What Eats Ghost Shrimp? (Answered & Explained In Details)

Some of us are goldfish people, others are betta people, but nearly all of us have a few shrimps in our tanks. Not only do they add some atmosphere to our aquatic garden, but species like the ghost shrimp also perform a minute yet critical job: cleaning the water.

However, depending on a few factors, such as the size of your tank, how much food is readily available for your fish, and the size and age of your ghost shrimp, you would get to know what eats ghost shrimp or not.

3 Factors That Affect Your Ghost Shrimp

ghost shrimp

As mentioned above, there are a few factors that can either save or doom your ghost shrimps.

Tank environment

Just as we require personal space, so does marine animal. Too small a tank can not only induce stress in all creatures in it, but it can also trigger aggressive behaviors on the part of the fish.

Although this can be a response to discomfort only, fish living in an overcrowded tank will attack and ultimately consume your shrimps.

Aside from size, the quality of the water might also play a part in triggering this behavior. Dirty water – too much debris, leftover, and fecal matter will induce stress, which in turn prompts the fish to hulk out against the poor shrimps.

Size difference

The most common motive for shrimp murder cases is the size disparity between them and the fish they share a tank with. Often, fish are opportunistic creatures that tend to eat anything that fits in their mouth.

Admittedly, one can attempt to introduce large, fully grown ghost shrimps to a tank of small fish. However, fish grows at a much faster rate than shrimps, and the moment they can overpower the shrimps- they will.

Lack of food

Although this one might be obvious to some, it needs to be said that fish will find alternative food sources when their owner forgets to feed them. This can prompt fish that usually don’t mess with shrimps to make a good meal out of them. Life finds a way, after all.

What Eats Ghost Shrimp – A List Of Predators

Having taken measures to prevent shrimpnocide, you should still keep in mind that several species of fish prowl on ghost shrimps regardless of these factors.

These fish include the usual suspects, large, aggressive, and carnivorous fish that often dominate tanks and go on violent streaks against any other small creature in their vicinity. Listed below are a few types of fish that shrimps shouldn’t be kept in the same tank with.


Though small, goldfish and any other fish within the carp family can and will make a good meal out of your ghost shrimps (and any fish smaller than them too, just so you know), especially during their molting process.

Shrimps, as well as other shellfish, undergoes a process called molting to grow. When molting, shrimps will shed their old shell and grow new ones. However, that also means there is a time window where your shrimps are without a shell and extremely vulnerable to predators, including goldfish.

It also doesn’t help that ghost shrimps are generally smaller in size than other shrimp species, which makes them extra helpless against even a goldfish.


When ghost shrimps are bigger than the goldfish they share a tank, however, the goldfish will not consider your shrimp prey. Yet, considering goldfish grow at a faster rate than ghost shrimps, it is but a matter of time before your shrimps end up in the goldfish’s belly.


Discus are generally much larger than ghost shrimps, and this size disparity alone is enough of a reason for discus to devour the tiny crustaceans you put in your tank.

On top of that, discus and shrimps are inherently incompatible since they require different water temperatures to live in. However, should you decide to place them in the same tank, make sure your ghost shrimps are fully grown so that discus can’t devour them.

discus fish


Despite what their name suggests, angelfish are anything but. They are omnivores with a reputation for devouring any fish smaller than themselves.

Therefore, younger angelfish behave much like goldfish, deterred by the size of larger shrimps. Also, like goldfish, once they are up to size, and this comes quickly, they will not hesitate and pounce upon your poor shrimps.

Betta Fish

Bright, colorful bettas sit among the go-to choices when trying to brighten up your aquatic habitat. While they are a fun addition to your tank, their presence is not so delightful for your ghost shrimps.

Although ghost shrimps are not betta fish’s first choice for food, the shrimps’ curious nature often leads them to the betta’s lair, triggering their natural predator instincts to prowl and devour.

Bettas are also unpredictable fish. Some are tamer than others, some are aggressive and will eat your ghost shrimps. However, you won’t be able to know if they will unless the two species are in the same tank.

To minimize the risk of attacks, it is recommended that you give the betta enough space. This should help keep encounters between the two creatures to a minimum.



Cichlids are extremely protective of their territory, and therefore will not hesitate to attack any fish within their perimeter, including your curious little ghost shrimps. Therefore, it is a terrible idea to introduce ghost shrimps into the same tank as cichlids.

Unless you are using ghost shrimps as expensive food, in that case, your cichlids certainly will appreciate it.


There you have it, a list of what eats ghost shrimp. You should take your time to consider which fish are in your tank before introducing ghost shrimps into it.