Credits: Angel Harvey on Flickr under Creative Commons license
Ghost shrimps are one of the easiest shrimps that you can have in your tank. They will feed on the leftovers from the fish foods and will clean debris off your substrate. However, they first need to be in a safe environment to perform such a utilitarian job. Unfortunately, not all tank mates are friendly towards ghost shrimps. In fact, the popular aquatic creatures that we keep are some of the hostile tank mates for these hardworking shrimps. They will devour them in a flash.
And if you are planning to keep ghost shrimps in your tank, then you should know which tank mates are good for it and which are not.
So, What Eats Ghost Shrimps?
Goldfish, angelfish, bettas, cichlids, frogs, turtles, crayfish, gourami, danios are some of the worst tank mates that can eat ghost shrimps. On the other hand, your ghost shrimps can peacefully cohabitate with friendly tankmates like Ruby tetra, small Guppies, neon Tetra, otocinclus, Pygmy Cory catfish, panda garra, Hillstream butterfly Loach, etc.
Now, let’s quickly look at the potential ghost shrimp predators!
This species from the carp family loves eating shrimps. And your ghost shrimps won’t be an exception. They eat every other small fish, along with ghost shrimps in the tank. Their calm temperament applies only to tank mates that are equal to or larger than them.
However, if your goldfish is smaller than your shrimps, they won’t see your ghost shrimps as their meal. But it’s only a matter of time before they eventually outgrow ghost shrimps and try to snack on them. So, it’s only postponing the inevitable.
Don’t fall for the moniker. Angelfish are anything but angels for ghost shrimps. Their omnivorous instinct means they will immediately see your shrimps as snacks and will pounce upon them.
But just like young goldfish, they will not prey upon the larger shrimps. But if you are keeping them together, your ghost shrimps are living on borrowed time. So, don’t be surprised when these angelfish outgrow and eat your ghost shrimps.
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Bettas are a delight for aquariums but not for your ghost shrimps. Admittedly, shrimps aren’t mainly your bettas’ favorite food, but the inquisitive nature of your ghost shrimps will take them to bettas’ lair, and this indeed triggers the bettas’ predatory instinct.
This attack on ghost shrimps usually happens if the tank is congested, increasing the frequency of encounters. For example, a betta needs at least a 10-gallon tank. So make sure you are providing enough space for your bettas to live without encountering shrimps too often.
A popular aquarium fish, cichlids, will prey upon the ghost shrimps. They are territorial and will attack your ghost shrimps if they are in the perimeter. Cichlids are aggressive, and it will be a wrong choice to put them with ghost shrimps.
If you are using ghost shrimps as a feeder, your cichlids definitely appreciates that.
Aquarium frogs, especially the African dwarf frog, will eat your ghost shrimp. In the wild, the sight of frogs eating shrimps is rare as both prefer to live in slightly different habitats. But if you are keeping them together in a tank, you are keeping your shrimps in danger.
Ghost shrimps often dwell in the substrate areas, typically not frogs’ favorite places to live. Also, the shrimps’ agility is quick enough to avoid your frogs’ attacks. So a heavily planted tank that has lots of space for both of them to cohabitate might save your ghost shrimps from being eaten by your frogs.
Ghost shrimps love eating turtle pellets. So, when you add pellets to the tank for your turtles, these shrimps will always make a move. And when your turtle notices that, it will chase the shrimps and eat them along with the stolen pellets.
So, opt for a larger tank and put pellets near the turtle’s favorite spots rather than scattering them all over the tank.
Generally, turtles aren’t as greedy as other aquatics. They can go without eating for weeks. But if you have juvenile turtles, they will be searching for high-protein food, and in this case, your ghost shrimps. So it is a bad idea to put turtles and ghost shrimps together.
A crustacean, crayfish, will never miss a chance if it lays its claws on a ghost shrimp. However, it all depends upon its mood and appetite. A well-planted tank will help your ghost shrimps make narrow escapes if chased by your crayfish.
Native to Southeast Asian countries, gourami fish are territorial and aggressive. Not only ghost shrimps, but they will nip the fins off other fish too if they encroach their territory. If you want to keep these two pets together, you have to get a larger tank with a heavy plantation. This will help your shrimps hide and be safe from the gouramis.
Albeit the same size when fully grown, your ghost shrimps can still be prey for Danios. Most of them grow up to 2 inches, while some giant danios can grow up to 5 inches. Though your danios might not attempt to approach adult ghost shrimps, they will prey upon the shrimplets.
Danios are highly active, so there’s a high chance that they will have frequent encounters with ghost shrimps. And this encounter will surely turn morbid for ghost shrimps.
So Who Are The Friendly Tank Mates For Ghost Shrimps?
Tankmates that can be kept with ghost shrimps are Otocinclus, Ruby Tetra, small guppies, Neon Tetra, Swordtail, Nerite snails, Amano shrimps, and Cherry shrimps.
How Can You Protect Your Ghost Shrimps From Tank Mates?
Ghost shrimps are vulnerable to various species, so you need to provide safety measures that favor their survival. Here’s how you can protect your ghost shrimps from tank mates: plants, decorations, and a big tank
Planted tanks provide lots of hiding places for ghost shrimps from the aggressive tank mates. You can include Java moss, Anubias, Cr.yptyocorynes, Dwarf Lillies, Vallisnera, Water Wisteria, Java Fern, etc.
These plants will become a haven for your ghost shrimps to hide from other tank mates. Usually, larger fishes will not venture into a plant forest looking for shrimps, and thus, protecting your ghost shrimps from them.
And these ghost shrimps dwell among the plants when threatened and eventually show up after days. So, having plants in your aquarium will help your ghost shrimps be safe from predator tank mates.
Use Decorations For Your Shrimps To Hide
Decorations, both natural and artificial, help your shrimps be safe in a community tank. Decors like driftwoods, tubes, caves, pebbles, and soft substrates provide the opportunity to bury themselves when big predators are nearby – thus, increases the shrimps’ survival in a community tank.
Put Them In A Larger Tank.
More space in the tank means fewer encounters between your ghost shrimps and other tank mates. And your ghost shrimplets will have a higher chance of surviving in this vulnerable stage. So, a larger tank minimizes the chances of bumping into larger tank mates.
Final Words On What Eats Ghost Shrimps
Ghost shrimps have many enemies. Unfortunately, they do not have any defensive features which protect them from their predators. The only defensive feature is their hind legs. It helps them bounce off quickly from dangerous situations, but that only works against slower tank pals like crayfish. But they, too, can catch ghost shrimps when confined in a small tank.
It is best to know which tank mates won’t harm these beautiful shrimps who do a marvelous job – cleaning the leftovers in the tank. So, keep them in well-planted tanks that are large and have lots of hiding spaces for your ghost shrimps to live their full lives.