing about their behavior that can alert you is curling and molting. Every once in a while, ghost shrimps molt so you will just notice the shell laying in the tank. Your shrimp isn`t dead and you do not have to be afraid.  Do not remove the shell but let it sink and the shrimp will eat it because it is very nutritious.  

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Betta Food?

It is very easy to feed a ghost shrimp because they will eat almost anything and whatever your betta pet doesn’t eat a ghost shrimp will. They are great cleaners of the tank. A ghost shrimp will eat plants, algae and meat. You can see it eating a biofilm of tank decorations such as rocks, plants, driftwood and all the leftovers. They are great helpers in preventing algae from taking over your aquarium. However, you should serve some sinking wafers for your shrimp too and feed your shrimps every day. 

Sometimes a shrimp will swim to the top to eat betta’s food and that is when the aggression could happen. In this case, you need to be very careful or your shrimp will become a meal to your betta. 

How to choose a Ghost Shrimp?

When it comes to choosing a ghost shrimp the best advice is to try with a direct breeder but if that is not the option for you try with a reputable pet store. What should you look at when choosing a ghost shrimp?

First we need to know what a ghost shrimp looks like. They are, as the name indicates, transparent, with a yellow or orange spot at the center of the tail and with a little hump. Their body is segmented and they have ten sets of legs.  They grow up to 1.5 inches and their life span is rather short, only around a year. 

The first thing before you buy one is to observe a tank that should be clean. Always avoid fish from a dirty tank or specimens that have anything that is not normal on their body. That means that they are sick. Look for a ghost shrimp that is completely clear and the one you can see through. That one is healthy and you can introduce it to your tank. If a ghost shrimp looks milky, cloudy or white that one is not healthy so pass that shrimp or even a store. 

How many Ghost Shrimps can I keep with my Betta?

Ghost shrimps usually go in groups of two to four. If you keep less than two, they can get lonely and in the case of having more than four water quality problems may occur. So many owners make a decision to keep just two but, in a large tank, and with an experienced fish keeper, you can have more. 

If you want to avoid aggression, do it by providing a tank that is big enough and fill it in with a lot of plants and decorations, that way each kind of fish will have its own space and things to be entertained with.

Finally, depending on the temperament of your fish you can keep a betta and 2 to 4 ghost shrimps. It is preferable that you keep a female betta because they tend to be less aggressive. 

Final thoughts

Here are some important things you have to remember if you want to keep a betta and a ghost shrimp together in a tank. 

  • Make sure that the tank is big enough at least 10 gallons but it is preferred to be 20 gallons for a betta and 3 to 4 ghost shrimps
  • have plenty of decorations, plants well-arranged and a sandy substrate
  • in case you notice aggression have an extra tank ready in case you need to separate them
  • provide a lot of hiding places 
  • provide a balanced diet so that both fish needs are satisfied or your betta will be extra aggressive 
  • keep the water parameters within the range for both kinds
  • introduce a healthy specimen to your betta pet

Keep in mind that in most cases it will depend on the temperament of your betta, they can be difficult tank mates. If you provide an appropriate environment for your ghost shrimps and you keep your betta pet well fed you will increase the chance of keeping the shrimps alive. 

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