Whisker Shrimp Vs Ghost Shrimp – How To Tell The Differerences?

If you are an experienced aquarist, chances are you already know about freshwater shrimp. Not only are they visually pleasing, but they also put on wonderful displays inside the tank. Among them, whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp are arguably the two most popular choices due to their low cost and accessibility.

So, when it comes to whisker shrimp vs ghost shrimp, which species is the better choice? If you are curious about these two types of animals, keep reading to see the answers!

What Is The Difference Between Ghost Shrimp And Whisker Shrimp?

The most distinctive difference between these two kinds of shrimp is their antenna. They vary from one another in both lengths and colors.

Ghost shrimp has a shorter antenna with several orange and yellowish strands at the base.

Ghost shrimp

Meanwhile, the whisker shrimp’s antenna is much longer and does not come with any bright shade.

Whisker shrimp

You can also tell these two apart judging by their size and temperament. Usually, the former is smaller and more gentle in their daily activities, mostly roaming around the tank.

At the same time, the latter is a bit bigger and does not shy away from direct collisions with other tank mates.

What You Need To Know About Ghost Shrimp


As mentioned above, ghost shrimp is relatively peaceful. They spend most of their days hunting down algae, thus keeping your tank pristine and clean. They prefer the darker water at the bottom of the tank, where they can be left alone without the interference of hostile tank mates.

Tank setup

Since ghost shrimp can easily fall prey to bigger fish, you may want to provide them with plenty of hiding places and caves. Given their tiny length of no more than 1.5 inches, feel free to use a 10-gallon tank for your ghost shrimp.

They are not particularly picky regarding their habitat, as long as the temperature range remains between 66 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the pH level suitable for ghost shrimp is slightly higher than that of other shrimp, at 7.0 to 8.0.

Ghost shrimp breeding

Ghost shrimp breed easily if they are safe from other predators. With the right number of male and female individuals, you can expect mating seasons throughout the year.

The only thing you need to be wary about is separating shrimp eggs once they are released from the females. This is because ghost shrimp feed on these eggs, not to mention other voracious animals.

What You Need To Know About Whisker Shrimp


Whisker shrimp break the stereotype of freshwater shrimp being gentle and peaceful with their belligerent behaviors. They are indiscriminate when it comes to eating, and devouring anything that can fit inside their mouths.

They are also known to be extremely protective of their own territory, thus explaining why they should be distanced from other tank mates.

Tank setup

Given how aggressive whisker shrimp can be, you are recommended to nurture them inside a large tank of at least 20 to 25 gallons of water. This leaves these eaters plenty of space to move around, minimizing their chances of conflicts with others.

Furthermore, having more space means whisker shrimp can mark their own territory. Once they have settled down, they are less likely to engage in fights with other animals.

Now, as far as temperature is concerned, whisker shrimp do best when the water is conditioned between 73 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should be between 7.0 and 7.5, while the hardness level can be anywhere from 1 to 8.

Whisker shrimp breeding

Unlike ghost shrimp breeding, whisker shrimp breeding is rather challenging. Not only do you have to adjust the water conditions to meet their needs, but you also have to ensure the presence of a separate tank for hatching eggs.

If you wish for whisker shrimp to procreate, expand the temperature range to 65 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. For every male shrimp, make sure it has at least two female partners.

Once the eggs have already been fertilized, you have to transfer the pregnant females to a smaller tank. This is because female whisker shrimp tend to destroy their own eggs involuntarily when the stress levels are too high.

Having lots of space on their own reduces this tendency and increases the eggs’ chances of survival.


1. Will whisker shrimp eat other shrimp?

Yes. Whisker shrimp are voracious eaters and do not shy away from feeding on other shrimp. However, not all shrimp fall prey to whisker shrimp, especially if they are bigger in size.

That said, if you put whisker shrimp and smaller shrimp within the same tank, you might have to put in dividers for safety.

2. Will ghost shrimp eat other shrimp?

Not necessarily. Even if they want to, their tiny size prevents them from actively devouring other shrimp. Instead, they mostly feed on shrimp and fish’s remains.

Feel free to mix ghost shrimp with other types of shrimp, as they will cohabitate in harmony.

3. Should you mix shrimp species?

If you are thinking about mixing shrimp belonging to the same family of freshwater shrimp, the answer is no. Leaving these animals in the same vicinity increases the chances of cross-breeding, which may be problematic in the long run.

4. How many shrimp should you keep in one tank?

As shrimp live in groups, it is best that you keep at least 4 to 6 of them. The exact number depends on how big the shrimp are and the capacity of your tank.


In the battle of whisker shrimp vs ghost shrimp, there is no definitive winner. While there are certain differences between them, these two species have their unique charms. Make sure you learn about their characteristics carefully before deciding which animals to buy!