brine shrimp                                               RAISING BRINE SHRIMP





26g Garbage containers for Brine Rearing.

To date, I haven't found a simple way to raise Brine Shrimp in dense growing conditions in a short period of time, although I've seen many postings claiming to have simple methods that work. Low density growing is fairly easy though.

To start, I placed up to a Tablespoon or as low as 1/4 teaspoon of brine cysts in each 2 litre container, letting it sit for 1/2 hour to hydrate before adding the rigid air line for VIGOROUS circulation for about one hour. (Soak time helps to stop the cysts from being raised above the water line as much, where they don't hatch) Use only an open ended airline. DO NOT USE AIR STONES as for hatching, small bubbles can kill the brine shrimp. To sterilize the cysts, add a Tablespoon of 5% bleach and aerate for 5 minutes followed by rinsing well.

After 1 day or so, I let the container sit for about 5 minutes and the unhatched cysts sink to the bottom and the empty cysts raise to the top. I first siphon off the unhatched cysts into a container and then siphon off the nauplii from the remaining culture water, through my 150 mesh (105 microns) net into another container until I get to the point I'm about to suck up the floating empty cysts and crap/residue from hatching. Now I dump the remaining water containing the empty cysts and crap, rinse well and then pour the container of unhatched cysts back into the hatching container as it will contain hatched nauplii. I siphon off the netted nauplii, (with the water going back to the culture container with the unhatched cysts) and place them in a new container. I again let this culture vessel containing the unhatched cysts plus the nauplii that were sucked up with them, sit for 5 minutes and again siphon off the nauplii but this time going from the top down, stopping before sucking up the unhatched cysts. Invert the net into the previous captured naupii container. Now repeat to the point you feel you have most of the naupii or just don't care about the amount remaining as not worth the effort.

At this point I either transfer to growout container to grow to adult or I enrich them for feeding to the fry. To enrich, do it in two twelve hour stages with new water and enrichment for each stage. First stage gut loads them but second stage they incorporate the nutrition into their flesh, making them much better than just gut loaded.

TO GROW OUT TO ADULT (from here on not updated in years)

Once in the gallon or larger containers, I change the water twice a week or as needed.

I "had" progressed to weekly water changes. The secret to these prolonged water change periods seemed to be the very light multiple feedings, as opposed to the heavier ones I was led to believe was necessary. I barely coloured the water with what ever food I was using, and fed three times daily. However, Unhappy with the yields I experienced, I have now returned to doing water changes about every four days unless something indicates a problem at an earlier point. I still feed lightly multiple times a day.

For feeding the shrimp, I used to use spirulina flake which I crushed up in it's bag, and placed some in the center of a piece of densely woven cloth, folding the edges up and securing with an elastic. The resultant spirulina "ball" that was formed.As mentioned previously, lighter, multiple feedings will work best. This method worked great for lower density growing, but I looked for a simpler feeding method and began using "pastes".

Brine Shrimp Direct's Tahitian Blend worked out to be very simple and convenient and I used this for a long time until I decided to try live phytoplankton.

Using ReefCrew's nannochloropsis as a starter culture, I grow live phyto to feed the brine. It can be grown quite easy in pop bottles, gallon containers, or as I now do it, in 5g salt pails.

After the brine shrimp have reached mid size, I then switch to using Tahitian Blend cryopaste for feeding as I haven't enough live phyto to feed them for all stages of growth at this time. It would definitely be cheaper if I could though.
Presently, I'm feeding blended spirulina powder in water because of costs since paste is too expensive now after 9/11 shipping cost increases.

Once the shrimp have reached adult size, (about 4-8 weeks depending on density and temperature of the cutlture) I use a regular fish net to remove some adult brine shrimp and rinse them in fresh water before placing them in the "gut loading container". (2 litre pop bottle) I leave the shrimp in this enrichment feeding container for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours,but for 8 hours for maximum DHA profile, before feeding them to my fish. (young brine need a minimum of 24 hours to gut load, preferably in two 12 hour stints where the water and food is changed for the 2nd stage)
I am presently using Dan's Feed with beta glucan from Seahorse Source for my main enrichment.

Using a regular fish net to catch the adults, leaves the young live born (or added nauplii) to remain and grow themselves to be adults, as most of these smaller nauplii pass through the net. Adult shrimp produce live born young when conditions are right, and produce resting cysts when conditions deteriorate. If you find you are using more than what self propagation provides, you can either add another container to your process or just decapp and hatch out more cysts.

I tried using a product called ClorAm-X to nullify the effects of ammonia in the rearing containers but it turns out, I've found, that brine shrimp are reasonably tolerant of the higher ammonia levels in their water.

I do water changes sooner if the water goes brownish.

To decap the cysts, I put 2 cups of water in an inverted pop bottle and add a tablespoon of cysts and let sit for about 1/2 hour. I then aerate it for an hour. This hydrates the cysts to be able to decap them.

I then add 1 cup of standard bleach with no perfumes or additives, and aerate for 6 minutes. (use a timer)

I then IMMEDIATELY stop aeration and rinse the cysts under the cold water tap in the laundry room for a MINIMUM of four minutes to stop the bleaching process from killing the naupli in the cyst.

Keeping the cultures reasonably clean helps to eliminate deaths due to bacterial influences. You can also add Sanolife MIC-F which produces good bacteria and lessens the chances of the bad bacteria overtaking the culture.

EDIT: XXXXX Now, I'm only growing brine shrimp in the 26g garbage pails and keeping the temperatures cool, around 68 to 72 but in summer I will try in the mid 70's.
Cooler temperatures mean a lot longer to reach adult, but yields are a lot higher, I'm assuming at this point because of bacterial interference at the 80 plus that I was heating the container to previously to get adults in four weeks.
I start by decapping a heaping tablespoon of cysts in bleach and hatching out in a pop bottle. After 24 hours, I siphon off the live nauplii and place in the 26 g garbage pail.
For anywhere from two to about fourteen days, I feed phyto but then start using spirulina powder with a little Algamac 3050, blended with water for a minimum 2 minutes. As the brine grow, I increase the amount of blended spirulina and Algamac 3050 that I feed each time.
I gut load for an 1 1/2 to 8 hours before feeding them to my horses, using Dan's Feed with Beta Glucan
For best DHA profile it takes about 8 hours of enrichment.
A heaping tablespoon of cysts yields about 1/2 to 3/4 full brine shrimp net, the standard brown handle 3" by 4", depending on some luck for the higher amount.

"Hydrogen peroxide for Artemia Sterilizing" from Dan Underwood's post on

I use 35% Hydrogen Peroxide. Local chemical supply company has it for $8.00 gallon. I believe it is industrial grade. 35% has 390,100 mg/L or 390.1 mg/ml. I round that off to 400 mg/ml for most of my calculations. So I add 20 ml to 1 liter (20ml X 400mg = 8,000 mg). 3 % Hydrogen Peroxide = 33.9 mg/ml according to my calculation. I have seen many figure it at 30 mg/ml. To use this I would add 250 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 750 ml water. When i do this, I add the artemia to a hatching cone with strong aeration for mixing and then add the peroxide. After 45 seconds to 1 minute, I pull the airline. The live artemia will migrate to the bottom of the cone. Unhatched cysts, dead artemia and debris will collect on the surface in the foam. At the end of 5 minutes, I open the valve on the bottom of the cone and drain the live artemia into a net with freshwater running. I stop about 1 inch from the foam layer.

If you find an easier, proven way to grow adult brine shrimp,(in dense cultures here in the Northern Hemisphere) that is) I would appreciate hearing about it. (Thanks)


I no longer recycle the water and instead make my own homemade salt water.

I have gone cheaper and mix up 10 parts by weight of Windsor Select Plus (no additives) water softener salt and add one part of epsom salts, and dilute to a specific gravity of 1.017.

I think that's basically all I've changed but if I think of any more, I'll alter this at a later date.


Fact: approximately 2g of cysts per tablespoon and approximately 270,000 cysts per gram.
Some links for reading:

First, here are two links to two pages that give a formula for DIY enrichment. Because today's technology has determined that the artemia can't feed until the second instar stage, please disregard the procedures for enrichment before that stage as all it can do is coat the artemia until they develop a mouth and anus to be able to feed.



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