Creating a shrimp tank is enthusiastic as they are active and playful creatures. Ghost shrimp and cherry shrimps are more popular among them. The question ‘do ghost shrimp need a filter’ is contradictory. The answer is yes; however, a highly planted tank might carry shrimps without a filter.

As shrimps are more sensitive to handling than fish, they require certain considerations such as specific substrates, filters and water conditions to keep. Nature of the their tiny bodies allow them to be used in small tanks. But you might have seen shrimps in tanks without any filter system. Actually do ghost shrimp need a filter? Let’s see how it’s happening.

Will shrimp live without a filter? Yes or No

Well, shrimp can live in a tank without a filter.

A filter is an essential component of an aquarium for shrimp and any fish, very helpful for a small aquatic ecosystem to grow and develop in the aquarium. It effectively removes debris and contaminantsWithout a biological filtration mechanism and air supply, the shrimp will not survive. If there are tons of plants in the tank, the shrimp will usually be able to live in those tanks as plants provide some functions of filter and aerator. Tons of plants can produce enough oxygen for a few shrimps and remove nitrogenous components. 

Do Ghost shrimp need a filter?

Ghost shrimp is one of the most popular shrimp species in the aquarium. They are tough, easy to care for, less messy, and look much tastier than goldfish.

Is it an aquatic species that live within the confines of a tank? Ghost shrimp need a filter. Ghost shrimp are doing an excellent job of cleaning, but the concentration of nitrate and ammonia can quickly build up to dangerous levels in the water column. Therefore, a filter is required.

Do cherry shrimps need a filter?

The cherry shrimp is the highest-ranking invertebrate species for many aquarium hobbyists and pro owners. This shrimp is bright red in color and incredibly soft, giving it an instant appeal to any fish tank or aquarium. Cherry shrimp need good care. They don’t require and also do need (yes, both) regular filters. Mostly, filters that help with biological aspects are necessary for cherry shrimps.

How to choose a shrimp filter?

When choosing a shrimp filter, consider the following three properties.

  • Good biological filtration

Any tank filter should be able to perform mechanical and biological filtration. Mechanical filtration removes large debris and particles floating in the water. In contrast, biological filtration is the ability to remove nitrogenous impurities from water by converting them into less toxic and safe solvents.

Biological filtration is carried out by beneficial bacteria capable of consuming and processing toxins such as ammonia from fish and food waste.

  • Shrimp should be safe.

Shrimp are usually small in size and are always at risk of being sucked into filters. Infants, adolescents and even adult prawns are at risk. To prevent that, the sponge pre-filter should be attached to the hanging and canister filters to adjust their consumption.

The only filter that does not require a pre-filter is a sponge filter.

  • Produces the appropriate current / current.

Shrimp are great swimmers but would appreciate a tank with a moderate current, not a super strong one. Therefore, there should be an understanding of prawns’ endurance and swimming ability.

01. AquaClear Aquarium Filter (top choice)

The AquaClear Aquarium filter is a good contestant for a shrimp aquarium. All types of filtration can be done, including mechanical, biological and chemical.

It contains foam for capturing large debris and detritus and activated charcoal for purifying water from impurities, tannins and odors (chemical filtration). Due to the presence of bioMAX ceramic rings, it also has adequate biodegradable space, ensuring effective and efficient waste removal.

It is also very easy to set up and keep in good order. Although it is not usually recommended for small crusts, it can be converted into a shrimp-resistant filter by installing an additional sponge filter.

02. Aquarium Technology, Inc. Filter Max Pre-Filter

Aquarium Technology, Inc. Filter Max Prefilter is an easy and hassle-free introduction to sponge filters. The sponge can act as a mechanical and biological filter, providing an optimal water filter.

Easy to clean and creates almost no noise. It also produces bubbles that reduce protein formation and increase oxygen levels. It also makes the tank a haven for its occupants. It comes with an adapter that allows it to be securely attached to the access of many hanging and canister filters more than any other sponge filter. Not securely attached, and the filter will constantly fall out of consumption. Shrimp and small fish are at risk.

It is available in three sizes to suit the capacity of the tank and acts as a backup filter in the event of a primary filter failure.

Read - Aquarium Filter Types

03. Aquarium Technology, Inc. Hydro-Sponge Filter

If you prefer any option other than filter / pre-filter combination, contact Aquarium Technology, Inc. The Hydro-Sponge Filter allows you to use only a sponge filter.

A toilet roll-shaped sponge is mounted in the tank, squeezing the water out of the tank (not the tap water) and allowing it to sink to the bottom.

Automatic provides excellent biological and mechanical filtration and is available in various sizes to suit any tank size. You will need to purchase a powerhead /air pump and diffuser to push the water through the sponge to filter the water in the tank as it circulates.

04. Disposable air diffuser of wood

Manufactured bubbles have two advantages. That is, it makes a great decorative addition to the tank. It also increases the oxygen entering the tank and improves water circulation.

05. Fluval Power Filter

The Fluval Power Filter is another hanging filter that provides multi-stage mechanical, biological and chemical filtration. These two stages offer mechanical filtration, capturing large and fine debris with foam and polyester pads.

There is one chemical filtration stage that removes toxins and waste and two biological filtration stages.

The first biological stage is achieved by a biological screen, which provides a vast surface area for the growth of beneficial bacteria. Even more so, the next step can be done due to the chamber filled with ceramic nodes that allow the presence of detoxifying bacteria.

With the addition of a sponge pre-filter, it can be made shrimp-safe, and there is no risk of them being absorbed into the filter.

What is the best filter for shrimp?

Determining the best filter depends on the tank’s size and what is readily available.

If we are looking for a power filter that is easy to set up and use, you may want to opt for Aqua Clear above all else. They are easy to install with a pre-filter. They are super and reliable.

If the tank is small, the best bet is to choose a sponge filter that comes in different sizes to suit the tank’s dimensions and can be easily installed.

A canister filter would be the best choice for larger tanks (20-30 gallons or more). Its high-powered pumps and spacious biodegradable chambers provide excellent filtration without disturbing the tank’s volume of water and toxins.

Warping Up – Do ghost shrimp need a filter

Ghost shrimps are lovely creatures to keep. Shrimps are sensitive; they require optimum water quality, substrate, filter, and more conditions. An appropriate filter is essential to grow and keep shrimps healthy. Though those are not recommended, people grow and develop no-filter shrimp tanks.


I am Bruce Daniel Holgate from Los Angeles, the founder of, environmental scientist and content writer. Researcher and hobbyist in aquarium keeping and fish breeding with 20 years of experience. I'm willing to share my knowledge with you all.

Write A Comment