Betta and Ghost Shrimp companions/"impersonators"

AesSedai

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She bought what she thought were Ghost Shrimp and ended up with a prawn that ate a full grown tiger barb!  Since Ghost Shrimp are often mentioned as companions for Betta, I thought this important to share.  If you end up with a prawn like the one talked about in that url, I fear for your Betta's safety.

I don't know how rarely this happens but apparently it's an easy mistaken identity because the prawn and Ghost Shrimp look the same when young.  However rare, it's not a chance I'd want to take with my Betta.  I did buy Ghost Shrimp as companions for him but then ran across this article and removed from the Betta's tank.  Their in their own tank now and I'll wait until they show their true colors before considering adding them back with the Betta.

That thread has all the pictures of the dirty deed done by the prawn to the tiger barb.  Chilling!  She actually caught it in action and took the shots.

((Everyone))

Adding a bit of a quote from a little down into that thread....

"Shawna I got one of these buggers out of a ghost shrimp tank too, and I know how they can hunt and kill. Mine caught neons before but I got them free but unfortunately it ate alll my dwarf cories in 2 days. They swimm at great speeds around the tank until the fish is tired and then the slowly drift DOWN on top of it thus capturing. I also observed mine pinning fish with it head spik and the trying to grab them with it extra long arms."
 

chickadee

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This is too awful. I will not ever have anything even resembling this near my little ones. EEEEK!

Rose
 
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AesSedai

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My sentiments exactly Rose.  Even when I "know" they are truly Ghost Shrimp, naaa.  I don't like the lil claws, even though they're lil (on real GS) Not worth the risk I've decided.  Betta sleep on the ground so....

Boyfriend wants them for his tank so they'll have a home.
 

atmmachine816

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Yup I'v seen that before, though I'm not too worried since I'v seen enough ghosties grow up I'll figure out when they start getting large and something weird happening though if I got any for my planned betta tank there would be lots of plants for my betta to hide in.
 

chickadee

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Considering the speed of the creatures, the betta would need more than plants. More like steel-plated armor. I do not believe it is worth the chance but it is the choice of each of you individually.

Rose
 

0morrokh

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Well, I don't think this should be a problem because Ghosties shouldn't really be kept with Bettas. I have heard of Bettas eating the Ghosties. There is far more risk for the shrimp than there is for the Betta.

That's really sad her fish got eaten...BUT on the other hand you can't really blame the prawn for doing what comes naturally to him...

I don't see too much risk in keeping Ghosties with fish because if you see one keep getting bigger and bigger then you know he is a prawn and you can remove him...the person who wrote the article evidentally didn't know about prawns.
 

atmmachine816

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Yes that's what I was saying, if you keep seeing them get bigger you can tell it's a prawn since by the time a prawn was big enough to eat a fish it would be a very large "ghost shrimp" and keeping them with bettas like 0morrokh said if they survive the betta too.
 

chickadee

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You may do as you wish but it is risky and I would not recommend it to beginners. It is not a chance I would like to see them take with a firsh betta or a first tank. It is hard enough to lose fish but you and I both know first fish are very special and heartbreaking to lose. So please do be careful to make sure to let it be known that this should only be tried by experienced fishkeepers if at all. Okay?

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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It is fine with me, though it is very rare that this would ever happen if at all. I view it as a risk to fishkeeping, there are other risks I'm sure your not aware of either yet you do them until you know they exist, this is one of them, some choose to ignore it, some stop it immediatly and some take warning. Personally since I'v seen lots of ghost shrimp I would wonder when my shrimp is grwoing large but for others they wouldn't and if they wish to keep them you should warn them abou the risks, how to be wary of it happening and what to look for and let them decide on their own what to do. Some people don't listen till they find out the hard way causing people who help them pain when deaths or hardships could have been prevented. This is just what I think we should do: Make a new post where us owners of ghosties and ones like you who also have knowledge of them or care about the prawns discuss stuff about them and we write a friendly advisory about ghosts and prawns and ask Mike to add it to the ghost shrimp profile. Then we can sticky the topic in fw invertebrates and general discussion. Tell me if you agree or not and let me know if I can make a new thread just for that or whatever.

Cheers

Austin
 

poefox

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Hm...I know it's easy to get distracted but...is this shrimp like the Alien? Like one scene it's about the size of a cat and the next it's a seven foot killing machine? My impression is that invertebrates shed and grow, shed and grow...and it's not a sudden leap from infant to giant. While you might want to be careful, and while you might want to avoid the problem altogether being well informed and examining the critter in question seems a good idea to me.

Example: I was checking out catfish and noticed that there were pandas in the leopard tank. I pointed this out and the guy helping me at first was insisting that it was right when he looked more closely and realized his mistake. (which was also in effect costing the store money) I think this is a good example of the necessity of being well informed and on the ball when you buy fish.

Having pompously said all that I felt the same visceral shudder I'm sure Rose did at the thought of some clawed horror eating Rusty.
 

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