How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live (Increase Their Lifespan)

Ghost shrimp are often found among the living coral reefs of Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and Hawaii. They typically inhabit depths from 20 feet (around six meters) below sea level to 130 feet (approximately 40 meters). They may also be kept in captivity or for fish feeding purposes.

Ghost Shrimp typically live for around one year in captivity. In captivity, Ghost Shrimp live much longer than one year because of a stable environment with plenty of food sources available to them at all times. 

Read on to discover how long Ghost shrimp live in specific conditions and how to increase their lifespan. Additionally, we’ll discuss some factors that may decrease their lifespans and how to prevent that from happening. 

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live?

Ghost Shrimp are omnivores and will eat fresh meat and vegetables alike. Some of the main foods included in a Ghost shrimp diet include:

  • Algae
  • Plankton
  • Diatoms (fossilized plants)
  • Other small invertebrates or any organic material they may come across. 
  • Ghost shrimp also scavenge for dead animals in the water column.

Ghost Shrimp typically live for around one year in captivity. They get their name from the fact that when you disturb or easily catch them, they will disappear, leaving just a white “ghost” behind. Ghost shrimp also scavenge for dead animals floating on the surface and can survive up to six months without feeding on algae while waiting for carcasses to sink.

Ghost Shrimp can usually be found hiding under rocks or ledges during daylight hours as their coloring blends well into these areas, making it difficult to spot them from above while swimming on top of the ocean floor. 

Ghost shrimp use their “saw” like mouthparts or thorax appendages to feed on various types of plant matter such as seagrass or algae at night due to the low light levels. Ghost shrimps feed during daylight hours when more sunlight is available but occasionally venture out at night if food resources are scarce. 

Their life spans can range from one year for the young ghost shrimp up to two years or more in adults. 

What Can Shorten A Ghost Shrimp’s Lifespan?

Ghost shrimp live up to two years in the wild, but some may not find a partner and reproduce before reaching sexual maturity. In this case, ghost shrimps only live one year at most after reaching adulthood. 

Ghost shrimp are also known as white shrimp or crystal shrimp because their translucent bodies make them seem like ghosts when swimming among the water plants on the bottom of ponds or lakes. They prefer shallow waters where sunlight penetrates algae to grow to have access to food all day long. Many factors may shorten a ghost shrimp’s lifespan.

Ghost Shrimps Low Swimming Ability

A Ghost shrimp’s low swimming ability may be one cause for a short lifespan. Ghost Shrimp are a type of freshwater shrimp that live in slow-moving or still water. 

Ghost Shrimps have adapted to living in muddy environments, and, unlike other types of shrimp, Ghost Shrimps do not swim well. Ghost shrimps get around by using their antennae for balance instead.

Ghost shrimp may be eaten by prey fish like the catfish or caught and eaten by other animals. Ghost Shrimps are also prey for fish that live in water deep enough to swim around, like bass, trout, and pike.

A Ghost shrimp’s low swimming ability may make them easy targets for predators because Ghost shrimps have a hard time escaping from their enemies. Ghost Shrimp lifespan might be shortened if they get captured easily due to their weak swimming abilities.

Ghost Shrimp Exposure To Pollutants

Exposure to pollutants like pesticides, fertilizers, and algae blooms can contaminate their habitat and them when ingested. Ghost Shrimp live in shallow waters, and when Ghost shrimps are exposed to these pollutants, their lifespan can be shortened. 

Ghost shrimp might eat algae blooms that contain harmful toxins like those found in pesticides, which could shorten the Ghost shrimp’s lifespan too.

If Ghost Shrimp get caught as prey easily or ingest toxic substances from their habitat, then Ghost Shrimp lifespan will decrease drastically.

How Can You Increase Your Ghost Shrimp Lifespan?

Ghost Shrimp live in shallow waters, so if you have Ghost shrimp, make sure their habitat is not contaminated with pollutants, and they are not being preyed on by other animals in the tank.  Ghost Shrimp live in freshwater, so make sure their water is not prone to algae and seaweeds. 

Ghost shrimp have a lifespan of about one to two years, but if you take care of them, your Ghost shrimp can live up to two years!

Proper Ghost Shrimp Care

Ghost Shrimp are more resilient than many other freshwater creatures because they come from waters near the coastlines. In general, it’s best for Ghost shrimps to be kept at temperatures around 74 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, with plenty of hiding places where they feel secure.

Ghost Shrimp need a diet rich in protein sources like worms, which should always be provided as part of their daily food regimen due to its high protein content. You’ll also want to provide Ghost shrimp with a varied diet of other foods, including live plants and fresh vegetables.

Ghost Shrimp are usually laid-back creatures that will do well in a variety of environments, but they need plenty of space for their water, so make sure you have a tank at least ten gallons or larger if you’re going to keep Ghost shrimp as pets. 

Ghost Shrimp Tank Requirements

Ghost Shrimp are one of the most popular freshwater animals to keep in a tank, and for a good reason! Ghost shrimp require little attention from their owner and only need a ten-gallon or larger sized aquarium if they’re going to be kept as pets. 

Ghost shrimp enjoy digging into sand that has been dusted with dried food, so make sure you have high-quality substrate available at all times. Ghost Shrimp also do well on eating but may refuse due to their daily food regimen due to its high protein content. 

A Ghost Shrimp is typically happy living in ten-gallon-sized tanks or larger, but they too require various foods and substrate to be healthy. 

The Ghost shrimp do not need much attention from their owner as long as the water quality is maintained regularly. It also needs high-quality sand dusted with dried food particles available at all times, along with fresh vegetables and varied diets. 

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Why Do Your Ghost Shrimp Keep Dying?

Ghost shrimp lifespan is 18 months which is fairly short compared to other invertebrates like crayfish that may live up to five years! Ghost Shrimp requires high-quality sand dusted with dried food particles available at all times, along with fresh vegetables and varied diets.

Ghost Shrimp Will Die if Not Fed Properly

Ghost Shrimp needs a good diet so it can stay alive for longer periods of time. If you want your ghost shrimp to last longer, give them plenty of food such as dry flakes or pellets (as well as veggies!). 

The proper diet of a ghost fish consists of a variety of both protein and vegetable-based foods. Ghost Shrimp will die if not properly fed because they’re so sensitive to their environment and the food that they eat.

As Ghost Shrimp is an omnivore, it does not eat exclusively plant matter as its shrimp cousins do. Ghost Shrimp should also have access to both meaty foods and vegetables. 

Ghost shrimps love eating algae, so you might want them to have some form of food containing algae (such as fresh green leaves) every day. Water quality must always remain pristine – don’t allow any signs of ammonia build-up or other toxins in water by changing.

Don’t Fail To Provide Ghost Shrimp With a Clean Environment!

Ghost shrimp lifespan can be extended by providing them with an appropriate living space. If you want your ghost shrimp to live longer, don’t forget about water quality or the cleanliness in which it lives. This is very important for all animals’ health but particularly crucial when the animal has such a short life expectancy as Ghost Shrimp does. 

If you provide Ghost Shrimp with a clean habitat (which includes regularly changing filter media), then they might be able to live for two to three years. Ghost Shrimp can live for a lot longer if they are in conditions that meet their needs and will grow to be the size of your palm!


Ghost Shrimp live for a short time in the wild because they are prey to many predators. With some simple adjustments, you can make your aquarium environment more stable and give these shrimp plenty of food sources at all times. 

Ghost Shrimp typically live for around one year in captivity, but when kept in a stable environment with plenty of food sources available to them at all times, they can live much longer. The abundance of resources allows its body to grow and thrive enough to not succumb to predation or other adverse factors.