February 05, 2015

Fairy Shrimp: From Cysts to Napulii

I decided to grow Fairy Shrimp.

Fairy Shrimp are actually Brine Shrimp (Artemia), which have been marketed as either Sea Monkey's or Aqua Dragons. Kits with everything needed to hatch and raise these little aliens can be purchased at big box stores, but I'm more of a DIY kinda gal. Plus, I just couldn't justify spending $15+ on it.

I found a local seller and purchased a little 6g baggie of eggs. I didn't think there would be very many, maybe enough for a couple of batches...but I was so wrong. For $2, I probably got a couple hundred thousand eggs. They are so tiny! About the size of grain of salt.

I started off with a plastic container then added about a cup and a half of distilled water and a tablespoon of sodium chloride (pure salt) and a pinch of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Once that was all dissolved, I added a pinch of Artemia eggs and mixed. Stirring ever few hours to keep them hydrated.

For the eggs to hatch, they need warmth and light. I put the entire container under a lamp.

If the conditions are right, the eggs will burst allowing the napulii to hang from the egg while still attached their clear sack. It's kind of gross and a little fascinating!

About 15 hours later, they'll wiggle out and all of a sudden there will be little orange things fluttering around everywhere. They move non stop.

Empty egg shells float to the top.

Some hatch at different rates, so I've been keeping the container warm.

While it's super fun to basiclaly drop eggs into water, go to sleep and wake up to living things in a container, I've already accidentally killed two batches. Once because I overfed them and the second I over heated. I also used the wrong kind of salt- iodized sea salt.

Wish me luck with these little guys! 

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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