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Siberian Artemia, vintage Sea-Monkeys + more; Brine shrimp blethers continued.
Topic Started: Feb 18 2018, 12:57 AM (250 Views)
notostracan
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Shrimp Lady
Hello again forum, occasional lurkers and members alike! ;)

It's been months since I've posted, as I've had a few things on my mind beside brine shrimp :o ...but I'm posting again now as I recently tried (and failed :lolD: ) to hatch out some vintage Sea-Monkeys. While my first attempt at reviving them wasn't successful, it spurred me on to buy a couple of more brine shrimp tanks and some different kinds of Artemia cysts, so it's time for more of my mad brine shrimp bletherings :P . Since my old thread was ruined by the evil Photobucket, I thought I'd make a new one with images that work (please don't betray us too Imgur!) That link will take you to my Artemia album on Imgur, I'll be trying again using the 1970/1996 no.2 "Instant Life" packets and will probably separate the cysts from the old salt/buffer/food mix in the sachet. In the meantime feel free to browse the pictures I took while trying to hatch out packets of Sea-Monkeys from the 70s and 90s.

I took a very quick and shaky video to show my current Artemia tanks here: https://youtu.be/yM_d3HjgaRQ

Currently I have a colony of "made and printed in China" by Big Time Toys Sea-Monkeys that have been living in a blue Ocean Zoo tank for a year and 4 months and also a "Marine Monsters" kit by a French company called Buki. The first thing I noticed when opening this kit is that it comes with the same feeding spoon as the Aqua Dragon kits. Looking at the style of packaging, the contents of the sachets and considering the very high hatch rate I've had (probably too many hatched just like with last time) - I think the "Marine Monsters" are from the same source of Artemia cysts as Aqua Dragons. Also, in the Amazon listing linked above, the product image actually shows the Marine Monsters box with a picture of an Aqua Dragons branded food sachet on the side, so believe Marine Monsters are the French version of Aqua Dragons. The main reason I went for this kit is the neat glow in the dark tank (reminds me of the old Sea-Monkey Magiquarium that used to be available).

I also have a tank with some alleged "Artemia NYOS" cysts I am hoping will hatch...but I've not had any luck recently with the old "made and printed in USA" by Transcience Corporation. As shown in the video above, the "made and printed in USA" sachet contents don't really dissolve properly and have clumps in the powder that just sink to the bottom without dissolving. You can also see how the blue dye in sachet no.2 "Instant Life" has discoloured the water compared to the Marine Monsters tank. If nothing hatches from this attempt, I will try again, but before then I will use the green Ocean Zoo for some San Francisco Bay strain Artemia.

On the way to me in the post now are some Artemia cysts from Lake Kulundinskoye in Siberia (source) and the aforementioned San Francisco Bay strain Artemia (source), I have a spare Ocean Zoo ready for the Siberian Artemia too and will be keeping a log in this thread ^_^ .

Current set-up:
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Edited by notostracan, Mar 2 2018, 03:21 AM.
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notostracan
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Shrimp Lady
Wow, is it time for another post already!? :o

For now I have given up waiting for the official "made and printed in USA" Sea-Monkeys to hatch, over the past few years, I've tried 3 or 4 times with these sachets with no luck. I'm not alone - Amazon.co.uk don't even sell the Sea-Monkey blister packs in the UK anymore, they are withdrawn them for sale on Amazon.co.uk. One quick look at the reviews tells you why: Amazon listing.

As a typical example, here's an excerpt from Amazon customer Squellewelle's review, which describes the same experience I had:
Quote:
 
I added the purifying packet to my container of distilled water, and after waiting 24 hours I poured in the eggs, but immediately noticed something off. Imagine my consternation when, instead of the clear brine that provides a sanctuary for the charming happy creatures therein, the water turned bright blue! I'd heard that sometimes the sea monkeys have dye added to their water to make them show up more clearly but I'd never seen it before. The water was also full of dust and debris, with large green speckles of algae, and the eggs sunk straight to the bottom and stayed there, where they've remained, motionless, ever since, despite proper aeration and warmth.

I still have an an unopened 2013 imported by Peterkin blister pack so will probably eventually separate the cysts from the other rubbish they put in and hatch them in optimal conditions, as I've also said I would eventually do for the vintage cysts...

In the meantime I have put some standard cheap Utah Great Salt Lake strain cysts in the tank to see if they differ from the "made and printed in China" Sea-Monkeys. I purchased the cysts about a year ago on eBay from Aquabuy, this means the cysts have been harvested in the USA, shipped to Australia and then to the UK. I suspect they import a lot of Great Salt Lake Artemia into China as that seems to be the cheapest worldwide source at the moment (this may change in the future...), so these could be the exact same strain as the "made and printed in China" Sea-Monkeys (which from now on I am just going to call "Chinese" even if they aren't really). Due to the age of the cysts, the extensive traveling they have done, and my relatively poor storage methods (in a cardboard box in my bedroom within a small zip-lock bag, constantly fluctuating room temperature). I'll update this thread to let you know how this hatching goes too :) .

I still have waaaay too many Marine Monsters and am not sure what to do with them :unsure: . Last time I hatched out too many Aqua Dragons I split them up into different containers, but I don't really want 2 or 3 jars of the same brine shrimp as I kinda have too many already :lolD: . The only other alternative is feeding some to my fish...which despite having hatched out brine shrimp exclusively for feeding baby fish in the past...just feels wrong. These brine shrimp are my babies! :hearts:

I will feed them another scoop of Marine Monsters powdered food tonight, and will be receiving some live Tetraselmis phytoplankton for feeding them during the week. Sadly I know many won't make it, but I'm trying to grow the maximum number of healthy shrimp to adulthood and will update this thread to let you know how it goes. For now here's a sweet picture showing the Buki Marine Monsters tank glowing at night:
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Will update soon with more ramblings, thanks for reading! :thankyousign:
Edited by notostracan, Feb 20 2018, 02:48 AM.
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notostracan
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Shrimp Lady
Got sent home early from work due to snow - so I had time for brine shrimp stuff tonight :D .

Thought I'd just clarify my current (and soon-to-be) set-ups, as I have a few now, as well as a few other points!

For instance I'd like to note that I am aiming for about 35ppt (seawater) salinity for all of these tanks, as the studies I've seen all indicate this results in the best growth rates for brineshrimp, and this is the salinity the phytoplankton I add comes at. To hatch pure cysts and do water changes I use course sea salt with a tad of magnesium sulphate and a smidgen of sodium bicabonate (to buffer/increase pH), I add this to the cheapest bottled spring water I can find then use a marine refractometer to test and adjust the salinity. Over time as water evaporates and I keep adding phytoplankton, the salinity increases, so every now and then I test the salinity and adjust accordingly through water changes. Another point to note is the temperature in my room generally varies between 16-23*C, and the highest temperature I've seen any brine shrimp tank at is 26*C (due to the heat from the florescent desk lamp).

Btw, I'll update this particular post with more pictures over the coming weeks as things develop :) .

Buki Marine Monsters tank - Set up 18th February 2018. This is the neat glow-in-the-dark tank in the above picture. Stated by the manufacturer to be Artemia salina just like Aqua Dragons, I'm going to call these Artemia sp. "Marine Monsters". I suspect that they are from the exact same source as Aqua Dragons, and I guess they are most likely collected in Utah from Great Salt Lake as this seems to be the cheapest source of Artemia cysts at the moment. As I said in my previous post, the hatch rate was way too high in my particular conditions so the tank is overstocked. The tank water is also currently green because I overfed live phytoplankton. Quite a few of them have definitely died, but there are at least 30 still in there. I'll be doing a small (~100ml) water change after this post to remove any gunk at the bottom and hopefully clear the water a bit. I'm not feeding more until the water ihas been clearer for at least a day.

Blue Ocean Zoo #1 - Made in China (Big Time Toys) Sea-Monkeys, set up 5th of September 2016. I have just moved them away from the florescent bulb on the chest of drawers back to the windowsill with a less stable temperature to make room for more brine shrimp tanks (they have thrived there for over a year so I'm sure they're comfortable).

Blue Ocean Zoo #2 - Not set up yet, will try top hatch some apparent Artemia parthenogenetica. This may really be a parthenogenetic population of a different species, and I prefer to label brine shrimp based on their source/collection location, so I'll probably call this Artemia cf. parthenogenetica "Aquaristika.de" as I have no idea of the collection location. I will probably email them to ask them the source of the cysts at some point, but they haven't sold these cysts for years so I will wait until they hatch before I bother them. The cysts have been sitting in a box in my warm room for even longer, so I really hope I actually can get them to hatch! If not...I'm sure I'll find another strain to try :lolD: .
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Green Ocean Zoo - Artemia sp. "Great Salt Lake", from Utah, USA and set up on the 20th of February 2018. Just like the Marine Monsters tank, this tank is overstocked and green. I totally failed at judging the right amount of cysts to add, and I think some many shrimp have died as a result :( . This tank is also due a ~100ml water change, and I also won't be feeding them until the water is clearer.

Yellow Ocean Zoo - Artemia sp. "Lake Kulundinskoye", set up on the 25th of February 2018. Brine shrimp from Siberia, I previously looked into this strain hoping they would hatch well at the low October temperatures on my windowsill, although now I have the tanks set up next to a florescent bulb this is less important. I have a (for my purposes) huge 50g bag of these cysts in the fridge now, I thought I could judge the right amount to put in this time but still ended up with too many nauplii haha. Still, I put in less cysts than I did with the Artemia sp. "Great Salt Lake", and have also fed less phytoplankton. As a result, the water is relatively clear and they also seem to be growing faster then the Great Salt Lake shrimp and Marine Monsters. Depending on weather conditions, I may be away this weekend, and if so I'll feed them some dry Marine Monster food before I go (I have a feeling my live phytoplankton will either be delayed in the post or arrive frozen solid this time...).
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Pirate Treasure Red Ocean Zoo - This seems to have been previously marketed as the Sea-Monkeys Ghostly Galleon kit, but UK distrubuter Peterkin are marketing this tank differently. Got for 8.99 posted on eBay, it's a translucent red Ocean Zoo tank that comes with with an LED torch that can be clipped into the lid, and a glow-in-the-dark sunken pirate ship - love it! It also came with a pink Aqua-Leash, which will be very useful for moving adult shrimp and possibly cleaning gunk from the tanks (although my 10ml printer refill syringe probably does a better job at cleaning). Anyway, I have literally just set this tank up for some Artemia sp. "San Francisco Bay" (California, USA) I'm using Sally's Hatch Mix to do so but adding the aforementioned salts to bring the salinity up to 35ppt and raise/buffer pH. This strain of Artemia has smaller nauplii than most others (making them especially sought after for feeding fish fry) and slightly different salinity preferences compared to Great Salt Lake brine shrimp. I think I may have added too many cysts again... Here's the tank (I'll post a glow-in-the dark picture soon):
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2L spring water bottle - I use this for the waste water and "gunk" removed when cleaning the above tanks, sometimes I will accidentally suck up baby shrimp without realising so I decided to dump all of the old water here. This contains a mix of the above brine shrimp strains, I keep this on my generally colder (unless the fire's on) living room windowsill and generally pay less attention to it. The water is cloudy right now but if it clears I'll feed them some Marine Monsters food. I've been thinking of getting a bigger tub or plastic fish tank for these guys and putting outside in the sun during late spring/summer, we shall see.

Again, thanks for reading my ramblings ^_^ . More pictures to come!


Edited by notostracan, Mar 1 2018, 02:43 AM.
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notostracan
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Shrimp Lady
Well, the other day I discovered that Aqua Dragons in Space are a thing, and couldn't help but get some! :D

Here is the Kickstarter that got the mission off the ground (sorry lol): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1331547843/aqua-dragons-in-space

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Above is a still image taken from the flight my Aqua Dragons were on, you can see more of the flight (including takeoff and landing) in this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xFN2KEUb90

Basically, a payload of Artemia cysts were sent into the mesosphere on a high-altitude helium balloon and recovered after parachuting back to Earth. It's a straight-forward gimmick, but I think it is a fantastic idea and I hope these kits will encourage many children (and even adults) to be more interested in aerospace and/or biology.

I believe this product line was likely inspired by the old Sea-Monkey Space Shuttle Expedition kits that used to be available in the late 90's and early 00's, I remember wanting one of those tanks very much as a kid! In 1998, astronaut John Glenn took a bunch of Sea-Monkeys cysts with him on Space Shuttle mission STS-95 and hatched them with no issue when he returned to Earth. Transcience Corp. ran with this marketing opportunity and designed a Space Shuttle shaped tank with LED lights to be sold with regular Sea-Monkey eggs. Some may be reading this and thinking "Sea-Monkeys have been to outer space while Aqua Dragons have only been to the mesosphere", but remember you could never buy the Sea-Monkeys that were sent to space, while the limited edition Astro Pet range includes Aqua Dragon cysts that were actually sent to the mesosphere and you can even watch a 360* video of the mission. That's pretty cool in my book ^_^ .

I got the Aqua Dragons Live Astro Pets Deluxe set as it came with a "pipette" cleaning tool that looks very much like the Sea-Monkey Aqua Leash (but is bigger and much better quality than the Sea-Monkey tool) and the glow-in-the-dark tank has blue LEDs in the base which should look pretty sweet at night. It also come with a cheap stick-on thermometer that doesn't fit on the tank, but I think was a brilliant idea to include as temperature is one of the most important factors when hatching Artemia, and I know of no other kit that includes one. The feeding spoon is also glow-in-the-dark - in case you haven't noticed I happen to really like glow-in-the-dark things hehe.

I started the tank yesterday on 17/03/18 and 24+ hours later, I've had a very high hatch rate so probably have waaay too many shrimp in the tank now, as always seems to happen when I hatch Aqua Dragons :lolD: .

Quick picture for now, showing 5/6 of my current brine shrimp tanks under an 11w 2700k fluorescent bulb that I'll be upgrading soon (so I can fit even more brine shrimp tanks around the bulb lol):

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I'm still brine shrimp crazy at the moment (I find them to be a therapeutic distraction from lives tribulations) so will certainly be making more obsessive posts soon ;) .
Edited by notostracan, Mar 18 2018, 11:47 PM.
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Technoduck
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Last time I had sea monkeys was more than 4 years ago. I lived in Beijing, and after months of waiting, they only became visible to me ON THE DAY I WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR HOLIDAY WITH MY FAMILY. I woke up that morning and checked the jar one last time, only to find two brown specks swimming around my jar. Needless to say, they didn't survive the 2 week trip. I came back to 2 brown stains on my sea monkey castle.

https://imgur.com/a/6wixN
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notostracan
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Shrimp Lady
Thanks for the reply Technoduck :D . Sorry to hear about your Sea-Monkeys, that sucks! The Magic Castle tank is so cool though, it was my first Sea-Monkey tank as a kid, I'll probably get another one when I can find one on eBay that isn't too expensive . They are out of production, so going for 50+ on Amazon/eBay, I can order them a cheaper from the US, but the last time I did that for Sea-Monkeys I got hit with import taxes making it about the same price lol. Do keep hold of your Magic Castle tank for future use/selling on eBay ;) .

I've been too busy for detailed posts, but still have lots of thriving brine shrimp ^_^ .

I'll be posting more Artemia blethers soon with details and updates on specific tanks, but for now this is just a quick update showing my current tanks with phone pics.

This is the current cluster of various brine shrimp tanks I have arranged around a 35w daylight bulb:
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(Wine is a useful tool in raising brine shrimp/aquarium maintenance - it works by furthering enjoyment and therefore motivation to do water changes/filter cleans :lolD: ).

Here is my new 10l tank full of Artemia sp. "San Francisco Bay", set up on 27/03/18 so just over a week old:
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(Here is a video, I will be posting a tank log for this tank, as I've been making notes with pen/paper and taking photos from the beginning on my proper camera :) .)

And here is my older Sea-Monkey tank, set up 05/09/16 and still thriving:
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(Photobomb from my Lithops hehe. The other day I also took a kinky video of the Sea-Monkeys in this tank too, showing two males competing for the same female.)

The only other brine shrimp I have at the moment are in a 2l bottle on my living room windowsill, this colony is also thriving. They are a mix of all the different types I have, as I used the 2l bottle for water removed from the other tanks that may have contained nauplii. I'll post a picture or video later, as it looks pretty bad right now, so I should probably change the water and clean it a bit first. When it gets warmer I may use this colony to start a bigger outdoor Artemia colony in a bigger volume of water.

That's all for now, thanks for reading/skimming :D .
Edited by notostracan, Apr 6 2018, 11:13 PM.
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notostracan
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Shrimp Lady
Quick update, the old blue Sea-Monkey tank set up 05/09/16 is no longer thriving :( . I think with the temperature getting warmer, being above the radiator on the windowsill was too warm, I checked on them a couple of days ago and there were none left. I could have probably just changed the water and waited for more cysts to hatch, but as I already have 8 other brine shrimp tanks, I decided to clean and store the this one for now.

The San Francisco Bay Strain Artemia in the big tank (actually 12 litres, not 10) are still doing great and reproducing, although the sides are covered in algae so they are due another tank clean soon. When I get round to cleaning it I may post before and after pics and explain how I clean the tank and change the water without harming the shrimp - it's kinda awkward as the shrimp are so small and fragile :lolD: .

I'll probably dump a bunch of images of my current tanks with some ramblings about Artemia again soon, right now I'm about to start some Korean "Sea-Monkeys":

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