Ghost shrimps are freshwater shrimps that are very easy to keep in an aquarium. Another name for the ghost shrimp is ‘glass shrimp.’ Ghost shrimps possess a hump midway the length of their tail, and like every other shrimp, they look like crayfishes.
Why do Ghost Shrimp Turning White? Ghost shrimps turn white when they are in their last days. The name of this disease is necrosis, which occurs when you provide the Ghost shrimp with low temperatures and undissolved oxygen. There is no proven cure for this predicament yet.
Characteristics of a Ghost Shrimp
How do I know about ghost shrimp? How does a ghost shrimp look? These are common questions that people ask.
Many people do not recognize a ghost shrimp when they see one. If you want to be able to recognize a ghost shrimp, you have to know its characteristics. Here are some of its characteristics;
Color: The color of a ghost shrimp makes it stand out from most other shrimps. The ghost shrimp is slightly transparent in color. It has some dark and colored spots on its body. At times, the color of ghost shrimps changes, especially when they are sick. When a ghost shrimp falls sick or it is ready to die, its color changes from transparent to white or opaque grey.
Size: Ghost shrimps are relatively large when compared to crayfish and other species of shrimps. Ghost shrimps grow as long as an inch and half and as wide as the diameter of an eraser.
Presence of Hump: One of the characteristics of a ghost shrimp is the presence of a hump along the length of its tail. The hump gives it a distinct appearance. The hump also adds to its swimming ability.
Shell: Like other crustaceans, you would expect that the shell of the ghost shrimp would be hard to give it protection. The shell of the ghost shrimp is soft. It is even softer than the shell of a crayfish.
Antennae: The ghost shrimp has two pairs of antennae. One of the pairs of the antennae is short while the other pair is long. The antennae are useful in doing unique things for the ghost shrimp.
Legs: The ghost shrimps have six legs. Some of these legs are for walking while the others assist the shrimp in feeding.
Causes of White Color in Ghost Shrimp
Different factors cause the white color exhibited by the ghost shrimps. Some of the causes of the white color are listed below.
Molting: Molting is a vital process that ghost shrimps go through. Every ghost shrimp has a shell. As the shrimps grow, the shell does not grow, and this makes the shell tight and uncomfortable over time.
Molting occurs when the ghost shrimp takes off its shell and grows back a new one. The ghost shrimp is very vulnerable at the molting stage. After getting rid of their previous shell, they hide for about three days because of their vulnerability.
This molting causes the shrimp to develop new shells, and in the meantime, the color of the ghost shrimp changes slightly to white and becomes more opaque. Whenever your shrimp is ready to molt, you should make sure the water is in excellent and favorable conditions.
Dirty Environment: The environment of your ghost fish also matters a lot. It tells them about their health. It is advisable to keep proper water parameters for your ghost shrimp. If you do not meet the conditions for the right environment, they tend to lose their transparent features.
Old Age: Old age is also one of the causes of the color change in ghost shrimps. After living for an extended period, they start to become white in appearance. When they start appearing white, you should know that they are in their last days. You might not be able to help this because death is a compulsory event for every living thing.
Sickness: Sickness is the deviation from the healthy way of life. It makes the ghost shrimp deviate from being transparent to being white. The sickness that causes the whiteness in ghost shrimp is necrosis.
Cure for Whiteness of Ghost Shrimps
The whiteness sometimes causes the shrimp to be inactive and, at times, active. The cure for the whiteness depends on the cause of the whiteness. Here are some cures for different conditions.
When the whiteness is due to old age, there is nothing you can do to help the shrimp. Growing old and dying is compulsory, so you have little or no say to it.
Likewise, molting, you can’t cure this because it is not a defect, nor is it a sickness. It is compulsory for the shrimp. The only way to help it during this time is to provide for its adequate environmental conditions.
You should make sure the water is very conducive and does not contain any harsh chemicals. It would be best if you kept the water temperature stable at the appropriate temperature. It would help if you also protected the shrimp from predators by removing predators from its tank or isolating the shrimp.
Also, when the whiteness is a result of the dirty environment you keep your shrimp, you should make sure you change the water frequently and make it clean and free from harmful chemicals. Since everything the shrimp does deals with water, you should be careful about the kind of water you use to fill its tank.
When your ghost shrimp is sick, especially from necrosis, the ghost shrimp starts to turn white. The cause of necrosis is mainly the intake of undissolved oxygen and low temperature.
Once your shrimp gets infected with necrosis, you should start preparing its final rites. As much as I hate to say this, it is true. It is because necrosis has no safe cure yet, so you should ensure your ghost shrimp don’t get infected with it.
The only time your shrimp whitens, and it depicts a good thing, is when the shrimp is molting. Any other form of whitening can be an infection or death sentence. It would be best if you also made sure other shrimps do not feed on the contaminated dead shrimp so they won’t contract it.