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Old 06-02-2013, 02:12 PM   #1
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Culturing brine shrimp

I need to start a brine shrimp culture in the next couple weeks... Preferably sooner than later. I'm picking up eggs today but I'm not quite sure what to do after that... I know you need salt in the water but idk what kind... That's mainly where I need help. I don't want to buy a giant bag of aquarium salt. I don't know how much to use either. What do you use and how do you hatch your bbs?
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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I need to start a brine shrimp culture in the next couple weeks... Preferably sooner than later. I'm picking up eggs today but I'm not quite sure what to do after that... I know you need salt in the water but idk what kind... That's mainly where I need help. I don't want to buy a giant bag of aquarium salt. I don't know how much to use either. What do you use and how do you hatch your bbs?
(The picture referred to in the following instructions can be found in my albums section ( album labeled " Instruction charts" in my profile page.)

Hatching Brine, this is what I do:
You will need an adjustable heater, a thermometer, a fluorescent light (most brands now suggest light for optimum hatching), some airline, an airstone, an air pump, non iodized salt, a container (preferably glass) that can hold at least 1/2 gal of water and water.
Make the temp of the water between 88 and 90 degrees.
Make a solution equal to 5 tablespoons of salt per 1 gal of water. (2 1/2 Tablespoons per 1/2 gal of water)
Make sure airpump is pumping enough air to circulate the bs eggs and they don't cluster on the bottom.
Make sure airstone produces larger bubbles or airline has a weight to hold it down at the bottom of the container. Position the end so that the water circulates in a circle.
This is my steps to having live brine within 24 hours:
My heaters are already set to the temp and I just place them in one of the other BS jars when I clean and set up a new jar. (I use 3 jars)
I add the water, the right amount of salt for the amount of water (This pic is of a 1/2 gal glass bowl so it gets 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt), the eggs.
I take the bowl back outside (I keep mine outside) and put the heater back in the bowl, the airstone back into the bowl, cover with the aluminum foil top I made to stop the splashing then go about my business. By the next day, I have live baby brine shrimp. Use immediately.
 
 
You'll notice the light is behind the bowl and I am not using an airstone but an open airline with a weight at the bottom. Anyone telling you it needs to be more complicated than this is full of crap and doesn't know what they are talking about. NOW, the reason the salt level works is because of the high temp. Colder water will make this solution higher in salinity so you would need to lessen the amount of salt if you turn down the temp. (Use a converting program online to see what the salinity at 90 degrees is equal to at the lower temp.) HOWEVER, colder temps make the BS take longer to hatch so why do that?

( I have used everything from Morton's non iodized salt to Kosher salt to Aquarium salt to sea salt with the same success. Just make sure you are not using table sale that contains iodine.)
As to how much shrimp to use, that will be determined by how many fry you are trying to feed and the hatch ratio of your eggs. I generally feed my fry 3 times a day so I make 3 bowls of shrimp at the appropriate times they are to be fed. This way, the evening shrimp will still have the same nutritional value as the morning shrimp.
Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post

(The picture referred to in the following instructions can be found in my albums section ( album labeled " Instruction charts" in my profile page.)

Hatching Brine, this is what I do:
You will need an adjustable heater, a thermometer, a fluorescent light (most brands now suggest light for optimum hatching), some airline, an airstone, an air pump, non iodized salt, a container (preferably glass) that can hold at least 1/2 gal of water and water.
Make the temp of the water between 88 and 90 degrees.
Make a solution equal to 5 tablespoons of salt per 1 gal of water. (2 1/2 Tablespoons per 1/2 gal of water)
Make sure airpump is pumping enough air to circulate the bs eggs and they don't cluster on the bottom.
Make sure airstone produces larger bubbles or airline has a weight to hold it down at the bottom of the container. Position the end so that the water circulates in a circle.
This is my steps to having live brine within 24 hours:
My heaters are already set to the temp and I just place them in one of the other BS jars when I clean and set up a new jar. (I use 3 jars)
I add the water, the right amount of salt for the amount of water (This pic is of a 1/2 gal glass bowl so it gets 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt), the eggs.
I take the bowl back outside (I keep mine outside) and put the heater back in the bowl, the airstone back into the bowl, cover with the aluminum foil top I made to stop the splashing then go about my business. By the next day, I have live baby brine shrimp. Use immediately.
 
 
You'll notice the light is behind the bowl and I am not using an airstone but an open airline with a weight at the bottom. Anyone telling you it needs to be more complicated than this is full of crap and doesn't know what they are talking about. NOW, the reason the salt level works is because of the high temp. Colder water will make this solution higher in salinity so you would need to lessen the amount of salt if you turn down the temp. (Use a converting program online to see what the salinity at 90 degrees is equal to at the lower temp.) HOWEVER, colder temps make the BS take longer to hatch so why do that?

( I have used everything from Morton's non iodized salt to Kosher salt to Aquarium salt to sea salt with the same success. Just make sure you are not using table sale that contains iodine.)
As to how much shrimp to use, that will be determined by how many fry you are trying to feed and the hatch ratio of your eggs. I generally feed my fry 3 times a day so I make 3 bowls of shrimp at the appropriate times they are to be fed. This way, the evening shrimp will still have the same nutritional value as the morning shrimp.
Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.

Hope this helps
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer like this! This is so much help! I has a couple of questions I hope you won't mind helping with... I'll number them just cuz it makes it that much easier.

1- my room temp is about 78-82 in the summer. Do I still need a heater?
2-a fluorescent light... Can I just put it in the window? :P
3- non-iodized salt... I have "Kirkland" Mediterranean sea salt in a grinder. Use it for cooking. can I use that? lol sorry. I really have no idea. :P
4-do you have to keep starting new cultures or is it possible to let the shrimp grow up and breed and have more babies you can feed to the fry? If so, how long would that take?
5-do you know of a good converting program to use?
6-I'm assuming you are feeding betta fry, although of course, I really have no idea :P if you are, do you know if twice a day is ok for betta fry?

Sorry to ask so many questions :/ but thanks for all your help!!
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fishfan88 View Post
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer like this! This is so much help! I has a couple of questions I hope you won't mind helping with... I'll number them just cuz it makes it that much easier.

1- my room temp is about 78-82 in the summer. Do I still need a heater?
2-a fluorescent light... Can I just put it in the window? :P
3- non-iodized salt... I have "Kirkland" Mediterranean sea salt in a grinder. Use it for cooking. can I use that? lol sorry. I really have no idea. :P
4-do you have to keep starting new cultures or is it possible to let the shrimp grow up and breed and have more babies you can feed to the fry? If so, how long would that take?
5-do you know of a good converting program to use?
6-I'm assuming you are feeding betta fry, although of course, I really have no idea :P if you are, do you know if twice a day is ok for betta fry?

Sorry to ask so many questions :/ but thanks for all your help!!
Think nothing of it. ( It's actually a template I made so I don't have to type this all out every time I answer this question about hatching brine shrimp. Just cut and paste )

The questions:
#1- Yes, 78-82 will not get your shrimp to hatch in 24 hours. 88 - 90 degrees will.

#2- Lighting depends on the brand of eggs you are using. If the package suggest light, it means all the time. How do you get light from the window at night?

#3- Wrong salt. Go to your grocery store ( unless you have a package of aquarium salt already) and get Morton's non- iodized salt. Should cost you less than $1.00

#4- Considering that your fish fry will need to be fed close to 3-4 times per day, you will be better off hatching out eggs instead of waiting for the shrimp to grow, breed, lay eggs and wait for them to hatch. ( I usually use 1 batch of water for about 3-4 days before making a new set-up. It's why I said that I just move the heater into another shrimp bowl when I clean one. It helps keep the consistancy.)

#5- I would just google " Salinity conversion chart ( or table). I don't have a favorite one. (I used to use one from one of my books . I'm old school )

#6-This was originally written regarding how I feed betta fry so Yes, this was for bettas. In the beginning, 2 x per day should be enough but the best way to tell is by seeing their orange bellies. After the fry eat they will have shrimp colored bellies. If they don't have colored bellies most of the day, they are not getting enough food and their growth will be effected. You will have to play it by ear.

I think I got all your questions. If I didn't feel free to PM me

Good luck
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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Think nothing of it. ( It's actually a template I made so I don't have to type this all out every time I answer this question about hatching brine shrimp. Just cut and paste )

The questions:
#1- Yes, 78-82 will not get your shrimp to hatch in 24 hours. 88 - 90 degrees will.

#2- Lighting depends on the brand of eggs you are using. If the package suggest light, it means all the time. How do you get light from the window at night?

#3- Wrong salt. Go to your grocery store ( unless you have a package of aquarium salt already) and get Morton's non- iodized salt. Should cost you less than $1.00

#4- Considering that your fish fry will need to be fed close to 3-4 times per day, you will be better off hatching out eggs instead of waiting for the shrimp to grow, breed, lay eggs and wait for them to hatch. ( I usually use 1 batch of water for about 3-4 days before making a new set-up. It's why I said that I just move the heater into another shrimp bowl when I clean one. It helps keep the consistancy.)

#5- I would just google " Salinity conversion chart ( or table). I don't have a favorite one. (I used to use one from one of my books . I'm old school )

#6-This was originally written regarding how I feed betta fry so Yes, this was for bettas. In the beginning, 2 x per day should be enough but the best way to tell is by seeing their orange bellies. After the fry eat they will have shrimp colored bellies. If they don't have colored bellies most of the day, they are not getting enough food and their growth will be effected. You will have to play it by ear.

I think I got all your questions. If I didn't feel free to PM me

Good luck
Thanks! For some reason the app won't let me send new pms... I can only reply to other peoples messages.
The thing is, I don't really want to have to keep buying eggs... I'm might end up with a LOT of fry (you obviously already know how many fry bettas can have ) and I don't want to spend a ton of money just on eggs! XD how much of the eggs do you usually use for each feeding, just so I can get an idea of how much to use for one batch of fry?
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #6
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Thanks! For some reason the app won't let me send new pms... I can only reply to other peoples messages.
The thing is, I don't really want to have to keep buying eggs... I'm might end up with a LOT of fry (you obviously already know how many fry bettas can have ) and I don't want to spend a ton of money just on eggs! XD how much of the eggs do you usually use for each feeding, just so I can get an idea of how much to use for one batch of fry?
Ok, the first thing you need to know is that breeding and raising fish costs money. In some cases, a LOT of money. If you don't have or are not able to spend the extra money, I STRONGLY urge you not to even try breeding Bettas. ( It's like buying a nice car and saying "I don't want to spend money on the gas." It makes little sense.) There is no rule that says you MUST breed your fish if you have them. Especially with Bettas, you can just enjoy their beauty without breeding them. (FYI: Bettas cost a lot in time and medication when it comes to breeding as they usually really get banged up during the spawning process and the fry need a lot of attention as they grow.)

That all being said, if you are still going forward, I use about 1/16 of a teaspoon of eggs per feeding and I feed 3 times per day.
As for costs, BS eggs have skyrocketed in price over the past few years. You may want to try culturing microworms as an alternative. ( I have no experience using them as of yet so I can not give you result comparisons.) I stay with Brine Shrimp because I am familiar with them and know the success rate. It's the price you pay for breeding
As for the salt, I am using the Morton's Water Softening Salt ( The blue bag) which I got a 40 lb bag for about $5.00, 3 years ago ( at either Walmart or Lowe's) and I haven't used that up yet. ( I still have about 10-15 lbs left )You may be able to get a smaller bag if you are just using it for the shrimp. I was told "Just make sure you get the BLUE bag and not any other colored bag." ( I don't know why and frankly, I don't care why as $5.00 for a 40 lb bag of salt is cheap enough compared to what I WAS spending on aquarium salt)

I really do encourage you to think hard about getting in to this. Raising Betta fry can be a laborous task taking up a lot of time and space. Short cuts tend to lead to disasters. There are many other fish ( such as the livebearers) that have much less cost involved in breeding and raising. Maybe something to think about

Good luck which ever way you go
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:43 AM   #7
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Ok. I get it i know it will cost a lot, but I'm just trying to save as much money on supplies as possible. Getting stuff off kijiji or other places... Just used instead of new. I mean if you can do t and save even a little bit of money, why not? I still want to do it though. I am not really doing anything else fish wise other than raising a few guppy fry (which costs like, barely anything) and maintaining my brothers tank. I was deciding between getting into breeding some kind of Malawi cichlid or bettas, but there's NO way i could afford both :P I'm pretty sure I'll do bettas. By the way, what do you use for separating the males and aggressive females?
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #8
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I am most likely going to use my empty 55 gallon and possibly a 45 and/or 20 gallon if I need them and DIY dividers with plexiglass so i dont have to get individual heaters and stuff for each fish. I might also use some 2 gallon bowls with bowl heaters.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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Ok. I get it i know it will cost a lot, but I'm just trying to save as much money on supplies as possible. Getting stuff off kijiji or other places... Just used instead of new. I mean if you can do t and save even a little bit of money, why not? I still want to do it though. I am not really doing anything else fish wise other than raising a few guppy fry (which costs like, barely anything) and maintaining my brothers tank. I was deciding between getting into breeding some kind of Malawi cichlid or bettas, but there's NO way i could afford both :P I'm pretty sure I'll do bettas. By the way, what do you use for separating the males and aggressive females?
I got ya And yes, cheaper used (quality equipment) is a good thing
As for what I do to separate? I use tanks, bowls, jars, containers, and just about anything that holds water. (That's the laborous part. lol) I also made a flow through section with 4 vats that only hold about 5 gals apiece but combined with sump is about 30-35 gals of water. I keep about 19 containers in each vat that are all punctured with flow through holes and a plexi lid to cover them all. The females swim freely and the males are in the cups.

Keep in mind tho that the larger fry will give off a hormone to stunt their siblings so the more spread out they are, in a larger volume of water, the better. I also do bi-weekly water changes in EVERYTHING to make sure there is little to no stunting going on. ( The price you pay for raising Bettas ) Oh, and did I mention that I do all this outdoors in FL on my porch so I only need heaters in the winter or else I bring EVERYBODY (who didn't get sold fast enough ) indoors for the winter. 1 year I barely had room to breathe in the house because there was a fish bowl or jar everywhere you turned. lol ( That was the year I toned down my breeding efforts for sure )

Hope this helped
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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I got ya And yes, cheaper used (quality equipment) is a good thing
As for what I do to separate? I use tanks, bowls, jars, containers, and just about anything that holds water. (That's the laborous part. lol) I also made a flow through section with 4 vats that only hold about 5 gals apiece but combined with sump is about 30-35 gals of water. I keep about 19 containers in each vat that are all punctured with flow through holes and a plexi lid to cover them all. The females swim freely and the males are in the cups.

Keep in mind tho that the larger fry will give off a hormone to stunt their siblings so the more spread out they are, in a larger volume of water, the better. I also do bi-weekly water changes in EVERYTHING to make sure there is little to no stunting going on. ( The price you pay for raising Bettas ) Oh, and did I mention that I do all this outdoors in FL on my porch so I only need heaters in the winter or else I bring EVERYBODY (who didn't get sold fast enough ) indoors for the winter. 1 year I barely had room to breathe in the house because there was a fish bowl or jar everywhere you turned. lol ( That was the year I toned down my breeding efforts for sure )

Hope this helped
When you say "larger fry" what exactly do you mean? Will adults do the same thing? I don't think it will really matter anyway though because I am going to keep the fry in a 10 or 20 gallon tank I already have until they are bigger. Another question just came to mind... Lol I really hope you don't mind me asking so many questions! You've really been a big help tho, so thank you so much again for that! at what age do you start separating the fry? I've read 3 months, but will they still be growing and/or giving off the hormone that can stunt smaller frys growth? And when do you start weaning them off live foods and on to flakes/pellets?
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