The temporal dynamics of ciliate community structure in a southern Chinese shrimp aquaculture facility were investigated during the period June–September 2012. A total of 53 species belonging to 37 genera and 17 orders were recorded based on analyses of eight samples. Ciliate abundance peaked between 16 August and 14 September 2012, while the maximum number of species occurred on 26 June 2012. Clear temporal patterns were observed in the ciliate community structure. The patterns of succession of the 10 most abundant species were consistent with the results of a Canonical Analysis of Principal coordinates (CAP) analysis. Correlation analyses showed that these patterns of succession were related to temporal changes in environmental variables. In summary, the results demonstrate that the ciliate community responds predictably to environmental variations and recovers from shrimp cultivation.