Instructions and Guidelines
Storing Brine Shrimp Eggs
Brine shrimp eggs should to be stored as follows:
- free from moisture; and
- in a cool environment at or below 50°F.
Follow these guidelines for the best results:
Approximately 11/2 tablespoons
of salt per quart (or liter) of water. This equates to about
1.018 specific gravity as measured with a hydrometer. Aquarium, sea or
non-iodized table salt can be used.
pH is important in hatching brine shrimp. A starting pH of 8.0 or
higher is recommended. If the pH of your water is below 7, Epson salt or
baking soda can be added at the rate of
1/2 teaspoon per quart.
water temperature for a 24-hour complete hatch is 80-82°F. Lower
temperature will result in a longer hatching time, but do not exceed
Illumination can be added to get the best hatching rate, but is not absolutely critical.
aeration is necessary to keep cysts in suspension and to provide
sufficient oxygen levels for the cysts to hatch. A nice steady stream of
aeration that tumbles the eggs without pushing them above the water
surface and onto the side of the hatching cone.
- Stocking Density:
1 gram per liter or quart or approximately 1/2 level teaspoon of cysts per quart is recommended. A higher stocking density will result in a lower hatch percentage.
- Hatching Cone:
hatching vessels should be avoided. Cone or "V" bottomed containers are
best to insure that the cysts remain in suspension during hatching. Be
sure to thoroughly wash the hatching cone with a light chlorine
solution, rinse, and allow to air-dry between uses.
The following steps will achieve optimum brine shrimp egg hatch rates.
- Set Up:
hatching cone or similarly shaped vessel in well-lit area. Cone should
be semi-translucent for ease of harvesting and light transmission.
- Add Water:
Fill cone with one liter of water and add 11/2 tablespoons of salt. Optimum hatching temperature is 82°F (28°C).
- Add Cysts:
Add cysts at the rate of 1 gram per liter or quart or approximately 1/2 level teaspoon of cysts per quart is
recommended. A higher stocking density will result in a lower hatch
Provide adequate aeration to keep cysts in suspension.
Depending upon water temperature, cysts should hatch in approximately 18-36 hours.
hatching brine shrimp, turn off or remove aeration and wait several
minutes for the shells and and baby brine shrimp (or nauplii) to
separate. Newly hatched nauplii will settle to the bottom of the cone or
move towards a light source; the shells will float to the surface. The
egg shells are brown in color and the baby brine shrimp are more orange.
Once separated, the nauplii can be siphoned from the bottom with a
length of air tubing or gently drained through the bottom of the cone
through a valve, if so equipped.
warm incubation temperatures and metabolites from the hatching medium
create ideal conditions for a bacteria bloom. Rinsing of the baby brine
shrimp in a fine mesh net or sieve using clean fresh or salt water is
important before feeding them to your fish.
- Clean Equipment:
Tanks and brine shrimp hatching equipment should be cleaned and disinfected routinely.
What are the guidelines for Artemia cysts?
- 20 - 30 parts per thousand (ppt) salt solution or approximately 1-2
tablespoons of rock salt per quart (or liter) of water. This equates to
around 1.015-1.020 specific gravity. A 20% (or around 1/2 teaspoon per
quart) concentration of Epson salt or magnesium sulfate can be added to
further buffer the hatching solution.
- Optimum temperature for a 24 hour complete hatch 26-28° C. Lowering
the temperature would result in a longer hatching time. Do not exceed
- Illumination is necessary to trigger the hatching mechanism within
the embryo within the first few hours of incubation. Maintaining a light
source during the entire incubation period is recommended to obtain
optimum hatch results and for temperature control.
- Constant aeration is also necessary to provide sufficient oxygen
levels for the cysts to metabolize and hatch. A minimum of 3 parts per
million dissolved oxygen during the incubation is recommended. Strong
aeration will not damage or hurt the brine shrimp cysts or nauplii.
- A starting pH of 8.0 or higher is recommended. If pH drops below 7.5
during incubation, add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate or a pH buffer
to raise it above 8.0.
- 2 grams per quart or approximately one level teaspoon of cysts per
quart is recommended. A higher stocking density will result in a lower %
- Flat bottom hatching vessels should be avoided. Cone or "V" bottomed
containers are best to insure that the cysts remain in suspension during
hatching. Be sure to thoroughly wash the hatching cone with soap and
water and allow to air dry between uses.
How do I harvest the baby brine shrimp?
harvest the baby brine shrimp or nauplii, simply shut off the air and
wait a few minutes for the shells and nauplii to separate. The shells
will float to the surface and the live nauplii will go to the bottom of
the cone towards the light source. Once separated, the nauplii can be
siphoned from the bottom or drained from the bottom of the cone through
the air tubing.