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Ghost Shrimp And Betta: Coexistence & FAQs

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton


Today, we are here to find out and discuss whether or not a ghost shrimp and a Betta can be housed together. Many people would say that you cannot house any other fish together with a Betta fish, especially males. This may be true in some cases, particularly where other fish of the same size are concerned. However, it is possible to house your Betta fish with some other aquatic creatures. Now, to be fair, this does depend on the specific Betta fish in question as well as what the other creatures are.

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Can I Have Ghost Shrimp And Betta In The Same Tank?

To be perfectly clear, this is somewhat of a subjective question because whether or not they will live in harmony depends on their surroundings a swell as the temperament of the specific Betta fish that you have.

As you may know, the Betta fish is also known as the Siamese fighting fish. There is a good reason why they are often called fighting fish. It is because they love to fight.

Okay, so your average Betta fish does not love to fight, say, as much as Mike Tyson, but they are extremely territorial. You probably know that you cannot keep more than one Betta fish in the same tank, especially not two males.

A male and a female or even two females may work ok, but things can still go wrong.

NOTE: Have you seen our Betta Fish E-Book?

We have put together the Ultimate Betta Care Guide that covers all the essentials and more! You can check what it covers and a sneak peek here.

Betta fish tend to be very aggressive towards larger fish, fish of the same size, and very colorful dish and marine creatures. So, when it comes to ghost shrimp, they can actually do okay with a Betta fish.

First of all, ghost shrimp are partially see-through and have virtually no coloring, at least not any bright coloring, which is a good start. Moreover, ghost shrimp are very small, more than small enough to not be seen as a threat by a male or female Betta fish.

There are a few factors that can help or hinder the situation when it comes to ghost shrimp with Betta’s, so let’s talk about those.

We have covered a separate post on Betta Tank mates here, if you need more suggestions.

betta fish inside aquarium
Photo Credit: Yan Cabrera, Pixabay

Size Of The Tank

One thing to keep in mind is that because Betta fish are very territorial, they do need their space. So, if you are going to keep a Betta fish with some ghost shrimp, you will need to have more than enough room to keep them both comfortable.

You will want at least a 10 gallon tank (we have covered some 10 gallon tanks here), if not a 15 or 20 gallon tank, for one Betta fish and several ghost shrimp.

The Betta fish needs to have more than enough room to create its own territory without feeling as though its space is threatened by the shrimp.

The Surroundings

Another way to make sure that your ghost shrimp will live in harmony with the Betta fish, or at least to better the situation, is to ensure that you have them housed in the proper surroundings.

What we mean by this is that you need to have plenty of substrate, lots of plants, lots rocks, some driftwood, and even some playful decorations too.

This is because Betta fish do like plants and rocks, they like some privacy sometimes, and they like to engage their surroundings too. Making sure that you have a great environment for your Betta fish will ensure that it is happy, and therefore there will be less of a chance of your Betta fish attacking the ghost shrimp.

In terms of providing your ghost shrimp with an adequate home, it is not all that hard. The decorations, caves, rocks, plants will offer them some protection from the Betta fish as well.

ghost shrimp
Photo Credit: Nicholas Toh, Shutterstock


The other important thing to remember when trying to house a Betta fish together with ghost shrimp is to feed your Betta fish regularly and with food that they love. Make no mistake about it.

Betta fish are carnivores and if they are hungry or just in the mood, they will go after your ghost shrimp. However, you can help ensure that they won’t try to eat your ghost shrimp by making sure that they are fed right. We have covered a separate post here on Betta feeding.

You need to not only meet the dietary needs of your Betta fish, but you also need to make them happy with what you feed them. They love protein and they love treats, so make sure to give them plenty of both.

If you don’t give your Betta fish a treat every now and then, it will find a treat in the form of a little ghost shrimp or two. Once again, while it is possible to keep them together you always need to keep in mind that your Betta fish may eat the ghost shrimp. Thankfully, ghost shrimp are not very expensive.

You might also like our post on the many different types of betta fish which you can find here.


What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat?

Ghost shrimp are not picky at all, they will eat more or less anything and everything. They are true eating machines.

Ghost shrimp will eat all sorts of fruits and vegetables, even rotten ones too. They will eat all manners of plant matter as well as algae too.

They also like to eat shrimp pellets, fish pellets, fish flakes, algae wafers, and all kinds of uneaten food. As long as they can fit it in their mouths, it’s fair game.

Photo Credit: Nicholas Toh, Shutterstock

How Long Do Ghost Shrimp Live?

Generally speaking, under good living conditions, the maximum lifespan for a ghost shrimp is 1 year.

Yes, they have been known to live for a couple months more than a year, but this is very rare. Even under the best conditions, you can expect an average lifespan between 8 and 12 months.

Some have been known to live for only a couple of months, but this usually only happens in poor living conditions.

How Big Do Ghost Shrimp Get?

Ghost shrimp are indeed very small, and their size will depend on their age, but they mature within weeks, which is when they will be fully grown.

Your average ghost shrimp is going to be between 1.25 and 1.5 inches long, so fairly small. In terms of their diameter, they are usually no wider than an average pencil.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Each Other?

For the most part no, ghost shrimp will not each other. Adult ghost shrimp usually never eat each other, but may feast on dead ghost shrimp.

As mentioned, these guys are not picky eaters, and a dead ghost shrimp is a buffet. Ghost shrimp have been known to eat young larval ghost shrimp, although this is also fairly rare.

ghost shrimp
Photo By: jacobmwhitney1, Pixabay

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Betta Food?

Yes, ghost shrimp can indeed eat betta food. Betta fish eat fish flakes, insects, small crustaceans, and other such things. These are all things that a ghost shrimp will also eat.

If you buy pellets or flakes specifically designed for betta fish, a ghost shrimp can eat these without issue, although they may not prefer them.

However, all of the live foods, meats, and veggies you may feed to your betta fish are just fine for ghost shrimp too. Ghost shrimp are like living garbage disposals.

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To be perfectly honest, this is more or less just a gamble mixing Betta and ghost shrimp. It is a risk and you need to decide if it is worth it. If you do everything right, the chances that the Betta fish and ghost shrimp will live in harmony are pretty good.

That being said, even if you do everything right, a Betta fish may still decide to attack and/or eat a ghost shrimp for whatever reason. What do you think? Can Betta fish live with shrimp?

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Nicholas Toh, Shutterstock

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