Register

Welcome to the Circle City Aquarium Club Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hagerstown, IN
    Posts
    371

    Baby brine shrimp - looking for tips

    I hate hatching and feeding baby brine shrimp to my fry. I know itís a really great food for them but what a pain. Looking for some tips on better methods.
    I use the store-bought plastic base that you screw an inverted 2-liter onto and run an airline to the bottom of it. I follow all the directions, water temp is kept close to 90, non-iodized salt at the recommended dosage of 1.015 (measured with a hydrometer), bubble the water very vigorously, I keep a desk lamp shining on it and I use OSI brine shrimp eggs (the kind that come in the little triangular plastic tube).
    I consistently get something that looks like less than 50% hatch rate after about 24 hours. When I turn off the air and let the water settle down for 5 minutes I gently use an eye dropper to suck up the live BS but get more eggs than usable live babies. So I end squirting a lot of useless eggs and saltwater into the water where my fry are kept. I donít think this is good.
    Iíve read the tips Iíve seen online from people and I donít see where Iím doing anything much different. People talk like itís so easy and they get so much baby BS but I can barely feed a few fry with what I get.
    I want to hear from some folks that are really successful with baby BS and maybe post some pics of your setups.
    Thanks!
    Roy

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    524
    Good topic. I'm still too timid to try it. Seems like a lot of work and upkeep.
    Bobby

  3. #3
    I do brine shrimp every day, and I am more than willing to help. For me, it's all about getting into a routine. I also use the 2-liter bottles with plastic base. I keep 2 of them going that I rotate a fresh batch every 24 hrs. The simple parameters are pretty much the same, and work well: water aprox. 80 degrees gives you a hatch in about 15 hours, salinity 1.022 for me (same as salt water for a tank) I use the big blue bag of water softener salt since it's 99.9% salt and cheap, like me! I used to use the hydrometer on every batch of water, but got too lazy for that in a hurry. I make up a gallon of salt water at a time, and that can get me 3 batches, so I measured out how much salt it took to get to my desired salinity, found a cheap plastic cup (in my case a lid for a spray paint can I was throwing away) and scratched a line to indicate how much salt was needed. I use this cup every time I need to make a new gallon of salt water for bbs. In my experience, brine shrimp aren't terribly picky about the salinty. As long as you are close, they are fine and hatch out. Anyway, I get my cysts by the approximate pound (The cans all used to be a pound, but since the price has gone crazy for them, a lot of suppliers are selling 15oz cans now) from Angel's Plus or Brine Shrimp Direct, but I am sure there are others out there. For me, it's all about combined shipping with whatever else I am buying, like food, sponge filters, etc. A big part of getting a good hatch out from your cysts is about what you buy and how you handle it. I know it's expensive, trust me I know <sigh>, but there really isn't a good reason to buy less than a good 80-90% hatch out quality. It's just not worth the wasted cysts. Then how you handle it is key: Keep it in the freezer and open it as little as possible! Every time you expose the cysts to room air, they suck up moisture and start the hatching process, which ultimately means that you lose some. What I do is this: I keep my main can in the freezer, then have a second, smaller container (for me it's a pint sized glass canning jar with lid) that I fill about halfway and also keep in the freezer. This smaller jar is the one I open every day and take a spoon of cysts. By the time I notice my hatch rate going down, I am about empty on the jar and it's time to get a fresh group of cysts. With the stuff you buy in the pet shops, it's been in storage for who knows how long, and sitting on a shelf at room temp. There is just no way that you are going to get the best hatch rate out of that. Now for separating shells from eggs: I have heard about the method some use to soften the shells to get a better hatch rate of adding a drop of bleach when they mix up a new batch, and I have tried it but can't really say that I saw a difference. <shrug> I think my cold tap water is so chlorinated that I pretty much do that already when making new water. LOL So, I pull my 2-liter off the air and let it sit with the airline tubing secured above it so it doesn't all leak out, and I let it sit for a couple of minutes until I see the bbs at the bottom and the empty shells in a thin layer on the top. Then I take the air hose and lower it into a super fine mesh net in the sink and let it drain until I have the amount of brine I want. Just depends if I am wanting it all for feeding now or want to spread it out for multiple feedings. When I have what I want, I let the salt water drain out of the net and rinse with about twice as much fresh water as there was salt water volume. Then I let that drain. I use a small, clear plastic cup next to put the bbs into for feeding. I carefully dump the clumped bbs into this cup and rinse the net into it with fresh water to get all of this expensive bbs that I have worked hard for, and filling the cup with water. Finally, I use a length of airline tubing with about a foot long length of rigid airline tubing (can be acquired at pet supplies plus) as a tool to siphon out of the cup and then feed to the tanks. The live and active bbs stay at the top of the water in the cup and unhatched eggs sink to the bottom and can be avoided as you siphon, then put back into your hatcher for the next batch. Whew! Didn't mean to write a book there, but I wanted to be as clear as I could. I sure hope this helps some!

  4. #4
    CCAC Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Martinsville Indiana
    Posts
    38
    I have no problems hatching brine shrimp. I have a 10 gallon tank set up out in the garage. Heater and sponge filter. My issue is keeping them alive after 3 to 4 days.

    I need tips on feeding and raising to adults.

    I have tried the egg yolk - no heater - they still died.

  5. #5
    CCAC Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Martinsville Indiana
    Posts
    38
    "use the big blue bag of water softener salt since it's 99.9% salt and cheap"

    I have never thought of that Storm! Thanks for the tip!!!!

  6. #6
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hagerstown, IN
    Posts
    371
    Thanks for the quick and in-depth response, Harrison. I was hoping you would be one of the ones that respond. Nobody else should be shy though. I need all the help I can get.

    Some questions/observations for you Harrison:
    Sounds like I need to break down and order some higher quality BS eggs to get a better hatch rate. I do keep my eggs in my fridge and only take them out when needed. Iíll start keeping them in the freezer compartment instead. Would you say that the 80-90% hatch rate is really accurate? Iíve never gotten anywhere close to that as far as I can tell.

    How do you keep your water at 80 degrees? I use a typical aquarium heater in my set-up but itís not very convenient. Iíve broken at least one taking it in and out all the time. I think it was you that mentioned to me once that a 10-gallon could be set up and kept half full with a heater in that and then place your hatchery(s) down into the 10-gallon. The surrounding water would keep the hatchery water at the correct temp. However you wouldnít be able to drain the hatchery from the bottom like you do if itís sitting down in a tank of water.

    Iím really surprised that you get the eggs to hatch in about 15 hours. Everything I had read says 24 hours. Do you think your quick hatching is due to the higher quality eggs you use?

    Seems like I use to have a small brine shrimp net but Iíve lost it and I donít think it was really a fine enough mesh for baby BS anyway. Have you ever used a coffee filter to drain away the saltwater? Iíve seen that suggested online. It seems messy to transfer the BS to the tank if they are in a coffee filter though. Then again, I guess it would be easier if you actually had a lot of baby BS and not the little bit that I get mixed in with a bunch of unhatched eggs.

    Roy

    PS - Gail, have you ever used greenwater to try to grow brine shrimp or the powder they use in the reef hobby for corals? I've heard of those being used. Don't know much about it though.

  7. #7
    Roy, let me address your questions:

    1. Yes, for me the hatch rate on the high quality cysts has proven accurate. I have more bbs than I could ever need for my fry with each hatch.
    2. Yes, I was the one to suggest the tank and heater to you to keep the hatcher up to temp. You can always just lift it out and sit it on the counter by the sink and still do the method I use. For me, I just heat my small fish room and that keeps the water at the right temp for me on my second row. Back to lifting out the hatcher for a minute, you shouldn't have a problem with that as you MUST rinse and wipe it out (at least with your hand under cold running water) between every use. Bacteria builds up fast and can foul your hatch.
    3. For me, the cysts hatch almost like clockwork at 15 hrs. If you wait 24 hrs or more, the yolk can be used up and the nauplii may molt into their second instar phase where they start eating. Great if you want sea monkeys, not so great if you want optimum nutrition for your small fry.
    4. I love the brine shrimp nets, they are perfect for the job. You can get them cheap at Angel's Plus and/or Brine Shrimp Direct. I like the net over any sieve or other crap out there. It gives me a lot more control and is as easy as it gets.

    Towards Gail's issue of trying to grow out the bbs, Roy is right...greenwater is a great way to go. It's easy to culture separately and feed daily to the grow out tub/tank. The addition of a lightbulb for heat and light and some good aeration is also a good idea. There are some very good videos out on the subject. If you can't find one, let me know and I will find you a link.

  8. #8
    DIY brine shrimp hatcher.pdf

    here is an article i did for fins a few years ago. i based it on mike hellweg's techniches he published prior to thatin (i think) AFM. and yes, i see my typo but i am too lazy to go fix it right now.

  9. #9
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hagerstown, IN
    Posts
    371
    Thanks Mike! Even though you're lazy...

  10. #10
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hagerstown, IN
    Posts
    371
    After reading Harrison’s advice and Mike’s article, I have tried a couple things and I’m meeting with more success. One of the things I changed about my setup is that I stopped following the directions on the brine shrimp egg package that said the water temperature should be close to 90. I took the heater out and am allowing the eggs to hatch at room temperature (around 70) and the eggs are hatching just fine although I think it takes a little longer, still only about 24 hours though. I also purchased a 4 oz. package of premium 90% hatch-rate eggs from Angels Plus for about $18. I tried my first batch of these new eggs and got a VERY good hatch rate. I used Harrison’s idea of extending the airline hose at the bottom of the base and just popping the valve off at that point to drain the container into a cup which gets the most BBS with the water. Just like Harrison said, I now have way more BBS than I know what to do with. So in short, taking the heater out simplified the set-up and coming up with a better arrangement for my airline and valve made it easier to use and buying the premium BBS eggs is a huge improvement. Thanks for the advice and I hope others can learn from my experience as well.
    Roy

  11. #11
    Glad it's working out for you, Roy. As with anything else, take what you can use, adapt it to best fit your setup, and lose the rest. =)

  12. #12
    BOD Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    South Indy
    Posts
    65
    Roy,
    I took after Harrisons method and with a twist. I use a mop bucket with a heater at 83 degrees and air stone to circulate water. I clip a two liter to the side of the bucket and hatch in it. I harvest everyday at 5pm and start another bottle for the next days harvest. I take half the hatch and feed with and rinse the other half off and put back into a fresh salt water solution and store in the fridge for the am feeding.

    The short answers is that I run one hatcher and get a feeding every 12 hours out of it. The cold temp of the fridge prolonged the BBS having a first molt and losing a bunch of nutrition.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to Top