Everyone who breeds fish understands how important a healthy food is for both newborn fry and other fish. And it is this food that is Artemia Salina. The use of this food has already been appreciated by a huge number of aquarists around the world. Therefore, in today's article we will talk not only about why these crustaceans are useful, but also how to breed them at home.
For several decades, these crustaceans have been considered one of the favorite food for various inhabitants of artificial reservoirs. So, their indisputable advantages include:
- Excellent food quality, which favorably affects the survival and growth rate of fry.
- A quick and predictable incubation process that allows you to feed newborns with fish even in the event of an unexpected spawning.
- Getting a pre-planned number of brine shrimp as needed by the aquarist.
It is also especially worth noting that her eggs have the ability to long-term storage without loss of ability to further development.
Of the minuses, we can only mention that their distribution at home will require the allocation of some time and labor for organizing and conducting the entire incubation process.
What are the eggs of brine shrimp?
Today eggs of 2 types are on sale:
As for the first, these eggs are completely devoid of their protective shell. But do not worry that future crustaceans will die. As practice shows, it is the lack of protection that can make a crustacean appear more well-fed. This is due to the fact that he does not need to spend his strength not destroying the shell. But in addition to the possible positive, there is also a negative point. So, these eggs require a special reverent attitude.
Also, although they can be used as feed, but here comes one important point. If the hatched brine shrimp Artemia for some time, before it is eaten by the fry, continues to live in water, then decapsulated eggs falling to the bottom in no way attract the inhabitants.
It is worth noting that the brine shrimp eggs undergo incubation in saline, and the appearance of the larvae is largely dependent on the party. So, in order to remove artemia, those eggs should be used whose shelf life is not more than 2-3 years, but in some cases up to 5 is allowed. If you take these, you can be sure that more than half of the crustaceans will hatch.
Also, using a strong magnifier, you can independently predict the yield of larvae by calculating the number of empty egg shells as in the photo below.
Artemia salina: increase germination
Today, there are many options for increasing the germination capacity of brine shrimp, but the most popular method is freezing. So, laid eggs in the freezer for 1 day before the start of incubation, can increase the yield of crustaceans tenfold. But if spawning is planned in a few weeks, then it is best to keep eggs for about 2-3 weeks. As a rule, the best results with this method are achieved at air temperatures from -20 to - 25. It is permissible to put Artemia eggs in a solution with sodium chloride. Remember that before starting the incubation process, it is better to take out their refrigerator and leave it to lie down for several days at room temperature.
Also, it is permissible to increase the germination ability of the species Artemia salina when processing with hydrogen peroxide. For this, the eggs are soaked in a 3% solution and left there for 15-20 minutes. After that, they must be washed with water and transferred to an incubator. Also, some aquarists practice the option in which they leave some of the eggs to dry for further laying in portions. It is worth noting that in the absence of a refrigerator, this option is very good.
Once the dormancy period is completed, it is necessary to proceed directly to the incubation process itself. To do this, take the eggs and send them to the Artemia incubator, shown in the photo below. As a rule, the structure of incubators can vary significantly. The main thing is not to forget that the following must be included in the number of main components:
- Salt solution.
It is worth emphasizing that aeration should be done in such a way as not to give even the slightest opportunity for the eggs to settle to the bottom. Also, we must not forget that the breeding of brine shrimp succeeded, it is necessary to constantly light the incubator. If the air temperature is below normal, then it is advisable to transfer the incubator to the insulated box. As a rule, the ideal temperature range is 28-30 degrees. If the temperature is slightly higher then the crustaceans can hatch much faster, but they will also swiftly and end, thereby violating all the plans of the aquarist.
The final stage
The crustaceans that came to light spend the first time to free the eggs from the shell, as shown in the photo below. They are so reminiscent of paratroopers at this moment that most aquarists call this stage the “parachute” stage. It is also worth noting that at this stage the feeding of fry is strictly prohibited in order to exclude from them even the slightest chance of clogging the intestines. But the period of the “parachute” does not last long, and as soon as the crustacean is released from the shell and begins to move actively, it can be used as food for fry.
The only thing that can cause inconvenience is his capture, given the swiftness of his movement. Therefore, turn off the purge and illuminate one of the corners in the incubator. It should be noted that the crustacean of brine shrimp, excellent in positive phototaxis, will definitely go into the light, which will not only organize them for feeding the fish, but will also help distinguish active crustaceans from those who are still in the parachute stage.
There is also another method designed to filter out crustaceans. For this purpose, the beveled bottom at the incubator is ideal. Further, as soon as the purge is turned off, empty egg shells instantly float up, leaving those eggs that did not hatch at the bottom. The crustaceans themselves accumulate in large quantities in the pallet layer, from where they can be collected without any problems by taking a siphon. Further, all that remains is net filtering. You can also pour fresh water, but it already depends on the type of fish, in the feed of which Artemia was prepared.