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Message started by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 6th, 2021 at 4:43pm

Title: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 6th, 2021 at 4:43pm
Hello, new member here.  I've been having some difficulty hatching brine shrimp lately and since I'm sure everyone here is very familiar with the process, I thought this would be an appropriate question for all of you more experienced members. 

I definitely do not have the process down even though I do manage to hatch some brine shrimp on most occasions but I can't remember the last time I was satisfied with my hatch rate.  I've tried a few different concentrations of salt and using baking soda but usually end up with similar results.

my setup is an upside-down water bottle with an air line tube down to the bottom and it receives constant light from a 100 w bulb for 24 hours.  I use a heaping tablespoon of kosher salt dissolved in a cup of water that's been sitting out overnight.  The pH of my tap water is around 7.8 and has a degree of hardness around five.

I'm also aware these difficulties could just stem from the condition of the eggs I'm using, which are a bit old.  If that's the case, I'm also wondering if there are any tips for extending the shelf life of eggs I may buy in the future.

Thank you so much for reading, if you have any tips or questions at all I'd be more than happy to hear or address them!

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 9th, 2021 at 8:10pm
Andrea,

I have kept my cans (unopened and opened) of Brine Shrimp in a freezer at my home for well over 15 years without any noticeable losses of hatch rates.  The main issue is cool and dry.  Moisture and humidity is your worst enemy.  I keep one open can frozen and dispense into a convenient container I keep in my fish-room for an estimated 2 months of stock.  When the stock runs out in my fish-room dispenser, i go to my freezer and refill it.

Regarding hatching, I've had very bad results whenever I use "softened water" via my water softener.  I always use de-chlorinated tap water not softened.  I always start with room temperature water, colder water causes long delays in brine shrimp hatching, I get full hatch between 24 - 30 hours when my water temperature starts between 68 - 73 dgF.

I use a 4 watt bulb to illuminate my hatchery, I've found higher wattage bulbs cook the hatch and kill the brine shrimp.  I notice a slight increase in water temperature from the room temperature up to about 78 dgF, using a 4 watt bulb.  I aerate with a straight tube vigorously.

My mix is 1 liter of water, two tablespoons (level) of salt, + pinch of Epsom salt (to increase PH) + 1/4 teaspoon of brine shrimp cysts.  This combination yeilds me huge consistent hatches. 

I am in the AKA roster available in the member's area, feel free to call me if you have any questions.  I'll attempt to post a picture of my hatchery.  I use a inverted 2Liter plastic pop bottle.

Best wishes, Happy New Year,

Jim Langan, AKA Webmaster


Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 10th, 2021 at 10:08am
Jim,

Thank you so much!  This is exactly what I wanted to know.  I do have a question about 4 watt bulbs though and have to say I've never heard of them!  what sort of lamp base accepts these?  I've just looked them up and they don't seem to be compatible with the standard size of screw-in base.

Thanks again, your help is much appreciated! 

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 10th, 2021 at 12:30pm
Andrea,

The 4 watt bulbs require a mini-socket, available at home depot, I used an old salvaged line cord from an appliance I decommissioned to provide the wall plug.  I used aluminum foil to make a reflector behind the bulb and keep it from physical contact with the soda bottle.

I hope this helps,

Jim

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 10th, 2021 at 2:12pm
Jim,

Interesting!  I'll see if I can replicate your setup.

Thanks again!

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 13th, 2021 at 9:56am
Andrea,

I attempted to email you some photos of my brine shrimp hatchery, however, I posted two photos on the AKA member gallery, under my name and under the gallery "Live Foods".  I hope they view well for you.

Good Luck!

Jim Langan, AKA Webmaster

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 13th, 2021 at 6:21pm
Jim,

I just set up my hatchery today!  I found some 4 watt bulbs and discovered theses light socket converters that allow me to use the small bulbs in my regular lamp.  I've also lined the inside of the lamp with foil.  I've only got a 1 liter bottle right now but I'll get myself a two liter bottle of soda or something later on. 

I've got my light positioned over the top of the bottle and I see yours is at the side.  Is this something I should fix in my setup?  My bottle is also filled almost to the top, does your photo show the typical amount of water you use in your hatchery?   

Thanks again!
Andrea

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 13th, 2021 at 8:19pm
Andrea,

The light is most efficient from the side, just be certain the bulb doesn't and can't touch the bottle.  A 1liter bottle will be filled to the top, mine is a two liter bottle so its not full all the way. 

Create a gallery and post some photos or your setup!

I hope this helps,

Jim

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 14th, 2021 at 3:15pm
Jim,

Good idea!  I uploaded a picture just now.  I got a great hatch today, too.  Thanks for your help!

Andrea

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 14th, 2021 at 3:29pm
Andrea,

Glad it worked out, cool setup, upload some fish room pics too!

Jim Langan, AKA Webmaster

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 22nd, 2021 at 2:12pm
Andrea,

Very nice fish-room pictures!

Thanks for posting in the member gallery!

Jim Langan, AKA Webmaster

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 22nd, 2021 at 2:29pm
Jim,

I'm glad you liked them!  More to come, I'm sure.


Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Thomas Biery on Jan 22nd, 2021 at 11:37pm
I found brineshrimpdirect best eggs for me.  Key not to overlook Do not heat over 90 deg F the cysts die inside the shells and you get a very poor hatch rate.

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 24th, 2021 at 8:41pm
I just took a look at their website and it looks awesome!  They ship internationally too.  I just recently bought new eggs but when I run out, I'll order from them.  Thanks for the tip! 

Quick question, what sort of salt do you use?  I'm using kosher salt that has a small amount of anti-caking agent and wondering if that's effecting my hatches.   

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 25th, 2021 at 12:27am
Andrea,

What is the chemical/compound of the anti-caking agent?  The salt I use is canning salt absolutely no additives.

Jim Langan, AKA Webmaster

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 25th, 2021 at 5:15pm
The additive was yellow prussiate of soda.  I'll pick up some pickling salt tomorrow since this agent is probably not good.

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Matt Kaufman on Jan 27th, 2021 at 4:01am
1 tbsp for a 2 liter bottle sounds a bit 'light' to me. I used to use seawater, which works fantastic if you have access to it. I also used instant ocean, and I'd mix up a solution with a SG of 1.01 or so (so, about 50% seawater.) If you have access to a hygrometer that makes it easy, home brew supply shops sell them.

As for eggs, I never kept them anywhere except in a frost-free freezer, with a small amount in a jar in the refrigerator section. Some folks deepfreeze their eggs, I think that's a bad idea. Humidity is the enemy of the brine shrimp egg. Finally, try adding a couple drops, no more, of Clorox bleach to the hatching solution, it keeps down the bacterial slime and seems to help a lot.

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 27th, 2021 at 8:07pm
Correct me if I'm wrong, I think Jim's mix was two tbsp of salt per liter of water.  Would you still consider that light? 

I'd never heard of instant ocean but it sounds like an impressive product.  If I were to get a bit more serious, I can see investing in some as well as a hygrometer.  Thank you for the tip!

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 28th, 2021 at 8:43am
Andrea,

Two table spoons per liter is in many of the books and it works quite well, I've used this for decades with great results.  Below is from a popular fish how to website (https://www.thesaltyside.com/how-to-hatch-brine-shrimp/), they use 500ml with 1 tablespoon, which comes out to 1 liter -> 2 tablespoons as I use.  I use 1/4 teaspoon of eggs as I don't need the number of brine shrimp they are hatching because I don't have that many fry right now.

I hope this helps, Best wishes,  Jim Langan

You will need:
Jar or empty plastic soda/drink bottle
1 TBSP course salt (or saltwater mixed for a reef aquarium saltwater)
500ml dechlorinated water (or tap water that has been standing for 48 hours)
1 tsp Brine shrimp eggs
Rigid air line, tubing and pump (optional)


Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Jan 28th, 2021 at 11:45am
Jim,

I don't doubt you!  I've had some good hatches already with the setup you helped me build.  I got some pickling salt the other day too so I'm expecting an even better hatch today.  I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.  I'm still curious to hear other people's methods, the products they use and any other tips as well.

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by James Langan on Jan 31st, 2021 at 2:05pm
Andrea,

no worries, I put in the link reference because it discusses raising the newly hatched brine shrimp into sub adults for feeding larger fish.  My intent is to expand this posting to include more information and have more submittals on brine shrimp experience from a variety of folks.

I hope this helps,

Jim Langan, AKA Webmaster

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Tyrone Genade on Feb 9th, 2021 at 1:11pm
Hello,

My 2c on the subject (if this thread keeps going we should get about a $ in no time as every person seems to do it a bit different).

My mix is as follows:
for 2 gallons
NaCI 10.67 tbs
MgSO4 1.5 tsp
KHC03 0.25 tsp

for 10 gallons
NaCl 53.33 tbs
MgSO4 7.5 tsp
KHCO3 1.25 tsp.

for 20L:
1.75 cups NaCl
4 tsp MgSO4
1 tsp KHC04

I make up 20 L (about 5 gallons) at a time. I have had no trouble using RO water but currently use soft (140 uS/m) water. I think hard water would be more problematic.

I have found MgSO4 greatly increases the hatch rate and quality. I use KHCO4 instead of baking soda because we no longer really know where the cysts are coming from and those from Asia need some K+ to hatch. For Utah shrimps NaHCO3 is fine. The alkaline conditions are a crucial factor.

As I keep and breed some rainbows I want some iodine in the water so use 1/3rd iodized salt and 2/3rds kosher or pickling salt so the nauplii will have taken up some iodine to pass onto the 'bows. I don't think the anti-caking agents are at a high enough concentration to be a problem.

I do not neutralize the chlor, in fact I add bleach at a rate of 8 drops per L. I have found that this gives a better hatch with a lot less cloudiness (i.e. bacteria) in the water.

A temperature of 75 to 80 works well. I am using 80% hatch rate cysts in dishes and the hatch is slower and I routinely draw off the freshly hatched nauplii for the fish. Using 80% hatch rate cysts for bottle cultures is a waste of money. You are better off paying for the premium eggs.

I agree that the cysts need to be cool and dry. When I get a can of cysts I immediately portion it out into smaller containers (as much as I can use in a week or two) and store it in the freezer. It is important the can be room temperature before opening else water will condense on the cysts and ruin them.

Bye

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Feb 10th, 2021 at 8:45pm
Wow, thank you so much for sharing your method!  That's some interesting chemistry, I didn't realize the eggs from different locations had these different requirements.  I'm also surprised you use soft water, don't dechlorinate and include some iodine!

Thanks for the tip on storage, too.  I can imagine easily making the mistake of opening the frozen eggs too early and having that condensation.

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Russell Feilzer on Feb 19th, 2021 at 10:31pm
I use 2+ tablespoons of solar salt (water softener salt) in a brine shrimp direct cone hatcher with a tsp of epson salt.  I'm currently hatching 3 teaspoons of brine shrimp daily in this container without problems.  I use a compact fluorescent lamp nearby, not necessarily close since I have two of these containers going at a time and it doesn't matter which one is next to the lamp.  I also use a upside down soda bottle with 1 tablespoon of salt and a rounded teaspoon of eggs that I use to feed my containers which I raise the shrimp to adulthood, JAKA article to come.

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Andrea Benjamin on Feb 22nd, 2021 at 9:39pm
3 tsp of brine shrimp daily, you must be feeding a lot of fish!  Also, I've wondered about this sort of 'professional' hatching equipment.  Would you say it's superior to your soda bottle hatchery?

Title: Re: any tips for better brine shrimp hatches?
Post by Russell Feilzer on Feb 23rd, 2021 at 2:54pm
I am currently feeding around 1000 fish, it is a lot!  The "professional" equipment isn't really better but it is larger.  The Brine Shrimp Direct hatcher hold 2.5 liters of water and is better for trying to hatch 3 tsp of eggs.  Even at that amount I have to stay on top of it, if I miss a day the whole container will crash.  I use two of them and collect about every 36 hours and I use a pretty strong airflow to keep the oxygen level up.  I'm about to start a 3rd large hatcher up as I'm expanding my capacity of adult brine shrimp production.  I'm currently feeding about an ounce of adult a day too, and frozen blood worms.

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