OF ARTEMIA CYSTS. (Brine shrimp)
By Jim E. Quarles
- One pint or 16 fl oz. of freshwater.
- 2 oz of liquid chlorine bleach.
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
- 1 teaspoon of brine shrimp eggs.
Begin by adding 3 oz. of chilled freshwater and one teaspoon of brine
shrimp eggs in a glass container. Using an air stone, gently aerate the
cysts for approximately one hour at room temperature. This will fully
hydrate the eggs in preparation for the decapsulation process. After one
hour, pour in 2 oz. of liquid bleach. Increase the aeration or stir
continuously for the next five to ten minutes ( until decapsulation is
complete ). The cysts will change from brown to a gray or white, and
finally to orange in color. Then wash almost immediately with freshwater,
continue rinsing until the smell of chlorine bleach is gone. Mix one cup
cold water and one tablespoon of white vinegar in a container and soak a
net containing the cysts for about one minute. This will remove or
neutralize the residual chlorine bleach. Rinse the cysts one more time
with fresh water. The eggs are now ready for hatching.
There are several advantages to be gained by decapsulating or removing
the thick outer shell (cirion) of the brine shrimp cysts.
- For starters, the strong chlorine or oxidizing solution completely
sanitizes the cysts, reducing the introduction of bacteria and disease
to your aquarium.
- Harvesting brine shrimp nauplii form decapsulated cysts means that
no separation of the shells is necessary. Just pour everthing into a
mesh net, rinse, and feed to your fish.
- Even the unhatched cysts are edible! An unhatched decapsulated cyst
is left with a thin hatching membrane which is easily degested by
young fish and invertebrates. An unhatched brine shrimp embryo also
contains more energy that a hatched swimming nauplii.
- The brine shrimp embryo also requires less energy to break through a
hatching membrane, than a thick outer shell. This can increase your
hatch rate by an additionl 10 % or more over undecapsulated cysts.