No matter how safe and easy to follow are the instructions and formulas for raising Sea-Monkeys® (hybrid Artemia NYOS), people still ask me about raising the natural variety of brine shrimp. Many of you want to enter the world of aquaculture or just have an aventurous heart.. after all, I firmly believe that one of the objectives of raising Sea-Monkeys® is to spark the "scientific self" in everyone of us.
A word of caution: I wrote this instruction page to prepare you as a brine shrimp breeder, not for Sea-Monkey® ownership. I will never recommend, suggest or encourage anyone to mix these instructions, food or formulas with the ones found in Sea-Monkey® kits. Your Sea-Monkey® guarantee will be void and you may harm either of the species.
If you were searching for Sea-Monkeys® kits on the internet and ended up here, I rather suggest you go visit this link of online Sea-Monkey® kits.
I want to share with you the following links from an online Pet store that carry almost all of the necessary items needed for brine shrimp breeding and that I personally recommend for their prompt service.
You may also like to pay a visit to my friend Paul's "Aquaculture Store" web site, and ask for the famous "Artemia Green Soup" prepared exclusively for our visitants who like to grow their own live algae to feed their Artemias. Watch them grow BIG and FAST!. Artemia's grandmothers was right about soup after all. Thanks Paul!
Instructions for setting the tank are below the item's list.
NOTE: Many of these steps may require adult supervision.
Lets make an overview of what we need to start:
We need; 1) an aquarium, 2) salt water, and 3) brine shrimp eggs, right?
- Some breeders want to raise brine shrimp in weird shaped containers... well, as long as they are more wider than taller, its ok. A suggested beginners tank is listed on the table. Containers not designed for fish are not suggested, but if you want to do it anyways, rinse it with hot water and let it cool. (It is not a bad idea to rinse with hot water any aquarium tank or objects to be in contact with the water.) Keep the container in a place that can receive indirect sunlight, but a gentle amount of daily sunlight is recommended if you want to promote the growth of live algae. It is a good idea to keep a "plant light" near (but not too close!) the aquarium to keep it with a good water temperature and to encourage algae growth at night. Brine Shrimps benefit from warm temperatures and a lot of light, as long as the aquarium doesnt get hot. Artemias grows slower and smaller when raised in cold temperatures.
- SALT WATER
- You need to prepare the salt water in a container other than the aquarium that will contain the brine shrimps, because of the visible traces and insoluble minerals found in most of these salt mixes. You dont want this at the bottom of your brine shrimp tank!
- You need destilled water or use some chlorine remover formula if you want to use tap water. Boiling the water is also a good idea, as long as you remember to let it cool several hours before use!!!
- Use ocean salt mix found in pet shops. Do not confuse with mild aquarium salts for freshwater fish. A little bag of ocean salt gives you enough mix for many uses. Check the amount of salt you're adding to the water by using an 'hydrometer'. Pour the salts little by little until you have a weight no more than 1.023. Eggs may fail to hatch in higher concentration of salts. You may want to prepare the salt water in another container, and let it stand overnight. This way, the insoluble minerals will drop to the bottom.
- BRINE SHRIMP EGGS
- Store them in a cool, dry place but do not refrigerate. Use a Sea-Monkey feeding spoon or a paper match to add brine shrimp eggs to the aquarium. You may be surprised of the amount of brine shrimps that will hatch using only a small scoop of the feeding spoon. Depending on the eggs brand, they will hatch in 24-48 hours, more or less, in a temperature no less than 70F/26C. Use the air pump to circulate the water for 24 hours. You may need the help of an air valve to circulate the water with a very mild air pressure. After 24 hours, stop the aereation and start to feed them the next day.
To summarize, we have these steps to follow:
- Rinse all objects to be used, including the aquarium, with hot water only
- Fill another container with tap water and put some chlorine remover in it.
- Add one teaspoon of salt mix at a time to the prepared water.
- For each teaspoon of salt added, mix well and measure the weight with an hydrometer. Dont let the salt level rise more than 1.023
- Let this formula stand overnight, until all of the insoluble minerals drop to the bottom.
- Fill the aquarium with the formula. Take care not to pour the sediments that are in the bottom.
- Add aereation to the aquarium. You may need an air valve to get a fine aereation and a mild water circulation.
- Use a paper match or a Sea-Monkey® feeding spoon to add some brine shrimp eggs to the aquarium.
- Set aside the aquarium for 24 hours. Remember to keep it warm and illuminated at night.
- After 24 hours, turn off the aereation and look closely for any newborn baby.
Ok, we set our aquarium and we already have our newly hatched Artemias... so, what's next? You want to raise adults Artemias, right?
Artemias start to look for food at the second day of birth, so be prepared to follow 2 golden rules:
- Keep the water circulating with VERY VERY fine bubbles
- FEED THEM AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY TO KEEP THE WATER SLIGHTY CLOUDY
"What?" you may say: "But you just say in your Sea-Monkey® page to NEVER overfeed Sea-Monkeys®.!". Yes, And its still true!, but we are talking here about mass-breeding of brine shrimp, remember? When your brine shrimp grow to adulthood (aprox. 3-6 weeks), I encourage you to transfer them to a more clean / less cloudy environment and start to feeding them once or twice a week and dont let the water to get cloudy.
If you want to raise a faster growing and bigger Artemias, I suggest to order the Sea-Monkey® Uncle special: "Artemia Green Soup", prepared by my friend Paul Sach, exclusively for our visitors.
The "soup" consist of live algae, that you'll need to grow by yourself before adding the brine shrimp eggs.
- After adding the water to the aquarium and starting the aereation, but *before* adding the brine shrimp eggs, shake the contents of the live algae formula and pour into the aquarium.
- Set aside for 5 days in a sunny place. Check that the water is not overheating. The tank will turn dark green.
- Set the air pump on with a fine aereation, this cause the algae to circulate. This algae tends to sink to the bottom of the tank, so constant circulation is required.
- After 5 days, add the brine shrimp eggs.
- If you have a balanced amount of Artemias, there's no need to feed them again!
Please be responsible with the amount of brine shrimp used. Live algae can't last forever if you overpopulated the tank. So keep it handy an alternate source of food, like the "Artemia Food" listed above (see notice about Pets.com links above). Remember that using this food in regular Sea-Monkey® tanks may void the warranty.
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