Feeding Fish Fry

day old baby brine shrimp trigger fish fry hunting instinct

Feeding Fish Fry baby brine shrimp to fish fry is a common and nutritious option. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Obtain brine shrimp eggs: Purchase brine shrimp eggs from a reputable source. You can find them at pet stores or online. Make sure the eggs are of good quality and have a high hatching rate for feeding fish fry.
  • Hatch the brine shrimp: To hatch the brine shrimp, you’ll need a hatching setup. Use a small container, like a glass jar or plastic bottle. Fill it with dechlorinated water, preferably at a salinity of 25-35 parts per thousand (ppt). Add the brine shrimp eggs for feeding fish fry according to the recommended amount.

Feeding Fish Fry

  • Aerate and light the hatching container: Place an air stone or air-driven sponge filter in the container to provide aeration. This helps keep the water oxygenated for feeding fish fry and prevents the brine shrimp or sea monkeys  from settling at the bottom. Also, provide a light source, such as a desk lamp or a dedicated aquarium light, to attract the shrimp towards it.
  • Maintain temperature and water quality: Brine shrimp hatch best at a temperature between 75-80°F (24-27°C). Monitor the temperature.  Privacy using a thermometer and make sure it stays within this range. Additionally, maintain good water quality by ensuring the water is clean and free from contaminants. Perform regular water changes if necessary.
  • Wait for hatching: Brine shrimp eggs typically hatch within 24-48 hours. During this time, the eggs will transform into nauplii, which are tiny brine shrimp larvae. They will be visible as small specks swimming in the water.
  • Harvest the brine shrimp: Once the brine shrimp nauplii have hatched, you can begin feeding them to your fish fry. Use a fine mesh net or a brine shrimp sieve to separate the nauplii from the hatching container. Rinse them gently with fresh water to remove any salt residue.
  • Feed the fish fry: Place the harvested brine shrimp nauplii into the aquarium or tank  once you begin feeding fish fry. The nauplii will be small enough to be readily consumed as you start feeding fish fry. Feed the fry multiple times a day, adjusting the amount based on the fish fry’s appetite. Be mindful not to overfeed, as excess food can lead to poor water quality each time you are feeding fish fry.
  • Use a pipet or medicine dropper to ‘catch’ some of the shrimp and transfer them with sufficient water into a petri dish for easy observation. To view the sea monkeys under microscope look at them closely with low power (10-30x) magnification.
  • What parts of the brine shrimp can you identify?  What are their swimming habits?
  • Eating habits?
  • How do they use their phyllopods? 

How do they respond to light?
If you can, compare the larval stage with the adult stage.
Keep track of your observations in a notebook and include sketches of the shrimp.

  • With a compound microscope, you can see a specimen at much higher magnification (40-400x). This will allow you to see details like the hairlike setae on the phyllopods.
  • Make a wet mount slide by adding 1-3 drops of water with a brine shrimp onto a concave slide, and placing a slide coverslip over it. You can keep track of your observations with our printable microscope worksheet.

    Brine Shrimp Experiments: Effect of pH and Environmental Changes

Learn about the effects of the surrounding conditions on brine shrimp!

  • To start, test the pH level in the brine shrimp’s tank water: ideal conditions are a pH of around 8, but no lower than 5 and no higher than 10. Use pH paper for the test. To raise the pH level in the tank, add a little bit of baking soda.

Discover more with a project where you change the tank environment by adding pollutants.

Transfer about an equal number of brine shrimp to several petri dishes to be your test samples. Try adding 1-3 drops of a different solution to the water in each petri dish: vegetable oil, soap, vinegar, ammonia, or anything else that comes to mind.

Observe the samples at low power magnification and record what’s going on. How do the pollutants affect the sample? Is there a difference visible in twenty minutes? One hour? Three? How might you counteract the pollutants?

You can also try hatching several batches of shrimp at a time, using different hatchery conditions for each batch.

Remember to always observe your feeding fish fry while adjusting the quantity of brine shrimp nauplii accordingly. As the fish grow, you may need to introduce larger food options to accommodate their size and nutritional needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you feed baby fish for healthy growth?

If you talk to experienced fish breeders or fish farms that breed massive numbers of fish, everyone agrees that the number one best food for feeding fish fry is baby brine shrimp (BBS).

Can I feed fish food to my brine shrimp?

YES! You can feed brine shrimp almost any type of food such as whey, yeast, commercial fry food, soybean powder, wheat flour, spirulina powder, fish meal, and even crumbled egg yolk.

How often should you be feeding fish fry?

Fish fry have tiny mouths and tiny stomachs, and similar to human babies, they need small amounts of food, regularly throughout the day. 3 - 5 times a day. Newly hatched fish fry come with a yolk sac that sustains them until they are free swimming and able to seek out food.

When should I start feeding fish fry baby brine shrimp?

ASAP! Baby brine shrimp are at their most nutritious when they first hatch. Over the next 12 hours, they begin to absorb their "baby fat" to grow.

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