Homemade frozen enriched baby brine shrimp

6g equivalent of decapsulated nauplii eggs turned into enough nauplii to fill 10 mini ice-cubes, each with a volume of 2mL. The remainder that I couldn’t get into the baster ended up as live feed for the jellies.

Just out of luck, I typed in a Google query differently and I found some publications from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Apparently Artemia have been used for quite some time to feed fish farms in an attempt to lessen world hunger around the globe. Their Artemia culture manuals are therefore open and free of charge, and I am finding paper after paper written over the decades on how to mass produce Artemia. This is perfect for me since I’m trying to scale up and get an economy of scale to save time.

As an experiment, I used two hatcheries with 2L of water each to hatch a total of 6g equivalent of decapsulated eggs. According to Brine Shrimp Direct, each 1g equivalent should yield 100,000 to 125,000 nauplii, which seems pretty low. The UN manual claims high-grade cysts can get up to 300,000 nauplii per gram. However, when I had to harvest and enrich them, it was pretty amazing to see how much total volume the little nauplii took up. After a 24-hour hatch time, and then 12-hours of instar II development and then 12-hours of enrichment with Nannochloropsis and SELCO, I did a final harvest and put them into mini ice-cube trays. The remainder which couldn’t fit into my baster ended up going as live feed to the jellyfish for freshness.

Each ice-cube in the tray measures 2mL of volume; based upon my guess each cube should be enough food to feed one of my jellyfish tanks for a full day. That means with 21 cubes worth in the freezer, I should have enough food for 10-11 days. If this works, that’s not a bad step up, since I had to spend about 3 hours total doing the hatching and final harvesting and rinsing. If I can scale further, it may be possible for me to make this a monthly chore.

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2 thoughts on “Homemade frozen enriched baby brine shrimp

    • Frozen enriched seemed to keep the jellies fed, but not as much got caught by the jellies before it sank to the bottom and rotted. Thus, I had to clean the tank more and change the water more frequently. It’s kind of a matter of personal taste as to which kind of labor you prefer (raising live nauplii constantly, or cleaning the tank more frequently). Personally I still opt for live but that’s because I enjoy watching the jellies grow.

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