My Ghost Shrimp Disappeared

My Ghost Shrimp Disappeared

Have you recently welcomed a ghost shrimp into your home’s fish tank? If you have, you’ve probably become acquainted with their incredible hide-and-seek capabilities. For first-time shrimp owners, you may be wondering why your ghost shrimp has disappeared. 

It’s not uncommon for your pet shrimp to seemingly vanish. Their lack of appearance can be caused by their personality traits, their reactive nature after the molting stage, or even death. 

Noticing that your pet shrimp has gone MIA can be stressful, especially for the first-time shrimp parent. In the rest of this article, we’ll detail the reasons why your shrimp may have disappeared, where they could be hiding, and more.

Why Did My Ghost Shrimp Disappear?

As we mentioned earlier, shrimp tend to disappear regularly. Unlike other aquatic animals, which are usually in constant view, shrimps have moments where they keep to themselves- and your ghost shrimp is no exception! Here are some reasons why your ghost shrimp may be missing from its tank- we’ll go into detail about them in the rest of the article:

  • Post-Molting 
  • Filter Issues
  • Personality
  • Death


Shrimps have a protective shell around their body that acts as their main source of defense against danger. As shrimp grow, or as time goes by, their shell can weaken and will no longer be suitable fortification for their body- which is soft, pliant, and susceptible to danger.

If your shrimp is still young, this process can happen weekly to bimonthly. Once they fully grow, they will only need to molt every month for maintenance. When a shrimp molts, they shed its shell and leave it floating in the water.

After molting, your shrimp will grow a new shell. However, this shell will need a couple of days to harden before your pet deems it ready for the tank. During this time, your shrimp will likely hide out of sight, but will bounce back to its social self once it starts feeling safe again. 

Filter Issues

Unfortunately, ghost shrimp are curious to a fault. You may see them wandering a bit too close to your tank’s filter at times. The truth is that unless you have some sort of attachment to keep them from getting sucked up, the chances of them finding their way into the filter system are fairly high.

Long-time fish owners know the importance of keeping a sponge or net attached to your tank’s filter, it will ensure your pets are safe, and that they can be easily spotted if it seems they’re missing. 

Unfortunately, if your shrimp has gotten itself stuck in the filter, the chances of it surviving are very bleak. Take extra precautions to ensure this doesn’t happen!


Shrimps tend to be creatures that prefer solitude. It’s common for them to hide in the decor until it’s time to eat, or if they decide it’s time to interact with you or other inhabitants of the tank. If you haven’t owned a shrimp before, you may be worried that they’re acting lethargic. Rest assured, this is normal behavior.

If you’re not a fan of not being able to see them, equip your tank with a black background. Ghost shrimp are so named for their near transparency, so they’ll be able to stand out easier when placed against a dark backdrop. 


Of course, another unfortunate reason that your shrimp may have disappeared from your tank could be that they died. This could be due to natural causes, getting caught in the filter, or even because they were eaten by other fish in the tank. 

Where Do Ghost Shrimp Hide In Tank?

If your ghost shrimp is hiding, there are a couple of places you can look to check up on it. Some of the most common places are…

In The Foliage

If you have very young ghost shrimp, it’s normal for them to accustom themselves to their new environment by hanging out in any foliage decor you have at the bottom of the tank. Ghost shrimp have a fondness for live plants, so it should be among the first places you check for your pet. 

Your shrimp may also hide in the plants if you introduce new fish to the tank. This is a temporary period of apprehension, and they will grow out of it once they feel they’re in no danger from the new stimuli.

You may find it helpful to provide your ghost shrimp with several hiding places in areas visible to you (like near the front of the tank), that way, you’ll be able to find them faster. 

Stuck Near Filter

As we mentioned earlier, the vacuum-like power of the tank’s filter can put your ghost shrimp in a sticky situation! If you’ve already taken a look throughout the environment and can’t seem to find your shrimp, take a closer look at the area around the filter.

If your shrimp is there but doesn’t seem to be moving, there’s a possibility that it could be stuck in the suction of the water flow. Be extra careful when helping it untrap itself. 

Out Of Tank

Sad as it is, ghost shrimps are known for jumping of their tanks on occasion. Despite it being a commonplace reaction, they only do it when they’re feeling stressed.

If you can’t seem to find your shrimp in the tank, and if you don’t have any other fish that could’ve eaten it, take a look at the table your tank is on, or on the floor nearest to its home. They can’t launch themselves too far, so you might be able to spot them quickly enough to reintroduce them to the water.

Should they continue this behavior, check the quality of the water to ensure that they’re in livable conditions. Their stress could also be caused by any new fish in the tank. Either way, it’s important to discern what your ghost shrimp considers dangerous, so you can remedy the problem as soon as possible.


Ghost shrimp, funnily enough, do tend to vanish right before your eyes. Though this may seem like a haunting to the new caretaker, you’re now equipped with the knowledge necessary to know exactly why your ghost shrimp may have disappeared from the tank!