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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why Fish Need Brine Shrimp And How To Hatch Them

Brine Shrimp are an interesting species that have been around for quite a while. They have a very short life span of 90 days but in those 90 days, they are able to gather enough food from their environment to make a hearty meal your fish. They are loaded with lots of nutrition that your fish need to stay healthy and have a varied diet.
When you buy brine shrimp, you will see that they are encapsulated in little tiny egg shells. If you want to feed them to your fish, you will need to hatch them and feed them for a while beforehand.
Hatching the eggs isn’t a hard task but it does require a few items to hatch them successfully. The items that you will need are:
-          A brine shrimp net. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one here.

-          A small container to put the brine shrimp eggs/brine shrimp into

-          Some tropical fish food

-          Aquarium Salt

-          Airstone with a gang valve and an air pump

-          Heater

-          Distilled water
You might already have some of the items listed above and you may also be able to use your aquarium to supply those needed items. (That is, if you have an aquarium size of 20 gallons or more)
If you float your small container in your 78 degrees or more heated aquarium, you can avoid needing a heater.. You can also use one of the unused gang valves on your aquarium to attach an airstone to provide oxygen to the water. If you already have the gang vales attached to an air pump, then that also cuts out expense of an air pump.*
*If you need more assistance on learning how to aerate your aquarium, please check out the following link: How To Aerate And Decorate An Aquarium
Now, the first step will be to add some water to the small container. You can use distilled water. Next, add some of the brine shrimp eggs to the water. (Only add a small amount to the water so that you don’t have too many hatch on you since this is your first time doing this.)
Once you have the eggs in there, add the airstone to the container. Keep the air to a minimum so that there isn’t too much of a current.
Now add some salt to the water. The brine shrimp are brackish and need some salinity in their water. Depending on the type of container size that you have will tell you how much salt to add. Baking soda will also need to be added. (check out the video below for more in-depth instructions on measuring out baking soda)
The brine shrimp should hatch within a 24 hour period.
A day or two after they hatch, you can feed them some ground-up tropical fish flakes. Just remember not to overfeed or the water will get cloudy within a short amount of time.
Until they get big enough for your fish to eat, you will have to perform regular water changes to the container since there isn’t a filter to filter the water.
After a period of time, you can feed them to your fish. Your fish will thank you.
For more help on building your own brine shrimp hatchery, please check out this video made by Jazzy78910 on youtube:

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