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Old 01-03-2020, 05:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

In Nov 2019, I posted a revision of my brine shrimp article on the aquarium page of my website. It contains new material on hatching dishes, decapsulated eggs, and several comparisons of nauplii as a food source. (Interestingly, decapsulated eggs fed directly did very well in these studies, actually slightly better than nauplii alone and MUCH better than other dry foods.)

Recently, a thread in the El Natural forum has diverted onto hatching brine shrimp. So I started a new thread in this forum.

One question concerned the efficacy of the new hatching dishes and the need to sterilized dishes between harvests:

From Mysiak (12/09/19): I found out that I had to clean the dish with ordinary unscented bleach before starting a new culture, otherwise the yield was always smaller for consequent cultures, up to the point of practically zero hatched artemia. Rinsing the dish with hot water and paper towel wasn't enough, only bleach "restored" the full potential of hatching. I am not sure about the exact reason, but even minimum leftover of bacterial film somehow interfered with brine shrimp hatching rate.(Quibang reported almost identical results on 12/31/19.)

The difference between my results and those of Mysiak/Quibang is that I use an AWC (aquarium water conditioner) for all my hatching preparations. AWCs have many beneficial properties. I use them to prevent metal toxicity, but the AWC in this case may be counteracting a different problem. Toxic bacterial LPS (lipopolysaccharides)?

Another insight provided by Quibang on 1/3/20:

A little update on my brine shrimps experiments. I've tried to add brine shrimp food (dry algae powder) to the dish. I thought it could make them a little bigger/more nutritious for my fish. The experiment doesn't seem to be conclusive. I've noticed a drastic reduction of the number of brine shrimps to be harvested.

Nauplii are not able to eat anything for the first 8 hours, so adding food doesn't do much good in this instance. As you have reported here, it only creates problems. The hatchery dishes are just for quick, easy harvests of freshly hatched eggs. (I only add food for my longer-term cultures in large, aerated bottles.)
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwalstad View Post
Nauplii are not able to eat anything for the first 8 hours, so adding food doesn't do much good in this instance. As you have reported here, it only creates problems. The hatchery dishes are just for quick, easy harvests of freshly hatched eggs. (I only add food for my longer-term cultures in large, aerated bottles.)
Thank you for this piece of information. I won't try to feed them anymore then. At least in this dish.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

Update to my little amateur experiment, as discussed in previous topic:

1st batch - 4 teaspoons of salt, pinch of baking soda, 4 drops of water conditioner
~36 hours since start - I harvested big amount of shrimp - up to the point that water almost couldn't get through the sieve
~48 hours since start - still big amount of shrimp, but water could drain without issues (roughly 50% of the previous amount)
~72 hours since start - the last harvest of shrimp, definitely the lowest yield, but still able to feed my small colony of Neoheterandria elegans (~40 specimen)
- from my previous experience, this is my usual amount of brine shrimp when starting with disinfected dish.

2nd batch - 4 tablespoon of salt, pinch of baking soda, "a squirt" (~1ml) of water conditioner (I realized that it's not very potent, so 4 drops probably wouldn't do anything).
~36 hours since start - judging by an eye and speed of water drain speed, the yield is about 50% of the previous batch at the same time
~48 hours since start - almost no new shrimp hatched
~76 hours since start - this will be tomorrow, but I don't expect any miracles
- from my previous experience, this is my usual amount of brine shrimp when starting 2nd batch without disinfection.

For the third batch I'm going to skip bleaching again, but this time I'll use different water conditioner (much more potent Seachem Safe) to rule out possible issue with my currently used water conditioner (Sera Aquatan).
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

Very interesting!
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

Thanks for your feedback Mysiak.

Have you always used 4 teaspoons of salt? I only use one and a half like Mrs Walstad suggest in her article. I have pretty good results with only 1 & 1/2. Like you describe in my first harvests water has difficulty to get through the sieve. Maybe you should try with less salt.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

Oops, not sure where I got the 4 spoons idea, probably remembered the instructions in the article wrongly. You are right, even before this experiment I used to use less salt. 3rd batch with Seachem Safe and 4 tsp of salt is already running, so too late to change it. Although high salinity doesn't seem to impact the first "clean" batch, so it's probably just a waste of salt. Nevertheless, my next attempts will be with 1.5 tsp of salt. Thanks for noticing and letting me know
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

In rethinking this:

Mysiak, how many eggs did you add? I always add 1/8 level tsp or less.

I think that little things could make a difference. I generally start harvesting brine shrimp at 24 hr and continue doing so 3-4 times per day. I don't wait until 36, 48, and 72 hr for 3 big harvests. If waste products and oxygen are problems, this faster population reduction might make a modest difference.

Four tsp of salt per 3 cups of water would definitely change everything. Whatever problem is going on would be accentuated by a very high salt concentration. It would stress the nauplii unnecessarily.

When I clean the dish after a harvest, I sponge clean all the sides of the dish and the plastic ring to remove any attached biofilms. Attached biofilms would consume oxygen and possible generate bacterial toxins? I noted that the instructions mention sterilizing the dish after harvests, but I thought this was unnecessary.

As to lighting, Mysiak may be on to something. I just added strong light because of literature, not due to any experiments. Yesterday, I started a hatch without much lighting and the harvest at 24 hr seems to be pretty good. If the shrimp keep hatching tomorrow, that would be nice. (I have some houseplants that could use that light.)
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

I've never used any specific lighting and it works well. Maybe it'd work better with a special lamp. Haven't tried it yet.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

I am using the measuring cup/spoon which came with the hatching dish (as in the product picture). For this test I am adding 1 full cup/spoon. In the past I added about 2 spoons (the maximum I tried was 4 if I remember well), but the yield wasn't much bigger, so I was probably just wasting artemia eggs. Btw. I always wondered, how do you measure 1/8th tsp? I can hardly judge 1/2 of any kitchen spoon, let alone 1/8th. Coming from Europe with nothing but metric system, I simply can't fathom it.

Usually I'm harvesting hatched brine shrimp whenever I am at home and there is enough of them to bother with feeding the fish. However for this experiment I tried to simplify my eyeball measurements of yields by harvesting at "fixed" times.

Regarding the cleaning - I believe that I use the same procedure - remove the old water with shells and unhatched eggs, clean whole dish, white dividing disc and sieve with sponge and a drop of dish soap. After that clean thoroughly under running hot tap water. If I'm using bleach, I skip sponge and soap - I just pour clean bleach into the dish and fill in with water until it's completely full (about 1:1 ratio, the exact ratio doesn't seem to matter). I keep white disc and sieve submerged as well. After few minutes I clean everything under running hot water and use the dish for next batch.

On a side note, doing this experiment just reminded me how awesome Grindal worms are. One culture of worms occupies roughly the same space as this hatching dish, provides steady, daily and usually also much higher yields than brine shrimp and requires much less maintenance/preparation. Running multiple or bigger cultures allows several full harvests per day. Anyone hatching brine shrimp regularly should think about starting Grindal or white worms culture

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Old 01-07-2020, 09:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Live Foods- Brine Shrimp

Update:
3rd batch - 4 teaspoons of salt, pinch of baking soda, a pinch of water conditioner (Seachem Safe)
~36 hours since start - I counted about 10 hatched shrimp
I am going to keep the dish untouched for another 24 hours, but it most probably won't get any better.

As discussed previously, I inadvertently overdosed the salt and in my last attempt also the water conditioner (it's extremely concentrated - 100mg per 100l of water, so correct dosing for 1l is next to impossible). However from my previous experience this is exactly what I was observing with correct salt concentration and without a water conditioner.

For my 4th batch I'm going to disinfect the dish with bleach and repeat the overdosing with salt and water conditioner. I'm really curious what will happen

Last edited by mysiak; 01-07-2020 at 10:32 AM..
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