Do Ghost Shrimp Need A Filter?

Ghost shrimp are one of the most popular crustacean species in hobbyist aquariums.

They are tough, make little mess, and appear far more intriguing than standard goldfish and tetras. Unfortunately, many shrimp keepers are unaware of the significance of shrimp tank filters.

Yes, ghost shrimps, like most aquatic creatures living in a limited aquarium, require a filter.

Even if they may live in a highly vegetated tank, a filter is still required to prevent the accumulation of hazardous gases such as nitrate and ammonia.

In this article, we’ll look at whether ghost shrimp truly require a filter and what happens if you leave it without one.

Why Filters Are Crucial For Ghost Shrimps?

Yes, ghost shrimp require a filter as aquatic animals that live in the limitations of a tank. There are a surprising number of advantages to employing a filter in your ghost shrimp aquarium, including the following.

1. Better Growth and Reproduction

A filter in your shrimp tank helps make sure the water remains clean and does not become a source of poor development or premature mortality.

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Because ghost shrimp have infamously short lifespans, poor water quality can sometimes cause growth delays and even prevent them from reaching the ideal adult form.

2. Improved Molting Process

Good quality water is highly beneficial to the molting process. Once the ghost shrimps have shed the previous shell, they will absorb a large amount of water to form the new shell.

As a result, if the water is not thoroughly cleansed, it will complicate the creation of the new shell and disrupt the upcoming molting cycle.

3. Boosted Immunity

Before and after molting, ghost shrimps have barely any appetite. To make matters worse, their skin is completely exposed to the outside environment.

As a result, if the water quality is not maintained, their immune systems weaken and they become susceptible to diseases such as white spot syndrome.

4. Reduced Stress Level

Your ghost shrimps are happy when the water is clean and full of beneficial microorganisms.

However, if the water quality is poor, your shrimp will quickly become stressed. This is a helpful rule of thumb to remember while determining whether or not to use a filter.

5. Less Frequent Water Changes

Water changes must be performed more frequently if the tank lacks sufficient filtration.

If you must change the water during the molting stage, your ghost shrimps will absorb water with varied qualities, increasing their likelihood of osmotic shock.

6. Enhanced Nitrogen Cycle

The absence of a healthy nitrogen cycle in a tank raises ammonia levels, which are extremely fatal to ghost shrimps.

The risks are significantly greater in smaller tanks since they fluctuate more.

An effective filtration system, on the other hand, might create an effective nitrogen cycle that not only reduces ammonia but also promotes healthy water characteristics.

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What Happens If There Is No Filter In Your Ghost Shrimp Tank

Because shrimps are more sensitive to keep in an aquarium than fish, they must be kept with special considerations such as particular substrates, filters, and water conditions.

Below are a number of things that might occur when you decide to not use the filter.

Ammonia Spikes

The lack of a filter in your tank can cause ammonia spikes, increasing the likelihood of your shrimp having ammonia burns.

The condition is characterized by vibrant red-orange patches on the skin.

In addition to developing the patches, your shrimp may begin to breathe fast and lose energy.

Lack of Oxygen

The amount of oxygen in the tank declines as the water quality deteriorates. This makes it difficult for your ghost shrimp to remain happy and healthy.

And when you don’t have a filter in your tank, this happens considerably faster than if you do.

The Best Filter For Your Ghost Shrimps

Overall, a filter is very important in keeping the water clean and other parameters balanced.

Your ghost shrimps will thrive in a freshly changed tank. However, the water will become polluted over time, making it difficult to maintain its quality by simply changing it once a week.

So, in order to make your task of maintaining water quality easier, you’ll need a filter. Basically, any aquarium filter will work for ghost shrimps; it all depends on your preferences.

Below are the most popular filter types for ghost shrimp aquariums.

  • Matten Filter

Matten filters, which are often twice the size of regular sponge filters, provide an extensive amount of space for good bacteria to flourish. Because of its simple operations, this filter is also popular among shrimp keepers.

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Aside from that, it ensures adequate water circulation in a shrimp tank. Furthermore, Matten filters are quite inexpensive when compared to other types of filters.

So, if you’re new to this activity and looking for a filter, it’s suggested to give it a shot.

  • Sponge Filter

In most cases, sponge filters will suffice in the absence of the Matten filter.

These filters are installed inside the aquarium and provide biological as well as mechanical cleansing. Sponge filters are also very useful for breeding and maintaining a shrimp tank.

However, you must ensure that the filter is the correct size for the tank. A sponge filter that is too small will not be able to adequately circulate the water around the tank.

The larger the sponge filter, on the other hand, the more surface area it provides for helpful bacterial colonies to thrive.

  • HOB Filter

HOB filters are a little more expensive, but they provide excellent value for money.

These filters typically provide comprehensive filtering with biological, mechanical, and chemical processes. If you don’t have a budget constraint, pick up a HOB filter for your aquarium right now!

The Takeaway

Ghost shrimps are wonderful pets because of their low biomass and ecological footprint. They also enjoy cleaning the tank and removing pollutants.

A filter, however, is still required to ensure healthy growth and development.

Even though ghost shrimps can survive without a filter in an aquarium with a lot of flourishing plants for a while, filters are always suggested in any type of tank.

Filters do more than just filter water; they also produce a helpful bacterial colony that converts toxic ammonia to both nitrate and nitrite.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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