Brine shrimps are a group of crustaceans usually found in the saltwater of varying salinities. Keeping brine shrimps can be a worthy course because of its advantages. For example, they are an excellent source of food for fishes.
Live brine shrimps provide a live food experience for your fishes. They are rich in protein, lipids, and carbohydrates.
Apart from being a good food for your fishes, it is just lovely to watch them grow and swim. This article is about how you can keep brine shrimps alive even after hatching.
Making Your Brine Shrimp Tank/Aquarium
Brine is in the shrimp’s name because of the salty water habitat they grow in. To keep brine shrimp alive, you need a tank with salt water. A 5-10 gallon aquarium is enough for the growing. Here is a list of materials you will need for keeping the shrimps alive in the aquarium.
Brine shrimps live in salt concentration with a specific gravity range of 1.011 to 1.028. Make use of reverse osmosis water or clean unchlorinated water.
You can use aquarium salt or marine salt but must ensure to have the right degree of salinity. Check with a hydrometer for the exact gravity value. You can add the salt at the rate of one tablespoon for one cup of water.
This is needed to keep the aquarium temperature optimum for the shrimp. The temperature should be maintained between 690F and 800F. It is vital to keep a watch on the temperature to ensure the shrimps remain alive.
The best filter to use is the sponge filter. The sponge filter will not suck up the shrimps while aerating and filtering the aquarium. If your aquarium does not come with a filter, you need to fix one. You should just go for an aquarium with a sponge filter or fix one yourself.
This is necessary for the adequate aeration of the tank. The brine shrimp need the water current for their survival.
The salt concentration is monitored with the hydrometer. This will help you to know when the salinity is going below or above the required amount.
Asides from the factors mentioned above, the pH of the water is also important. The water should be maintained in the pH range of 8-9. They do well in an alkaline environment.
Hatching The Brine Shrimp Egg
Once the aquarium has been set up for the brine shrimp, it is time to usher them into their new home. You can purchase the brine shrimp eggs from your pet store. If you have purchased hydrated eggs, you may not need to worry about decapsulating. To get rid of the shells and to increase the rate of hatching, it is good to decapsulate the eggs.
The decapsulation is done by putting the eggs in about 5% of hypochlorite solution. This will dissolve the chorion (the outer coating) of the eggs. First, you should put the eggs in about a liter of warm freshwater for about an hour.
This hydration process gets the brine shrimp eggs filled with water and ready for hatching. After this, add about a liter of the hypochlorite solution (household bleach) and leave for close to 10 minutes. You can use an aeration stone for creating a circulating current while you do the decapsulation.
The brine shrimp eggs will change from brown to white, then finally orange as the outer coating dissolves. You can now put the eggs on an Artemisia sieve and use a de-chlorinator and water to rinse them. Once the hypochlorite is thoroughly washed off, the eggs are ready for the tank.
Once the eggs have been transferred to the aquarium, the hatching should be complete within the next 24 hours. The nauplii (brine shrimp offspring) will begin to emerge within 16 to 24 hours.
They will be sustained for the next day by their nutrient-rich yolk. After then you can begin to feed them until you are ready for harvesting.
Feeding The Brine Shrimps
Now that they have hatched, you will need to feed them. You may desire to provide the brine shrimps directly to your fish. If that is the case, you need not worry about feeding them. But if you want to watch them grow, then you need to feed them.
They are filter feeders, so they will do well with microscopic foods. Example of foods is spirulina powder, soybeans powder, brewer’s yeast, fish meal and more. They are indiscriminate feeders, so they do well to feed on various things. They can feed on water, algae, and other microorganisms.
That Is Not All
Now that the brine shrimp eggs have hatched, they need to be kept alive. Feeding them is one way to ensure their continued living, but that is not all.
You must pay attention to the conditions that will facilitate their growth. Brine shrimps are sensitive to salinity, temperature, and the pH of the habitat.
Bear in mind that the specific gravity range should be maintained between 1.011 and 1.028. This is why you must pay attention to the hydrometer reading. The brine shrimps cannot tolerate freshwater for long, so ensure to keep the water saline.
You would need to remove unhatched eggs and eggshells if you did not decapsulate the eggs. The water change is necessary to keep the water clean and healthy for the shrimps.
You can use a bright light source to attract the shrimps to the surface of the tank. This will allow the changing of the water. You can remove about 50% of the water every week. This will keep the water clean of debris.
It is not as difficult as you have feared. Keeping brine shrimp alive is relatively easy and rewarding at the same time. The shrimps are excellent and quality food for your fish.
It is more exciting for them since they give them a feel of a live catch. You can also enjoy the bubbles of life in your brine shrimps as they swim in the tank.