Can Ghost Shrimp Live In Cold Water?

Ghost shrimp are fascinating little creatures to get, but can you put them in a coldwater aquarium or need a tropical aquarium to survive. Whatever they need, they are great for children and adults alike, who can learn a lot from caring for them.

Ghost shrimp can live in cold water and survive temperatures as low as 45 Fahrenheit in the wild, but the best temperature range to keep them in is between 65 and 82 Fahrenheit.

There are several different species of transparent shrimp sold as Ghost shrimp or Glass shrimp.

Get The Right Ghost Shrimp

If you are planning to get them, make sure you get freshwater ghost shrimp. Sometimes the type of ghost shrimp sold in pet stores will need brackish water to survive. If you put them in a freshwater aquarium, it wouldn’t be long before they would die. 

However, most ghost shrimp sold in pet stores are a freshwater species and will thrive in both cold water and tropical aquariums.

ghost shrimp head

Now before you part with your money, there are a few things you need to know. For starters, you’ll be glad to know you’ll be getting what is probably the easiest shrimp to look after, and they are excellent for beginners.

It’s also great to know they can be kept in cold water as well as tropical aquariums. You’ll undoubtedly want to know what advantages and disadvantages these two different environments offer to the shrimp.

Although ghost shrimp are exceptionally hardy, you should remember that, like most shrimp, they are sensitive to varying water temperatures. So if you notice they’re looking unwell, check the temperature. 

Ghost Shrimp Temperature

Talking about temperatures, these little fellows can tolerate lows of sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit. If you decide to house them in a tropical tank, the optimum temperature would be around 75 degrees.

You’ll notice the difference in activity from these creatures depending on the temperature. The lower it is, the less animated they’ll be, with higher ones resulting in more active shrimp in your tank. Provided you’re happy to see your shrimp grow faster and reproduce a lot quicker, then a higher degree of heat would get you your desired results, with 85 degrees Fahrenheit being the upper limit for ghost shrimp.

However, you’ll need to know two things here. Higher temperatures will lower dissolved oxygen and which means stocking needs lowering. On the flip side, lower ones could make your ghost shrimp prone to disease. Just stick to the guidelines above, and your shrimp should be excellent.

Water Parameters

But what about pH, nitrate, and ammonia levels? I hear you ask. Good question, and an important one, so let’s get to it and start with pH levels. These can vary between 6.5 and -8, with a neutral range maximizing both health and color. 

Next is nitrite, not to be confused with nitrate. Ghost shrimp are extremely sensitive to this, so make sure it’s 0 ppm. 

Ammonia should also be 0 ppm post cycling as once again; the shrimp are sensitive to heightened levels. 

Although nitrate should be no higher than 20ppm, I’d recommended that you have 0 ppm levels.

Keeping Nitrate Levers Down

More frequent water and plant changes are the right way of keeping nitrate levels in the optimum range, which brings us to the next question that you no doubt feel obliged to ask. 

Water Changes

How do I go about changing the water, and how often? The longer you leave it, the dirtier it will become, and your shrimp’s health will suffer because of it. With this in mind, you’ll be wanting to do at least a 30% water change every week. Make sure you use a glass heater or keep your water in a bucket in the same room to bring the changed water up to the aquarium’s temperature to reduce the shock to the shrimp.

With all this talk of temperature, there’s one thing I have yet to mention, and I’m sure it won’t be long before you ask. 

Do I need a heater for ghost shrimp? Ghost shrimp do not need a heater. If you do decide to use one, remember they’re more active in warmer water, then set it up a couple of days before adding the shrimp.

If you’re considering putting your shrimps with other fish, proceed with caution. Ghost shrimp are peaceful creatures, gentle of nature, and small in size, making them prone to being eaten by larger fish. With this in mind, only house them with small non-aggressive fish if you want to keep them off the lunch menu.

What do Ghost Shrimp eat?

Ghost Shrimp are typically unfussy eaters, see, I told you they were easy to look after. They’ll happily eat the processed flakes and pellets on sale at pet stores. 

ghost shrimp eating

They’re also partial to a bit of boiled zucchini and soft vegetables and will naturally feed on brushed algae. Feeding time can either be a mystifying affair or just downright strange, depending on how you look at it. 

Because these shrimp are translucent, you can see right through them, meaning the food they take in is visible when making its way through the digestive system.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Should You get?

So your mind is made up, you’re going to pay a visit to the pet store and pick up your ghost shrimp. Great, but how many are you going to get, and where will you put them? You may already have an aquarium or small tank to put them in, which is excellent. But is it big enough? Because they produce very little waste, which aids in reducing nitrates, a conservative estimate is ten shrimp per gallon of tank water. 

ghost shrimp with eggs


To keep Ghost shrimp, you don’t need large, expensive tanks or aquariums to look after ghost shrimp. But those numbers could quickly multiply as these little creatures breed quite easily as long as there’s a good ratio of both males and females. You’ll notice that females are a lot bigger than their male counterparts. Turning up the temperature in the tank will speed up the breeding process if breeding’s your plan.

So in general ghost shrimp are easy to look after. They are fascinating, mystifying, cheap, and Ghost shrimp can live in cold water.

Relate Questions

Can ghost shrimp live out of water? Ghost shrimp can’t live out of the water, but they can survive a short period out of the water if they stay wet. They can sometimes climb out of the water looking for a better place, but they will die if they don’t find their way back to water soon.

Can ghost shrimp live alone? Ghost shrimp can live alone, but they are much happier living in a group.


My name is Jaap, and I am a passionate shrimp and fish enthusiast. I rediscovered my love for this hobby with my son and want to share our knowledge and tips with you on this aquarium blog. We cover topics such as setting up and maintaining an aquarium, feeding and breeding your shrimp and fish, and creating the perfect environment for them to thrive.

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