How to Breed Brine Shrimp

Updated April 17, 2017

Brine shrimp are a staple food for many types of fish. They can be bred as a live food population for carnivorous pet fish. They are also fun to keep as pets in their own right. Popularly called "sea monkeys," brine shrimp are easy pets to breed and to take care of.

Set up a full aquarium. Some companies sell kits that include small plastic enclosures for brine shrimp, but to keep a breeding population healthy, you will need an aquarium of at least 5 gallons, a pump and a filter.

Keep the tank at about 26.7 degrees C. Use an aquarium tank thermometer and monitor the temperature once a day. It’s important with brine shrimp not to give them too much light or they will hover near the light and will be less inclined to breed. Keep enough light to warm the tank, but if a low light is not enough, install a heater rather than getting a brighter bulb.

Maintain a clean tank in order to keep the brine shrimp healthy. With brine shrimp, cleaning the tank every 2 weeks will not be enough for optimal health. Each week, replace about 25 per cent of the tank’s water.

Start off a brine shrimp population with a package of dried embryos. These are readily available in pet shops and hobby shops and will develop into brine shrimp after you place them in your aquarium. If a local pet store doesn’t carry brine shrimp packets, check a toy store for sea monkey kits.

Wait until the brine shrimp have matured before they begin to breed. After about a week, thy will be old enough to start breeding with each other. They do not need any assistance and will readily breed as long as there are males and females together. If you have used a packet of dried embryos, there will be both males and females that result.

Watch the tank for baby brine shrimp. The babies will hatch within a couple of days and the females will then lay more eggs. A female can breed every 4 days, so get ready for plenty of baby brine shrimp once you have an adult breeding population.

Feed the babies a commercial brine shrimp food. These can be found in most pet stores and contain the type of very small algae that brine shrimp can ingest.

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