Skip to Content

Cherry Shrimp vs. Ghost Shrimp (Which is the Better Choice?)

Cherry Shrimp vs. Ghost Shrimp (Which is the Better Choice?)

Share this post:

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cherry shrimp vs. ghost shrimp, which is worth buying? Well, the answer depends on your personal preference.

Cherry shrimp and Ghost shrimp are popular freshwater shrimp species commonly kept in aquariums.

At first sight, the two species may seem alike, but numerous differences distinguish them.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into their characteristics and other information you need to decide which species are suitable for your aquarium.

Appearance: Telling Cherry Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp Apart

As a beginner breeder, distinguishing between Cherry Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp can be tricky. Let’s take a closer look at their appearance.


While these shrimps have unique features, there are also some similarities in their appearances. For example, both of them have antennae to sense their environment and locate food. They have eyes located on stalks, allowing them to move independently of their body.

Moreover, Cherry and ghost Shrimps have fan-shaped tails that help them swim and move around their aquatic habitat.


The most distinctive trait of Cherry shrimp is their bright red coloration. They can grow to a size of around an inch in length. On the other hand, Ghost shrimps are usually larger and can grow up to 2 inches.

Cherry shrimps have transparent bodies, which allows you to see their organs and eggs. You’ll see their tiny, stubby claws that they use for grazing and climbing as well.

However, Ghost shrimps are semi-transparent. They range from a light gray to brownish-yellow, with some having speckles or stripes.

Cultivation: Keeping your Shrimps Healthy

Proper care is essential in keeping your cherry and ghost shrimps healthy. Get familiar with their needs in terms of maintenance.


Both species are omnivorous and will consume algae, plant matter, and small insects. They can have a well-balanced diet by eating commercial shrimp pellets and vegetables such as zucchini or spinach.

Cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp require regular water changes, too. Aim for a weekly 10-20% water change to remove accumulated waste toxins from the aquarium.

Remember that they’re sensitive to poor water quality. It’s crucial to test the water regularly and make adjustments when necessary.


Cherry shrimp are generally more sensitive to changes in water parameters than ghost shrimp.

The ideal water parameters (pH) for cherry shrimps are between 6.5-7.5. They also prefer slightly cooler water temperatures that range between 68°F and 78°F.

On the other hand, ghost shrimp can tolerate a broader pH range between 7.0 and 8.0. They prefer a slight water temperature between 72°F- 82°F

Breeding and Reproduction: Raising a Shrimp Offspring

Raising a shrimp can be a rewarding experience for aquarists, but it requires proper knowledge and preparation. Consider the points below before breeding your ghost and cherry shrimp.


Ghost and cherry shrimp exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning that males and females have different physical characteristics. In both species, males are generally smaller and more slender than females. Furthermore, females have larger, more rounded abdomens.

Both cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp should also molt to grow and reproduce. During the molting process, shrimp shed their exoskeleton and are vulnerable to predation and disease.


Cherry shrimp are known for their high reproductive rate and can quickly populate a tank if conditions are ideal.

Females can carry up to 30 eggs at a time and breed every 30 days. They carry the eggs until they hatch into tiny shrimps, which can take up to three weeks.

In contrast, ghost shrimps have a lower reproductive rate and produce few offspring (20-30 eggs) per breeding cycle.

The larvae of a cherry shrimp can survive independently and develop through several stages. But ghost shrimp larvae require special care and a specific diet to survive and grow.

Can Cherry Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp Live Together?

Cherry and ghost shrimp can live together in the same tank as peaceful and non-aggressive aquatic animals.

However, keeping a few things in mind before adding them to the same tank is vital.

Firstly, cherry and ghost shrimp may interbreed if kept together. While this can lead to some exciting and unique offspring, it can also result in hybrid offspring that may not be as healthy or resilient as their purebred counterparts.

Secondly, as mentioned above, cherry and ghost shrimp have slightly different water parameter requirements.

Therefore, if you decide to keep them together, it’s crucial to maintain a pH level that’s somewhere in between these ranges to ensure both species thrive.

Last but not least, it’s worth noting that ghost shrimp can be territorial and may compete for food and resources with other shrimp or bottom-dwelling animals, including cherry shrimp.

So, it’s necessary to provide enough hiding places and food sources to prevent any conflicts.

Can You Breed Cherry Shrimp with Ghost Shrimp?

Yes, cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp can breed and produce offspring.

Both species belong to the same shrimp family, the Atyidae family, and can interbreed to produce hybrid offspring.

But here’s the catch: breeding cherry and ghost shrimp together can result in offspring with unpredictable coloration and markings.

Hybrid offspring may display various colors and patterns as well, some of which may not be desirable to the aquarist.

Furthermore, breeding cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp together can also lead to a dilution of the genetic diversity of each species.

This consequence can ultimately lead to a decrease in both populations’ overall health and resilience.

Hence, it’s generally recommended to keep cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp separate to maintain the purebred populations of each species.

If you decide to keep them together, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential for interbreeding and carefully monitor any offspring produced.

Final Thoughts

Both cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp are great options for freshwater aquariums. But they differ in appearance, maintenance, and breeding.

While they can coexist in the same tank, it’s vital to ensure their water parameters and feeding needs are met.

So, the choice between the two species depends on personal preference and the aquarium’s specific requirements.

Share this post: