Ghost Shrimp And Betta Fish: Can They Live In The Same Tank?

    how do fish kill each other

    One of the biggest questions many aquarists and many beginners have is related to ghost shrimp and betta. What they eat, can these two species live together, and what ideal tank conditions are. These are important questions for all of us, so we will try to give you the best possible answers. Without further ado, let’s begin.

    Are Ghost Shrimp and Bettas Able to Live Together?

    Can ghost shrimp and betta live together in the same tank? The answer is yes and no. First of all, you must know that ghost shrimp are not a threat to your bettas in any way. On the other hand, bettas may eat your ghost shrimp! The only risk here is that bettas can choke on the shrimp. You may already know that ghost shrimp are known as feeder shrimp, so they may be used for this purpose. They are also very affordable, so you may want to try and use them for this purpose.

    Another fact you must remember is that your bettas may not eat ghost shrimp. If this is the case, it means that you have a less-aggressive betta and you can pair it with other species in your tank. If your bettas eat ghost shrimp, they will get a delicious treat and you can use them for further feeding.

    We must add that if bettas eat ghost shrimp, they are very aggressive and you will need to pay close attention to which other species you will add to the aquarium. In a nutshell, you can use ghost shrimp for this type of test and you can use them as a food source. Of course, the real situation is more complicated, so you will need to continue reading.

    How To Determine If Your Betta Will Attack Ghost Shrimp

    You can determine if the betta will attack a ghost shrimp if the fish is stalking the shrimp and frequently makes circles around it. If other tank residents are attacked, it means that bettas will likely attack ghost shrimp as well. These are two signs you need to look for and they will give you more details about the harmony within the tank.

    How to Introduce Ghost Shrimp To Your Betta

    Introducing bettas to ghost shrimp is a slow and complicated process. There are a few things you will need to do.

    Provide Hiding Places

    First and foremost, you must provide plenty of hiding space for your ghost shrimp. Adding ornaments, driftwood, stones, and even making small caves are all great ways. This allows for the ghost shrimp to hide and feel more secure. If they feel more secure, chances are higher that they will come out in the open more frequently and explore the tank.

    Tank Size Matters

    The tank size is an essential factor. It would be best if you had at least a 10-gallon tank or bigger. Yes, there are many cases in which aquarists have successfully kept both species in smaller tanks, but the success rate is generally much lower and the risk is much higher. This happens due to the fact bettas are under stress when living in a small tank so they will become more aggressive. When they are more aggressive, they are more likely to attack ghost shrimp. Introducing ghost shrimp and betta to the same tank is possible, but does take a lot of time.

    Some experts claim that you should purchase betta that have previously lived with ghost shrimp for some time. This is the best way to make sure it won’t eat your ghost shrimp. Sadly, finding one is very hard and almost impossible in most cases. Keep your eyes on the small pet stores that have betta with this advantage.

    Add Ghost Shrimp Before Bettas

    Always add ghost shrimp first to a tank. If you already have betta inside, remove it, redecorate the tank and add ghost shrimp first. If you add the betta first, it will consider the entire tank as its own territory, and adding other species may be impossible or extremely difficult.

    What Do Betta Fish Eat?

    As you many already know, betta are carnivorous fish, and in nature, they will eat live insects, larvae, and small bugs. They can also live on plants but this isn’t ideal. In general, your betta needs a diet that is loaded with protein and specific nutrients. Feeding them with only plant material isn’t recommended. Their diet will be unbalanced and won’t provide the levels of protein that they need.

    Obviously, you are going to feed your betta fish in a tank so you need proper food. The best examples are daphnia, live bloodworms (frozen are fine too), and pellets. Just keep in mind that the diet should be loaded with protein and meaty. You can also add frozen food, dried food, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp. Tropical fish flakes can be added sometimes, but they cannot provide all of the essential nutrients that are needed to keep bettas healthy.

    Can Your Betta Eat Ghost Shrimp?

    Ghost shrimp and betta fish can be kept in the same tank, but there is some risk involved, as we have mentioned earlier. In essence, yes, betta can eat ghost shrimp. They can certainly be a delicious treat to your fish.

    In nature, ghost shrimp are eaten on a daily basis, but they do have a small chance to escape, especially from bettas. Sadly, inside a tank, they do not have this option, and they won’t be able to escape. Just to add, even if the betta eats ghost shrimp, there won’t be any risk to the fish. Yes, in some situations, betta may choke on them, but this happens extremely rarely.

    Some experts have been using ghost shrimp as food sources for their bettas. This method works, and thanks to the low cost of ghost shrimp, this can be an ideal solution. Just don’t forget that betta fish have a complex diet, and you must make sure they get all the needed nutrients in order to stay healthy and grow properly.

    What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat?

    You may think that feeding ghost shrimp is very complicated. An interesting fact is that many people believe that feeding any aquatic creature except fish is extremely complicated. This isn’t the case, especially not with ghost shrimp. We will discuss what they eat in nature and how you can feed them in your tank. In addition, ghost shrimp can be kept alone in a tank, or they can be added with other tank mates to create an amazing community.

    Ghost Shrimp Natural Habitat and Diet

    First, here is some background information on ghost shrimp. Ghost shrimp live in freshwaters in North America, in slow-moving rivers. They make the environment more pleasant to other species in their ecosystem, which makes them very important.

    You will most of the time find them at the bottom of the rivers, in sandy subtract surrounded with rocks and driftwood. They use these for protection from predators, and there are many of them.

    The main part of the diet is dead plants. Ghost shrimp eat them on the bottom of the rivers and usually there is plenty of food for them. But, if there is not enough food, they will start eating live plants. Usually, this isn’t an issue due to the fact they are small, so they cannot cause massive damage to the plants. On the other hand, if the ghost shrimp population is large, they can cause a lot of damage to living plants.

    Ghost shrimp are omnivores, meaning they will eat almost anything that can be found on the floor. This includes small insects, larvae, and of course, algae.

    Feeding Ghost Shrimp In A Tank

    Feeding ghost shrimp in a tank is simple and easy. There are a lot of products, foods in pet stores that are specifically designed for them. You need to look for protein-rich foods and also fatty foods. The best foods in general for ghost shrimp are:

    • Frozen foods
    • Brine shrimp
    • Algae
    • Insects
    • Squid
    • Fish pellet food
    • Mosquito larvae

    Ideally, you should mix and match all of these foods in order to ensure a proper diet and keep your ghost shrimp happy in your tank.

    Other Shrimp Species That Are Good Tank Mates for Betta Fish

    Male cherry shrimp in a planted aquarium
    Red cherry shrimp can live with bettas.

    As you were able to see, in some cases, ghost shrimp and betta can live together in the same tank. They are not an ideal combination, but they aren’t necessarily a bad one. On the other hand, other shrimp species can live with bettasshrimp species can live with bettas as well. Sadly, there are not many options to choose from, but there are a few you can consider adding to your tank.

    This shrimp is a very popular choice in many aquariums. They are cheap to purchase, and they are very small. They will grow up to 1 inch in length, meaning they can hide well in almost any tank. You can keep almost 10 specimens per one gallon of water. This gives you a better idea about how many shrimp you can keep in a large tank.

    Red Cherry Shrimp can breed extremely fast, and you can see their population increases by 10 times in less than 2 months. This is an average result, and this is something that most experts will recommend if you want to use them as food sources. They do not make waste (well, they make very little of it), so there is not a lot of maintenance present.

    The main advantage is the fact they will eat algae and make sure your aquarium is clean! In most situations, they can live alongside bettas without any issues, but they may become food to this fish in some cases. Luckily for you, they will be a cheap meal.

    • Amano Shrimp

    Amano shrimp is the best shrimp species you can find these days, and you can add them to your tank. They look great, they are peaceful, and they are great to pair with most fish. They can live with bettas and there are countless examples where the two live without any issue.

    Yes, bettas can become aggressive at some point and can eat them, but this happens rarely and in fewer cases than with other shrimp species. Amano shrimp can grow up to 2.5 inches in size, and they will clean your tank perfectly. As a matter of fact, they are the best-known tank cleaners in the world.

    The only thing you needed to provide is that you need a large tank. 10-gallon tank is the lowest option we will recommend here. Yes, you can keep the two species in a smaller tank, but because bettas are aggressive, there may be some issues. Keeping Amano shrimp with bettas in a larger tank is a much better option, and the risk of shrimp being eaten is much smaller.

    Ideal Tank Conditions

    One great thing that you should remember is that both bettas and ghost shrimp need similar tank conditions. However, we will list the requirements for both species separately so that you can mix and match in order to find the best outcome and create a tank environment both species will love.

    Ideal Tank Conditions For Ghost Shrimp

    They live in freshwater and lakes. You can keep them in a 5-gallon tank, and you can add 3-4 specimens per one gallon of water. Try to remember that ghost shrimp will reproduce quickly, so you do not want to encounter a problem in which you have too many of them in your tank. This is known as overcrowding and can cause a variety of issues and problems you will have to solve.

    Ghost shrimp need plenty of live plants that can be used as food. Some examples include java moss and hornwort. Aside from those, you can use many other types of live plants to add to your tank. They will eat dead pieces of plants and they will spend most of their time at the bottom of your tank.

    You can add rocks, driftwood, or anything similar that will allow the shrimp to hide, especially if you keep them in the same tank with aggressive fish like betta. When adding the material to the bottom of a tank, you should add sand or soft gravel just to make sure the food doesn’t penetrate it and becomes unavailable to the shrimp.

    The water temperature should be between 65 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. pH value must be between 7 and 8. They like slow-moving water, so you can use a filter to get this advantage. Keep in mind that ammonia and nitrite must be monitored. Although ghost shrimp are very resilient, the nitrite levels need to be between 5-10ppm.

    Ideal Tank Conditions For Bettas

    The minimum tank size for bettas must be 5 gallons. However, it is much better to use a bigger tank. There will be more room inside, and you will have more room for other species, such as ghost shrimp. Keeping them in smaller tanks can be a problem. Bettas love tanks that are well-lit but avoid placing the tank under direct sunlight. Use LEDs to create the ideal atmosphere.

    You need to know that they do not like sounds or noise, so they need a peaceful environment. If they are under a lot of noise, they can become stressed, which means they will become aggressive. This isn’t ideal for other tank mates.

    Bettas are found in the warm waters of Asia. You may want to use a water heater to achieve the desired water temperature. The ideal range is between 75.2 and 80.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Ghost shrimp can live in water at the same temperature without any issues.

    The substrate needs to be smooth, which is something that ghost shrimp prefer as well. Plants should be added as well, and here you have plenty of options. You can use the same plants as we have mentioned in the ghost shrimp section and you can add new ones. It is important to test the water on a regular basis to make sure bettas have all the right conditions they need to live happily.

    Due to the fact bettas are extremely aggressive, they cannot be kept with all other fish species. You will need to be careful when choosing their tank mates. The best examples include Bloodfin Tetras, Rasboras, Croaking Gouramis, and Black Tetras. You must avoid adding fish such as Acaras, Parrotfish, and Oscars. They do not get along very well.


    In many cases, ghost shrimp and betta fish can be kept in the same tank. Yes, this is a slightly more complicated process than usual, and you will need more time to adjust all the parameters, but it will make your aquarium special. Over time you will become a professional in this matter, and you can even help others achieve the same results, solve their problems, and make some modifications if needed.

    Have other questions about betta fish? You’ll likely find your answers here.


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