Why Is My Ghost Shrimp Turning White? (Cause & Prevention)

Ghost shrimps are easy to care for and add immense beauty to the aquarium. The lifespan of a shrimp is a year. In some cases, ghost shrimps act as feeders for the larger tanks and help clean the tank. On the body of shrimps, you notice the brown coloration with a few dark patches.

In some cases, you notice that ghost shrimp turns white, and it happens due to the result of old age, quality of water, molting, overfeeding, and sickness like muscular necrosis.  

While noticing the fading color, don’t panic; just try to find the cause for whiting and preventive measures to avoid turning the shrimps to white. This article briefly explains to the readers the required information.

Ghost Shrimp Turning White

Why Is My Ghost Shrimp Turning White [Major Cause]

Ghost shrimp may turn white due to stress, illness, or old age. It is important to maintain proper water quality and provide a healthy diet to prevent stress and illness in ghost shrimp. If the shrimp is old, there may be nothing that can be done to prevent the change in color.

Why Do Ghost Shrimp Turn White? [Detailed Guide]

The most common cause of ghost shrimp turning white is their age. Shrimps do not survive for very long periods, and some just live for a year. They can begin to show indications of aging as early as 6 months of age because they’ve already reached the midway point of their existence. However, this normally appears as white patches that may grow more translucent over time.

A ghost shrimp will turn entirely white and transparent after eight months. They may take on a faint blue tint due to this, making them difficult to spot in an aquarium. If you find the ghost shrimp has become white and lazy, it implies they are nearing the end of their lives.

During molting, the ghost shrimp may turn white. This indicates that they are losing their exoskeleton to create a new, bigger one. This is particularly prevalent when their body turns largely white and flaky during the growing stages.

The shrimp is about to molt towards the termination of its natural lifespan or has a major health condition, which are the three most prevalent reasons for a ghost shrimp turning white. You should investigate why your ghost shrimp is turning white.


Old age is the most typical reason. This may make you sad, but it usually implies that the shrimp has reached the end of its normal life cycle. Shedding could be another reason, albeit they do not turn white when this happens. There are other prevalent illnesses like Muscular Necrosis, which causes shrimp to turn white and for which there is now no known safe treatment.

Ghost Shrimp Whiteness Causes

Regular testing of water parameters is necessary to keep an aquarium healthy, regardless of the population. You must frequently check water parameters like pH, temperature, oxygen levels, nitrite, and nitrate levels.

Purchasing a comprehensive freshwater test kit from Amazon is the most convenient and advanced alternative. Each problem has its personality. Depending on the reason, shrimp will act differently. Read on to figure out why your shrimp have turned white.


As you may be aware, your shrimp live in a non-growing shell. They will, however, outgrow this shell, which will result in molting. Your shrimp will produce a new layer of the shell that may take anything from a few hours to a few days to harden.

You should expect the shrimp to molt once every few months as they continue to grow. During these times, they will be very vulnerable to any potential threats, such as predatory fish and unstable water conditions.

Muscular Necrosis

All varieties of shrimp are susceptible to Muscular Necrosis disease. If you notice white spots or large areas of white on your fish’s abdomen or tail, it has got it. pH changes and a lack of nutrients in the water can also cause this disease. It could also occur due to sudden temperature fluctuations or low oxygen levels.

The infected shrimp must be quarantined in a separate tank because it is infectious. There is no actual cure for this, but regular water changes of at least 10% of the water could help. Additionally, make an effort to maintain water parameters appropriate for the species.

Ghost Shrimp Tank Parameters

The perfect tank size for ghost shrimp is a minimum of 5 to 10 gallons. You should maintain the temperature at around 25-26oC. The pH level is 6.5-7.5; nitrate value should be around 10ppm, water hardness should be around 5 to 10 KH, and you should minimize ammonia and nitrite levels to zero.

Check out our article on ‘Most Hardy Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp‘.

Prevention Step to Stop Your Ghost Shrimp from Turning White?

You won’t be able to stop your ghost shrimp from turning white as they become older, but you can help them keep their original color during molting. Give them a boiled cuttle fishbone from a pet store’s bird area to supplement their calcium intake. 

Ghost Shrimp prevention from Turning White

You can also put crushed eggshells or shrimp calcium powder in the water column. The added calcium will help them complete their molt and prevent the shrimp from becoming encrusted with shed bits.

Finding out what’s creating a problem is the first step toward resolving it. Your shrimp may turn white due to age, as previously explained. It is a natural process that you may not be able to stop.

Molting is also a normal part of the animal’s life cycle. In the life cycle of shrimps, it represents a growing stage. The only thing you can do now is provide an enabling environment to thrive and safeguard them.

Some shrimp keepers will also advocate scraping cuttlebone powder into the water’s surface to take calcium from the surface, similar to how people extract biofilm.

Shredding Of Ghost Shrimp

People should not confuse a shed for one of the ghost shrimps. The shed bits can resemble a fully deceased ghost shrimp, or it may pretend to be a ghost shrimp in some situations. However, if it lacks eyes or internal organs, it is most likely a complete shed and not a white ghost shrimp.

During their key developing stages, ghost shrimps can shed twice a week, and they will slow down as they get older. The clear brown color of adult ghost shrimp will not fade.

Is My Ghost Shrimp Molting or Dying?

Inspect for the following signs to see if your ghost shrimp is dead or molting:

  • The back of a shedding shrimp’s shell will have a distinct split.
  • A shedding shrimp will conceal, but a dead one will stand out.
  • A shrimp will become milky white in certain areas before molting, but this should be active.
  • A shrimp that has died will float to the top of the aquarium.
  • A dead shrimp will first seem milky white, then opaque pink after a while.
  • If you find a dead ghost shrimp, discard it immediately to avoid polluting the water or transmitting sickness to other tank dwellers. Leave it alone if it’s only molting, and everything will be fine after a few days. 

Wrapping Up

Ghost shrimp frequently change colors. Most shrimp species will lighten or darken as they mature. Their coloring is also affected by what they eat. The saddle on the backs of female ghost shrimp is a dark brown patch. This is where the unfertilized shrimp will sit in the female and will assist you in determining the shrimp’s gender. Berried female shrimps have little green and yellow eggs in their abdomens, visible through their translucent bodies.

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