Ghost Shrimp, the Other White Meaton February 15th, 2011 at 8:23 pm
Ghost shrimp, if you haven’t seen them before, are small 1-2 inch shrimp that live in freshwater. They’re commonly sold as feeder shrimp. Meant to be purchased as food for predatory fish, the price can range from 10 for a $1 to 3 or 4 for $1. In my local area they average about $30 cents each. While these shrimp make great feeders, they also make great pets!
These cheap characters are great for tanks without predators also. In a community aquarium, they act as scavengers, eating any leftover food or fish waste. For a few dollars you can add a clean up crew to your tank that’ll rival the best of cleaners.
They’re hardy once adapted to your aquarium. They can live in cool water and tropical temperatures. They can adapt to any pH between 6.8 and 7.8 range. They can be taken outside of these ranges with more care. Unfortunately, acclimating them to your aquarium can be slightly difficult. They are kept in overpopulated tanks from the time they leave the pond they’re bred in. It’s not uncommon for them to be sharing a tank with thousands of other ghost shrimp. Most stores will simply scoop up the number you request. Select picking the shrimp is not offered at the “feeder” shrimp price. It is best to buy a few dollars worth. In my experience I have a 75% living rate on the feeders. The great thing is, the ones that were unfortunately too weak to make the change are now great food for the remaining shrimps. The only thing the ghost shrimp require is a little bit of calcium in their diet. This can be accomplished by offering them some “crab bites” or other high calcium aquatic foods.
Now to the best part, these shrimp are hilarious! They have big enough arms to pick up shrimp pellets and walk around with them. They also swim gloriously through the water with fluttering arms. On the ground the stalk around foraging the depths of your tank for food. When startled, they dart backwards like a squid returning to the deep sea.
These little gems often go unnoticed by the community tank hobbyist. As “feeders” are generally not needed in these setups. If you picked up and enjoyed some White Clouds I recommended in a previous article, you’ll be sure to love these little gems. Many advanced keepers also enjoy the company of ghost shrimp. Usually they just need to see them to remember how they haven’t had them in a long time. Then they promptly order $5 worth and talk about their funny ghost shrimp stories.
Do yourself a favor and pick up some of these shrimp. In my opinion it’s the best money to fish ratio out there and are tons of entertainment for your couch change!
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