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Best way to hatch Brine shrimp

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Jonathan Aquari, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Jonathan Aquari

    Jonathan Aquari Member

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    HEY everyone,

    I was wonder if anyone has what they think is the "best" way to hatch brine shrimp.
    I have found:

    1.the dish method w/ no air pump, with many good reviews
    2. the "old fashioned" way, soda bottle w/ an air pump
    3. A newer method, the " Aquabreed 1000"
  2. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Here is what I do....

    2-liter bottle bubbled from the bottom (I use one of the commercial hatching bases designed for 2-liter soda bottles).
    Non-dechlorinated WARM tap water (very warm... but not too hot to touch)
    2 tsp. sea salt (any commercial marine salt... cheapest I can find)
    1-2 tsp. cysts
    24-light

    In my fish room I get maximum hatch at about 18 hours.
  3. Ekona

    Ekona Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I only need small amounts of BBS as I have a few select species I like to work with at any one time. I have recently been using the dish hatchery by Hobby (purchased through Brine Shrimp Direct). No air pumps, air line tubing or any other moving parts. I mix one cup of aquarium salt per one gallon of bottled water then pour into the dish. Add one scoop (comes with a small bottle of eggs from BSD) of eggs, put a small lamp over it to provide light and some warmth. In 24 hours good amounts of BBS and NO SHELLS whatsoever. The nauplii congregate over a small collecting sieve which you just lift out, rinse and add to aquarium. This is by far the easiest method I've tried with consistent results. Again really only feasible if you need enough for low numbers of fish but it really works very well in my experience. I have two dishes going on alternate days for continuous production. You can google this method and see videos of the amount of BBS you can harvest. I know I may sound like a sales rep for BSD (which I am not) but I recommend this method for its simplicity and ease.
  4. CopabX

    CopabX Member

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    Hey Ekona. Is it possible for you to post a couple close-up pictures of the dish so I could build my own? I saw that and thought it looked extremely interesting but all the pictures/photos online were too fuzzy to make out the ring patterns in the inside. Thanks.
  5. jaafaman

    jaafaman Member

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    Primary question before answering - how many shrimp do you need and how often?...
  6. Jonathan Aquari

    Jonathan Aquari Member

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  7. jaafaman

    jaafaman Member

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    Brine Shrimp Direct's dish system that Ekona favors seems most tailored to your needs, then. Two of them would be sufficient to supply daily feedings during the short term, provide for easy cleaning and then storing when not needed.

    Bottles and more, along with the necessary periphernalia, are more suitable for much larger quantities of shrimp which justify the added complexity a bit better...
  8. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I use 2L bottles. I guess that I'm old school - so old that my 2L bottles are the original type with a round bottom bottle set into a colored base! My system is much like Ted's except that I use an old bottle bottom for a top. I drilled a hole in the top to fit a length of rigid tubing. This is attached to a flexible airline. Once the shrimp hatch, I pull the airline for the air source. Once the shells float, I just siphon the shrimp through the airline into a brine shrimp net. My only gripe is that the mesh size of recent nets is coarser than older nets and some shrimp slip through. I hate to think what I'll use when my 20 year old brine shrimp net dies.
  9. jaafaman

    jaafaman Member

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    Coffee filters?

    Last setup I had for Brine couldn't have been more "over the top". The cysts were hatched in up-ended 2 liter bottles, then transferred to a 10-gallon with a center piece of acrylic, PVC tubing and air to create a "raceway" around the tank. They would pretty much stay there for about a week until they took on adult form, then transferred to yet another tank system.

    The main tank was a 20-gallon long with air-driven PVC tubing around its perimeter to keep the water well circulated. An overflow sump drained slowly into another 10-gallon with an under-gravel filter, protein skimmer and HOB, in which the first two removed as much as possible and performed the nitrification for the rest and the HOB returned the water back to the 20-gallon. Once a week I would pull about 15% of the water for replacement. The Brine were fed a steady diet of Spirulina powder from the Health Food shop well blended before going into the tank. And the population maintained in the 20-gallon would've been self-sustaining if I weren't feeding so much of them to the fish, but even at that there was still quite a bit of live-birthing going on.

    That would give me Brine at any stage for any of the fish. And before feeding them to the fish, all but the nauplii were kept for a couple of hours in an Omega-rich water for further enrichment on top of the Spirulina...
  10. Jonathan Aquari

    Jonathan Aquari Member

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    amazing!! i wish I had a system like that. mind posting some pics??
  11. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Only 1 teasp salt per liter Ted? That's less than 20% seawater strength.
    I've been using full strength artificial seawater (32-35 ppt) - would they do better at lower salinity?
    My biggest problem is separating nauplii from cysts. Seems like 40% float, 40% sink, and 20% are neutral-buoyant throughout the water (OSI eggs), so no matter how carefully I siphon (with thin air tubing) there's still alot of cysts.

    I had one of those Hobby Artemia hatcheries in the 70s - the brand name was Longlife back then, but it looks identical.
    http://www.dohse-aquaristik.com/EN/product/21700/Artemia-breeder

  12. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Gerald... a part of your separation problems is associated with the salinity you are using. In a lower salinity you will not have as many cysts with neutral buoyancy. But the bigger issue is that you are only getting a 40% hatch rate. Unhatched eggs sink and empty shells float. Try a lower salinity and see how they do. What hatch rate are your cysts listed as being, how old are they and do you keep them in a freezer?
  13. jaafaman

    jaafaman Member

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    Unfortunately no pics of it in action 'cause the emphasis is on "had". When I lived in Florida I could keep the arrrangement outside in a shed, but there's no room where I am now. So much air-driven water does tend to throw a little salt crust outside the tanks as it bubbles.

    But I could gin up a few drawings of the setup and the details, along with some pics of how the tanks are assembled. I do still have the equipment for when I get room again...
  14. Bilbo

    Bilbo Member 5 Year Member

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    I struggled with brine shrimp for years trying special recipes and different salt mixes but I have now finally realised there is only one method that works.

    Buy the best eggs you can afford, store them correctly and they will hatch.

    I use upside down 1.5ltr coke bottles. One litre of water, 2 teaspoons of table salt and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of eggs. Only keep 2 weeks or less of eggs out and ready, freeze the rest.

    I hatch every day and have plenty for 3 tanks for fry and have almost no unhatched eggs in the mix when I harvest them. Sounds to me like you have old or dead eggs but before throwing them away try Ted's suggestion of less salt.
  15. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Since we are on the topic of brine eggs... the 2012 harvest in the GSL is horrible. The projections are for 50% of 2011 (a very average year). There is no danger to the shrimp population... the up and down cycles are normal. We can expect to see a significant increase in cost for GSL brine eggs in 2013. The price of a pound of grade A (80% hatch... which is what I use) from Brine Shrimp Direct is already up to $42/can (from $30 a few months ago). I would not be surprised to see GSL eggs go up to $60/can next Spring/Summer as stocks dwindle. Foreign eggs from China and Russia will become increasingly available at lower prices (BSD is going to import some to offset their low harvest), but hatch rate of those eggs is notoriously inconsistent.

    I advise buying cans for 2012 right now...
  16. Ekona

    Ekona Active Member 5 Year Member

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    https://picasaweb.google.com/Ekona12/Artemia#

    CopabX, here is a link to some photos I took of the Hobby hatching tray - I hope they give you a clearer idea of how this thing is designed. Again really only for hatching enough eggs for smaller amounts of fish to feed, yet it does it simply and efficiently. If more nauplii are needed, they I too would recommend the soda bottle method.

    The eggs are added to the outside of the white separator ring which stands just above the surface of the water, preventing any floating eggs from moving over the harvest area. The rings on the bottom of the dish keep sinking eggs/shells from moving toward the center harvest area.

    The photo of newly hatched eggs shows how the nauplii congregate over the microsieve which is then lifted out for rinsing and feeding of naupliii. You can actually get greater numbers of nauplii than is shown in the photo. After harvesting once, more nauplii will congregate over the illuminated harvest area, and you can re-harvest for one or two days.

    One gallon of salt water will fill a dish several times (it takes three cups to fill the dish to the fill line).

    You try to make your own version of this system, but for ~$25.00 this thing is pretty will designed and will last a long time with proper care.

    I agree with the comment about quality of eggs being a key factor. I also had problems hatching eggs using any method and now realize that, at the time, I was using those little vials of eggs you could buy at the LFS - probably of the lowest quality imaginable.
    With the premium eggs from BSD, I have had no issues with bacteria or anything else.
    I might try hatching some premium grade eggs using the soda bottle method and see what happens. I suspect I'd get much better results all round due to better quality eggs.

    PS - My thanks also to Ted for maintaining this excellent forum and all the knowledge that can be found here, and best of luck to Josh - sounds like many new and exciting features will be added to an already great forum.
  17. jaafaman

    jaafaman Member

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    Yeah, same thing happened back about 2000 or so. Ended up having to pay $100+ for the one-pound bags at the time, and that was ten years ago...
  18. CopabX

    CopabX Member

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    Unfortunately the link http://picasaweb.google.com/Ekona12/Artemia# doesn't seem to be working, it says page not found (Josh, hope you get the picture functions up soon!). As for the reasoning behind me trying to build one, I agree that $25 really isn't that much for something that seems to work so well, but not my parents. They already think I'm insane for buying such a high maintenance fish and are currently complaining about the bubbling from my 2 liter setup (I find it calming). Also the tray idea seems to be much easier to heat with a reptile mat of some sort than the bottles. It's getting pretty cold here and soon I won't be able to hatch anymore shrimp and my fish will go back to a frozen diet, kind of ironic. :biggrin: I wish I had a fish room that stayed 80F all year around but it's either my room the basement or none.:frown:
  19. Ekona

    Ekona Active Member 5 Year Member

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    CopabX, the link works when I click on it, so I don't know why it is not working for you. But sorry about that. (It may be that Picasa is a Google thing, and you might need a Google account to view them??)
    Try this link to a website with pretty clear pictures of the system: http://reefbuilders.com/2009/11/12/brine-shrimp-hatchery-hobby-separates-egg-shells-moving-parts/
    As for heating, one of the things I like about the dish is that I can use a small desk lamp with a 20 watt halogen bulb placed over the dish to provide some heat and light both of which help the brine shrimp eggs to hatch. Also the dish method is silent as there is no air bubbling needed. As for your parents, well, some folks just don't understand the fascination we feel about keeping small, colorful (and often high maintenance) fishes - but then, that is why the forum is here - we do understand, and we support you :wink:
  20. CopabX

    CopabX Member

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    Ekona, thanks for the pics. I'm guessing it works by allowing the hatched shrimp to swim through the openings at the bottoms of the ring dividers and make their way towards the center?
    On a technical note, the Picassa link may not have worked because I am on win7. I do have a gmail and downloaded Picassa.

    Thanks everyone for the support and when I'm done building my rigged version, I'll try to post instructions.