Whisker Shrimp vs. Ghost Shrimp | Which Is Easy To Keep?

Jul 16, 2021

Whisker Shrimp vs. Ghost Shrimp

Often the ghost shrimps are mistaken with whisker shrimp and vice versa. Both these shrimps are an excellent addition to your tank and help keep your tank clean. However, if you are confused about which shrimps would fare better for your liking, you need to know their differences and similarities. So, in this article, we will venture more into whisker shrimp vs. ghost shrimp.

Appearance: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Both these shrimps look alike, and that’s the reason why there are instances when a buyer who buys a particular shrimp turns out to be another. This is because both these shrimps have a white and translucent appearance.

The inner parts of their body can be seen clearly with our naked eyes. It’s incredible to watch how their digestive system works while feeding.

Despite the uncanny resemblance, the ghost shrimps have red dots on their tail and red lines on their arms, whereas the whisker shrimps have faint blue.

In size, both the whisker and ghost shrimps can grow up to 2 inches. However, as adult, whisker shrimps will have slightly longer claw arms than ghost shrimps.

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Feeding: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Like every other shrimp, both the whisker and ghost shrimps are omnivorous and will feed on almost anything. So be it algae, dead plant parts, or shrimp pellets, you can provide a similar diet for both of them.

You can feed them shrimp pellets, fish flakes, and other commercial wafers, which you can find in your local pet store or online. This will do the job.

For feeding frequency, there’s not much difference among these two shrimps. However, you need to be mindful when feeding your whisker shrimps, as they tend to get more aggressive when fed inadequately. Due to underfeeding, whisker shrimps are known to pounce upon other inhabitants of the tank.

Size of the Tank: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Unlike Amano shrimps, both the whisker shrimps and ghost shrimps are relatively smaller in size. You can easily fit a single shrimp in a 2-gallon tank, but it isn’t recommended that you keep a single shrimp in a tank. Your shrimps like to live in a troupe, i.e., you need to keep at least 5 of them together. So, for accommodating a troupe of 5 shrimps, you will require a 5-gallon tank.

Usually, ghost shrimps do not require a larger tank, but things can get different in the case of whisker shrimps. Whisker shrimps are aggressive and can cause trouble when housed in a smaller tank. They can get territorial and will try to hunt smaller inhabitants in your tank. So, I recommend getting a larger tank able to house a thriving whisker shrimps population. Get at least a minimum of 10 gallons for your whisker shrimps.

Water Parameters: Ghost Shrimp Vs. Whisker Shrimp

There is not much difference in water requirements for both these shrimps. You can maintain anywhere from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit for both of them to thrive. The pH value of water should be between 6.0 and 8.0.

A lesser amount of nitrate and nitrite is preferred for both of them. Ghost shrimps are much hardy than whisker shrimps, so your ghost shrimps are more likely to fare well in low-quality water than the former.

Like every other shrimps and crustacean, these shrimps can react badly with minor water changes. Therefore, changing water is a critical moment for aquatics, and you need to be careful when doing it. Never change the water completely.

Lighting can be basic for both shrimps. However, these shrimps are diurnal, so you shouldn’t keep the lights on 24/7, as this will only stress them out.

Tankmates: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Among these two, ghost shrimps are known for their gentle temperament. Nevertheless, whisker shrimps are also compatible with most.

Tankmates like nerite snails, mystery snails, corys, ottos, guppies, tetras can be excellent tank mates for both these shrimps. In addition, shrimps like Amano shrimps, bamboo shrimps, and vampire shrimps can also live in harmony with these shrimps.

You need to be careful about who you keep your shrimps with. Their little body with no specific defense mechanism will make them easy prey for bigger and aggressive inhabitants. Tiger barbs, redtail sharks, flowerhorn cichlids are some of the tank mates known to gobble your shrimps, and you should avoid them.

Maintenance Difficulty: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Both these shrimps are easy to maintain. Minimum care is enough to keep them in your tank. Both are beginner-friendly; thus, you will not have trouble keeping them – unlike other caridina species, which require a bit of work.

In terms of their ability to clean the tank, these shrimps aren’t in the same league as Amano shrimps but can do their fair share of algae cleaning off your tank. Maintain water parameters and feed them enough, and they will thrive in your aquarium.

Behavior and Temperament: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Whisker shrimps have an aggressive temperament, so they will be aggressive when they feel their territory is encroached, whereas ghost shrimp will remain subdued during encroachment by other inhabitants.

Both shrimps dwell in substrate and graze on the leftover foods and feces, along with food pellets. Whisker shrimps, in general, go into a food frenzy whenever you drop food in the tank. However, ghost shrimps can also get aggressive when they are in large numbers with limited space and food scarcity.

So, closely monitor how your shrimps react in the tank. If you notice aggressive behavior while feeding, you need to move them to a bigger tank.

Life Span: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Both the shrimps can live up to 2 years in captivity. However, one cannot be sure if every shrimp will make it to their second birthday. Reports have revealed that some shrimps can outlive others despite being the same species. Maintain water parameters with timely water changing, and your shrimps can live for a much more extended period than in the wild.

Breeding: Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

The only significant difference in both these shrimp is breeding. Breeding for whisker shrimps is tedious and requires a meticulous process. Optimal conditions should be met for the whisker shrimp. Although being a freshwater shrimp, whisker shrimp can only breed in brackish water, whereas the ghost shrimp can breed in normal water.

So, if you want your whisker shrimps breeding in the tank, you need to be well versed in this field. Unless you are prepared to take your hobby to the next level, the chances of breeding whisker shrimp in your home are slim to none.

Finals Words on Whisker Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

The resemblance of both these shrimps is high and sometimes cannot be distinguished even by pros. Their similarity in appearance is why most hobbyists mistake them for one another. The whisker shrimps have a slightly elongated body than ghost shrimps.

Almost all water parameters and tank mates of these shrimps match, and both are easy for beginners to keep. However, a significant difference exists between these two. As I have already mentioned that whisker shrimps require salty water, whereas ghost shrimps can breed in normal water. Other than that, their feeding, tank mates, and habitat are similar.

Relevant Readings:

Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Hair Algae? What About Blue-green And Black Beard Algae?

How Long Do Amano Shrimps Live? Why Is My Amano Dying?

Ghost Shrimp Parasite? Try These 2 Treatments!

rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.