Hatching Guide

After Assembly of the Hatcher is complete, you will need the following items;

  1.  Water - Regular tap water will generally work fine.  It does not even need to be dechlorinated.  The aeration eliminates the chlorine before the eggs are hatched and it can even help to breakdown the shells.  

    a.  Water Temperature - a temperature of 80F to 82F is ideal and should result in a 24 hr hatching time with maximum hatching rates.  Lower temperatures down to about 76F will work as well, just with a slower hatching time, mor elike 36 hrs.  

    b.  Water pH - Most tap water will work fine, typical range of between 7.5 and 8.5.  If you have a lower pH and your hatch rates are poor, you can try an additive to increase your pH to 8, but this is generally not needed.    

  2.  Salt - Standard Iodized Table Salt works great and is easy to measure with the included spoon, but almost any salt will work fine.  Larger salt crystals, like rock salt, are less dense and will require more salt to achieve the correct salinity.  

  3.  Brine Shrimp Eggs (Or Cysts) - most any eggs will work, but best to use 90% or 95% hatch rate eggs.

   4.  Lighting - The cysts(eggs) require light to hacth and should be in an area with moderate to strong lighting for the duration of the process.  If you can set a lamp next to the hatcher, that will provide ample light.

  5.  Air pump - a standard aquarium air pump will work.  It is best to have a control valve to regulate air flow, but for smaller pumps this may not be needed.

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Hatching Process

      1.  Insure that the Plug is tightened and your lights are on.

      2.  Add 6.5 Cups of water and stabilze to a temrpeature between 76F and 82F.  Either room temeprature or with an added heater.   Check for leaks at this time.  See FAQ if there are leaks.

      3.  Add one spoonful (2TBSP) of fine grain salt, such as table salt.  If larger grain salt is used, more salt will be required.  Stir if needed.  Specific gravity of 1.018 is ideal.  

      4.  Add up to one Spoonful (2 TSP) of Cysts (Eggs).  Less can be used for smaller sized batches. 

      5.  Attach and turn on air pump to facilitate mixture of the salt and water.  Air flow should create enough turbulance to mix components thoroughly, but not so much that you get splahing over the sides of the 2L bottle

      6.  After 24 hrs at 80F to 82F, the mixture should look something like this, although if you used fewer eggs, it will not be so dark.  To be sure, you can place a small amout of the mixture on a white paper towel and look under 10X magnification.  You should see live brine shrimp with unhatched eggs and shells mixed in.  Eggs are the dark dots.  The unhatched shells will look similar but be lighter in color.

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Note:  A 5/8" OD Hose can be inserted into the exit drain for convienient harvesting.

      10.  Mix the shrimp with fresh aquarium water and feed to your fish. 

 

      11.  Empty Water and Rinse Hatchery.  Do not reuse water.

      7.  Once the eggs are ready to harvest, turn off the air for 5 minutes.  The shrimp will sink and the shells will float.

      8.  Turn the plug counterclockwise to open slowly and allow the shrimp to drain out into your brine shrimp net.  At this stage you can place a sample on a white paper towel and use an eyelook with 10X mag to check your hatch rate.  It is labor intensive, but by taking a sample and counting live shrimp versus unhatched eggs you can detemrine your hatch rate.

      9.  Once the shrimp have drained and before the shells begin to flush out, close the plug by turning clockwise.  You do not need to drain all the water and can continue to harvest shrimp for another 12 hrs, although do not use the top fo the water as it will be mostly shells.