Brine Shrimps are aquatic crustaceans in the Artemia Genus. Due to the Brine Shrimps’ ability to produce dormant eggs it has made them widely used in aquaculture. The Brine Shrimp are very resilient which is why they are used to test many different chemicals in labs. It is thought that the Brine Shrimp is over 5.5 Million Years Old.
Yes. Brine shrimp are raised in captivity usually by aquarium owners for their food supply. The Brine Shrimp have a very good likelihood of surviving in a freshwater setting.
What Are Brine Shrimp
Brine Shrimp are Crustaceans are from a huge line of arthropods. The arthropods include crabs, lobsters, crayfish, and krill. They are very closely related to insects but they have a few differences. Their larva stages are different than that of insects and their front legs part and are larger.
What Do Brine Shrimp Eat
Brine Shrimp in the wild eat planktonic algae. Planktonic algae can be found in most ponds. The planktonic algae turn the pond into a pea soup green, and treating the pond can harm most fish but of course, these little guys would help that problem.
Brine Shrimp bred in captivity eat a much different diet and aren’t picky when it comes to their food. Brine Shrimp will eat egg yolks, soybean powder, yeast, and wheat flour. It’s very different from wild brine shrimp but it serves the purpose.
Breeding Brine Shrimp
The difference between the male and female is often hard to tell and is almost unnecessary due to their size. The male Brine Shrimp have larger antennae which they use to latch onto the female during coitus. The female can ovulate every 140 Hours. When conditions are right the female can have her eggs hatch almost immediately which is mind-blowing to think about.
While the female is under extreme change whether that be the salinity is way too high or extremely low oxygen levels, the eggs will not hatch immediately. When the eggs are laid they come with a chorion coating.
The eggs that undergo these extreme conditions can remain in a stasis-like state for up to 2 years under zero oxygen. It’s because of this incredible stasis-like state and the almost immediate birth of these little guys that makes them the perfect food source for fish farmers, aquarium enthusiasts, and aquarium owners alike.
How To Care For Brine Shrimps Cysts
Aeration Continuously has to be achieved to maintain a cyst in suspension to help make sure the hatch occurs. During the incubation make sure there is strong aeration. The strong aeration shouldn’t hurt the brine shrimp or the eggs.
Their Ideal Ecosystem is the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem. They are mainly found in saltwater lakes instead of the ocean which is very interesting. Unfortunately, the Brine Shrimp are food for millions of birds flying over and going around the world.
How Much Salt Do Brine Shrimp Need
To hatch a Brine Shrimp you need about 1 teaspoon of salt per every 500ml of water. Table salt would work but only if there are no additives. The additives would affect the brine shrimp and cause them most likely to not hatch.
Life Expectancy Of A Brine Shrimp
Adult Brine shrimp can live to be 3 months old. But, what’s crazy is that the eggs could under the perfect circumstances have the eggs live up to even 25 years.
The ideal PH level for Brine Shrimp is 8.0 or even higher. This is ideal for them, especially during breeding. Salt really helps the PH during this time which is important to remember.
Brine Shrimp Hatchery
Step By Step Guide With Video
Step 1: Use a regular-style water bottle. This is entirely your choice on the style and size.
Step 2: Cut a hole in your bottle on the bottom big enough to pour in water and other additives necessary for the hatch of your brine shrimp.
Step 3: Make a DIY Table to house the bottle making a hole with a hole saw just snug enough to hold the bottle. Make sure you paint your holder so it will seal and last longer.
Step 4: Use a two-pronged CO2 cap to screw into the top of the bottle. These prongs will be connected to your water pump.
Step 5: Connect a short hose and long hose to your CO2 cap and secure it with a lock nut. Then insert the into your stand and attach the small hose to the microvalves. Connect the longer hose to the manifold and close the valves.
Step 6: Add rock salt to your 2 bottles of dechlorinated water. It’s recommended to add a tablespoon and a half per liter of water. Add a pinch of baking soda to stabilize the PH. Mix it up well and add it to your bottle at 70%.
Step 7: Turn your air pump on and open the air valves. Then add your brine shrimp eggs about half a teaspoon per leader of water but they are flexible. This will turn the water brown which is normal. If you are going to use more than one bottle be sure to add the date with painter’s tape to ensure you won’t forget the date.
Step 8: Add Heat and Light. You can do this by simply adding a desk lamp. This will provide both. The eggs need the warm and light is needed during the incubation period.
Step 9: Put the plastic bottom back on top of the bottles as this will keep the heat in the bottle.
Step 10: Turn the air supply off and wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the water to settle. The eggs will float to the top and the brine shrimp will sink to the bottom. Simply turn the hose and a bunch of beautiful protein-enriched brine shrimp will pour out.
Where To Buy Brine Shrimp
You can purchase brine shrimp from your local pet stores. They are a very good source of protein for your fish so of course, they will have them in stock available for purchase. I would try to look for better sources online however because some have better success rates than others.
Brine Shrimp Facts
To test harsher conditions for ourselves or the environment scientists use Brine Shrimp for toxicity essays and tests. These little guys are perfect substitutes for animals and mammals due to their ability to withstand harsh environments and turn around time to hatch.
Brine Shrimp have been to space
Scientists took Brine Shrimp to space! Brine Shrimp have even made it to the moon! Their main mission was to test the radiation and determine how it would affect them.
They had perfect prior conditions in place for them and kept control on earth for the experiment.
There were 400 eggs in this experimental group. Unfortunately, 90% perished and they died in different stages of their life.
Brine Shrimp is perfect for a food source but does require a bit of effort to maintain for big populations. Brine Shrimp reproduce at a very fast rate which is what makes them so common to the aquarium hobby.