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How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

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How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 26 Sep 2012, 21:04

Seem like this could be a useful thread for newbies, my approach is not definitive, so please chime in with alternative plans.

The most basic method of hatching brine shrimp is a bottle of salt water with an airline stuffed in it, the drawback with this approach is how do you get the brine shrimp out? Syphoning is the usual method, but after a few mouthfuls of live shrimp in salt water, I went off that method.

Up until recently I was using two 1 1/2 litre bottles (with about 1 litre of water in each) getting through one bottle every two days. I've recently switched to using 3 containers, each with 1/2 litre of water, so I use 1 container a day. I don't heat the bottles, but just leave them at ambient temperature, which means that the eggs tend to hatch after 36 - 48 hours. These are the containers I use now....



Ignoring the middle one for the minute, the two bottles are screwed into a special weighted stand, which used to be available in the UK, but I haven't been able to source recently.
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Notice the airline is looped over the top of the bottle in lieu of a non return valve, to prevent water draining out in a power cut.
To extract the brine shrimp, I simply leave the bottle to stand without aireation for a few minutes. Using light to attract the shrimp is often suggested, but not something I find necessary.
After standing, the bottle looks like this...

I then simply drop the airline and aim it at my seive, which in turn is in a small plastic plant holder.


I then rinse in fresh water and add to the tanks using a spoon, for a batch of newly free swimming youngsters, this is how much food I give them, twice a day....

Note that's a teaspoon!

In terms of routine, when a container is finished, I clean it using fresh tap water and a bottle brush (no detergents). I then fill it with half a litre of tap water, and 2 1/2 lightly heaped teaspoons of marine salt (although many prefer to use cooking salt, don't use table salt it contains iodine which is toxic to fish & shrimps). I then add one lightly heaped teaspoon of eggs (this is higher than is generally recommended, if only feeding one batch of babies you'll need far less than this). Don't be tempted to reuse old water, it's a false economy as the ammonia and nitrite levels will be too high, and many suggest that bacterial levels could also be raised.
I place the newly filled container on the left hand side of the other two. Two days later when it has moved to the right, the colour will have changed from this...

to this...


Although the bottle stands seem to be unavailable, I have seen various home made versions using cut off bottom of the bottle, weighted with gravel or marbles, with the airline connected using a plastic joiner siliconed in the bottle top. I've even seen bottles strung up with rope.

The middle hatchery in my photo is a JBL hatchery, and retails for about £20. I have to say it's a pleasure to use, and easy to clean. The tap on the bottom makes removing the shrimp a doddle. There's an "O" ring on the lid which is a bit fiddly, but otherwise I'm very impressed with it!

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  jaymiller on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 01:45

Thanks rob really helps. I'll get a couple of those jbl ones Wink
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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  uk bulldog on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 12:28

Hi Rob i think you can buy those stands or one very similer on ebay but i know plymouth discus also sell them. I use a hatchery form ZM PRODUCTS that is like your JBL one but it is a 21/2 ltr.
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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  bridgegirl99 on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:57

Rob this is absolutely fantastic for a novice like me!!! Having pictures as well is so helpful!!! Thank you VERY much!!!

My angels have spawned again this morning, so I'm holding my breath!! Very Happy

Lindsey

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  jaymiller on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:21

Rob I orderd 2 of those jbl hatchers from Plymouth discus. Will 2 be enough?
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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 23:07

Will 2 be enough?
If you're just feeding one or two batches of babies, two should be fine.

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  TrevorGreenfield on Sun 30 Sep 2012, 15:05

Hi Rob,

Thanks for putting this up, we tend to forget that new breeders might not know some of this stuff. I use the bases that you mentioned which I get from TA-Aquaculture online. (That's not an affiliate link, Tim Addis the owner is a friend of mine who puts on a stand at our BCA conventions).

This is a photo of my current set up.



I use a check valve on all my hatching containers as you can see in this picture



You will notice that I sit my containers on a mat. This is a rubberised matting material that you can buy to use on trays or as table mats that stop things from sliding around. I think I got mine from a supermarket or a pound shop - not sure now but it is very useful for my brine shrimp set up. Stops the containers from moving around.



I follow the same process of removing the air supply ( I just bend the tubing over and use a clothes peg to hold it in place to cut off the air supply). I do still siphon the shrimp out and you're right you have to be quick not to get a mouthful of salty brine shrimp cocktail. I use a piece of normal airline as my siphon tubing.

I siphon the shrimp out into a normal large handkerchief that I sit inside a large net as in this photo.



I then wash them out under a cold tap as you do to remove some of the brine solution. Over time you can get a build up of salt in the fry tank if you're using a small tank as your breeding tank which I tend to do. Incidentally, for the newbies here, breeding in a small tank ( I use 18" x 15" x 12" tanks) means that when the fry hatch and you start to feed them they are close to the food. They don't have to expend lots of energy looking for it which I believe is important when they are newly hatched.

I then take the washed shrimps and dip into the tank to feed the fry.



I have seen others recommend using a syringe with a piece of tubing on the end to suck the shrimp out of the hatching container which removes the risk of getting a mouthful.

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 30 Sep 2012, 20:07

Just clarify.
My airpump feeds into a 3 way gang valve that feeds air to my 3 bottles, although I loop the airline over the bottles, so that I don't need non return valves for each individual bottle, I do use a single non return valve between the air pump and the gang valve.

Trevor,
Glad to hear that those stands are still available as I find them very useful, although I must say that the JBL hatchery is much easier to clean than a standard plastic bottle!

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  jaymiller on Tue 02 Oct 2012, 14:59

How do we know when the BBS has hatched and ready to feed? Thanks.
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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 02 Oct 2012, 15:38

When you add the eggs to the water, the water looks brown/grey.
Once the shrimp have hatched the colour changes and becomes more red/orange, (see the photos in my first post).
If in doubt turn the air off and after a few minutes the eggs should float, but the brine shrimp can clearly be seen swimming below!

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Grummie2 on Wed 03 Oct 2012, 12:09

Thanks Rob for this wonderful post! I've been hatching shrimp for many years but over time I've let my 'method' slip a bit and consequently my hatch rates have not been up to par. After reading this I've gone back to basics, I may even get a few of those fancy hatchers (!). I've weighed the salt, measured the water, cleaned everything and put the level tspn of eggs in (I usually put 1/4 of that amount) that you use.....we'll see what happens. I'm also getting some fresh eggs, I don't like using them after about 12mnths. I was going for some of the smaller shrimp to see if the albinos would fare better but it looks like the suppliers out atm.

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 03 Oct 2012, 12:27

Hi Graham, glad it's inspired you, the only danger with using more than the recommended amount of eggs, is that if there's a power cut or similar, the shrimp die off more quickly. Incidentally, for those unfamiliar with hatching brine shrimp, when you sieve the shrimp, the strained water should be clear, if the strained water is orange it's a good sign that some of the shrimp have died and are starting to decompose. I don't have a very good sense of smell, but I'm aware that the container can start to smell. It's best to simply throw the whole batch of shrimp if it gets to this stage, I wouldn't risk feeding them to babies any more than I'd eat rancid meat!

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Grummie2 on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 23:03

I've just had the biggest hatch of shrimp ever. I used Robs method but made sure I had new shrimp; I finally got some of the smaller San Francisco type, massive hatch, plenty to feed 3 or 4 broods. Same method with old shrimp wasn't very successful. Now to get a spawning or two!!!!

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 23:35

Now to get a spawning or two!!!!

I'm guessing that albino genes may be involved in at least one of those batches?

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Grummie2 on Fri 26 Oct 2012, 21:21

Pterophyllum wrote:
Now to get a spawning or two!!!!

I'm guessing that albino genes may be involved in at least one of those batches?

Yep, I have a spawn already in with the parents, not sure if there's any albino's left because the tank is quite dark and not easy to see into....time will tell.

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 04 Aug 2013, 21:50

Well of late I've been struggling with my brine shrimp, so much so that I even came back and reread everything I wrote in case I'd fallen into bad habits. I check my salt levels and water levels in the hatching vessels and still struggled to get a decent hatch.
As I was coming to the end of a can (I use 454g cans of eggs) I did wonder if the eggs were going off and sure enough, having opened a new can, Bingo, more bbs than I have fish to feed them to!
So if you've followed the details above and are still struggling to hatch any shrimp, look to the eggs!

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Re: How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Post  spyderuk on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 07:58

Funny you should mention that, my hatch rates had been dropping. I'm now adding a pinch of baking powder and it's made an improvement.

I only buy eggs 100gm at a time, keep them in ziplock bag in fridge. I liberate a couple of teaspoons from that bag into another bag kept at room temp for hatching. The supply out of the fridge lasts about a week. Once i'm fully setup and running I'm sure I'll need to be buying larger quantities.

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