Recommended Accessories for Brine Shrimp Hatchery
Thermometer - The one you need
Most aquarium thermometers are junk. You are lucky to get within 2 degrees F with most thermometers and they only last for 3 to 6 months before becoming even more inaccurate, so it is hard to tell what your water temperatures really are. We beleive every fish room should have a traceable thermometer. This means the thermometer is calibrated to international standards for proven and reliable accuracy. This thermometer from thomas is accurate to within +/- 0.4 degrees F and in our experience lasts for at least a few years.
We still purchase the cheap digital thermometers to constantly monitor our tanks and hatchers, we use this thermometer to detemrine how accurate the cheap thermomters are and simply adjust their readings to get a more accurate estimate of the actual temperature.
Thermometer - A decent JUNK thermometer
This is a cheap junk thermometer. If used by itself you will only have a rough idea of what temperature you are at, but by comparing the measuremets with the thermometer above you can, in essence, calibrate this thermometer to help you monitor your tank or hatcher on an on going basis. These do not last a real long time, 3 to 12 months typically, but sometimes longer, before they start reading even further from actual.
Brine Shrimp Eggs (Cysts)
AFB brine shrimp eggs are harvested from the utah salt lakes and advertise a 90% hatch rate. W ebeleive that since they ar enot subjected to trans pacific shipping as many eggs are they will ahve a more consistent hatch rate. They are also very cost effective, even if they are not part of the amazon prime system.
Brine Shrimp Net
There are a lot of different nets available, but you want to make sure you get a net with a very fine mesh otherwise you will loose some or all of your baby brine shrimp thru the netting when you are trying to collect them. A mesh of 200 micrometers or smaller is needed. The net from Penn Plex is the most commonly used net, but this one seems to have a finer mesh and therefore collects a higher percentage of your baby brine shrimp.
Refractometer for measuring salinity - This is what Greg at Select Aquatics Uses
There are several different types of meters for measuring salinity and we do not have a lot of experience with the different versions. However, Greg, who has been breeding fish for 40 years uses this type of measuring device and it is reasonably priced and simple to use. make sure you calibrate with distille dwate rprior to use.
Most air pumps will work fine and while we do not have extensive experience with a variety of air pumps, this is a best seller on amazon and we like that it is exceptionally quiet. It also comes with a control valve.
The gaskets have been tested for hundreds of cycles, but debris or burrs on the plug or bottle can ruin the gaskets sooner in some cases. This kit includes two pieces of each gasket and a simple tool to aide in the assembly of the smaller gasket.
Many pipe cleaners on the market are used for crafts and will not actually clean as well as these below. They have a stiffer metal wire and contain harder bristles that will actually clean the air channels of the base. Use them between hatchings to make sure the air channels are kept free of material that can dry and clog the system.
Used to clean out channels in the base in addition to or as an alternative to the pipe cleaners. Almost any compressed air will work, but there are different sized tubes that attach to the exits. The smaller, 2 mm diameter tubes that are usually red work better than the larger, 3 mm, yellow tubes because they fit right into the air nozzle tip on the base.
Ideally you want to hatch the brine shrimp in a room with a temperature of 78F or higher, but that is not always possible. But, before you buy a heater, you might also consider using a lamp to light the BSH and it is possible the heat from the light will be enough to heat the tank to the temperatures you need.
If you do need a heater, this is a small heater that you can set the temperature on. It can raise the temperature about 10 to 15 degrees if needed. Make sure the heater i snot resting against the 2L bottle as it may melt the bottle, but we hav enot seen this actually happen.
Also, make sure you turn the heater off before turning off the airflow on your BSH when ready to harvest. Without sufficient waterflow you may damage the brine shrimp near the heater.
As with most heaters on the market today, be careful as they are never the most reliable device in your system.
There are many of these on the market and most will work fine and can be found less expensively and some with higher magnifications. But, this is a good brand that we are familiar with and will do the job. Use this to check your hatch and determine your hatch rates.