What’s The Best Tank Size For Ghost Shrimp?

While some people use them as feeders or for tank maintenance, ghost shrimp can be fun to watch all on their own. They’re active, graceful, and interesting enough to look at that for some folks, this warrants their own tank! Today we’re going to talk about ghost shrimp tank size so that you know the minimum and the optimal requirements for hosting these spectral shrimp properly.

We’ll also let you know what happens when you DON’T, and we’ll answer some of the most common questions about ghost shrimp tanks so that you can keep your shrimp happy and healthy. Let’s talk about creating happy housing for your ghost shrimp!

What’s The Best Size Tank For Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp are tiny, but they are still going to need a little space to roam. Ideally, a 10-gallon tank is going to be good, but it will really depend on the number of shrimp that you are hosting. If you have a 10-gallon tank and 15 ghost shrimp, for instance, then you are at about twice the minimum requirements, and this really gives them room to move around.

When going for the ‘best’ size, just double the minimums. For every 3 shrimp, increase the project amount size by 2 gallons, and this will give you the ideal scenario if you want the best amount of space for them.

What’s The Minimum Tank Size For Ghost Shrimp?

As far as the bare minimum, the smallest tank to consider is a 5-gallon, which is for 3 -4 shrimp per gallon. It is recommended if you are going with the minimums to shoot for 3 shrimp per gallon, but 4 should be okay as long as you are taking good care of their environment.

What Happens When The Tank Isn’t Big Enough?

Ghost shrimp have short lifespans, which are approximately 1 year in total. They can be a little fragile, however, and it’s not uncommon for a few to die during transportation. When the tank is too small, there are a number of factors that can become problematical quite quickly. Let’s take a look!


While they have short lifespans, these little guys make the most of it, eating up algae and leftovers from other fish and quickly outgrowing their shells. At this point, the ghost shrimp will molt, casting off the old shell and becoming more vulnerable for a brief period until their new shell properly hardens.

While they will often eat bits of the shed-shells and regain some nutrients, with too many shrimp, molting can become a problem that can build up quickly.


As the shrimp and any fish that might be in there with them consume their daily meals, they naturally also have to expel them. The urine and feces raise the ammonia level in the tank, and this can be dangerous to all of the occupants. While a nitrogen cycle can help with this, if the tank is overcrowded, then fatalities are to be expected.

It just makes good sense to go with the extra space in the first place to help avoid issues like this.


One of the reasons they are popular is feeders is that ghost shrimp are quite easy to breed. This is a huge caveat of going with the bare minimum for tank setup if the shrimp are being hosted alone. So, unless you are using them as feeder-fish, then it’s something to keep in mind.

Starvation (In Tanks With Other Fish)

Too many ghost shrimp for the tank means that they will be competing for the available algae, plants, and leftover fish food that are present in the tank. Eventually, they will eat up all of the excesses, and then you are likely to get some fatalities.


Now that we’ve touched on the primary focus of this article let’s go over the most frequently asked questions when it comes to ghost shrimp tank size. We’ll reaffirm what we’ve gone over and introduce a new tip or two, so without further ado, let’s get this FAQ started!

How Many Ghost Shrimp In A 5-Gallon Tank?

With a 5-gallon tank, you generally do not want to have any more than 20 ghost shrimp, with 15 actually being the most ideal scenario. Any more than this, and you will likely lose some of your shrimp, so it’s best to keep the numbers down to play it safe and to keep your shrimp happy.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Per Gallon?

3-4 shrimp per gallon is the bare minimum, though if you are hosting ghost shrimp by themselves, then you might want to go with 3 – 4 shrimp per every 2 gallons. This gives them twice the room to go about their business, and they should be generally happier.

That said, if you’re on a budget, just be sure to at least go with the minimum of 3 -4 shrimp per gallon, and you should be okay.

Can Ghost Shrimp Live In A 1-gallon Tank?

Yes. You can safely host 3 -4 ghost shrimp in a 1-gallon tank; however, in this scenario, we are talking about simply hosting the shrimp by themselves. If you have a lot of other species of fish present in a small tank like this, then filtration is going to be a serious consideration.

There will be a lot of molting, ammonia, and more, so if you have a lot of other fish with the ghost shrimp, then you might want to upgrade the size of your tank.

Can Ghost Shrimp Live In A 2.5-gallon Tank?

Yes. You could realistically host 10 ghost shrimp in the confines of a 2.5-gallon tank, but you will still have to consider how many other fish are being hosted in the same environment. Ghost shrimp don’t really do as well in an uncycled environment, and you’ll want to remember that they breed quickly.

If you are simply using them for cleanup, 6 or 7 ghost shrimp might be a better way to start in a 2.5 gallon that already has a lot of other fish.

How Many Ghost Shrimp Can Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

If you are simply hosting the ghost shrimp alone, then you could have 30 to 40 ghost shrimp in a 10- gallon tank. 30 is obviously less crowded, and remember that they are going to eventually breed, so you may have to occasionally transfer some shrimp to other, more occupied tanks to serve as feeders or to help deal with algae.

Female Ghost shrimps produce around 20 – 30 eggs every few weeks, so just keep a close eye on your tank so that it doesn’t quickly end up overcrowded.

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A Quick Recap Before We Go

Today we’ve talked about the proper tank size for ghost shrimp, and as you can see, while there are a few factors to consider, the minimum requirement should be 3 -4 shrimp per gallon of water. More is better, of course, as these short-lived crustaceans multiply quite quickly, so you will want to be sure to keep watch on the numbers of your shrimp.

As long as you stick to at least the bare minimums, then you should be okay, but when in doubt – feel free to go with an extra gallon or two. It’s inexpensive, and that extra space really helps to catch any problems before they become something more serious.

We wish you and your new ghost shrimp the best!

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!