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Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp

Shrimps are a mainstay of many aquariums. Experienced aquarium owners usually have their own preferences when it comes to which variety of shrimp they use in their tanks with the majority choosing either the Amano Shrimp or the Ghost Shrimp. 

When it comes to the Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp debate, there are pros and cons for each variety depending on what you’re looking to achieve.

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Shrimps In Aquariums

A lot of people don’t realize that shrimps are able to be put inside an aquarium. However, there are only certain species that are able to survive and thrive in these conditions, and they must be placed with suitable species of fish. 

The two most common varieties of shrimp able to survive in an aquarium are the Amano Shrimp and the Ghost Shrimp. It’s not a case of simply introducing them to the aquarium and leaving them, there are a number of precautions that need to be undertaken to ensure that they survive. Water conditions are particularly important when it comes to keeping shrimp.

When deciding which type of shrimp to use, there are a number of differences that you must know between the two varieties. 

The Amano Shrimp

These Amano shrimp is the smallest of the two varieties and can grow to be between one to two inches long. The shrimps are usually found in aquarium stores when they are very small but can grow extremely quickly, so don’t be tempted to put too many into a tank. 

The colour of the Amano shrimp ranges quite widely and can be either red, grey, or brown. On their bodies, it is common to find both dots and stripes. 

The life span of these shrimps is generally between two to three years in optimum conditions. They are a hardy breed that needs little ongoing care.

The Ghost Shrimp

Image courtesy of fyldewatergardens.co.uk

The Ghost Shrimp, also known by the name Glass Shrimp is a popular choice for aquarium owners. Their bodies are almost translucent, which characteristic gives them their nickname. 

One of the most attractive attributes of ghost shrimp for aquarium owners is their ability to clean their environment. As one of the most active types of shrimp in an aquarium, they will eat a lot of the waste and unwanted particles within the aquarium. 

Ghost Shrimps spend most of their lives at the bottom of the tank or in the lower levels. This allows them to find food that has sunk through the substrate. They use plants and rocks to stay out of sight of anything they perceive to be a threat or predator. 

They are also known to feed on the larvae and eggs of other fish. 

In terms of attractiveness the Amano Shrimp Vs Ghost Shrimp debate is clean cut. The Ghost Shrimp has a glass-like body that can shimmer. They range in length from between one and one and a half inches. 

The lifespan of the Ghost Shrimp is very short. In optimum conditions, they rarely survive for more than a year. They are often fed to other species of fish in an aquarium which significantly cuts down their lifespan to only a few days. 

How to Tell the Difference Between the amano Shrimp And Ghost Shrimp

There are a number of differences between the two species of shrimp including: 


The Amano Shrimp is the larger of the two species. They commonly grow up to two inches in length. In contrast, the Ghost Shrimp does not grow past one and a half inches in length. 

This size difference also applies to the male and females of the species. The female Amano Shrimp also grows bigger than the male. There is no significant size difference between the male and the female Ghost Shrimp. 

Ideal Water Conditions

Each species of shrimp needs a very specific set of water conditions to survive. While neither are considered particularly hardy, the Amano Shrimps are able to live in alkaline or salty conditions. They have been known to survive in water with a pH level of 8.5. 

On the other hand, Ghost Shrimps need freshwater conditions and cannot survive in water with any salt or alkaline content. 


The difference between the Amano and Ghost Shrimp is more marked when it comes to diet. Amano Shrimps are usually fed with common algae pellets that is available in an aquarium store.

The algae inside an aquarium are more than enough to sustain an Amano Shrimp. Ghost Shrimps on the other hand can live on anything inside the aquarium that is consumable. It is their varied diet that makes them popular as aquarium cleaners. 

Shrimp Lifespan

A healthy Amano Shrimp, living in optimum water and feeding conditions can live for up to three years. By comparison, the Ghost Shrimp has a much shorter lifespan of up to one year in optimum conditions. 

types of Suitable Fish As Tank Mates

When it comes to placing any type of shrimp in your aquarium, you must consider the fish that they will be placed with. The Amano Shrimp will give you the most options when it comes to choosing tank mates for them. Ideal types of fish include:

  • Apisto Borelli
  • Bolivian Rams
  • Dwarf Neon Rainbows
  • Cory’s 
  • Pearl Gouramis
  • Lemon Tetras

Ghost Shrimps live best with non-aggressive, freshwater fish including Red Crystal. They also live quite happily alongside Tetras, Rasboras, and livebearers. 


As you can see, there are major differences between the Amano Shrimp and the Ghost Shrimp. If you are a relatively new aquarium owner, then it may be better to choose the Amano shrimp. They are more resilient to tank conditions and can live with a greater variety of fish. 

Whichever type you choose to put in your aquarium, you must take care to keep the water conditions at optimum levels. Failure to do so will drastically shorten the life of your shrimp. 

Before purchasing any shrimp, you should familiarise yourself with the overall health and wellness of that particular variety. Knowing the common illnesses and diseases that affect them will allow you to care for them precisely, so they do not become stressed.

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