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Can Ghost Shrimp Live in Brackish Water?

Can Ghost Shrimp Live in Brackish Water

Ghost shrimp go under many names, but are most commonly known as ghost shrimp, glass shrimp, and grass shrimp. As far as shrimp breeding goes, they are enormously popular and less so as aquarium pets, but not by much. 

Of course, ghost shrimp can live in and thrive in brackish water, so long as they are brackish water ghost shrimp. The thing is, there are fresh water and brackish water ghost shrimp, so you can have a freshwater tank full of ghost shrimp or a brackish water tank full of ghost shrimp.

Since two types of ghost shrimp can live in either or, you want to do your homework on what you are getting before you get home and dump a bunch of brackish water ghost shrimp in your freshwater tank, where you will watch them die over the coming days, one at a time. 

There is also the problem with shrimp that look like ghost shrimp and turn out to be anything but. Many retailers will market these knock-off “Ghost shrimp” either intentionally or unknowingly. 

Can Cherry Shrimp Live in Brackish Water?

Cherry shrimp are named for their bright, red color, and can live in brackish water if they are slowly and painstakingly adapted to the environment, however, it is highly inadvisable as crustaceans are very sensitive to water salinity levels, and more often than not, they will die. 

If you are locked on this course of action, there is a way to do it while not causing any undue stress on the cherry shrimp. 

  • Before introducing the cherry shrimp, cycle and change the water over 5 weeks
  • Keep the levels of ammonia and nitrates at zero
  • Acclimate the cherry shrimp in a separate bowl
  • Carefully and slowly add tank water in
  • Stick with juvenile cherry shrimp, as they adapt the fastest

It’s a long, slow, and steady process that will take weeks’ worth of time and will test your patience, even as some cherry shrimp being adapted will die. If you stick to juveniles, you will have a higher success rate, as senior cherry shrimp aren’t as robust and versatile. 

Can Brine Shrimp Live in Brackish Water?

Brine shrimp typically live in high salinity environments, such as ponds fed directly from the ocean’s waters. They’re not as used to the lower salinity in brackish water, however, they can survive just fine.

It may affect their breeding habits, though, since brine shrimp prefer to birth in heavily salinated water. In the wild, brine shrimp live just fine in brackish water, navigating to saltier environments to breed.

Brine shrimp are one of the most adaptable shrimp when it comes to salinity levels. They can survive in brackish water up to the most salt-rich environments on the planet. They absolutely cannot live in a freshwater environment, even though they can be fed to some freshwater species safely. 

Can Amano Shrimp Live in Brackish Water?

Amano shrimp are known for their voracious appetites when it comes to all things algae. They will consume algae in massive quantities, so they make a good cleanup crustacean for freshwater aquariums

While Amano shrimp cannot live in brackish water, at least not for long, they do require brackish water to breed and birth their young. They will only remain there for that purpose and will leave as soon as it is done. 

Long-term viability is not very high if they remain in brackish water for long periods. If you introduce them to a brackish water tank, they will survive for a time but will eventually begin to die off, one by one. 

It’s simply not a long-term solution or permanent environment for them. Once they are done with their breeding cycle, Amano shrimp will return to freshwater. 

In a freshwater environment, where the Amano cannot move to brackish water, they will still breed, however, so it’s not the end all be all the breeding locations for Armano shrimp. It is known that they don’t breed or reproduce as well in a freshwater environment. 

Can Grass Shrimp Live in Brackish Water?

Grass shrimp, many varieties of which go under the name of ghost shrimp, the first shrimp on our list, is an either-or shrimp, depending on where it’s from. 

What that means is, like ghost shrimp, there are some grass shrimp that are freshwater only and there are some grass shrimp that remain in brackish water. So it depends on what you’ve gotten your hands on. 

It gets pretty confusing when you start breaking down and comparing the different shrimp that fall under the ghost shrimp and grass shrimp umbrellas. Since some of them are so similar, oftentimes grass shrimp are sold under the name of ghost shrimp. 

For what it’s worth, it’s easier to just sort through the ones that live in freshwater and the ones that live in brackish water, because there is no in-between. This makes things a little simpler.

If there are a few things that grass shrimp share in common is that they are very intolerant towards copper and nitrates. In fact, adding or having either of these in your tank is liable to kill grass and ghost shrimp alike. 

What Shrimp Can Live in Brackish Water?

There are several shrimp that can live in brackish water and, as a whole, they are all saltwater shrimp, including the coral banded, mantis, peppermint, pistol, common marble, and a few others. 

Freshwater shrimp only ever cross into brackish water for breeding purposes, including Amano and bamboo shrimp. You generally don’t see much crossover, and certainly not from fresh to full saltwater. 

While different species of shrimp find some common ground in brackish water, there isn’t a great deal of migrating back and forth, outside of breeding purposes. 

Final Thoughts

While there are different types of ghost shrimp out there, they all share some things in common, which include brief interludes in brackish water for freshwater ghost shrimp and some in freshwater for brackish ghost shrimp. 

In the end, however, neither can survive outside its own environment for too terribly long.

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