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hatchers for artemia, rotifers, etc
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ZM Brine shrimp

An introduction to the highly successful ZM fish foods.

Grow your own livefood!

Hatching and growing your own brineshrimp is very easy. Existing customers are using newly hatched brine shrimp alongside the ZM fry feeds to encourage an active feeding response and to provide a variety in diet.

Once you have the basic equipment you can order cysts and hatch your own brineshrimp whenever you need them. If you wish to grow larger shrimp we have both the food and equipment to do this; your fish will have food as fresh as possible and you'll save money on prepared alternatives.

With newly hatched brine shrimp it is critical to collect and feed them to the fish as soon as possible (within 6-8hrs) before too much of the yolk sac is used. The above photos show the umbrella stage of an Artemia about to hatch, a mix of cysts, umbrella stage nauplii, and fully hatched nauplii at approx. 0.5mm long, followed by an adult Artemia at approx. 15mm long.

For those requiring smaller livefeed we can now offer both freshwater and marine strains of rotifer cysts to start up cultures. For best results the rotifers should be fed with live algae that you have cultured in advance; alternatively use the algae/yeast based liquid invert feed also available through our online catalogue.

ZM Brine shrimp Cysts

All our Premium Grade brine shrimp (Artemia salina) stocks are sourced from the Great Salt Lakes, Utah, U.S. Brineshrimp cysts are approximately 200 micron in diameter and newly hatched brine shrimp measure approximately 500 microns.

Our 500g (17.6oz) packs are 10+% larger than 15 and 16oz tins currently available and a discount is currently available on a case of 6 x 500g packs.

For many years Utah has been the principle source for brineshrimp cysts and the quality of the cysts, collection techniques, processing, and packaging procedures are well established. Over the last ten years the market prices of brine shrimp cysts has fluctuated due to large demand and environmental factors such as excessive salinity affecting breeding. To protect future stocks from overfishing the twice-annual harvest is closely monitored and closed early if necessary.

The two photos to the right show how basic Artemia technology has evolved. Originally the chemical process of decapsulation was developed to limit the issue of unhatched cysts or cases being harvested and accidentally being fed to the fish.

The normal decap process is as follows:

Cyst hydration: 1.5hrs

Cysts drained & partially dried: 30mins

Chemical preparation and treatment: 20mins

Decap wash, drain, and rinse: 30mins

Decap transfer to trays and drying: 4-6hrs

The polarised cysts represent the 21st Century step forward whereby no decapsulation is necessary and just an additional 10-15min process is required to yield a near 100% cyst-free preparation.

This patented technology is based on an iron oxide coating on the cysts, normal hydration, incubation, hatching, and harvesting followed by a simple pass through a dedicated magnetic collector.

For the small scale user a special magnetic collector is available however most of the serious facilities and public aquaria are using the larger tube collector.

Cost-wise, the polarised cysts are comparable in price with the Premium Grade cysts. Where this technology comes into its own is the improvement in food quality being offered. The normal decapsulation technique has so many steps that can vary from operator to operator, chemicals used, chemical reaction time and temperature that can all result in affecting the hatchability and shelf-life. Apart from the costs and Health and Safety issue of chemical use and disposal it is the labour savings that stand out. Based on our own experience 26 days a year are immediately saved by switching to polarised cysts.

Brine shrimp hatchers and strainers

This hatcher design is based on much larger systems used in aquaculture where efficient incubation and quick harvesting procedures are vital. Your fish will benefit from cleaner hatched shrimp and fewer egg cases that can kill young fry if ingested.

The principle features are the tapered cone for efficient aeration of the water column and the collection valve in the base to drain off the newly hatched brineshrimp. Anyone fed up with using old pop bottles or the minature in tank designs will be relieved with how easy these hatchers are to use.

The hatcher comes complete with stand, cover lid, rigid and flexible airtube, air control valve, and collection beaker. The other items required are an air pump, a quality synthetic marine salt such as our ZM Marine Salt, and a small 25w thermostatically controlled heater with mountingfeet to heat the water to 26-28 deg. C.

For the serious fish breeder these hatchers are often used in pairs or more and set up on alternate days so a daily supply of newly hatched baby shrimp can be harvested.

Brine shrimp enrichment

For many marine species enriched Artemia is essential to complete early development - for many freshwater species they will benefit from the additional nutrition with improved health and growth rates. To maximise the nutritional value of Artemia in the hatchery you have 2 easy options available: use of Special Grade cysts or a HUFA enrichment for 22-24hrs after hatching. Special Grade Artemia have the added benefit of being smaller allowing earlier feeding than allowed with normal nauplii. Both techniques have already been proven for commercial aquaculture and have immediate applied use in specialist hatcheries. The following movie shows the HUFA enrichment in the gut and body of the nauplii.

Nauplii with HUFA enrichment: