Can Guppies Eat Brine Shrimp?
Guppies are some of the most common types of aquarium fish. Almost any fish keeper in the world had guppies at one point or another. These fish have a varied diet, and this diet includes brine shrimp.
Guppies treat brine shrimp as a delicacy, but it’s much safer to grow the shrimp yourself. Buying brine shrimp from the shop comes with its own risks.
In this article, you’ll learn how to prepare brine shrimp for your guppies, how to grow it, and how to make the best use of it. I’ll also tell you about the many benefits that guppies get from eating brine shrimp. Keep reading to find out more!
How to Make Brine Shrimp for Guppies?
Making the food yourself is both rewarding and advantageous in many ways. You know exactly where the brine shrimp come from. You’re also less likely to introduce harmful bacteria into the aquarium because you have full control over the hatching environment. Doing it yourself is also cheap, quick, easy, and efficient. And all you’ll need is just three things— the hatching equipment, the eggs, and the know-how. So, let’s get a closer look:
– Brine Shrimp Hatchery Kit
Preparing some brine shrimp doesn’t get any easier than this. With a handy brine shrimp hatchery kit, you can go from egg to shrimp in just a couple of days. And this setup is incredibly user-friendly. This makes it perfect for beginners and for experienced fishkeepers alike.
There are no pumps, tubes, wires, or extra machinery. All you need is this compact little dish and some shrimp eggs to hatch. This shallow and compact dish can fit enough shrimp to feed two tanks worth of fish. The screen and integrated filter cup keep the eggs and shrimp separated for easy harvest and cleanup.
Once hatched, the shrimp will gather into the filter cup by themselves. The top lid keeps the eggs shaded and lets ambient light fall only onto the filter cup, which attracts the shrimp to it without any extra steps required on your behalf. Finally, the light and compact design of this dish make the product very easy to store once you’re done.
– Brine Shrimp Eggs
Besides a hatching setup, you’re obviously going to need some brine shrimp eggs. There are a lot of such products on the market. However, not all of them are of good quality. For the best bang for your buck, I recommend buying only eggs with the highest hatching rate.
I always recommend this product for anyone asking about a good brand of brine shrimp eggs. These eggs come from a reputable source and they’re of top-notch quality with a 90% hatch rate. These Great Salt Lake Artemia cysts are produced, over-wintered, washed, dried, and tested in the US to meet the highest quality standards.
What is more, you get a good quantity for an affordable price, as each package contains 50 grams worth of eggs. The eggs come in a heat-sealed and resealable package. This helps maintain freshness for longer and makes this product perfect for bulk storage.
– Hatching the Brine Shrimp
When using a hatching dish, the entire process is as easy as adding the eggs in and waiting. However, there are some things you have to watch out for beforehand. Brine shrimp eggs have specific water quality requirements for hatching.
Be sure to check the package information on the eggs you’re going to use. The GSL eggs I recommended previously need a water temperature between 77-86°F, and a pH between 7.5-8.5. Let’s get a more in-depth look at the hatching requirements:
Salinity: The water salinity should be between 25-35 ppt. If you don’t have a hydrometer to measure the salinity of the water, you can prepare the water from scratch. Just mix 1 and 2/3 tablespoons of non-iodized salt in one quart of distilled water.
Temperature & lighting: Maintaining constant water temperature is crucial. Make sure the temperature doesn’t drop or rise outside the 77-86°F range, otherwise the eggs will hatch slower or not at all. The easiest way to maintain a high temperature while avoiding overheating is with an incandescent bulb.
Just let the light shine down onto the hatching dish. Using lighting as a heat source has the bonus of supporting hatching in other ways. Brine shrimp eggs need light to trigger the hatching process early on during incubation.
Alkalinity: Maintaining a slightly alkaline water pH is also important for successfully hatching the eggs. If the water you have access to has a pH below 7.5, you can use magnesium sulfate to increase the water’s alkalinity.
Aeration: Aeration is also important when hatching brine shrimp eggs, depending on your setup. I don’t really use anything special when using the hatchery dish I talked about. I and many other users have found a great success rate without any additional equipment or aeration.
Density: Finally, remember to keep an eye on the stocking density. Adding too many eggs at once will lead to a lower hatching rate. Stick to 1 gram worth of cysts per 1 quart of water. This should provide enough space for the nauplii to hatch, exit the shell, and move into the filter cup.
If you manage to maintain optimal water pH and temperature and provide enough lighting and space, the eggs should hatch in as little as 18 hours. Older or lower-quality eggs might take up to 36 hours.
Benefits of Guppies Eating Brine Shrimp
It’s advised to offer your guppies a varied diet consisting of a combination of fresh, dried, frozen, and live food. Including brine shrimp into their diet will keep things different and exciting. But besides the novelty factor, there are some other benefits of feeding brine shrimp to your guppies.
First, freshly hatched brine shrimp offer an incomparable nutritional punch. These baby shrimp are full of protein and they also contain a good dose of healthy fatty acids. They’re also full of b-vitamins and minerals. Brine shrimp provide complete nutrition that helps your fry grow faster. They also keep the adults healthy and satisfied.
Besides nutrition, they’re very good for guppies in other ways. Brine shrimp, especially freshly hatched, are easy to digest. They’re very unlikely to upset your guppies’ stomachs, even if eaten in a higher quantity.
Eating brine shrimp doubles as a fun activity for your guppies. There’s just something special about seeing the squiggly little shrimp moving around that really piques guppies’ interest. They love swimming and chasing the shrimp while feeding.
Finally, feeding your guppies live brine shrimp is also great for the water quality. Unlike flakes or pellets, shrimp won’t slowly dissolve into the water. They can live for quite a bit when introduced into the tank. So, even if some are left uneaten for a few hours, they won’t spike the ammonia levels in the tank.
How Long do Brine Shrimp Live?
The answer varies depending on their living conditions. If kept in the hatching dish without aeration, they live for just a few hours. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in the dish after hatching. I only hatch a small quantity and feed them to the fish right away.
You can also store the extra shrimp in the refrigerator or any cold spot. They should last for 2-3 days in such conditions. They might die due to the lower temperatures and lack of proper water parameters. But the cold will keep them fresh and good for feeding for the time being.
If introduced into an aquarium right after hatching, they might live for a lot longer. I’ve heard anything between a few days to up to 8 weeks. It’s hard to say since brine shrimp are saltwater creatures. I think they might live a lot if you put them in a saltwater aquarium. However, I haven’t tested this out. All the brine shrimp I add to the aquarium are usually eaten within a few hours.
How Often to Feed Brine Shrimp to Guppies?
You can feed brine shrimp once or twice a week to your guppies if you give them other food as well. But that’s just a general recommendation. Brine shrimp are easy on the fish’s digestion and they’re full of protein. So, your guppies can have a diet consisting of brine shrimp, with some other types of food for extra diversity.
If your guppies are in the fry stage, you should feed them brine shrimp much more often. Try feeding them powdered dry food and shrimp 3-5 times a day. Overfeeding should be avoided at all costs, though. It stresses them out and their health degrades over time. As the guppies grow, feed them less often but keep the brine shrimp in their diet.
Such a good source of protein shouldn’t be eliminated. Brine shrimp is good for guppies whether they’re fry or adults. Keep them on this diet and they’ll grow fast and healthy, and you won’t have to worry about them. If they’re kept on a balanced diet, guppies will also fall sick less often.
Can Brine Shrimp Hatch in Guppy Tank?
Theoretically, yes. You can hatch brine shrimp in the guppy tank. However, the guppies may try to eat the eggs, which isn’t exactly good for them. They won’t be able to digest the eggs, which makes the entire process useless. However, if the eggs do hatch, the guppies will then have a good source of food.
The water parameters need to be right on target for the shrimp eggs to hatch, but this won’t affect the guppies. However, if you want to be more efficient at hatching brine shrimp, try with a different hatching aquarium. If there are no fish in it, the eggs will have an easier time hatching.
Can Guppies Eat Brine Shrimp Eggs?
Yes, they can. But they shouldn’t. Guppies can’t digest encapsulated brine shrimp eggs. If you buy them decapsulated eggs, then that’s fine. But chances are you bought encapsulated eggs.
The guppies won’t fall sick or have digestion problems if they eat the eggs. You don’t need to worry about that. Plus, guppies aren’t too interested in the eggs.
But the problem is the lack of nutrition. You can’t really force your guppies to eat the eggs unless you intentionally starve them. And even if you do this, it won’t do any good since they can’t digest the eggs.
If you’re trying to hatch the eggs in a guppy tank, it’s not as efficient as hatching them in a fish-free tank. That way, no eggs will get eaten. All of them will hatch, which means more food for your guppies.
Brine shrimp is one of the best types of live food for guppies. They don’t like brine shrimp, they love it! If you feed brine shrimp to your guppies, they’ll grow much faster and be healthier. Shrimp makes for a rich source of protein and vitamins, and even a diet rich in shrimp won’t harm your guppies.
If you have other questions, feel free to ask me!