Whisker Shrimp Vs Ghost Shrimp: What’s the Difference?

Whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp are two different species. The main differences between the two are their physical appearance and behavior.

Whisker shrimps are larger and have longer antennae, while ghost shrimps have a more translucent body and shorter antennae. Whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp are two common species of freshwater shrimp that are often kept as pets. While both belong to the same family (palaemonidae), they have distinct physical differences that set them apart. Whisker shrimps have a more robust appearance, with a darker coloration and longer antennae. Ghost shrimps, on the other hand, have a more transparent body with shorter antennae and often have a pink or yellowish hue. In terms of behavior, whisker shrimp are more active and territorial, while ghost shrimps are more docile and tend to hide. Both types of shrimp are scavengers and will help keep the tank clean by eating leftover food and debris.

Physical Appearance

Whisker shrimp have long, thin bodies with long antennae. They have long, fragile front claws that are longer than their body. They are generally transparent, but their eyes are black and darkly colored. Ghost shrimp, on the other hand, have a more robust body and a rounder shape with shorter antennae.

They have yellowish-brown or greenish-brown coloration with a clear abdomen. When compared, the whisker shrimp has much longer appendages than the ghost shrimp, making them easier to differentiate. Both species are popular freshwater aquarium pets, but understanding their physical differences is essential for proper care and maintenance.

Habitat & Behaviour

Whisker shrimp, also known as vampire shrimp, can be found in freshwater habitats in southeast asia. They prefer slow-moving water, such as streams and rivers, with plenty of vegetation to hide in. Ghost shrimp inhabit muddy or sandy bottoms in freshwater and saltwater environments.

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They can be found in brackish water as well. Both species are known for their scavenging behavior and feeding on detritus. However, whisker shrimp are also known to hunt small organisms. Ghost shrimp tend to be more sociable, living in groups and burrowing into the substrate.

Whisker shrimp, on the other hand, are more solitary. Understanding the differences between these shrimp can help aquarium hobbyists choose the right species for their tanks.

Can Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp Both Thrive in a Freshwater Aquarium?

Can Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp Both Thrive in a Freshwater Aquarium? Yes, both Whisker Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp can thrive in a freshwater aquarium. However, it’s important to create a suitable habitat for them. Providing hiding spots with safe wood for freshwater aquariums can mimic their natural environment, promoting their well-being and ensuring they thrive in your tank.

Diet & Nutrition

Whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp have distinct differences in their diet and nutrition. Whisker shrimp is omnivorous and feeds on algae, detritus, and organisms like mosquito larvae. They also need a protein-based diet to maintain their health. On the other hand, ghost shrimp is also omnivorous but requires more protein than whisker shrimp.

They feed on live or fresh foods, including brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae. When comparing the dietary requirements of both species, ghost shrimp requires a higher protein diet, while whisker shrimp can survive on algae and detritus. Therefore, it is essential to know the specific dietary requirements of each species if you want to keep them healthy in an aquarium.

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Maintenance & Care

Whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp both require a properly maintained tank, but their needs differ. A good setup for whisker shrimp includes plants and hiding spots in a tank at least 2. 5 gallons in size. Ghost shrimp prefer sand substrate and low, indirect lighting.

Both need good water quality and temperature control. Whisker shrimp are hardier and better for beginners. They eat algae and don’t require additional feed. Ghost shrimp respond well to greens and occasional protein supplements. Regular tank cleaning and oxygenation is important for both.

Choose a type of shrimp that meets your expertise and provides the environment necessary for their survival. Proper maintenance and care will result in healthy, thriving shrimp.


Overall, both whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp make great additions to a freshwater aquarium. While they may look similar, they have distinct differences that make them unique in their own way. Whisker shrimp are ideal for aquarists who are looking for a larger, more active shrimp with distinct personality traits.

Ghost shrimp are a better fit for those who want a shrimp that is easy to care for and won’t run the risk of bothering other tank inhabitants. It’s crucial to remember that both species require adequate water quality and a balanced diet to thrive.

It’s also essential to avoid predatory fish that may view the shrimp as prey. Ultimately, the decision between whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp is up to personal preference and the specific needs of the aquarium. Regardless of which shrimp you choose, adding these crustaceans to your tank can bring new life and interesting behaviours to your underwater world.

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