What’s the easiest way to hatch brine shrimp? In this article, let’s look at an alternative to the DIY plastic bottles, the inverted pyramids, and bubble-driven systems!
Why Should You Hatch Brine Shrimp?
In the fishkeeping hobby, we usually decide to hatch brine shrimp because our fish are breeding. Brine shrimp are an excellent first food for fry (baby fish). But, that’s not the only reason you might want brine shrimp; some smaller fish, like bettas for example, love to eat baby brine shrimp.
How To Hatch Brine Shrimp
Hatching brine shrimp is pretty easy. Just buy some brine shrimp eggs, put them in salt water, put a light on them and they’ll hatch.
While it is easy, there are complications to the process that can make it frustrating for an aquarium hobbyist.
Brine Shrimp Hatching & Frustrations
For example, separating the egg shells from the live baby brine can be a real headache. Ideally, you only want to add the live shrimp to your freshwater aquarium—not their eggs or a large amount of the salty water. Although, a small amount of salt in a freshwater aquarium is not an issue.
Brine Shrimp Hatching: How It’s Usually Done
Typically, hobbyists hatched baby brine shrimp using a modified plastic soda bottle. Hung upside down, the bottle is equipped with an air line connected to an air pump. The stream of bubbles is intended to agitate the water. A lamp or other light source is used to attract the baby brine shrimp once they hatch, this allows the egg shells to drop to the bottom of the system and be drained way.
Commercial Inverted Pyramid / Cone Setups
If you don’t want to DIY a bottle into a brine shrimp hatchery, then you can purchase ready made systems such as the one bellow.
While this might be a step in the right direction, it’s still not the easiest way to hatch brine shrimp in my opinion.
Okay, So What IS The Easiest Way To Hatch Brine Shrimp?
I present to you, the brine shrimp hatching dish.
This setup really simplifies the whole process and makes the separation of eggs from baby brine shrimp a total breeze.
How Does The Brine Shrimp Dish Work?
Start by removing the baffles (the white plastic bit) and the sieve. Next, add water and salt as per the instructions. After that, you simply replace the baffles, and then the sieve.
Don’t forget to add the brine shrimp eggs! The eggs should be placed around the outside portion of the system.
Finally, replace the black plastic top and put the system under a light source. If you live in a warmer area, you can even put your brine shrimp hatchery outside!
How Long Does It Take For Brine Shrimp Eggs To Hatch?
Your brine shrimp eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. However, be aware that some will hatch much sooner, while others will hatch quite a bit later.
Brine Shrimp Hatchery Dish: What Happens When They Hatch?
This is where the brine shrimp hatchery dish really comes into its own. You’ll remember that the eggs are placed in the outer ring. After they hatch, the brine shrimp swim under a small gap on the bottom of the white baffles. Instinctively, the brine shrimp will head for the center ring. This is because that is the only light source (as the rest is blocked by the opaque lid).
Brine Shrimp Hatchery Dish: How To Harvest
Once the brine shrimp reach the center circle, they will swim around above the sieve. All you have to do is simply pull the sieve out by its handle and you’ll have a bounty of newly hatched baby brine shrimp ready to feed to your aquarium fish. It’s as simple as that.
As mentioned above, some shrimp will hatch earlier, some will hatch “on time”, while others will hatch later. Therefore, it’s important to check the system regularly and harvest the baby brine while they’re freshly hatched as this is when they are at their most useful for feeding your fry.
Where Can I Buy Brine Shrimp Hatchery Dishes?
While they might not be as common as the inverted pyramids or DIY bottle setups, the hatchery dishes are pretty widely available. In fact, you can buy them off Amazon right here (affiliate link).