Ghost Shrimp and Betta: Can They Live Together?

ghost shrimp and bettas

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Are you wondering if you can keep ghost shrimp with your betta fish? Everyone loves having bettas in their tank. They are stunning, easy to care for, and a must-have for most hobbyists.

Meanwhile, ghost shrimp or glass shrimp are often seen as a type of cleanup crew. They can feed on any uneaten food and excess algae. Generally, they are a useful species to add to an aquarium of non-aggressive fish.

Can you house these two species together? The quick answer is yes, although there are several important things you need to consider.

Knowing which species can get along in their habitat is a crucial part of fishkeeping. This will prevent accidents and one species bullying (or even eating) the other.

Today, we will look at whether ghost shrimp and betta can be compatible tankmates, and if so, how you can start introducing them to one another. Let’s dive in!

Ghost Shrimp Quick Overview

Ghost shrimp are a popular freshwater crustacean native to the waters near the Appalachian Mountains. Their name is a reference to their physical appearance, which is translucent and can change colors to camouflage.

An adult shrimp can grow up to 1 inch, which is quite big so that most bettas wouldn’t usually target them. In terms of lifespan, they can live to around a year and a half.

Ghost shrimp are omnivores that will pretty much anything from dead plant matters and algae to uneaten fish food. This is mainly why a lot of people like to have them in their tanks.

They can actually be a good addition to your tank’s movements, especially at night when the shrimp likes to come out and scavenge for food. Their translucent bodies also mean you can watch anything they eat inside them!

Ghost Shrimp Diet

You know that the ghost shrimp is a famous cleanup species, which immediately indicates that they are easy to feed. While you don’t necessarily have to feed them anything in particular, it can be useful to supplement them with sinking algae wafers from time to time. This will ensure they get enough nutrients.

If you are housing ghost shrimp with your betta, they can eat the scraps of whatever you feed the fish, including meat, plants, and vegetables.

Not to mention any algae buildup around the tank! However, note that ghost shrimp are not the most efficient algae eaters, so you shouldn’t be buying them just for this purpose. Instead, we’d recommend Amano shrimps.

However, try not to feed these shrimps daily! They are unlike bettas which you should feed regularly because they will naturally feed on food leftovers and detritus.

Finally, you can also occasionally provide some calcium tablets, which will help build the strength of their shells.

Can You House Ghost Shrimp with Betta?

There is some controversy about keeping this fish with ghost shrimp (or any other invertebrate). Some people claim that betta will eat the shrimp as soon as they meet, while others say the disappearance is more gradual. Yet some others have found that these two species can live amicably together.

On the whole, it all depends on your betta’s temperament. Of course, the risk of bettas eating the shrimps will always be there, but this does not mean you cannot do anything to increase the percentage of success.

Regardless, ghost shrimp are very inexpensive and can be the perfect tankmate to check the aggressivity of your betta. If it does not attack the shrimp, then you’ll know that your fish has a good temperament.

Ghost shrimp also won’t be a threat to bettas because they are quite small and harmless.

So, the answer is yes, you can house ghost shrimp with betta fish. Just pay attention that you have the ideal tank environment and diet and introduce your shrimps properly.

Introducing Them to the Tank

To increase the chance of your betta getting along with ghost shrimps, you need to provide plenty of hiding spots around the aquarium. For example, you can add some plants, rocks, driftwood, and other types of décor, which will give shelter and protection for the shrimp.

When ghost shrimp feel more comfortable in the space, they will be more inclined to explore their surroundings, which can then offer interesting activities in the tank.

It also helps to have a large tank so that your betta has enough room to swim without being territorial or aggressive. This also allows the ghost shrimp to find their own space. We recommend at least 10 gallons in volume.

When you’re ready to introduce your ghost shrimp with the betta, it is crucial to add the shrimp first into the tank. When you let a betta roam in an aquarium alone, they will start to feel that the entire thing is their personal territory. This means they will see any new addition as a threat.

If your betta already lives in the tank, don’t stress! You can simply remove them for a while and “renovate” the aquarium. You can add the shrimp first and then re-introduce your betta into it.

Finally, our final tip is to get a betta that is already used to living with ghost shrimp, or any other shrimp for that matter. Indie pet stores often house different species together.

If they are already living with shrimp with no problem, it means they have a peaceful temperament and are less likely to attack your ghost shrimp.

Can Bettas Attack Ghost Shrimp?

betta fish and ghost shrimp

It is impossible to be 100% sure that any betta fish will not attack their ghost shrimp tankmate. However, you can look out for some signs.

The most obvious one is the betta’s temperament. If they are naturally aggressive and attacking their other tankmates, there is a higher chance they will also ambush your ghost shrimp. If this is the case, it’s best not to introduce the shrimp to the tank, unless you want them to be fish food.

Once these two species are together, you should spend some time observing the betta’s behavior too. It is natural for the fish to nip the shrimps at first, but if this persists and it continues to attack or stalk the ghost shrimp, it is a good sign it will end up eating them.

Will Bettas Eat Ghost Shrimp?

Yes, some bettas do eat ghost shrimp. In fact, if your betta does end up feeding on the shrimp, it is actually a good thing for their diet. Ghost shrimps are quite nutritious.

Some hobbyists even decide to buy more ghost shrimp, even after their bettas eat them.

There is one risk to this: your betta may bite too largely and get choked, but most of the time this is unlikely.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, choosing the ideal tankmate for your betta fish may not be an easy feat. Especially if they are more aggressive and tend to attack any other species that you introduce into the tank.

But if you follow some of our tips and introduce ghost shrimp first before adding your betta, there is some chance that they can become peaceful tankmates.

It is always a good idea to mix up the different species in your aquarium to keep it looking diverse and lively. Just make sure to do some research beforehand and prevent unwanted accidents from happening. Good luck!

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