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How do I get started with feeding my fish baby brine shrimp?

As one of the most nutritious foods you can feed your fish, Baby brine shrimp has rightfully earned its place as a staple live food. 
Brine shrimp is incredibly nutrient dense, and readily accepted by almost every type of ornamental fish, saltwater types included.
My 'algaevore' Otocinclus also come running for this stuff.
I've found Baby brine shrimp to be especially beneficial for newly hatched fish, ill or recovering fish, and those wanting to get their fish to breed.

To get started with feeding your fish baby brine shrimp, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a supply of baby brine shrimp eggs (or 'Cysts'). You can purchase these online or from a local aquarium supply store. The best I have found is from Aquarium Coop. No affiliation of any sort, I just like their stuff. 
  2. Fill a small container with fresh, clean water and add the baby brine shrimp eggs. Don't bother to dechlorinate the water.
  3. Add one tablespoon of salt to each liter of water you use.
  4. Add a bubbler/ airstone to keep the cysts (eggs) circulating in the water.
  5. Place the container in a warm, well-lit location and allow the eggs to hatch. This can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the temperature and lighting conditions.
  6. Once the eggs have hatched, use a fine-mesh net or long, thin pippette to gently collect the baby brine shrimp. As they are drawn to light, I use a flashlight to concentrate them. 
  7. Transfer the baby brine shrimp to your aquarium and feed them to your fish using that pipette.
  8. Offer only as much food as your fish can consume in a few minutes.

It is important to remember that baby brine shrimp are a live food source and should be used as a supplement to your fish's regular diet, rather than a replacement.


They are a rich source of protein and other nutrients, but they should not be fed exclusively to your fish. Additionally, it is important to carefully monitor your fish's feeding behavior and health to ensure they are getting the right amount of nutrition and are not overfed.



Here are some notes:


When you are getting these to hatch, warmth and light help the cysts dissolve and hatch sooner. You'll notice your brine shrimp will take longer to hatch in cooler, darker times of the year. 


Once you hit roughly 18 to 24 hours in, you should see the vast majority of the shrimp hatching and squidging about. They should look like an undulant, orange mass of ferrofluid suspended in your hatching container. That's the good stuff. Orange GOLD.


Ignore the brown eggshells floating at the top and siphon up the orange hatchlings. Any dark cysts that settled to the floor have either not hatched yet, or are dead. That should only be about 10%.


Once you do this a few times, you'll start to get into a rhythm of how this goes; How long it will take to hatch, the optimum amounts that hatch, and the salt to water ratio will become more apparent. 


Just do this once a week or so. Your fish will thank you with brighter colors, better breeding, and healthier, livelier behavior.


And hey... If that all seems too messy and annoying to you, I have a solution.... 



Frozen cubes of Brine Shrimp, baby.


Pop one out at feeding time, keep them in the freezer the rest of the time, and you're solid. I get mine at my local fish place, and you should be able to as well. 


 I receive this question a lot, so I'm hoping this post will answer some of your questions. Good luck!

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