Breeding - Hatching BBS (artemia)  

Baby brine shrimp (BBS)/artemia eggs are available in several brands and are usually packed in lithographed, vacuum cans. It is important to keep in mind that the quality differs from brand to brand, something which usually translates in the hatching percentage. I personally have very good experiences with the Salt Creek and OSI brands. As I usually buy a big can of eggs, I keep the biggest portion in the freezer but I always have a small portion ready in the refrigerator.

Artemia/BBS eggs have to be hatched in saltwater (similar density than sea water: 1,024 gram per cubic cm). To achieve this, + 2-2,5 small table spoons of salt (Iodide free) are added + 1,5 liter of water.
Tip: If you want to be sure, the density can be checked using a hydrometer which can be bought at most specialized aquariumshops.

A 1,5 liter plastic bottle can be easily used to hatch the artemia/BBS. Two small holes were drilled trough the cap of the bottle. One large air-tube and one short air-tube were put through these holes. The large one is connected to an air pump in order to get circulation in the water and the short one for aireation.  Fill this bottle with the salty water and the eggs can be added. At a room temperature of about 20-24 degrees Celsius most of the eggs will be hatched within 2-3 days. At higher temperatures, like during summertime, the eggs usually hatch a bit faster.

My artemia/BBS setup

The artemia/BBS can now be harvested! To do this the air circulation needs to be switched off for a short period. In order to gather all the hatched artemia/BBS a small lamp can be used. Leave the lamp shining on the bottle for about 5-10 minutes and you will see a small orange mass appearing  in front of the light. This orange mass of artemia/BBS can be easily sucked up using a small syringe and a short piece of tubing.

To loose the salt I personally always filter the collected artemia/BBS using a small glass bottle with a piece of panty on top but there are also special filters available to harvest the artemia/BBS. This way the artemia can be flushed using normal water. Now the artemia/BBS is ready for feeding!!

As artemia/BBS is most nutritious in the first days after hatching and the lifespan is limited, it is advisable to put up a new bottle of artemia/BBS every 3-5 days.

My filter setup

In my fishroom I always have 2 bottles running parallel with a time difference of about 3 days which makes sure there is always food available for the youngest fry in the fishroom.

 Artemia/BBS ready to be harvested
Artemia/BBS ready to be fed
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