Brine shrimp can however be quite expensive so many people actually breed their own brine shrimp. This may sound difficult, but it really is not. If you follow our steps and tips on how to hatch brine shrimp yourself, you will have no problem keeping your fish supplied with a steady food source.
How To Hatch Brine Shrimp Following 3 Steps;
Brine shrimp are indeed a little type of shrimp that you can have in your aquarium. However, they are not really pets, or most people would not consider them to be so. What brine shrimp are is food. Most people use them to feed their fish, and boy do they ever make for some tasty live snacks.
1. Setting Up The Hatchery
Brine shrimp eggs are also known as cysts, so if we refer to them as cysts, we are just talking about the eggs. Anyway, the first thing that you need to do before you begin the hatching process is to create and build the brine shrimp hatchery. This is not nearly as hard as it sounds.
To start your hatchery, you will need a plastic bottle, preferably one with a cone shaped top as this will help with aeration. Place the bottle upside down and drill some holes in the bottom of the bottle. This is where you will hang the bottle for the duration of the hatching process.
Next, drill a hole in the bottle cap and insert some rigid tubing that is connected to an air pump. You will need the air pump because brine shrimp eggs need lots of oxygen. Also, the constant aeration will help keep the brine shrimp cysts suspended in the water as opposed to sinking to the bottom, something which is not very good for their chances at hatching.
So, more or less, your brine shrimp hatchery is an overturned water bottle hanging from a selected location, with the cap having a hole drilled into it to let you feed an air pump into it. Just keep in mind to make sure that the tubing and cap are sealed well or else all of the water will leak out and your brine shrimp eggs will die.
2. Ideal Hatching Conditions
Your brine shrimp may not ever hatch at all if the conditions are not ideal. You need to provide your brine shrimp with more than ideal conditions if you expect them to hatch, especially with a high survival rate. Remember that these are small and delicate creatures, so you need to get this just right.
Brine shrimp are indeed saltwater creatures, so you do need to add salt into the hatching water where you will be raising the brine shrimp. The salinity of the water is essential to their hatching. No salt in the water will usually result in a total bust. You need to add roughly 1 -1/4 tablespoons of salt for every liter of water you have in the hatchery. You can use aquarium salt, sea salt, and non-iodized table salt for this.
Another vital factor in hatching brine shrimp is the acidity or pH level of the water. The pH level in the water needs to be fairly basic as opposed to acidic. Acidic water will result in non-hatching or death of the brine shrimp cysts. The hatchery needs to have a pH level of around 8.0 or even a little higher. Anything below this will not be good for the hatching process. If the pH level in the water is too low, you can use a chemical pH adjuster or simply add ½ a teaspoon of baking soda per liter of water to make the water more basic.
Heat & Light
Brine shrimp cysts need the water to be fairly warm. For one 24 hour hatching cycle, you need to keep the water between 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower than this, the brine shrimp will take much longer to hatch, but if the water is any hotter than that, the brine shrimp eggs will most likely die.
On a side note, you can use a water heater to achieve optimal temperature, or you can just use a little light as well. Brine shrimp eggs do like some light, something that will help them hatch faster and healthier, but it just is not critical.
One thing that you definitely need to do is to provide your brine shrimp eggs with enough oxygen. They need oxygen to survive and to hatch. Another thing that this aeration is good for is for tumbling the eggs around and keeping them suspended in the water column without actually pushing them above the water’s surface. They need to move around, but they also need to stay in the water, while at the same time not resting on the bottom.
The other important thing to keep in mind is how to stock the water. Putting too many brine shrimp cysts in the water will result in a lower hatching rate. Your hatchery should not have more than ½ of a teaspoon of eggs per liter of water.
3. The Hatching Procedure
So, now that we have discussed all of those important details, let’s just go over the steps you need to follow in order to hatch as many brine shrimp as possible.
- Build and set up your brine shrimp hatchery as we discussed above. Make sure to keep it in a well-lit, safe, and easily accessible area.
- Add the water into the mix, add the salt as discussed above, and make sure that the water is at the optimal temperature.
- Add in the ½ a teaspoon of brine shrimp cysts for every liter or quart of water in the hatchery. Provide the aeration for the eggs. Turn on the air pump in order to keep the cysts
- suspended in the water column. At this time you can also turn on a little light in order to keep the water warm and well-lit.
- The eggs will hatch in anywhere between 18 and 36 hours after you have begun the process.
- Now that the eggs are hatched into nauplii, which is the name for baby brine shrimp, it is time to get them out of the water. You need to wait for a few minutes for the baby shrimp to separate from their shells. The shells are brown and will float to the top, whereas the nauplii will be slightly orange and sink to the bottom. You can then use a syphon or valve to get them out of the bottom of the hatchery.
- Before you feed the shrimp to your fish, rinse them off in some salt or fresh water to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated during the hatching process.
As you can see, the hardest part about hatching baby brine shrimp is building the hatchery, something which on its own is fairly simple. As long as you follow the easy steps and tips outlined above, you will have an endless supply of brine shrimp to feed your fish with.