Ghost shrimp are also known as glass shrimp and grass shrimp. They are sold as both a natural method of algae control for your aquarium and as a natural food for large fish. Regardless of how you plan to use your ghost shrimp, it is important that the shrimp are healthy in order to maintain a healthy aquarium environment and prevent disease that could affect other shrimp or fish in your tank.
Ghost Shrimp Appearance
A ghost shrimp that is milky, white or cloudy in appearance is not healthy. A healthy ghost shrimp is almost completely clear. You should be able to see through the ghost shrimp in your aquarium without difficulty. When you are selecting ghost shrimp to purchase and add to your tank or even feed to your fish, look for the clearest specimens.
Ghost Shrimp Problems
There are several different reasons ghost shrimp may change colors from clear to cloudy or white. The shrimp may be sick due to bacteria in the water or another infectious disease in the tank. They may also be reacting negatively to water conditions, such as improper pH or ammonia levels. In some cases, the shrimp may simply become stressed due to being transported or conditions within your tank.
Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for a sick ghost shrimp. Most ghost shrimp that turn white or milky in appearance will die within days or weeks. Ghost shrimp are inexpensive and generally considered to be easily replaceable by aquarium enthusiasts, so there is not a lot of emphasis in developing veterinary treatments for sick ghost shrimp.
You can take the symptoms of illness in your ghost shrimp as an early indicator that there is a problem with either the shrimp or the aquarium conditions. If your shrimp become ill, you may want to remove them from the tank and change out the water. If your ghost shrimp become ill after the addition of a new fish to the aquarium, you may want to treat the entire tank for a potential illness or bacterial infection.
shrimp image by Lukasz Ozimek from Fotolia.com
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.