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 Brine Shrimps

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Number of posts : 28
Age : 52
Registration date : 2007-07-21

PostSubject: Brine Shrimps   Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:15 pm

As temperature gets warmer, it will be ideal for fishkeepers to think of breeding their fish and reduce costs for more heaters. On the other hand, keeping fry also entails more work and greater patience to see that the fry get their daily nourishment from what we provide. One such food which is ideal for fry is brine shrimps. Brine shrimps cannot be harvested but they have to be bought from lfs. Fry will not survive unless fed live food especially in the early weeks of their existence. In such case mostly egg layer fry depend on such type of food unlike the livebearers which can start to eat flake even after they are dropped by their mother. Forget the flakes, powders etc… What you need is small live food. In this section, I cover how to hatch baby brine shrimp.


Hatching your own baby brine shrimp is a little involving but once you are set up you will be hatching away. Usually I prepare my hatcheries some days before planning to breed my Bettas. BBS is more expensive all around than microworms because the set-up includes purchasing an airpump etc. Below I will list what is required in order to build and maintain your hatchery.

Shopping list:

1 – brine shrimp eggs (available at our lfs)
2 – rock salt
3 – dechlorinated water
4 – a clear container (narrow and high), or a plastic bottle
5 – an airpump
6 – tubing
7 – an air stone
8 – coffee filters
9 – a clear cover for container/plastic bottle

(In the case of 2 and 3 I usually use sea water because brine shrimp live in salt water and they are not freshwater organisms)

Setting up the brine shrimp hatchery:

Take the container or bottle cut in half and set upside down with the top of the bottle sealed with its cap and resting on the other half, fill it with sea water (make sure that is taken from non-polluted areas), add one small portion of brine shrimp eggs (like a 1/4 of a small teaspoon or less). Set up the air pump, with tube and air stone and make sure the airflow is very powerful. Place air stone at bottom of container, so that the water is constantly stirred, as well as the eggs. The clear cover should be placed on top of your container to avoid evaporation and also so that the water won’t splash all over your counter.

The second important element is collecting the tiny brine shrimp. This cannot be done otherwise by means of Light. It is important that the container be near a light source (window, light bulb etc…). The more the light the sooner the eggs will hatch. With low light they will still hatch, they will just take a bit longer.

Heat. The eggs will hatch much faster if the room is warm, or if you keep a light bulb on them. Usually eggs hatch within a day in some cases even within 18 hours depending on the heat.


After some hours have passed, stop the airflow and let the eggs settle in your container. This is done in order to check whether the eggs have hatched. If the brine shrimp have not hatched yet, all you will see is a bunch of eggs lying at the bottom. If some or all have hatched, then the brine shrimp will have separated from the egg shells. The shells will float at the surface, and the brine shrimp will be swimming around. They are also of a lighter colour as opposed to the dark brown eggs. You will be able to spot them.

In order to harvest them I use a bright small torch or even a desklamp to a particular area of the container. This is why it is important to use transparent bottles or containersd to see exactly where the brine shrimp are. Shine a light on top of them and they will all converge towards the light source, towards the surface. This is a good way to find out if they have hatched or not, because as a colony they are easier to spot. It also makes it easier to harvest them that way. You will notice that the area where the brine shrimp are because it turns pink because of the large numbers of hatched bbs. Take a clean coffee filter and gently run the water through it. The brine shrimp will be collected in the coffee filter. The bbs have to be cleaned with freshwater in order to remove the salt and other detritus.

Feeding your fry: take the filter, containing all the baby brine shrimp (it will look like a reddish thick sauce at the bottom of filter), and gently shake filter inside the fry tank, loosening all the brine shrimp. Now you can see them swimming around in the tank. They will stay alive for up to 20-30 hours. Don't worry about the eggs floating in your tank. They do not pollute and do not harm the fry in any way. They can be removed after you make your water changes.

It is important that some brine shrimp which remains in the bottle are not all nutritious for the fish. After the lapse of 24 hours they would have eaten their yolk sac which is the main source of nutrients for the fry. So it is important to feed newly hatched bbs to the fry.

It is important not to overfeed your fry. It has been suggested on many occasions that too much brine shrimp may cause swimbladder disease. So at this stage you can also feed them microworms. More fry, more spawns, more eggs. Less fry, less eggs.

source: various and personal experience
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Cyber Dragon

Cyber Dragon

Number of posts : 2
Age : 47
Location : Malta
Registration date : 2007-07-21

PostSubject: Re: Brine Shrimps   Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:17 pm

Interesting read...
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Number of posts : 28
Age : 52
Registration date : 2007-07-21

PostSubject: Re: Brine Shrimps   Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:56 pm

that was great
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Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2011-10-24

PostSubject: Re: Brine Shrimps   Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:14 pm

Brine shrimp is a popular fry food, but if you allow the brine shrimp to grow a bit bigger it will actually serve as a great food source for a lot of adult fish. By cultivating your own live food you can ensure that it is disease free, thereby greatly reducing the risk of getting outbreaks of ill health in your aquarium.

What you need:

One small glass tank (the hatching tank)
One bigger glass tank (the growing tank)
One sheet of rigid plastic
One small stainless steel self tapping screw
Dedicated air supply for both tanks, e.g. airstones
One bag of sea salt
Brine shrimp eggs
A flashlight or similar source of light

If you want your brine shrimp to grow really big, you can set up a third tank to provide the growing specimens with more room.
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