I Need Ghost Shrimp 101! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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I Need Ghost Shrimp 101!

I just purchased 12 ghost shrimp from Petsmart for my girls.
Why do they call it Pet SMART? The guy in the fish dept. had zero info. for me on ghost shrimp. I acclimated them to the tank; then I poured their water through a net into a fish-only bucket. MUCH to my amazement, half the shrimp jumped out of the net! 2 landed on the floor, 2 landed in the bucket. With a great deal of difficulty, I finally got them all in the tank. This morning, I see 2 shrimp that are solid white; I assume they are dead.
I've looked everywhere on line for more info. Can a betta eat an entire shrimp? What about moulting? Do I remove the shells? Are the dead ones food for bettas, or should I remove them ASAP? I did learn on line (after the fact) that shrimp are "delicate" and need "special acclimation"? How long do they live? if one makes it to it's max. size, can it harm a betta? (What are they're max size?) The lack of info on them is prop. b/c they are seen simply as feeders to be consumed immediately by larger fish. So far, I haven't seen my bettas notice them.
Help!

4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:26 PM
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I never have any luck with these guys. They don't last long. I would suggest some cherry shrimp. I heard they are more hardy.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishybitty View Post
I never have any luck with these guys. They don't last long. I would suggest some cherry shrimp. I heard they are more hardy.
Same here, they are not healthy because they are mainly sold as food...plus the ones at petsmart have always died on me :/

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 05:06 PM
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I bought 3 ghost shrimp from petsmart and they've been doing fine with my betta and apple. They are hard to find sometimes but seem very active and healthy.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 05:14 PM
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I've had decent luck with them in my 15 gallon guppy tank, but I've never tried too hard at keeping them with the bettas (seems like three of the four would likely think the ghosties look like a tasty snack, and the fourth boy started munching on his tail after introducing the shrimp). What I've seen with mine is that when I get new ones, they either die off in the first 24-48 hours or do really well for 2-4 months before passing, with the survival rate being around 70-90% past the first week or so. Mine will turn cloudy when stressed (typically only when I have to move the tank, and therefore have to fish them out and put them in a transport container) or when they're reaching the end of their lifespan. Probably best to remove any moults or dead shrimp to avoid ammonia spikes, although I'll admit that I rarely find either because the guppies usually finish them off before I can get to them.

The biggest ghost shrimp I've seen was probably 1-1.5", and I have yet to see one try to mess with any of my adult guppies (they may try to go after the fry, though) and they left my betta alone when they were in with him. However, there have been reports of pet stores selling other, similar looking, species as ghost shrimps, and these can be rather aggressive - "real" ghost shrimp should have small, reddish-orange spots on their antennae and claws.

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Last edited by pittipuppylove; 01-31-2013 at 05:17 PM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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The shrimp are cute little devils! Big eyes and see-through tummies. I bought them as detritus cleaners. The bettas are interested in the 2 dead ones, but I'm pulling them out. I was hoping to find out their life-span and frequency of them becoming betta breakfast. I left a little pile of dead plant debris so I could see if they'd snack on it right away- no to that little experiment. Now, I have to do a little cleaning & an ammonia test!

4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 12:07 AM
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I had 6 ghost shrimps in my sorority for months. Until one day my girls realize the shrimps that has grown bigger than them is SUPER TASTY, and they murder them one by one. Usually they eat the whole shrimp, sometimes they kill it and leave it in the corner, i would pick it up with a net, pull off the head and dangle it just under the waterline and my girls will maul it like piranhas (which sometimes i think they are...)
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 01:17 AM
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Can a betta eat an entire shrimp?
yeah they can, but not in one bite.
Do I remove the shells?
yes
Are the dead ones food for bettas, or should I remove them ASAP?
I would remove them as soon as you see them, you dont know if they died from stress of being on the floor or travel, or if they were sick
I did learn on line (after the fact) that shrimp are "delicate" and need "special acclimation"?
I acclimated mine exactly like I do fish and never had any issue. They are delicate in that they are sensitive to water parameters so they should only be in fully established tanks. If you see them trying to climb out of the water that means your parameteres are off.
How long do they live? if one makes it to it's max. size, can it harm a betta? (What are they're max size?)
not sure how long they live, I think its like a year or so?
They supposedly are full grown 5 weeks after birth. Females are about double the size of males, I'm sure yours are probably full grown.
Max size is about 1" for males and 1.5-2" for females. (I've never had one get that big)
They can clamp onto fins and what not but its really rare. Also, you need to try to check for red joints on their pincher arms and antenna's -- if there arent red joints anywhere on them then that means they are imposters. The fake ghosties can be aggressive and you should remove them immediately. But since you got them from petsmart I dont foresee that being an issue, but something you should always check for just in case.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 10:25 AM
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I disagree on removing the shells. Most of the time, the ghost shrimp will eat the shells when they molt, in order to replace the calcium and iodine lost in the molting. Obviously, if you see a molt laying there for more than 24 hours, it should be removed. It's mostly just calcium, so it shouldn't hurt much if you miss one. Don't leave whole bodies in the tank to decompose.

They are also omnivores, and would appreciate some food other than scraping algae. They LOVE bloodworms - if you can, try sending some bloodworms to the bottom of the tank if you can keep your fish from grabbing them first. It's sort of funny to watch a bloodworm pass through a ghost shrimp.

I had several ghost shrimp in a community tank that I had up and running for about 5 years. I started with three ghost shrimp, and had 5 when I took the tank down. They don't breed as easily like cherry shrimp (which breed like bunnies), but they will breed if they feel safe.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well, all the shrimp have gone to shrimp heaven. A few of my girls are having a blast playing with the last corpse. I saw a torn-up shrimp carcass when I turned the lights on this AM. Less than 2 days! I needed a new hood light, so I asked another PetSmart employee what happened. He says my Ph is too high to support either shrimp or corys (I killed 6 corys a month ago). I have very hard water- 8.2. I don't know how to safely keep it lower.

4 bettas: Butch, 3-year-old violet male PK EE & 3 girls in a 30 gal sorority. I do not name the girls anymore! 1/2 of them die within a month.
30 gal: 9 Oto cats, 4 Ocellifer cats. Inverts: Cherry shrimp & 2 assasin snails.
10 gal.: Butch, his 5 oto cats, 3 assasin snails, and a few snails the assassins haven't caught.
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