Raising a brine shrimp ecosystem in your household can be a great idea for many reasons. Yet, the main reason why people prefer to do this is to provide their terrarium or jarrarium marine life with a healthy dietary option.
Now, let’s find out how to make and maintain a self-sustaining brine shrimp culture.
Preparing the Tank for your Brine Shrimp
The first part of your journey requires you to set up the tank to suit the needs of your brine shrimp friends. Unsure as to what will eat your brine shrimp? Learn more about a self-sustaining tilapia farm because it’s a great option for those trying to become less dependant on outside stores. If you’re interested in the idea of a self-sustaining brine shrimp culture but don’t know if you can fully commit, then maybe consider a shrimp bubble instead.
Step 1: Shop for Supplies
Fortunately, all the items you’ll need should be available at your nearby pet store or aquarium. Better yet, you’ll find each of these products online. These include:
- A 10-gallon tank
- Air pump
- Sponge filter
- Tank heater and thermometer
- Aquarium salt mix (about 26 pounds)
- 1-gallon container
- 10 gallons of reverse osmosis water
- Gravel vacuum
- A package of brine shrimp eggs
Step 2: Choose the Right Location for the Tank
Before you set up the tank, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind before placing it.
For instance, it shouldn’t be near any heating vents, windows, doors, sunlight, or an air conditioner. The temperature of the tank has to be stable and unaffected by any outside conditions.
Therefore, make sure that you do the following.
- Keep the tank near electrical outlets
- Leave some room between the tank and the wall to let the pump do its job
- Ensure that the tank rests on a flat and stable surface
Step 3: Rinse the Tank
To remove any dust, rinse the tank thoroughly with water from the inside and outside. When you’re done, let the exterior dry completely.
Next, put the tank on its intended surface.
Step 4: Fill the Tank With the Saltwater Mixture
To create this mixture, simply combine aquarium salt and reverse osmosis filtered water.
The right way to do it would be by adding 9 gallons of water to the 10-gallon tank. Then, add the salt according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you ever drop too much or too little salt, don’t worry. You can always make adjustments before adding the brine shrimp eggs.
Step 5: Use the Hydrometer to Track the Salinity of the Tank
Make sure that the tank’s salinity is always 30-35 ppt (parts per thousand). This is the optimum salinity for the shrimp eggs to hatch with no trouble.
You can follow these directions when using a hydrometer to measure the salinity of the water.
- Put some water inside the hydrometer using a dropper
- Pay attention to the reading
- Adjust the levels of salt or water in the tank until you reach a salinity of 30-35 ppt
Of course, if you follow the instructions found on the salt mix packaging, you’ll probably not face many problems in this step.
Step 6: Install a Slow Air-Powered Sponge Filter
This type of aquarium filter can be the best for this purpose. It will filter the tank water effectively, provide needed aeration, and won’t get in the way of your brine shrimp. If you’re creating a self-sustaining brine shrimp culture, then this is the type of filter that you need.
A sponge filter usually includes several parts such as a tube, sponge, and a hookup for the pump. If a hookup doesn’t come with the product, you’ll need to buy it separately.
Also, before you purchase a filter, make sure it’s a trustworthy product and not cheap. Faulty filters can cause you much trouble either by malfunctioning or harming your shrimps.
Lastly, attach the filter to the side of the tank or put it on the bottom based on the model you’ve bought.
Step 7: Connect the Air Pump to the Sponge Filter
With the help of airline tubing, affix the end of the filter to the end of the air pump. Next, you should plug the pump in, which will cause the filter to work.
Then, place the filter on a stable surface right next to the tank. You can always keep it behind or below the aquarium, it’s all based on the space you’ve provided for it.
Step 8: Set Up the Tank Heater and the Thermometer
The next thing you should do is to install the aquarium heater according to the instructions in its user’s manual. Then, plug the heater in.
Of course, this will allow you to control the temperature inside the water. Still, you can’t do that without installing the thermometer first.
Simply, set up the thermometer according to the manufacturer’s directions. It’s always a good idea to place it on the opposite end of the heater so that you’ll get a clear reading each time.
Finally, set the heat to 68-79°F.
Step 9: Leave the Tank Empty for 24 Hours
Once all is set, you still can’t just drop the brine shrimp eggs into the tank. You must keep a temperature of 68-79°F inside the tank for 24 hours first.
During this day, check the temperature of the tank every few hours to make sure that the equipment is functioning properly. If any of these devices stop working while the brine shrimp is in the tank, these little creatures could get into trouble.
Hatching the Eggs and Maintaining the Brine Shrimp Culture
Now that everything is working up to standards, you can move forward to the next stage.
Step 1: Place the Brine Shrimp Cysts in the Water
As we’ve previously mentioned, you can buy dehydrated brine shrimp eggs at your local pet store or online. We suggest that you start with one packet for now until you’ve gained more experience.
Also, in a while, the number of shrimp should double pretty quickly.
After putting the brine shrimp cysts in the water, the eggs should hatch within 15-20 hours. About 12 hours after they hatch, you should be blessed with young shrimp swimming around the tank. You’re now most of the way to a self-sustaining brine shrimp culture.
Step 2: Monitor the Growth of the Brine Shrimp
At this point, the best thing you can do is sit back and watch as the shrimp gets bigger in size and multiplies. You won’t need to provide any aid since these eggs will hatch and grow into small shrimp naturally.
If the eggs aren’t hatching or growing, check the temperature and salinity levels for any issues. However, it’s still natural for some of the brine shrimp to die.
Step 3: Feed Your Brine Shrimp
24 hours after hatching, you must feed your brine shrimp. Luckily, there are many options out there that you can include in their diet, such as:
- Pureed greens
- Enrichment formulas
- Powdered eggs
- Powdered milk
Make sure to feed your brine shrimp in small portions several times a day.
Step 4: Maintain an Ideal Habitat for Your Little Buddies
Now that your brine shrimp are swimming happily in the tank, you must make sure that the tank is always in perfect shape. Here are a few tips to maintain a suitable habitat for your brine shrimp.
Always Have Some Saltwater Ready
It’s a good idea to make a reserve of saltwater mixture for when you need to change the tank water.
- Fill your 1-gallon container with reverse osmosis water
- Add the aquarium salt mix to it according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Close the container lid firmly
- Store the container with the saltwater in a cool, dry place for later
Change the Water Inside the Tank Regularly
You must change about 2 gallons of water per week, using your gravel vacuum to do it. Follow these steps to change the tank water properly.
- Turn of the aeration and circulation system
- Wait until the air in the tank has completely settled
- Shine a light at the surface of the water to draw the shrimp to it
- Suck the dirty water off the bottom of the tank with the gravel vacuum
- Replace this water with new saltwater from the container that we’ve mentioned in the previous step
- Check the temperature and salinity of the water to make sure the levels are suitable
Rinse the Sponge Filter Every 3-4 Weeks
When the sponge filter becomes dirty, you must rinse it or even replace it every now and then.
- Turn off the air pump
- Remove the sponge
- Rinse it using non-chlorinated, room-temperature water
- Put it back into place
Always Keep the Salinity and Temperature Levels Intact
The suitable levels of salinity and temperature inside the tank should be stable at all times. To make sure this is always the case, don’t forget to check them periodically.
Step 5: Harvest the Brine Shrimp
You can ignore this step if you’re raising brine shrimp just for fun.
If not, you can begin harvesting your brine shrimp after 8 days from hatching. By then, the shrimp will be fully-grown and large enough to catch with a net and feed to your fish.
Why It’s a Good Idea to Have a Self-Sustaining Brine Shrimp Culture
There are several reasons why hatching and raising your own brine shrimp culture can be a great decision.
- Makes for healthy and nutritious food for tropical and marine life
- Brine shrimp include acids, lipids, and amino acids that are essential for all types of fish
- Easy to keep and maintain
- Plenty of fun to raise, especially for young children
To Wrap It Up
Creating a self-sustaining brine shrimp culture is effortless and almost mistake-free. All you have to do is get the right equipment, maintain a suitable environment, and keep everything running smoothly.
Hopefully, you’ll manage to provide your marine life with healthy brine shrimp after following our steps.