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Hatching Baby Brine Shrimp?


GoinNuts

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Can anyone tell me how, exactly, you're supposed to tell if they've actually hatched? I set some up yesterday afternoon, and mostly all I've got is a layer of stuff coating the top of the water and a collection of stuff at the bottom. The airstone has some stuff swirling around in the middle, but it all looks the same to me.

The instructions said they should hatch in 24 - 36 hours. Will it harm my fry if I inadvertantly pull out unhatched eggs with any of the hatched shrimp and they eat them?

Lisa

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I learned through my usual obsessive-compulsive fashion - over thinking it greatly. It is really not hard at all - for if I can do it - well, you can too.

Here is a good link that answers many questions:

http://www.brineshrimpdirect.com/res-hatching-c169.html

I bought a cheap 2 liter bottle of soda and dumped the soda. Then I cut off the bottom of the bottle and turned it upside down. It sits well in a couple of pvc pipe fittings I found at the hardware store. I punched a hole near the "top" and fed an airhose through the hole. The bubbler goes to the bottom of the bottle - all the way. This is important, for the shrimp will sink and suffocate on the bottom if you do not have the bubbler make them all swirl in the water.

I mix 1 2/3 Tablespoons large grained Aquarium Salt into hard water. Then I add 1 tsp brine shrimp eggs. I set these next to an old lamp with a 60 watt light bulb. When you first add the eggs, it takes a while for them to "wet" so you will have to go and stir it every 5-10 minutes for a bit. Once they all wet, they will tumble around in there. The light is essential to have on the brewing bottle - they will not hatch correctly without light. It also adds heat - mine keeps the bottle at about 82F.

Mine hatch at about 16 hours. When you first set them going, you will see brown eggs swirling in the currents of clear water. When they hatch, it will turn a different color - kinda pinky with brown dots in it -and you will see brown "eggs" sticking to the top edges of the brew Pull the air hose off for a few minutes - if you see a lot of brown "eggs" float to the top, you have hatched shrimp. The brown things are the egg shells - they float, and the pink look to the water are the shrimp.

I let the brew sit for about 3-5 minutes while the shells float to the surface. Then I stick a baster gently down into the bottle and suck out shrimp - which are nearer the bottom. If you wish to hold a light very close to the side of the bottle, the shrimp will collect there, also.

I put a paper coffee strainer in a cup and squirt the shrimp into it. When I have enough shrimp, I turn on the air again in the bottle. THe coffee paper is lifted from the cup - the excess salt brine poured back into the shrimp bottle and the harvested shrimp are placed into a cup of fresh water. THese are then poured into the fry tank.

I have, since the first try, advanced to more heavy walled bottles than the soda bottle. I use V8 bottles. They have ridges on the top (bottom) that catch the shells well and hold them out of the water. (I like that - automatice shell separator! ) Shells float, Shrimp sink. I have drilled the caps and inserted the airhose through that. I have drilled the pvc pieces to that the air hose fishes out through that. It works well. I start a batch at 1pm for morning feedings. I start a batch at 8 pm for noon feedings. I start a batch at 5 am when I get up for afternoon feedings. I have a lot of fry..... I also have a metal "baffle" that I use as a heat baffle to contain and reflect the heat of the light bulb onto the bottles of shrimp brew.

You will find what works for you - play with it. It is really not as hard as I originally thought! :)

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Thank you, Daryl! That was really, really detailed and helpful. I think I have some hatched already - I can see the brown dots you mentioned. I also think I have a lot of dead ones - there's a thick 'sludge' at the bottom. Will dead ones just collect at the bottom like that? I only had a small plastic box to use and the airstone was blowing it all out, so I clipped the hose to make it gentler.

I think I clipped it too tightly and didn't provide the shrimp with enough air bubbles.

Off to see if I still have that bottle of V8 I bought ages ago to make soup to use on this next try! Thanks again for taking the time to give me such great information.

Lisa

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IF the bottom of the container is "flat" the shrimp can collect and suffocate. I would discard that batch. It is easy to get bacteria introduced into the mix and this can cause deaths in your fry.

Here are some shots of my set up....

You can see in one shot, the shells gathering in the bottle's ridges. As more hatch, the bubbler will push them up past the first ridge - literally out of the water for a lot of them. It helps.

In the next, you can see some that are bubbling away - and have not hatched, yet....

post-27-1172763423_thumb.jpg

post-27-1172763460_thumb.jpg

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It is said that they start to lose their nutrition after a few hours - I feed new fry (1 week and under) only shrimp that are hatched 6 hours or less. The older fry get shrimp up to 8 hours old. I have never had any shrimp left for more than 3 feedings - they are all eaten. You can actually freeze your own if you have any left. I never have.

It is better to start multiple small batches going, hours apart, than to try to feed "old" shrimp, I think.

This last shot shows both the containers that are going at this time. I used the first one up this morning for the morning feedings.

post-27-1172763614_thumb.jpg

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Oh, thank you for the pictures. I found my V8 bottle so I'll get to work on setting it up as similarly as I can.

I do think I'm going to have to do some serious figuring here. I set this batch up yesterday at noon, and since the instructs said it could take 24-36 hours, I didn't expect them to be ready before noon today or possibly even tonight at midnight.

However, if they began hatching after 12 hours, as yours do, that means they are already 11 hours old and no good anyway. If I set up a second batch now, they wont' be ready until 11pm, earliest, and those would go to waste, too.

Drat it all. I think I'll wait and set up the second batch late this evening and HOPEFULLY I'll get some good stuff in the a.m. for the first feedings tomorrow.

I also need to examine if this is really going to be cost-effective, though. My tiny bottle of eggs cost $4 (on sale) and this batch used up 1/4 of them.

Again, thank you so, so much for your help!

Lisa

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I ordered 16 ounces of San Fran eggs from Brine Shrimp Direct. THey came in two 8 ounce bottles - one went in the freezer as per instructions, and the other is being used. They are very cost effective for me - for feeding frozen shimp would take more than my personal food budget for the week!

When I first set up the system, I put in eggs in the morning and watched them every few hours. I made note of how long it took to hatch them. Then I calculated approimately when I needed to start them to get what I wanted and when. I have had to adjust timeing a bit as the fry grow and such, but in general, they are pretty regular in their hatching times if you use the same set up, same salinity and same temps each time. Just watch one time - and you will figure yours out quickly.

I laid lids on the tops of the open bottles. It really helps keep the heat in the water for the shrimp.

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Heh, we must've been typing at the same time! Thanks for the additional advice, I really do appreciate it (and I'm learning so much!). I'll be starting my second batch of eggs here in a bit and I'll keep a close watch on them.

Lisa

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