Tag Archives: Aquaculture

Hatching brine shrimp for tropical fish

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TROPICAL FISH: A simple guide to hatching brine shrimp

I HAVE found existing guides for hatching brine shrimp on the Internet overly complex. I have been hatching brine shrimp for tropical fish since I was a child and can confidently say that it is not a complicated process.

Brine shrimp are a great live food source for tropical fish, especially if you are breeding fish and want to raise healthy fish spawn. They are also great for varying the diet of smaller tropical fish species.

Brine shrimp generally come in small plastic containers. Some brine shrimp guides will tell you to keep these in the fridge, but this is not necessary. So long as the container is kept sealed so that moisture cannot enter and glue the eggs together, brine shrimp eggs can be kept at room temperature.

Brine Shrimp (image: www.brineshrimp.co.za)Some brine shrimp guides suggest using a cone-shaped device for hatching the eggs. What I find works best is a small rectangular tank or transparent container of about five litres. The corners are useful for getting the brine shrimp to cluster together so that more can be extracted at once.

Add two cups (500mls) of fish tank water to your breeding tank – diluted with a teaspoon of salt. Some brine shrimp guides will urge you to use aquarium salt or non-iodated salt. This is best, but I’ve found that ordinary table salt works just as well. It’s cheaper too.

You want the salted water level to be between 2-3cm. Gently sprinkle some brine shrimp eggs over the water surface and allow them to spread out. It doesn’t matter whether or not the eggs sink or float but you want to ensure that none stick to the sides of the tank and dry out.

Other brine shrimp guides may also argue that the water needs to be aerated and heated. You can do this however you see fit if you wish, but it is not essential. In the summer months you can keep your hatchery in the sunlight near a window. During Winter, room temperature should be adequate. Also bear in mind that if your brine shrimp hatchery is in the sunlight more water will evaporate and more eggs will stick to the sides, dry out, and won’t hatch.

After about two days you should see little orange movements. Your brine shrimp have hatched and are ready to be fed to your tropical fish! Brine shrimp are attracted to light and will swim towards it. Use a small torch or light source to attract them towards one of the corners. Once they have mustered together, suck them up with a plastic syringe or eye-dropper and slowly eject them into your fish tank.

A little salt in your tank is good for your fish. It helps ward off parasites and keeps your fish healthy. Just don’t overdo it! One syringe full of tasty brine shrimp per day is ample depending on the size of your tank. Your tropical fish will love you for the treat!

Tropical Fish Care Posts:

A beginner’s guide to keeping tropical fish

SOMETHING FISHY: A beginner’s guide to keeping tropical fish

EVERYONE should have a pet. Some people may be put off by the idea of having to clean up poop or be woken up by loud squawking every day, but your choice of pet doesn’t necessarily have to be something cuddly that you can play catch with or teach to talk.

pearl gouramiTropical fish are a great alternative. Not only are fish therapeutically pleasing and interesting animals, but they can be very easy to look after and maintain. You may consider pet fish as boring but you will be amazed at the variety, colours and characters inherent in tropical fish.

I have been keeping tropical fish since my childhood years and have learnt a great deal regarding what to get and how to look after a great array of fishy friends.

Starting off

If you wish to invest in your first tropical fish tank it’s a good idea to go large. Starting off small is not necessarily easier and once you get into such a hobby (and your fish grow) you will want to upgrade, which can be a mission and comes at a cost.

black moor goldfishInvest in a large, rectangular shaped tank (30 liters is a good volume) and first ensure that you have a good place to house it. A fish tank stand is a good idea but ensure that the tank will rest at a comfortable eye-level.

It is also important to keep your tank away from direct sunlight as this will encourage rapid algae growth. You don’t want to have to scrap away algae in order to have a good look at who is inside.

Keep your setup as varied as possible. It’s best to have sections of both soft and gravel substrate. Keep your tank well planted and create lots of hiding places such as caves, tubes and rock tunnels, and decorate as you see fit.

The Nitrogen Cycle

Once your tank is filled up with de-chlorinated water and you have finished creating your own underwater Eden, there is a short waiting period to endure. With a heater installed and set between 25-27 degrees Celsius, and a good filter running, you tank will begin to perform a nitrogen cycle. Your local pet store will provide you with instructions on how to do this correctly.

ghost knife fishAfter completing the above you are now ready to get your first tropical fish! It is always a good idea to only get a few at first and ensure that they are perfectly cheerful before getting more. It is also very important to research each tropical fish species beforehand to understand their needs and requirements and temperament with other fish.

There is tons of info available on the web – written by dedicated tropical fish hobbyists who are more than willing to give expert advice to beginners. However, I can recommend the following families as good fishy pets for the beginner: Corydoras, Gouramis, Loaches, Black Ghost Knife fish, Ramirezis, Algae Eaters and Tetras.

The following post: Something Fishy, consists of tropical fish profiles (including all the info you’ll need for good care) of the following:

  • Fire Eel
  • Angelfish
  • Clown Loach
  • Glass Catfish
  • dwarf gouramiJulii Corydora
  • Red Tail Shark
  • Pearl Gourami
  • Fancy Goldfish
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Bronze Corydora
  • Black Ghost Knife
  • Pleco (Algae Eater)
  • Banded Kuhli Loach
  • Black Moor Goldfish
  • Blue Ramirezi (Blue Ram)

If you’re interested in starting your own hobby in tropical fish I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Otherwise here are some great resources: