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ARTICLE INFORMATION:
Author:
Loh Kwek Leong 
Title:  Brine Shrimp Hatchery

Summary: How to make a simple plastic bottle brine shrimp hatchery, in pictures.
Contact for editing purposes:
email: Loh "Timebomb" at: timebomb@ pacific.net.sg

Date first published:  2004
Publication: Loh's web site www.killies.com

Reprinted from Aquarticles:
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Brine Shrimp Hatchery

by Loh Kwek Leong  of Singapore
Visit Loh's www.killies.com for information on killifish keeping.
Aquarticles

 

Brineshrimpsetup.jpg (15803 bytes)   To rig up your own brine shrimp hatchery, these are the items you will need - A 1.5 litre plastic bottle (preferably, one with many ribs and grooves on its sides), a one-way gang valve, a bit of string and an air pump.

brineshrimp02.jpg (9926 bytes)   Cut off the bottom one-third of the plastic bottle. Use a sharp object to make a small hole in the cap and then force the one-way gang valve through it. It won't leak and you don't have to use silicon if the size of the hole is slightly smaller than the gang valve. Punch 2 holes at the other end of the plastic bottle and pass the strings through them. Fill the bottle with water and check for leaks.

brineshrimp01.jpg (12178 bytes)   To hatch brine shrimp eggs, fill up the hatchery with about one litre of water. Add one tablespoon of salt and a small scoop of brine shrimp eggs. Connect the valve to an air pump and aerate the solution for 24 hours. The solution should turn a bright red colour, indicating that most, if not all, the eggs have hatched.

Do not use kitchen salt or the hatch rate will be very low. Many fish shops in Singapore sell brine shrimp eggs that will NEVER hatch no matter how long you aerate them. I think this is because they are not keeping their eggs in the proper conditions. Brine shrimp eggs should always be kept in the refrigerator (in the vegetable compartment, not in the freezer) when not in use.

brineshrimp03.jpg (6154 bytes)   To harvest the baby brine shrimps, close the gang valve and add half a litre of tap water to the hatchery. Disconnect the tubing and wait for 5 minutes. If all goes well, 3 layers will form in the solution. Egg shells will form the top layer; clear water will be in the middle layer and the baby brine shrimps will congregate at the lower one-third of the solution.

Brineshrimp05.jpg (9085 bytes)   Release the gang-valve and let the solution flow into a bottle. As the water level in the hatchery drops, the egg shells stick to the sides of the bottle and voila, what comes out through the gang valve are pure baby brine shrimps.

brineshrimp04.jpg (13713 bytes)   You can either use a turkey baster or a brine shrimp net to feed your fish with the baby brine shrimps. I find it's better to use a turkey baster as dipping a net into one tank after another is a sure-fire way to contaminate every tank if one is diseased.

The nutritional value of baby brine shrimps drops dramatically a few hours after hatching. So do not leave your baby brine shrimps in the hatchery for too long. If possible, feed them to your fish as soon as they hatch.