This page will give you information about Brine Shrimp. Brine Shrimp are easy to take care of with the right conditions and they will breed for you creating an endless culture of Brine Shrimp. These amazing creatures can live in their eggs for years!
Here is a picture of what a Brine Shrimp looks like, this picture is magnified 20 times. Brine Shrimp are located in waters that are salty like the Great Salt Lake where you can collect thousands by a scoop of water so it is best to keep their water very salty. When it comes time to collect your shrimp it is difficult to remove them from all salt so it is best to use some aquarium salt and coarse salt to get a even amount of salt. You should use 7 tablespoons aquarium salt and 3 tablespoons coarse salt for one gallon of water or you could just add 10 tablespoons of aquarium salt to one gallon of water. These two salt mixtures will create the best condition for your Brine Shrimp. To get best results add Brine Alive to help them by giving them a boost. If you want a culture smaller than one gallon you can decrease the amount of salt you use like half a gallon would get 5 tablespoons. Here is a list of procedures to setting up a Brine Shrimp culture.
1. Take an empty container or glass jar, preferably something clear so you can see your Brine Shrimp and add one of the salt mixtures that was said above.
2. Now add the water, do not add the eggs yet. Do not use water with chlorine or chloramines in it, like city water. If your water has chlorine or chloramines in it you should boil the water first and then follow the rest of the directions. When you add the water you should now let the water sit for 24 hours.
3. Now you can add the brine shrimp. You can add as much as you want but be careful not to put in to much. The eggs will look like powder and now let them sit overnight and they will hatch the next day. Don't be alarmed if you don't see them because their hard to see and most people dump them and they were really in the water. The Brine Shrimp will look like little white dots swimming and their no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. When your looking for them the babies will be swimming around at the bottom.
* The babies are born with three eyes, the one in the middle will fall off when they get older.
* Brine Shrimp breathe through their feet.
Feeding Your Brine Shrimp
In nature Brine Shrimp eat algae but that wouldn't be enough for your Brine Shrimp to eat. It is best to put a light over their container to encourage algae to grow. Algae will help aerate the water and will give them small enough food to eat because algae is a one celled organism so it is easy for the babies to eat. When their just one day old they will be absorbing a yolk sac, then when their two days old there mouths and anus will open up and they will start eating so it is best to start feeding them in two days. At this time you will lose a lot of them because of bacteria, which will enter through there mouths and anus. This wouldn't be enough for them to eat so you should also feed them yeast. All you have to feed them is one small pinch for babies and one big pinch for up to 30 adults. The picture on the left shows a Brine Shrimp eating, they will move upside down like the picture shows. You can tell if your feeding and giving proper care to your Brine Shrimp if they have a dark streak down their back, like the picture above.
Brine Shrimp will grow fast, they will grow about twice their size in one day. Here is their growth cycle. When the water level drops you can add ordinary water without salt because when the water evaporates it leaves behind the salt, remember don't add water with chlorine or chloramines. This cycle of adding water will make the Brine Shrimp shed their coat and grow larger this also helps hatch their eggs to hatch.
When the Brine Shrimp are newly hatched you should be giving them air up to seven days. You could use an air pump specially made for Brine Shrimp or you could use any kind of device that squeezes air out or you could stir the water. You should be doing this once every day. After seven days they can come up to the surface to get air.
Breeding Brine Shrimp
For most animals you need a male and a female to mate, well this is not exactly true for Brine Shrimp. There are sometimes little colonies where Brine Shrimp are native and their are no males just females and they will develop their own eggs. This does not happen that frequently but it will sometimes.
When your Brine Shrimp reach maturity they will begin to mate, they will attain maturity in about 6-8 weeks. It is not that hard to breed Brine Shrimp. Breeding Brine Shrimp is easy there's just a few steps you have to follow. First you should make sure the temperature is 70° , at this temperature mating will be at its highest point, but at lower temperatures they will rarely breed. Here is a picture of Brine Shrimp, the black dots on their abdomen is egg masses. When they breed sometimes males will fight over the females but you shouldn't do anything or it could hurt them worse, Sometimes it can lead to death! You don't have to worry because that rarely happens.
How To Tell The Male From The Females
Telling the males from the females is easy. If your raising Brine Shrimp that are from the same hatch, which would be the same age, the males will be smaller than the females. The males will reach the length of ½" and females will reach ¾". The females will also have egg sacs attached on to them at their abdomen, which look like black dots in this picture. The males will have something that looks like whiskers under their chin. These are called graspers that they use to grasp the female during mating.
Starting Your Brine Shrimp Culture
It is very easy to start your very own Brine Shrimp culture. The first thing you should do is determine what size fish your feeding them to. For example if your feeding baby fish it is best if you feed newly hatched Brine Shrimp and if your feeding an angelfish you should be feeding medium sized Brine Shrimp and if your feeding a large fish like a full grown cichlid then you should be feeding full grown Brine Shrimp. If your planning to feed baby fish it is best if you just hatch them and shortly after feed them. If your feeding regular sized fish than you can start your own Brine Shrimp culture. When you start your culture the first thing you must do is make more than one culture and set some aside and raise them for breeding. It is best to set aside a lot of containers so they can produce a endless supply of Brine Shrimp. An example of what you could do is if your feeding five medium sized fish then you should set aside 21 containers and set them up and take as many as you want out of each one in a row and making sure you don't remove the whole culture.
Collecting Your Brine Shrimp For Feeding
This part is messy and hard but if your feeding saltwater fish then it is much easier. Here is the first way you can collect your Brine Shrimp, this is the way I do it. Wait to collect your Brine Shrimp when it is really populated with them in the water.
1. Siphon them out with a specially made siphoning device or you can use an air pump. If you are siphoning them out with the specially made siphoning toll then read #2, if your using a air pump specially made to collect the shrimp, then go to #4.
2. If you are using a specially made siphoning device or another device like that, you can use anything just so it can pull water into it. First you turn on a light at the surface and wait one minute then put the device at the top of the water and pull them in. Next you squeeze them into a container like an eye drop container that you can squeeze out small amounts of water into the aquarium. If you are using bigger Brine Shrimp then use a container that will have a bigger mouth for you to squeeze them out.
3. Now you squeeze a few drops into your aquarium and keep doing this until your fish are done eating. You will be squeezing some salt in but it will not hurt them especially the aquarium salt, the aquarium salt will actually help them.
4. If you are using an air pump then the first thing you should do is put one end of the line in the water and turn the air pump on, keep the air pump at same level as the container. Next you unplug the air pump and pull the line connected to the air pump down to a jar with a fine net so they will get caught in the net and they wont go in the jar, leaving water to pass through. Now you place the net in the aquarium and shake the net so the Brine Shrimp will be out of the net.