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I know nothing!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rising from the ashes of failure.... Success.. even if accidental...


This is a small victory, but thought I'd share incase anyone out there wants to do this themselves.

I have a dream, that dream is to start a small coral and fish breeding farm.

After reading many books on the subject, the general consensus is/was (books might be out of date by now, this hobby changes so fast) that to raise most young fish, you need to set up a "Food Factory" so you have enough of the right sized foods availible of hatchlings. This starts with several jugs of water to grow micro algea. This is simple enough, and with a shot of DT live (Nannochloropsis) I was soon on my way. I had several different sized containers including a 5 gallon water jug, and a 1 1/2 gallon clear glass vase (the kind people put the small fish under a living plant into). I soon had all the Nannochloropsis I needed. then the next phase is to feed the Nannochloropsis to rotifers. well, the rotifers failed. and so did the Brine shrimp. I've tried several times to raise Brine shrimp. I've read artical after artical, website after website with plans and drawings on all sorts of gizmos and contraptions, pumps and filters, and very complex setups designed to make raising brine shrimp easy. They have all failed me. Well after loosing the rotifers, and the brine shrimp, I gave up. This was about three months ago that I pulled the plug on the pump that was in the 1 1/2 gallon container of dark green micro algea. well, as a homeowner, and the tanks are in the "plant room" I got busy and the 1 1/2 gallon jug got pushed behind some plants and forgotton while more important choirs were taken care of. This jug was mostly covered, and as such evaporation was very slow. I was cleaning in the plant room getting it ready for the houseplants that have spent the summer outside, when I spotted the jug. I though to myself as I spotted it, "I need to dump that", and as I reached for it, I realised that there were things moving in it. my next thought was "I didn't think mosquitoes could live in salt...." But as I looked closer, I realised that in this now gallon of salt water, what I was seeing was adult brine shrimp. several of them, happy and healthy. This seriously shocked me, as I don't remember ever adding brine shrimp, eggs or otherwise to this container. Somehow it go contaminated with brineshrimp.
Now I just need to adapt this method to a larger scale, first I'm goung to try a 5 gallon bucket and if that works, then 40 or 50 gallon container of sorts. if I can get enough to grow, I might be able to supply the lfs with fresh brine shrimp.
 

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Pretty In Pink
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3,288 Posts
Sounds great - gotta find a way to help support the hobby. The last time I grew Brine Shrimp, was a little kid. Didn't know what I was doing, just made some salt solution, added the eggs and placed it in a window for the sun to warm it. In no time there a jar full. Now with a little more kowledge, and heaters, refracto, salt - can't even get them to grow. :doh:
I read on RC - that DT's is/has been mixing the phyto and therefore made it impossible to use as a starter to grow phyto at home.


good luck
 

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Retired Wanderer
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17,270 Posts
Christy and I tried brine shrimp twice with the upside down two liter bottle and an aerator. Our sea monkeys did not last very long and now the fish get frozen once a week as a non-nutritious treat.

It seems like it is feast or famine with those things. Good luck on your project and with the research you are doing and the larger scale hopefully you will have a bejillion of them.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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5,916 Posts
If you search my user name and "Brine Shrimp" I'm sure you'll find a thread or two where I talked about my brine cultures. Long story short, I had a culture live for 2 years outdoors, summer and winter (froze over in winter, but mind you I'm way further south than you are), and it began with me hatching baby brine for baby seahorses, using the soda bottle cone method. When I did water changes in the seahorse nurseries, I threw the dirty water and uneaten live brine into a 5 g WHITE bucket (white reflects the sun better - orange Homer buckets don't do it), and as the culture grew, I divided it into another bucket and another til I had about 9 buckets on the go. Thrived on neglect. No feedings, no aeration, no filtration - pollen and other flotsam grew microalgae which fed the brine. Every time I needed a portion I would swoosh my net into a bucket or two, get a bunch and rinse under the tap and feed to whomever.


Again, search the archives I think there are more details there but IMO they thrive on neglect.

HTH

Jenn
 

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I know nothing!
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680 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The last time I grew Brine Shrimp, was a little kid. Didn't know what I was doing, just made some salt solution, added the eggs and placed it in a window for the sun to warm it. In no time there a jar full. Now with a little more kowledge, and heaters, refracto, salt - can't even get them to grow. :doh:
True... I remember doing that too... but then they were called Seamonkeys! I still remeber how dissapointed I was when they didn't have their gold crowns...

After finding a thriving adult brine community grown ing some waste water, I got thinking about why. The basic theory I came up with is that we try to overthink the situation. Brine shrimp are not found on the reef.

Now with a little more kowledge, and heaters, refracto, salt - can't even get them to grow.
The conditions that they thrive in are those that are almost the opposite of reef conditions. they like water that is loaded down with DOC and other food bits as they are constantly feeding. These contitions are not what we are used to providing. I also believe that these guys are very delicate, and that even just a bubbler can damage them. Every time I've tried in the past they do ok at first then quickly disappear. I believe it was the lack of aeration that allowed them to live. remember Seamonkeys didn't have a air pump.

I read on RC - that DT's is/has been mixing the phyto and therefore made it impossible to use as a starter to grow phyto at home.
ok, this is a mis-leading statement, one that the people at DT's don't want to dispell. From my understanding of how DT's is made, is that they have several Vats of individual culters, one of Nannochloropsis Oculata, one of N. Salina, and so on. Each of these are then collected, ran though a special centerfuge device to concentrate the Cell levels much higher than would be possible in growing conditions and then mixed with each other in purportions that I do not know, but so as to give a product that they feel is proper for as many filterfeeders as possible. So yes, it is impossible to recreate DT's product from simply dumping a capful into seawater. However, the Key Word from the Name of DT's Live Marine Phytoplankton is of couse LIVE. Anything that is alive can be grown. but as the current DT's formula contains 3 types of phytos, and those 3 types have different growth rates, and different growth requirements, most likely a culture started with DT's will soon be dominated by one of them, depending on the conditions provided. most likely one or two of them will fade to the background and exist in very small quanities or die out completely.
But yes DT's can be used to start a phyto culture, it just won't be the same as what you get in a bottle of DT's.


[Again, search the archives I think there are more details there but IMO they thrive on neglect.
/QUOTE]

Thanks Jenn, I do Beleive this to be true, and recent experiance seems to prove it out.

I had a culture live for 2 years outdoors, summer and winter (froze over in winter, but mind you I'm way further south than you are)
yeah, I plan on setting the buckets up in the basement under lights. with our -30*f winters the buckets, even a 55 gallon one would be frozen solid of about 3 months. Even to do a Koi pond I need a 4 ft pond and a heater.

Thanks all
Chris
 
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