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Baby Brine Shrimp (BBS)

In order to feed your fry you need to start a brine shrimp hatchery. You can buy a hatchery, but in my opinion homemade is better and cheaper than most on the market and they are extremely easy to make.

I use a lot of steps in this description so that no one gets confused. It is a very easy process once you've done it a time or two.

  1. Supplies needed:
    1. 1 - 2 litre pop bottle. 3 litre bottles are good for larger batches.
    2. 1 laundry detergent bucket or a 5 gallon bucket.
    3. airline tubing. approx. 4 feet.
    4. 1 airline tube connector.
    5. aquarium sealant.
    6. 1 air pump.
  2. Assembly instructions:
    1. Cut off the bottom of the pop bottle.
    2. Poke a small hole in the center of the bottle cap.
    3. Using a small amount of aquarium sealant attach the airline tube connector to the cap, inserting 1 end of the connector inside the hole.
    4. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket slightly smaller than the circumference of the bottle.
    5. Make a small hole near the top of the bucket, just big enough for the airline tubing to fit through.
    6. Screw the popcap onto the bottle.
    7. Attach one end of the airline tubing to the connector on the cap.
    8. Turn the bucket upside-down and place the bottle in the hole.
    9. Slide the airline tubing through the hole you made in the top (now the bottom) of the bucket.
    10. Attach the free end of the airline tubing to the pump. Make sure the pump is above the water level.
  3. Hatching the shrimp:
    1. Eggs: There are different ways to buy your eggs. You can buy them in vials, in packets with salt added, and in 1 lb. cans. A vial will cost about $5 and will give you 3 batches, packets will cost about $5 and will give you 3 batches and you don't need to buy salt. 1 lb. cans will cost anywhere from $40 - $60. The cans are most cost effective. If you buy 1 lb. of eggs in the vials or packets you will end up spending around $250. Its your choice, but I say buy the can. Be picky about what brand you buy. Some brands only hatch 25-50% of the eggs. San Francisco Bay Brand are very good but also expensive. I use Sanders brand which are just as good, but less expensive. I get an 80-90% hatch rate
    2. Salt: You can use uniodized table salt, aquarium rock salt, or marine salt. I use a marine product called "Instant Ocean". It is very inexpensive and I think its the best salt for hatching bbs.
    3. Add 3/4 tablespoon salt for each litre of water.
    4. Add 1/2 teaspoon eggs per litre and stir.
    5. Wait 2 days and you will have bbs!
  4. Transferring the bbs:
    1. After the eggs hatch you will need to transfer the bbs to another container so you can start another batch.
    2. Detach the airline tubing from the air pump and pinch off the end using forceps or some type of clip.
    3. Put the clipped end of the tubing into the container you will be using to store your bbs.
    4. Turn on a flashlight and place it under the bucket. Cover the top of the bottle. The bbs will swim toward the light at the bottom of the bottle and the egg shells will float to the top.
    5. Wait 5-10 minutes.
    6. Unclip the end of the tubing releasing the bbs into the container. When the water is about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the hatchery, clip the tubing again.
    7. Put an airstone in the container and the bbs will live for 4-7 days. Use a net to scoop out the bbs for feeding to the fry and remember to rinse the bbs with fresh water before feeding.
    8. Rinse the eggshells out of the hatchery and start another batch.