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Baby brine shrimp

Quetzalotl

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I was hoping to start a thread focused on baby brine shrimp. I hatched an axolotl tadpole several weeks ago and am only able to feed him live BBS which I have been tediously hatching several times a week, issues that don't have google-able solutions so I have a lot of questions that I hope we can address here.

I have a standard hatchery setup, simply putting some eggs, and eyeing the amount of salt added (sometimes it varies), into an air connected upside down large soda bottle next to a lamp. They hatch in a day or two and then after turkey baste-ing the crowd of them that forms I spend an hour or more Pipette-ing out all the shells from them—my first dilemma, or rather an efficiency problem.
What is a good apparatus you may have come across or constructed to separate the Bbs from their shells?

After I feed the axolotl (amount also varies greatly, is he growing too slowly? When I hatch too many I don't want to waste them, and he doesn't even bother with them when they're more than a day old so I might have over fed and then have to wait days for the next hatch) so sometimes it really bulges his stomach, then days later I see a HUGE turd. Other times I can see them swimming around in his stomach days later so.
I'm not sure how much BBS they need to eat at which stages of growth, and I couldn't find a metric or description of anything like that online. I have just been winging it but don't want to.

also, the BBS have been clumping together in little groups recently. When I put them in the fridge for later, I take them out and they're all in clumps around salt or other particles, although mostly lifeless. But I just fed him washed BBS and they clumped up immediately! What's going on? Again I can't find any trove of information on this from Google (caudata.org doesn't even show up on the first page when I type in axolotl!).
Does anyone have any resources or experience?

It's hard to keep hatching such small amounts of BBS for 1 axolotl too, especially with no idea how much he needs to eat either..Also on a side note I'm a bit worried–is my axolotl bored? he's all alone, just in a bowl with clear water. I have read that they're not too smart and not social, and he also tried to eat that big turd from earlier, but still?

Later on I would like to put live plants in his tank though, i will also start a thread then about axolotl friendly aquarium organisms if anyone can share their experience. I'm sure most animals are out of the question, but are there any that may be compatible?

TLDR; need help with BBS
- separating BBS nauplii from their shells (device using tubes, black spray paint, hot glue gun and plastic containers?)
- how do I save them for later, or keep them hatched at a rate enough to keep 1 axolotl fed? They die so quickly (fridge basically freezes them to death, and is there a food source they WILL eat?)
- figuring out how much BBS to feed the axolotl, and at different stages of development (should he have grown? He's been a tadpole for a month or 2 now. Or am I not feeding him too much, not enough, or both?)

Thanks
 

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CWhit

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Will answer the ones I know:

BBS do clump in fresh water. I don't know why.

Nutritionally they're no good after about 24 hours, unless you feed them. You need a fresh batch daily.

They're attracted to light, and the shells float. I've had best results with a disc hatchery. Or you can put a light on the bottom, the shells float, suck the live ones from the bottom with a pipette.

You need to offer a variety of food. Live daphnia, blackworm (chopped if needed). You can also culture microworms or whiteworms easily, buy a culture online. Adults will eat whiteworm as part of a varied diet.
 

CWhit

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Oh and at this age, feed as much as it will eat and it will grow quicker than you'll believe! Soon you can try frozen food, bloodworm, daphnia, brine shrimp etc which is easier.
 

CWhit

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Caudata Culture (linked to in the resources section) has some great info on raising them, and the different foods.

Good luck!
 

CWhit

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One last thought, raising the temperature of the hatchery a little means you can have them hatched & ready in about 18 hours
 

JM29

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You could also try daphnias.
BBS survive about 2 hours max in fresh water. Dead BBS are not eaten and pollute the water.
Daphnias are filter feeders. Uneaten daphnias live several days and clean the water.
 

6k2bts

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- You can separate the shells using a sieve (the size of the sieve varies depending on the type of brine shrimp). You can also separate the brine shrimp through light. This method takes a little more time.
Alternatively, you can buy an iron-coated egg, hatch it, and separate it with a magnet. In the country where I live, this method is used the most.
- The brine shrimp can be stored frozen, but in this case, axlotol larvae will not eat it well. Incubating the brine shrimp little by little is the best option.
- I have used daphnia instead of brine shrimp because of this problem. This is because the problem of water contamination could be avoided even if a little more was added.
However, culturing daphnia is more difficult than culturing brine shrimp.
 

Skdecoteau

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First of all, I just found this thread and I think it's a fantastic idea. I needed something like this 6 weeks ago when I was first starting out with my salamander larvae. Actually, I still need something like this to figure out how to grow out my BBS for my larger larvae. And I could use advice on where to buy quality cysts with the best hatch rates...

Regarding hatchery set ups, I have been using the hatchery dish from Brine Shrimp Direct and I HIGHLY recommend it. It is amazingly simple. I've been placing the dish on a seed warming mat with a basic gooseneck desk lamp and the BBS start hatching within 12 - 15 hours. The best part is the fact that I don't have to mess with aeration or siphoning or sifting out the BBS from the shells, the thing does it automatically.

I'm pretty sure that it would take longer for the eggs to hatch without the heat mat, but it is possible. The light, however, is critical, although I imagine that a really bright table lamp, etc, would also work.
 

Skdecoteau

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Btw, maybe if more experienced people find this thread and start adding their advice, we could create a sticky with recommended products for building a hatchery and brine shrimp eggs with the best batch rates, etc.
 
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