How Many Ghost Shrimp Per Gallon And Other Important Setup Considerations

In this article, you will learn not only the answer to the above question but also the following:

  • Learn the 3 factors that determines how many ghost shrimps you can have per gallon
  • Develop a clear understanding of how to set up a one gallon shrimp tank
  • How to solve this ONE critical problem that nobody talks about

Hopefully, you are will be able pick up some nuggets of knowledge that you didn’t know before about having ghost shrimp.


What might influence how many ghost shrimp you can have in your tank

Although everyone likes a perfect answer, it is not as straight forward due to the following

  • Amount of accessories in the tank: if you have to include things like a heater or filter, they are going to take up space
  • Amount of plants: too much plants also reduce the space in your fish tank. These 2 factors are especially important for smaller sized tanks such as those below 1 or even 2 gallon. In bigger tanks, these are not as important.
  • How aggressive are your ghost shrimp: Some ghost shrimp can get pretty aggressive and will start attacking each other if the space become too confine. To play it safe, I would start with maybe 5 shrimps, watch how they behave and add one every other week.

As you can see, there is right answer but the range is usually from 5-10 ghost shrimp per gallon.


How to set up a one gallon planted ghost shrimp tank

After knowing the number of ghost shrimps one can have, it is time to work on putting up a nice shrimp tank. I am assuming we are working with a one gallon shrimp tank setup.


  1. List of equipment needed

First thing is to make sure you get the right accessories for the setup. For a basic one gallon shrimp tank, below is what you need

  • One gallon fish tank (duh)
  • Cheap sand or hard pebbles and some small plants. Moss ball will be best for such a small tank set up. Other plant types might need a deeper layer of sand or gravel and that will eat into your tank space.
  • Desk lamp that have 6500K led light. That is the amount of light needed for the plants to grow well. Since the tank is small, we can’t afford a standalone light so a desk lamp that shines over it will do.
  • Sponge filter (optional). You can do without the filter but you then need to be more diligent in your water change. At the minimum, it has to be 50-80% weekly change as the one gallon water gets dirty pretty easily


  1. Prepare the tank

You need to get the shrimp tank ready by positioning it in the area you desired and then filling it the sand and plants. Once you are happy with the arrangement, add water. If you have hard water in your area, you might want to consider using RO water or some way to soften it.

Your tank needs to be cycled for at least a couple of days. For regular fish tanks, the cycling period is longer but since this is a shrimp tank, we don’t need such a long waiting time.


  1. Add the shrimps in

This step is pretty clear. The only thing is the number of ghost shrimps you are adding in. As mentioned, start with a small number, watch how they react and then add more if everything is ok. You should do the same if you want to mix different breeds of prawns. Get a pair of each and see how they behave before attempting to add more.


  1. Attach the filter if needed

The above is all you need. However, if you want less work in cleaning, a sponge filter can be added. It is difficult to work with any other bigger filter due to the small tank size. If you need a recommendation, a good choice will be the Mignon Filter 6. I used it personally because:

  • Quiet: if you hate noises, this will be a big plus
  • No Mess: it doesn’t need any external pump so all the snaking pipes and what not are not needed
  • Control Flow of Water: this is important if you don’t want your shrimps to be caught in its water flow. For a one gallon though, it might still affect them even at the lowest setting

The only negative thing is the quality of the sponge itself. I don’t really like it but it can be easily replaced with another higher quality brand such as Aquaclear Biomax 20.


Too many ghost shrimp

If you are new to this, you need to know that ghost shrimps breeds pretty fast. They can start breeding 2-3 days after just laying eggs. The actual hatching itself will take about 24 days though but if we do the math, we are talking about get pregnant once a month!

Worst still, when they lay eggs, we are talking about hundreds in one go. If you have a tank that has other fishes, this might not be a problem as the fishes will eat up the eggs. However, in a small shrimp only tank, you are going to get some over population issues pretty fast.

There is a number of solutions to this problem.

The first is to remove them from the main tank if you know they are carrying eggs. If you do not know how to tell if ghost shrimp pregnant, I have attached an image of how it looks like. You can see the bottom area is bloated and against the light, contains lots of eggs.

ghost shrimp pregnant

The second solution is to remove or not to have the male ghost shrimp in the tank. That means you will not get any new shrimps but it also avoid the over population problem pretty easily.



I hope you learn something useful in this article. I have talked a bit beyond the initial question as they are implications you should understand beyond just the number of ghost shrimp per gallon.

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