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Brine Shrimp Questions...


jwcarlson
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I've done three or four hatchings.  First hatching I rigged up a seedling warming mat around Ziss hatchery and used one of my temp controllers set to 82 (basement is cold).  Was hatching about 1/8 tsp of eggs.  2 tablespoons of solar naturals rock salt and the air bubbler running.  Good amount of the eggs hatched after 24 hours.  Fed them out, all was good.

Every subsequent hatch has had good hatches, but probably MAYBE 5% are still alive, the rest are dead.  They have been closer to 36 hour hatches just because of schedule and closer to 1/4 tsp of eggs.  The changes are that I've been using a small 25 watt heater on temp controller at 82 degrees.  Same salt (possibly more heaping tablespoons), same bubbler, same water.  The first of these hatches I accidently shut the heater off  in the middle of it and turned it back on at that point.

Tonight I started another batch with temp at 80 and turned the air down to somewhat less violent bubbling.  

Is it possible they're eating up their yolk sac and starving?  I'm not sure how long BBS can live off their yolk sacs.

 

How do I get better separation?  The dead ones separate well. 😬  I'm using a little LED lamp pointed at the bottom and they don't seem attracted to it whatsoever, very small amount gathered down at the bottom.  

 

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Hey @jwcarlson. I hatch ACO baby brine shrimp once per week, and here’s what I do. 
 

-I use the Ziss Hatchery, filled up with water and do not dechlorinate. I’ve heard that the chlorine actually helps them hatch. 

-My water is suuuper soft, so I put the tiniest dash of baking soda in the water. Seriously, the tiniest little pinch. 2 tablespoons of Fritz Aquarium Salt. 

-USB nano air pump hooked up to the hatchery. I tone down the air with a valve a little bit so it’s just at a soft roll. 
 

-No heater. Instead, I use a clip on lamp with a fluorescent bulb pointed at the heater. Maybe about a foot away. The heat from the bulb takes the place of a heater. 
 

-I let the hatchery sit overnight to dissolve all the salt and equalize temperature. 
 

-The following morning I dump in 1 tablespoon of brine shrimp eggs. I let that go for 36 hours. 

-After the 36 hours is up I take down the lamp, turn off the air, and use a different little led clip on light to attract the bbs to the bottom. Let that sit for 5-10 minutes. 
 

-Bust out my brine shrimp sieve, open the valve, and harvest the brine shrimp!

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions!
 

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Edited by AllFishNoBrakes
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What's the purpose of sitting overnight?  I would guess that all the chlorine is gone at that point?  How warm is your lamp?  I feel like I would need a 100 watt bulb to warm the water up from 55 out of the tap.  Basement is about 60. 

My water is extremely hard.  Our water does have chloramine, but it didn't seem to effect first hatch.  Thanks for the run down, I am going to do some experimenting.  

I have fed the dead ones and didn't really think about it.  Is that a concern?  I didn't notice they were dead the first time until the last tank I noticed none were wiggling. 

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@jwcarlson I’ve never really thought about the chlorine gassing off sitting overnight. You’re probably right, though. The sole purpose that I let the hatchery sit overnight is that it works with my schedule. Get home from work, feed the fish, and set up the hatchery. The next morning, dump the eggs in before work. 36 hours later when I get home from work again it’s time to harvest. Simply just works with my schedule and I like the 36 hour hatch. 
 

Just checked and my lightbulb in the lamp is a 72 watt. 
 

I wouldn’t be concerned about feeding the dead ones. I literally freeze 90% of my hatch to be able to feed throughout the week. I fill up my little ice tray and throw that in the freezer. Whatever is left is fed live. I personally wouldn’t be concerned as I don’t believe it was disease or something like it that killed the baby brine. 

image.jpg

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This could be the issue:

 

About 8 minutes in, Dean says (paraphrasing) - Sometimes you get too much air and as soon as they hatch they get smashed together, break all of their limbs off, and they can't swim and die.  

It wouldn't surprise me at all if that's what is happening to me.  Much slower roll tonight on the air, so we'll see how they look tomorrow night.

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I wish I could remember where I read to not use a heater inside the hatching tank.  I use a incandescent bulb in a small lamp placed near the hatchery.  It took a bit of experiment to get the distance correct but it works fine.  

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On 1/18/2023 at 5:34 AM, reefhugger said:

I wish I could remember where I read to not use a heater inside the hatching tank.  I use a incandescent bulb in a small lamp placed near the hatchery.  It took a bit of experiment to get the distance correct but it works fine.  

I know Cory said he doesn't like it because you have to clean it.  But I'm not doing much hatching at this point and the sink is three feet away.

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Thoreau said (supposedly), “simplify, simplify, simplify“. 

If it works with a heater, and it works just as well without a heater…

For myself, I don’t use a heater, I do use a small incandescent bulb, something like 25 watts, placed right next to the hatchery like 4” away, and I run the hatcher for 48 hours. The light is on a smart plug, and turns off from 11pm-8am. So it runs around 80F during the day, and drops to room temperature, 74F at night. That gives me a really good hatch rate, though I suspect I could harvest at 36-40 hours if I needed to, and the bbs would be a little bit smaller, and perhaps a teeny bit more nutritious.

I find the biggest contributor to simplicity of hatching and feeding bbs is the separation rate, after I turn off the air I let the hatcher sit for 5-10 minutes, with the light still on, and I get excellent separation. Not sure how much of that is due to my method versus the supplier I buy from. All of the shells and any unhatched eggs are right at the surface, and the water column is 99.99% pure bright orange happy jumpy BBS. So all I have to do is drain from the bottom and ensure that the last few drops at the surface goes down the drain instead of into my collector. Then I run the collected liquid+bbs through a bbs sieve, and Robert’s your mother’s brother, as they say. With the ziss hatcher, bottom draining is built into the design, but if I’m using inverted pop bottle or whatever, a piece of rigid plastic tubing is the way to go. 

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I would have no problem ditching the heater if I thought I could keep it warm enough with a light.  I think I gave away all of my old chicken brooder lamp holders.  Not sure I have something portable that takes a bulb anymore. 🙂

We only keep the house at 63-64 in the winter and this is in the basement, so it's a bit cooler down there.  

I'll see how this hatch goes and if there's still an issue, I'll change to a light.  To be clear, my hatch rate seems fine, I think.  It's the fact that they're hatched and dead that's a bit of an issue.  The fish still seem to eat them fine, but it'd be nice if they were swimming, I guess.  Separation isn't too bad, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to look like and that's probably 90% of the issue.  

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The warmer the water is, the faster the eggs hatch and the faster the BBS will use up their yolk sac. I would suspect that using a heater set at 82* they are hatching in 12-16 hrs and then using up their yolk sac and dying off. I don't use any heater or light on the hatcher at all, it just sits in my fish room which most of the time sits in the 75-78* range. When I set my hatcher up, I use straight tap water, I am on a well so no chlorine, two liters water, two heaping tablespoons salt, and as much eggs as I want to use. Sometimes its just a teaspoon, and I have hatched up to two tablespoons at once. Sitting in my fish room, no heater or light, i have probably 90-95% hatched in 32-36 hrs. I will usually start them one morning, then feed out the next day in the afternoon when I get home from work. When I go to feed, I take the hatcher and hang it in the utility sink in my room, and have a small light that I point at the bottom, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, always have a a good separation of eggs floating to the top, and then using valve on the bottom I strain them out through a sieve that I have. Then I just feed to my fish, if I do have any left over, I have a small ice cube tray that I will squirt them into and add a little water and freeze to use later. 

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My biggest hangup is that the basement is so cool.  It might not even be 60 degrees, maybe more like 58.  Was worried it would be low hatch rates or possible a hanging hatch where some percentage hatches early but others are a lot later kind of deal.  Whatever happens tonight (24 hours), I'll probably start another hatch right on the heels without a heater and see how it goes.  

 

I appreciate everyones' input, this has been really helpful.

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My basement is cold - I use this heater:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09LM8S7WS?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Rinses off super easy. I did find that it was 2 degrees off compared to my trusty Thermapen - so I just set it to 82F and know it'll be around 80F. 

I also keep a dim light shining on the hatchery the entire time, and then I crank it up (the light is dimmable) and move it down to the bottom when it's time to collect, turn off the air, and let it sit 10-20 minutes. 

I use a co-op usb nano air pump at full blast. From what I see moving after disconnecting it, the hatch rate must be high. 

Edited by MattyM
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On 1/18/2023 at 3:34 AM, reefhugger said:

I wish I could remember where I read to not use a heater inside the hatching tank.  I use a incandescent bulb in a small lamp placed near the hatchery.  It took a bit of experiment to get the distance correct but it works fine.  

One of the dean videos where he talked about his method years ago and compared to now.

 

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@jwcarlson here’s what I personally do. 
 

-Drain the hatchery through the sieve. I try to get every baby brine shrimp I can without getting the separated eggs into the sieve. 
-Rinse under tap water. You don’t have to do this, but I like to. 
-I take a shallow, square Tupperware and fill up a 20 ml syringe 6 times with tank water into that Tupperware. 
-Once the brine shrimp are rinsed, I put them in the tank water in the Tupperware. 
-From there I use that 20 ml syringe to fill the little ice cube trays. Once full that goes into the freezer. 
-Feed out the rest of the live brine shrimp to all applicable tanks. 
-Thaw the frozen brine shrimp to feed throughout the week. I use tank water to thaw however many little cubes I need. 
-Repeat as necessary!

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Just as big of failure today.  Not sure if picture will show well, but pretty much every egg that hatch seems to still be attached to the egg.  They float up and separate from the few live ones.  This was the most eggs I have done and the least usable shrimp.  Changes in this one were 80 degrees and less air. 

20230118_171456.jpg.c4aa2a3c970869cc0250c16d6d47193f.jpg

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On 1/18/2023 at 5:29 PM, AllFishNoBrakes said:

So strange. What brand of eggs are you using? How old are they? How are you storing them? I was fortunate enough to start with ACO eggs and have never had this problem. 

ACO eggs, I have had them a couple weeks.  Stored in fridge. 

 

Just started another batch at room temp (62).  Put one drop of dechlorinator in case chloramines are trouble.  Wasn't thinking or would have used tank water from discus tank which is basically tap water aged and heated.  And dechlorinated for 24 hours so whatever chloramines should be broken down by then. 

Edited by jwcarlson
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So strange. I store mine in the freezer and haven’t had any issues. I’ve gone through 7 or 8 cans and they’ve all been great. 
 

Just to make sure, 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 1 liter of water in your hatchery, correct? I’m wondering if the rock salt you’re using has something to do with it? I’d get some basic aquarium salt (I know, should be the same thing) and see if it makes a difference. 

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I guess it's possible the salt is the issue, but it's probably the most widely used salt I've seen mentioned on here.  And I also have used a ton of it in my discus tank without issue.  But I guess it could be causing the issue.  I might end up at the LFS this weekend, if so I'll pick up some aquarium salt just to be sure.

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You can get API salt from big box stores for super cheap. That’s what I started with before I switched over to Fritz. 
 

In my opinion, it’s worth the $3 or $4 to try it out. If it solves the problem, great! If it doesn’t, it was just a couple of dollars to rule it out. 

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