I have read and tried all kinds of different
ways to hatch brine shrimp, from very simple time saving
methods to spending more time adjusting water chemistry. It
is a job nobody really likes to do, but is essential for the
health and success of baby angelfish. We at Angelfish and
More try to give our fellow hobbyist, a good source of
information and have found this to be the best and easiest
way to hatch brine shrimp.
first thing you will need is a brine shrimp hatchery. This hatchery
should be coned shape, or close to it. This allows most of the
brine shrimp eggs (cysts) to be suspended and not giving them a
chance to settle on the bottom. We build our brine shrimp
hatcheries with a plastic 2 liter pop bottle. The following are
instructions for building the hatchery and how we hatch our brine
Building the Hatchery
Take your plastic 2 liter bottle
and measure 4 ½ inches from the bottom with a marker. You can remove the
label for easy marking and for viewing later.
Cut around the bottle with
scissors as straight as possible, you will use both pieces. Caution: if
you are a young child, or have trouble cutting have a parent help you
with this step. (You can remove the bottle cap to make it a little
Once the bottle is cut, make sure the cap is put
back on tightly.
Turn the top portion of the
bottle over, and insert it into the bottom piece. This is the stand that
holds the hatchery. If you are a little more creative and want a
better quality stand, we have instructions at the end of this article.
Measure 1” from the top and mark
this with a marker. This will be your water fill line.
The hatchery is now complete.
Fill your hatchery with cool tap
water up to the water line that you made earlier. This is about 1 quart of water. By the
time the shrimp hatch, the water should be at or close to room
temperature. If your water contains chloramines, add a chloramine
remover before adding the brine shrimp eggs.
Add 3 tsp. of non-iodized table salt to your hatchery.
Add ½ tsp of cysts or the amount you will use in
24 hours after the shrimp hatch. You can experiment with the amount of
cysts, but do not add over 1 tsp. (1 tsp is the max recommended for a
quart). Brine shrimp will lose its nutritional value about 24 hours
after they hatch, so plan on this when adding shrimp.
Put in a ridged air line tube
down into the neck of the bottle. Turn the air pump on for a constant
supply of air, and enough to mix your shrimp eggs around.
The cysts will begin to hatch around 10 hours,
but for a good harvest wait about 24 hours.
After about 24 hours, remove the
air line from the hatchery. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Most of
the shrimp will settle down into the neck of the bottle. Using your
turkey baster, insert into the neck of the bottle and remove shrimp.
Add this to a clean container. If more shrimp are
needed, repeat step.
Once your shrimp is harvested, put the airline back
into the neck of the bottle for a later harvest. The shrimp must remain
in suspension at all times when not harvesting.
Empty the contents into a fine mesh shrimp net.
Rinse the container with fresh cool tap water and
dump contents into the net. This will remove any shrimp and salt from
the container and rinse off your shrimp.
Turn the net over and rinse back into the
Fill the container to the amount of water you will
use, and immediately feed to your fry.
Adding to your fry tanks
Add 1 or 2 squirts to each of your tanks. Keep
track of how much shrimp each tank needs.
We run two shrimp hatcheries all the time. The
large one is for the morning feedings, 6am / 10am and the small one is
for the late afternoon feedings 4pm / 8pm. Once we harvest our shrimp
we refill for the next day.
We added tops to our hatcheries to keep any water
from splashing out.