Easy Artemia Cyst Incubation

Bonus content from the August 2010 AFI magazine article Six Steps to Breeding Banggai Cardinalfish.

Serpae tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques). Via Gianluca Galante/Flickr

To hatch brine shrimp at home, consider the following simple steps:
1. Rinse out an old 2-liter soda or juice bottle. Fill the bottle approximately halfway with used saltwater from your tank (count that as a partial water change), and fill the rest of the bottle with room-temperature freshwater.
2. Insert an airline all the way to the bottom of the vessel. Rigid airlines make it easier to reach the bottom, but it’s not necessary.
3. Add the brine shrimp cysts to the water and aerate the culture for 24 hours in an illuminated area.
4. Within the first 24 hours, the cysts will hatch, and the nauplii can be harvested.
5. To harvest, remove the airline and allow the culture to settle. The empty cysts will float to the top, while unhatched cysts should sink. Hold a small flashlight up to the side of the bottle — the Artemia nauplii will swim to and concentrate around the light.
6. Use a turkey baster to extract the Artemia and feed the fry.

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Fish · Lifestyle