Is the ghost shrimp a good idea in a tank that includes betta fish? Can betta fish and ghost shrimps get along? If you are considering the possibility of bringing them together in your aquarium, there are several things you are going to want to keep in mind.
The Subject Of Tankmates For Betta Fish
Some argue that bettas are best left to live alone. After all, they are highly territorial. However, realistically, most aquarium owners don’t want to do this. The idea is often to create a beautiful, harmonious tank of different fish, plants, and more. This means looking for the best betta fish tankmates. Of the many different options to come across, ghost shrimp are going to be among the most popular. On their own, this type of shrimp can make for an absolutely stunning addition to any tank. The question comes down to whether or not ghost shrimps and bettas can live together.
The short answer is yes, ghost shrimps can live in the same tank as betta fish. Also known by the moniker of feeder shrimp, it is entirely possible for both to live without issue.
However, the matter is not entirely that simple. While possible, there are several factors to weigh when deciding whether or not to add bettas to a tank with ghost shrimp, or vice-versa.
For example, let’s talk about why ghost shrimp are also sometimes called feeder shrimp in the first place.
Will Betta Fish Eat Ghost Shrimp?
Can betta fish occupy the same space as ghost shrimp? Yes. Is there a distinct possibility that the betta fish will eat the ghost shrimp? In a word, the answer is also yes. This is something you are just going to have to learn to live with. There is no guarantee that this is absolutely going to occur. At the same time, it is possible enough that it should be understood and accepted, long before you go out and buy ghost shrimp online, or wherever the case may be.
Yet there is still a very good reason why you should consider bringing ghost shrimp together with betta fish.
Actually, there are a few good reasons to consider:
- Ghost shrimp pose zero threat to betta fish. None. They are completely non-aggressive.
- Ghost shrimp are extremely cheap. Do some research, and you will be able to see exactly what we are talking about. While no one wants to actively harm these delightful creatures, they do come with the assurance of knowing that if something does happen, you haven’t wasted too much time or money. How your bettas and ghost shrimp get along is indeed very, very important.
- Ghost shrimp offer the perfect tankmate litmus. What do you mean by this? Given that ghost shrimp offer no threat to bettas, and given that bettas may or may not see the ghost shrimp as a potential food source, we can consider how cheap they are, and see how the ghost shrimp can be used to determine the compatibility of your betta for other tankmates. Because if your betta does NOT eat the ghost shrimp, the odds are extremely high that they are not going to trouble any other (appropriate) mates you may want to add to the tank. This is what we mean about bettas being the very best litmus for tankmates for your betta fish.
Now, while there is only but so much to be done to keep bettas from eating ghost shrimp, there is in fact a lot you can do to increase the odds of a successful venture. You don’t want to simply dump them both in the same tank, and then hope for the best. The more work you do ahead of time, the greater your chances of getting everyone to get along. That can be your go-ahead to incorporate other examples of fish that can live with bettas.
Before we can get to that point, however, there is much to be done to get ready.
Getting Started On Adding Ghost Shrimp To Your Betta Tank
Planning to keep betta fish and ghost shrimp in the same aquarium? The first thing you’re going to want to do is optimize the conditions of the tank.
This means two things:
- Hiding places: You’re going to want to increase the number of hiding places in the tank. Besides the fact that shrimp like to have plant life and similar places they might enjoy, you can also remember that your betta can enjoy these things, too for different reasons. Good plant life can be beneficial to all of the different fish you may keep in your tank. Driftwood and ornaments are other good ideas. You should shop with an eye towards giving your ghost shrimp the safest possible places to hide.
- A larger tank: Obviously, without an appropriate amount of cover for your ghost shrimp, they are going to be more susceptible to being eaten by the bettas. This means plenty of the suggestions we covered above, combined with a tank large enough to support everything and everyone. A 20-gallon tank may become necessary. Some opt for even larger options. Even if you don’t have a ton of fish to fill your aquarium with, a large tank will be just fine for possibilities like bettas and ghost fish. A 10-gallon tank really should be your starter, despite what some say about a 5-gallon tank being an acceptable choice in that regard. However, 20 is going to be something you can work with as your needs evolve quickly.
Does It Matter Which One I Buy Or Own First?
Actually, if you can absolutely help it, get a betta fish that already has a reputation for being able to exist comfortably alongside ghost shrimp. This is not an easy find in the larger pet stores, so you may have to look for a smaller local shop to point you in the right direction. This is not something you absolutely must do to be successful, but it does come with the benefit of making things a lot easier.
The next step comes down to who should be introduced to who first. The ghost shrimp is generally the preferred choice for that first introduction. So, if you want to quickly ascertain whether or not your betta can live with other creatures, you’re going to want to first buy the ghost shrimp, and have them added to the tank. The next step will be to buy your betta fish. Again, the preference is to get one that has already developed a tolerance and acceptance of ghost shrimp.
Once you bring your ghost shrimp home, and you follow the steps for adding a betta fish to an aquarium, you’re heading in the right direction.
Should you already have a betta, don’t worry. You can remove your betta for a brief spell. During this time, you can add the ghost shrimp, dramatically redecorate the aquarium (adding new hiding places, plants, and other items is also a very good idea), and then bring the betta fish back. Again, make sure you are doing everything possible to acclimate them comfortably with the differences in their surroundings.
Red Flags The Betta Will Attack The Ghost Shrimp
Thankfully, another component to this that can help you are a few clear warning signs your bettas are about to attack the ghost shrimp.
Obviously, if your betta is already in the habit of attacking other members of the tank, then you shouldn’t be adding ghost shrimp to the aquarium in the first place. That being said, if there is a serious indication of trouble, it is first going to come in the form of the betta stalking the ghost shrimp all around the aquarium. Some brief flareups are not uncommon.
Which brings to a common question people ask us: If your betta eats the ghost shrimp, will anything bad happen? No. In fact, on the health front, ghost shrimp can provide your betta with an exceptional alternative source of protein, among other perks. Some even go so far as to keep multiple ghost shrimp in the tank with a solo betta. If you don’t mind ghost shrimp being used in this fashion, it is certainly something that can be worth keeping in mind.
Getting The Facts On Ghost Shrimp
It almost goes without saying that you want the tank conditions to be ideal for both ghost shrimp and betta fish. Luckily, on this front, betta fish and ghost shrimp have largely the same needs. The temperature for the tank should be somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty-five to eighty degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be somewhere between 7.0 and 8.0. As you probably already know, these are conditions that can be very suitable to your betta. As you may have guessed, you should pay a little more attention to your bettas, in terms of where to eventually settle things.
Much like bettas, ghost shrimp like to live in a nice clean tank at all times.
Conclusion And A Few Final Ghost Shrimp Tidbits
Here are a few more facts about ghost shrimp we think you should keep in mind:
- Ghost shrimp, in a fashion similar to bettas, have a nice reputation for being able to remain comfortable across a variety of different climates and water conditions. You can find them in freshwater sources, particularly where there are sandy or even fine sediments. They are particularly fond of rivers and streams.
- Ghost shrimp also have a reputation for being extremely easy to feed. One of the great things about them is that they are willing to eat pretty much anything you may have. Ghost shrimp will also eat any meat not devoured by your bettas. Sinking algae wafers are a good way to ensure your ghost shrimp are getting all they need to be happy. Just keep in mind that if your ghost shrimp start eating the meat-based products meant for your betta along the top of the tank, this could lead to some problems between them.
- Ghost shrimp do like to eat algae, by the way, but they are not considered the best in this particular regard. There are much better betta tankmates that will eat algae that you can check out.
- Copper is considered to be extremely toxic with respect to ghost shrimp. Do not add any copper to the tank under any circumstances.
- Ghost shrimp molt, which sometimes cause people to worry they’ve died.