How to Improve Your Brine Shrimp Hatches
Get your money’s worth out of your brine shrimp eggs. 

 
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Brine Shrimp Factoids

Origin

Very salty water

Size

1/4 inch

Hatching Temp

80o best.  Room temp okay.

Foods

Micro foods or none 

Containers

Glass or plastic


LA Pic
Fairly new newly hatched brine shrimp -- about 24 hours old

Baby fishes of all breeds love to eat newly hatched brine shrimp – as do all smaller fishes such as guppies and tetras.  Nutrition Note:  The baby brine shrimp’s fat-rich yolk and color-enhancing carotenes make them a perfect food.  They live for about five hours in fresh water.  

Live or frozen, your small fishes will gobble up baby brine shrimp like kids gobble up watermelon bubble gum.

Since the price of brine shrimp eggs (really cysts) nearly doubles every so often, perhaps you need to know how to increase your hatch rate.

LA Pic
You may not need this many gallon jugs hatching eggs.

If you use brine shrimp eggs by the gallon can, you probably came to that conclusion long ago.  You’ve already taken steps to increase your hatch rates.

However, if you use those small glass vials of brine shrimp eggs (the most expensive way to buy them per egg but also the most practical for most people), you still need to know how to get your money’s worth out of your eggs.

 

Salt Solution Test. 

#1.  Mix up at least a gallon of salt water at a time.  Follow the package directions as to amount of salt per gallon of water. 

#2.  Pour three pint jars half full of water.  Add a bit more tap water to the one on the left and a bit more salt to the one on the right.  Put an equal (but very small) amount of eggs in each jar.  (Measuring equal amounts of eggs can be a real problem.)

#3.  Visually check the hatch rate in each jar at 24, 36, and 48 hours.

#4.  Pick the solution that yields the largest hatch rate.  Add extra water or salt to your gallon jar to make it the same as your jar with the best hatch rate.

Salt Quality.  Many big brine shrimp hatchers use marine aquarium salt.  They say they can use it over and over again – so it costs more initially but less in the long run. 

Use any type of salt you want.  Rock salt, ice cream salt, canning and pickling salt, kosher salt, aquarium salt -- all work. 

Uniodized?  What about  the iodized or uniodized controversy?  Iodine has nothing to do with your salt’s effectiveness.  Mr. Morton put that iodine in there to keep you from growing a goiter.  You don’t want table salt in your tank because it can cloud your water.  Mr. Morton also added a bit of sodium chloride so your salt won't lump up in humid weather and clog your salt shaker.  If you rinse your hatched shrimp, it will have no salt at all.  Iodine itself makes no difference to your fish or  your shrimp hatch rate.  And, since you’ll never use enough salt to make a dollar’s worth of difference, use any kind of salt you want.

LA Pic
Very newly hatched -- zero hours old

Temperature.  The warmer your water, the faster your brine shrimp eggs will hatch – up to a point.  Aim for 75 to 85o.  Too cool takes too long.  Too warm suffocates the baby shrimps.  Usually, a strategically placed light bulb will warm them enough to speed up your hatch rate.

However, since you need to hatch new brine shrimp eggs every day, the length of time needed to hatch them means very little.

 

How Many Eggs?  Package directions say use two teaspoonsful of brine shrimp eggs.  Get outta here.  If you hatch this quantity of eggs, you can feed 20 to 30 spawns of fry.  Use about 1/20th of a teaspoon instead.  You will need to hatch larger quantities later.  You also need to hatch a new container every day.  (Hatched shrimp double in size in 24 hours.)  Without any food.

Aeration.  You can get another 50 to 60% better hatch by adding a small airstone to your hatcher.  Aeration is not necessary but it does increase your hatch rate.

LA Pic
Shrimps move toward the light.  

Straining the Eggs.

Picky Way:  Let the eggs and shrimps settle out.  Live shrimps swim to the side with the most light.  They're phototropic.  Pull them out with a turkey baster and squirt them into a “brine shrimp net.”  Feed the orange baby shrimps to your fishes.

Easy Way:  Pour the hatching solution thru a “brine shrimp net.”  Then just rinse your net into your fry tank.  Add a few snails to eat up the brown “egg shells.”  They’ll also eat up any extras that die and fall to the bottom.  LA.

Want to Raise Brine Shrimp?

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