BREEDING BRINE SHRIMP AS A FOOD SOURCE FOR FISH
Written By: Cort Werner
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Baby brine shrimp are a great source of food for livebearer fry such as Guppies, Mollies, Platies, and Swordtails. They will eat lots of baby brine shrimp and grow much faster to become stronger and healthier fish when fed baby brine shrimp. I will talk about how to grow and feed these to your fry.
The first step is too purchase yourself a brine shrimp hatchery from Big-Al’s. This system is the most affordable and easiest to use.
You will also need a small air pump, a small amount of air line tubing and an anti siphoning device. These are all available at your local Big Al’s location.
You can either use a pack of premixed salt and brine shrimp eggs or a pack of eggs with adding your own sea salt. You will also need a small stick on thermometer.
Some of the non fish store items you will need are a syringe, three empty gum trays (I will explain later), an ice cube tray, 2L pop Bottle, small reading lamp, two large bowl and some coffee filters.
Now that you have all of those items you are ready to start making some brine shrimp.
1) Take the 2L pop bottle and rinse it in clean with hot water (NO SOAP OR BLEACH), then cut the bottom of the pop bottle off where it just starts to bubble out on the bottom.
2) Screw the pop bottle into the black base of the of the hatchery kit and attach a piece of tubing to the bottom outlet of the hatchery kit. Lastly, attach the anti siphoning device to the tubing.
3) Add some non-chlorinated* water to the 2L pop bottle and fill about 2/3 full.
4) You now need to set up a small reading lamp and aim it at the hatchery and pop bottle unit to get the temperature to approximately eighty to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. I used the lamp to get the temperature up to the right range by moving it further away to lower the temperature and closer to increase the temperature.
5) While you are waiting for the temperature to get in the right range add another piece of hose to the anti siphoning device then attach that to the air pump but do not turn it on yet.
6) Once you are up to the right temperature, add your mix of brine shrimp eggs and sea salt (if you are mixing this yourself follow the directions on the back of the package). Next, turn on the bubbler for about five minutes to dissolve the sea salt and then turn it off and allow them to sit for one hour.
7) After the hour of sitting, turn on the bubbler and sit back for twenty-four to thirty –six hours.
8) After the waiting, you should see hundreds of thousands of little brine shrimp. Turn off the bubbler and aim the light to the bottom of the 2L pop bottle and allow them to sit for about a half hour. You will notice that there will be a white swarm of shrimp in the bottom of the bottle.
9) While you are waiting, get a coffee filter and place it over one bowl and get another bowl filled with clean non-chlorinated* water.
10) Disconnect the air pump tubing but leave the anti siphoning device that is attached to the tubing attached to the brine shrimp breeder.
11) Kink the hose that is attached to the brine shrimp breeder and then remove the anti siphoning device maneuver that is on top of the coffee filter and let the water run through the coffee filter until you see the clump of white shrimp disappear out of the 2L pop bottle.
12) Take the coffee filter and rinse out in the fresh water and you should see all the brine shrimp come off of the coffee filter.
13) At this stage you could just dump these into your breeder tank or main tank to feed your fish and you are done.
I found that by doing this there were too many shrimp and they created a lot of waste that did not get eaten. So I came up with this concept to freeze the shrimp.
1) Take some ice cube trays and rinse them out and dry them off (still do not use bleach or soap). Also, empty three or four gum trays. I prefer these to ice cube trays as they are smaller and will not affect the water temperature as adversely. Please remember to fully remove all the pieces of foil off of them as well.
2) Now take a syringe and suck the shrimp into it. Fill the gum trays or ice cube trays with the shrimp and place in the freezer and allow to freeze. You now have instant “shrimpcicles.” Put these frozen shrimp in a zip lock bag and mark them FISH FOOD (from experience you should make sure you mark them appropriately, as my sister put brine shrimp in her pop).
3) When its feeding time, stick one or two of these “shrimpcicles” into the tank and you will have some very happy little fry.
* Non chlorinated water is achieved by adding a few drops of water conditioner into the water before use.