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How to Make an Easy DIY Brine Shrimp Hatchery

Fish Folk

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If you want to breed fish, eventually you’ll want to hatch live baby brine shrimp (BBS). I love all of the fancy Brine Shrimp hatcheries for sale nowadays. If you’ve got one, that’s awesome!

I want to just share how I do it. It’s not too expensive if you’ve  got a few extra items hanging around.

(1) I buy 2x 1-liter Polar Springs Seltzer water bottles.


(2) After emptying out the bottles, I peel off the labels. They’re pretty glued on, so it’s usually a mess. I use a steak knife.


(3) I cut off the bottom just above the ridge that runs around it. The bottom will become my top and the bottle will become my cone.


(4) I take the other bottle and cut off the top just below where it bends inward. I discard the top. The bottom will be my sleeve.


(5) I hand-drill 2x holes into what will be the top piece / lid. 1/4 in drill bit is about right. Airline will go through here.


(6) To assemble, screw the cap onto the cone piece that is inverted into the sleeve. Push that into the bottom of the sleeve. Put the cap piece with the holes in on top.


(7) To test the setup, run an airline from a pump (here I’m using an extra Co-Op USB nano air pump) through the lid to an airstone and test with water in the hatchery.


(8) Now to proportion salt & BBS eggs, I use 3x rounded TSP (5 ml each) of API Aquarium Salt.


And stir this into ca. 10 oz of HOT tap water until dissolved.


I pour this into the hatchery and then I use COLD tap water for the remainder up to about 1-inch clearance from top.

Then I add 2x rounded 1/2-TSP (2.5 ml each) — or just 1x TSP (5 ml) — of Co-Op BBS eggs.


This I gently stir into the salt water, though the eggs will float eventually no matter what.


(9) Then, with paper towel set underneath to catch salt drips, I set it up inside my tank stand. The air in the hatchery water should make it look like it’s “boiling.” 


In 36 hrs, I’ll have a nice hatch.

Edited by Fish Folk
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On 8/18/2021 at 10:02 PM, Kilrkitty08 said:

Do you use an air stone or just the air line?

Thank You So Much for posting this I'm going to set mine up Friday, first BBS hatch *cross fingers*!  


I use an airstone. I really prefer the Ziss "never-clog" airstones that the Co-Op sells, but with the example here all I had left was an older blue stone.

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On 8/18/2021 at 10:14 PM, ARMYVET said:

Have you noticed they changed the name and no longer say never clog on them?  I personally love them but I just went to order more and noticed the name change.

Huh! Interesting. There’s probably a story there…

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It is because they changed the foam from the blue felt to the green felt. The blue felt was slightly more porous and didn't clog. The green felt is a bit finer, which can clog in some situations. This has lead us down the path of making our own neverclog airstone as I believe a true never clog airstone should exist and one again we can't trust other manufacturers from ruining a good product. I'm sure somewhere they saved a penny, or thought it was the same etc. It wasn't and I expressed that to the company and they kept making us blue ones for another 8 months or so until they said they could no longer source it. That is when we switched to the green. Since then we have seen say 5% of air stones depending on use case, need to be serviced when before it was a rarity.

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On 8/18/2021 at 8:07 PM, ARMYVET said:

@Cory thank you for your response and explanation and thank you for still looking out for us in the hobby to bring us the very best products.

When will your air-stone be made available?  

I'd say we are looking at early 2022. Still going through samples and tweaks at this point. Product packaging is done though.

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On 8/18/2021 at 11:08 PM, Cory said:

I'd say we are looking at early 2022. Still going through samples and tweaks at this point. Product packaging is done though.

Thank you!  I shall be eagerly awaiting them! I have been utterly thrilled with every other ACO-Op branded product! 

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Ah! I have some blue felt air stones and some green felt ones, all from the coop. I had always wondered why.

@Fish Folk thanks for sharing this! I can also add that I’ve hatched bbs in a wide jar and it worked surprisingly well! The unhatched eggs gathered in one spot on the bottom and you could concentrate the shrimp on the other side using a light.


Edited by Hobbit
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Funny to see this. I made this about a year ago, following The King Of DIYs video. The only reason I don’t use it very often is because I’m a bit limited on space. This is in our basement bathroom! 😂 

Side note: I didn’t use the caps he used in the video. I drilled holes in the original caps and hot glued them in place. It’s just brine shrimp, and I don’t reuse the water, and I don’t do it very often, so I’m not worried about anything leaching from the hot glue.

A top fin 10 gallon air pump works great for me. I got a nicer aqueon for my main tank, and used the old one here instead. Works great.


Edited by Guppy Guy
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