How to Hatch Baby Brine Shrimp For Fish Fry

How to Hatch Baby Brine Shrimp for Fish Fry

Baby brine shrimp is one of the most cost-effective live foods when it comes to raising baby fish. This rich in nutrients increases fry’s survival rates and accelerates their growth. To condition them for breeding, you can even give them to adults. Continue reading to learn how you can easily raise your own baby brine shrimp.


What is a Brine Shrimp?

Have you ever heard of pet “sea monkeys”? These tiny saltwater crustaceans are part of the Artemia genus. They reproduce by laying eggs or cysts in encapsulated shells. The cysts can survive on dry land for many years. These same creatures are also used frequently in the aquarium hobby to feed fish. After hydrating the cysts in saltwater for 18-36 hours you can hatch baby brine shrimp. They have highly nutritious yolk sacs full of proteins and healthy oils. Baby brine shrimp is the preferred fry food for those who want to breed fish. This is because it’s the #1 choice of major fish farms and veteran fish breeders.

Adult brine shrimp swim upside-down by rhythmically waving their 22 swimming appendages.

How to make Baby Brine Shrimp

The Ziss brine shrimp incubator is one of our favorite hatcheries. It’s made from strong and high-quality plastic, has built-in ports to insert a thermometer and heater, and is optimized for hatching brine shrimp around the clock if needed. This pre-built hatchery is a great option if your budget doesn’t allow you to build your own.

– Ziss brine shrimp hatchery (comes with rigid tubing, Celsius thermometer, air stone, air valve, pipette, and stand) Brine shrimp eggs Air pump Airline tubing Check valve – Small lamp with bendable neck – Aquarium salt or marine salt – Collection cup or container – Small heater (optional) – Baking soda to raise pH (optional) – Epsom salt to raise water hardness (optional)

1. Insert the clear plastic “blender” into the black stand, and screw on the black blender valve into the base of the blender. The blender and stand should be placed near an outlet or power strip.

1. Place approximately 1.75 liters (3.8 to 4.4 cm) of room temperature tap water into the blender. To avoid brine shrimp eggs getting stuck to the blender lid, don’t fill the water up to its top. Dechlorinating the water is not necessary as it helps dissolve the brine shrimp egg’s outer shells.

1. To connect the rigid tubing with the airline port, cut a 1″ length of airline tubing. This will allow the rigid tube to reach the hatchery’s bottom. It is not necessary to attach the airstone at the end rigid tubing. We want larger bubbles for increased circulation and oxygenation, which will result in a higher hatch rate.

1. You can heat the water to 74-82degF (23-24 degC) by heating the whole room, shining an incandescent, halogen, or small heater into the water. (If you are using a heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wait for it to sit underwater for 30 minutes before plugging it in.)

Ensure that the heater’s socket can pass through the largest aperture in the blender lid.

1. Add 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt to the blender, or use 2 tablespoons of marine salt if you have soft water. Tip: Get a plastic spoon that measures exactly 2 tablespoons. It won’t get stained by the salt. For 2 liters of water, you can either add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to raise pH or 1 teaspoon Epsom Salt to raise the GH. 2. Use up to one tablespoon of brine shrimp eggs. Keep the rest in the refrigerator or freezer for longer shelf life.

1. Locate the air pump in a place that is close to a power outlet. Connect the longer lengths of airline tubing between the air pump and the airline port on top of blender lid. This airline tubing should be cut into two pieces. Install a check valve between them to stop water from flooding the hatchery. Plug in the air pump and make sure the water in the hatchery is bubbling. If the pump is not running and you don’t feel air, turn the check valve.

This red check valve has the horizontal or colored bar facing the green pump. The check valve keeps water from flooding the hatchery in case of power failure.

1. Cover the blender with a lid. The lid should be covered with the red O-ring. Adjust the O ring height to ensure that the thermometer is at the water level and that you can read its temperature.

How to harvest baby brine shrimp

You can take the baby brine shrimp that have hatched after about 18 to 36hrs. If there are no pink, moving particles in the water after the pump has been turned off, then the setup may be incorrect. It could be that the temperature is too cold, eggs are too old, or salinity is not right. Once you’ve identified the problem, wash the hatchery and use a new hatching mix.

1. Once the brine shrimp are hatched it is time to separate them the egg shells from unhatched eggs. The heater and air pump should be turned off. Next, shine a light on the blender’s base so that the brine shrimp swim toward the bottom and the eggs rise to the top.

1. After 10 minutes, get a collection container to collect the brine shrimp and place it under the nozzle at the base of the blender. Take out the blender valve and gather the brine shrimp. (Do not collect the darker-colored eggs floating at the water surface.) Screw tight the blender valve to stop the flow of water. You can make a shorter DIY stand by using PVC pipes, if you find the stand too tall to reach the blender valve.

1. Some people prefer to remove the brine shrimp from the aquarium using a brine-shrimp sieve, rinse them in water and then feed their fish. However, we simply pour the brine liquid directly into our tank to feed the fish. (In our experience, a little bit of salt added to the aquarium doesn’t affect the fish.) To portion liquids, you may find it easier to use a pipette (or a turkey baster) if you have many tanks.

You can tell if your fry are eating baby brine shrimp by the way their bellies turn pinkish-orange.

1. After every hatching, rinse thoroughly the blender and the cover. Rotting eggs and bacteria can pollute the water. Make sure to turn on the blender valve to drain any accumulated bacteria. Wash out all the old eggs and salt deposits with hot water, and now your setup is ready to hatch another batch of brine shrimp eggs.

How Long Can Baby Brine Shrimp Live in Freshwater?

Because they are saltwater animals, they cannot survive in freshwater water for more than a few hours. You can freeze baby brine shrimp that you have hatched, and then refrigerate it for up to three days. If you still have too much, consider freezing them in ice cube trays for longer term storage.

Baby brine shrimp hatch at 450 microns. If your fish fry are too small for you to eat, this tutorial will show you how to grow live vinegar eels.