Ghost Shrimp are small-sized crustaceans popular in home aquariums. And if you’ve got algae in your tank then they’re going to make great cleaners.
Guppies are among the most popular, colorful, and easiest of aquarium fish to keep. So Can Ghost Shrimp and Guppies live together? We discuss their temperaments, habitats, and diets to find out.
So Can Guppies And Ghost Shrimps Live Together?
To answer the question.. YES guppies and ghost shrimp can definitely live together, and they actually make fantastic tank mates. You just need to make sure the shrimp aren’t too small, otherwise they may end up being eaten.
Not all fish behave the same. There will be differences among species, and even among individuals of the same species. Some are peaceful, while others are semi-aggressive or aggressive.
And not all crustaceans can coexist with all fish species in the same environment. Some fish will simply eat your crustaceans up. And it can go the other way round too. Some crustaceans will catch and eat smaller fish.
Guppies are mostly peaceful fish. The males can sometimes display aggression towards each other, but nothing too violent. Females are not at all aggressive (unless they’re pregnant, then they may compete for food.) Guppies are known as shoaling fish. They like to move about in a social group, but will not swim in synchronized patterns. They only form a school when they feel threatened.
Similar-looking and similar-sized species of guppies will swim together in a tank. They are active fish and can sometimes jump out of the tank. A tank lid might be a good idea if you are thinking of acquiring guppies.
These fish are as prolific as they are very eager when it comes to breeding. They are what are known as livebearers, and their young are born swimming. The parents do not care for their young, and will happily eat them if given a chance.
Ghost Shrimp Temperament
The Ghost Shrimp is also known as the Glass Shrimp because of its semi-translucent nature. There are several species, but most stores just sell them all as Ghost Shrimp. They are small-sized and will romp all over your tank.
Lively and active, they are constant movers. They are very good scavengers and will free-swim all over your tank in search of food debris. Many home tank owners like to keep Ghost Shrimp just for the tank cleaning services. They are also good jumpers, so a tank lid will help.
They will live happily both singly and in groups. But you should know, if they’re kept in a group in a small space, they may display some aggression. They will generally not pay much attention to fish except to try and escape when hunted.
(Find out why cherry shrimp make such great tank mates for guppies as well!)
Habitats and Tank Requirements
Each species of fish comes from a unique habitat and ecosystem. They are best adapted to survive in those specific conditions. To keep your fish happy, your tank needs to mimic its natural habitat as much as possible. It will keep your fish healthy and let them live longer.
Different species of crustaceans also have varying and specific habitats. Just as with fish, it is best to mimic their natural habitat closely. It will prolong your crustaceans’ lifespan and keep them healthier.
The Guppy is a freshwater, tropical fish. Its native habitat is in northern South America and the Caribbean Islands. People have introduced them elsewhere too, and they can now be found in many other regions around the world.
They generally avoid deep and fast-moving waters due to their small size. Much as they prefer freshwater, they can also be found in brackish ecosystems. Guppies can often be found in streams, ponds, and small pools of clean, warm water. The waters they inhabit have some vegetation but are clear and let light through. They can be found in places with all kinds of substrates.
Guppy Tank Requirements
Guppies will do best in warm water kept at 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They are small-sized fish and do not like strong currents, so a basic water filter is enough. These are very tolerant fish and can survive in a wide pH range, from 5.5 to 8.5. However, they will be happiest if you maintain your water pH levels at 7-7.2. (Find out more about a guppies ideal pH.)
These fish are not particular about the substrate, so the choice is up to you. If you will be keeping them with other species, match the substrate to suit their tankmates. They need sufficient light, however. Provide 8-10 hours daily using an aquarium lamp. (Find out more about a guppies lighting requirement.)
Keep your tank water clean. Guppies like to swim through and hide in vegetation, so provide some in your tank. Java moss is a great choice. Amazon Sword and Java Fern will also work well.
Being small in size, guppies require less space than some other fish species. You need at least 2-3 gallons of water for one adult guppy. However, they’re social little guys and prefer living together, given a chance. A 10-gallon tank is sufficient for 3 guppies. Guppies swim horizontally rather than vertically, so a long tank is better than a tall one.
Ghost Shrimp Habitat
These little crustaceans are native to North America, but can now be found in other geographical areas too. There are several species, all commonly referred to as Ghost or Glass Shrimp. They inhabit freshwater streams and rivers with moderate flow. Conditions are tropical, and water temperatures remain warm.
They are normally found in environments with plenty of aquatic vegetation to hide under and feed on. Waters with lots of rocks and crevices are preferred. Their native waters are hard, with a pH of 7.0-8.0.
A Ghost Shrimp’s lifespan is about one year. Females will produce green-colored eggs and carry them on their legs until the baby shrimp hatch. Neither sex participates in taking care of their young. Females will even eat their young if they can get at them.
Ghost Shrimp Tank Requirements
Given their small size, Ghost Shrimp don’t require much space. You can safely keep 3-4 of them per gallon of water. A 5-gallon tank is a good starting point. Keep in mind that size requirements will go up if you are keeping some fish in the tank too.
To mimic their native, tropical conditions, keep the water warm at 65-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They may tolerate lower than that, but it will stress them. Keep your water slightly hard, and maintain the pH levels at 7.0-8.0. Get a light flow going using a filter or air pump.
Ghost Shrimp love plenty of vegetation, so be sure to put some in your aquarium. Java moss, hornwort, and Cabomba are some good, easily available examples. You can use gravel or sand for a substrate. Shrimp are not particular about light, so use some just for ambiance.
Tank conditions and diet are the two things that determine how healthy your aquatic life is. Giving your fish the right food in the right quantities will go a long way. Improper feeding may delay growth, weaken immunity, and even cause illness.
Guppies are omnivores. In the wild, guppies will consume both plant and animal matter, feeding on vegetation and insects. Insect larvae are another guppy favorite in the wild. They do best when a variety of food sources is available.
To keep your tank guppies healthy, you can provide a mixture of live and frozen foods. Brine shrimp is a good source of nutrition. To supplement this, you can feed spirulina and algae tabs. Balanced fish flakes are also a good option. Keep it varied, and don’t feed live food daily.
Guppies should be fed once or twice daily. Give them as much as they can eat in about a minute, and remove any uneaten food.
Ghost Shrimp Diet
These little crustaceans are omnivores and will eat just about anything. In the wild, they will feed on algae, other plant matter, and animal matter too.
When keeping shrimp in a tank, you can feed them just about anything. From flake food and shrimp pellets to algae, vegetables, and worms, they will gobble it all. You may not need to feed your shrimp daily, especially if you also keep fish in the tank.
The shrimp constantly graze on the vegetation and biomatter in the tank, digging through the substrate. They also eat any left-over fish flakes that sink to the bottom.
If and when you do feed them, remove any uneaten food after 4 hours. If your shrimp are not going for their food 10 minutes after you dropped it in, remove it. It means they are not hungry. Give them a couple of days and try again.
How to Make it Work?
Guppies and Ghost Shrimp can live together happily. Guppies are peaceful and will only try to eat the tiniest of shrimps. The Ghost Shrimps will help keep the tank clean and add variety.
Here’s a simple checklist for your tank:
- Keep the water at 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Maintain pH at 7.0-7.2, and keep the water slightly hard
- Use sand or gravel as a substrate
- Provide plenty of vegetation
- Use a medium-power filter and keep the water clean
Ghost Shrimp and Guppies will be happy coexisting in the same tank. Guppies are peaceful by nature, and the little shrimps will do a lot of cleaning for you.
Check out the website to find more companion species for Ghost Shrimps and Guppies. You’ll find lots of tips and pointers on setting up a beautiful tank with happy tankmates.