How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are tiny aquatic crustaceans – you may also know of them as Sea Monkeys. These little creatures have been around since the Triassic period and they have come to be one of the most important food sources in the aquarium industry. While some people keep brine shrimp as pets, they are more commonly hatched as food for fish. The newly hatched brine shrimp (known as nauplii) make a wonderful food source for fry (baby fish) while brine fish adults are good for larger fish.

Another interesting fact about brine shrimp is that they produce dormant eggs called cysts. These eggs can be stored for long periods of time and they can be hatched on demand. This is important because there is a certain process you must follow in order to activate and hatch the eggs. In this tutorial, you will receive detailed instructions for every step of the process from preparing your brine shrimp eggs for hatching and actually hatching them. Keep reading to learn how to get started!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

In order to hatch brine shrimp, you don’t need a complicated setup or any expensive equipment. In fact, hatching brine shrimp is surprisingly simple when you have everything you need. First, you’ll need to purchase your brine shrimp eggs – you can find them in pet stores or purchase them online. Next, you’ll need to set up your hatchery. Finally, add your brine shrimp eggs and let the magic happen. Here is a detailed list of everything you are going to need to hatch your brine shrimp:

  • Brine shrimp eggs.
  • 3 half-liter plastic bottles.
  • 8-inch length of airline tubing.
  • Clear packing tape.
  • Scissors.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt.
  • ½ teaspoon Epsom salt.
  • Cold tap water.
  • Bleach.
  • Aquarium air pump.
  • Nightlight.

Step By Step Instructions

Now that you know what is required to hatch brine shrimp and you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to get started! Below you’ll find a step-by-step list of instructions to follow to take your dormant brine shrimp eggs and to hatch them in your very own home. Here is how to get started:

Purchase Your Brine Shrimp Eggs

You can purchase brine shrimp eggs in your local pet store or you can order then online. Make sure you purchase brine shrimp eggs that are harvested from a safe location so you don’t run the risk of contaminating your tank when you feed them to your fish.

Build Your Brine Shrimp Hatchery

You can find brine shrimp hatcheries online and in pet stores, but it is simple and cost-effective to make your own. All you need is three half-liter plastic bottles, an 8-inch piece of airline tubing, clear packing tape, and scissors. Here are the instructions for building your brine shrimp hatchery:

  1. Take one of the bottles and cut it about 3 inches from the bottom (this will be the base) – throw away the top piece.
  2. With the second bottle, cut the bottom off but leave just enough of it to create a lip (this will be the top). 
  3. Take the third bottle and cut the bottom off about one inch up from the base (this will be the cap).
  4. Seal the cap on the second bottle and invert it then place it inside the first bottle – trim as needed to make it fit.
  5. Use the clear packing tape to cover the seam, joining the bottles together.
  6. Cut two holes (1/4-inch diameter) in the plastic cap.
  7. Trim the end of the airline tubing at an angle then insert it into one of the holes.

Set Up Your Hatchery

Now that you’ve assembled your hatchery, you’re ready to get it set up and add your eggs. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Combine 1 ½ teaspoons table salt with a half teaspoon of Epsom salt in the bottom of your hatchery.
  2. Add a pinch of brine shrimp eggs then fill the hatchery with cold tap water.
  3. Before covering the hatchery, add a single drop of bleach then put the top on.
  4. Attach the aquarium air pump to the open end of the airline tubing – you may need a gang valve to make it fit.
  5. Set a small light next to the hatchery, positioning it so the light goes halfway up the water column – turn the light on.
  6. Turn on the air pump and let it run for 24 hours.

While the air pump is running, you should keep an eye on it to make sure that the airline tubing doesn’t become clogged with salt. If it does, use the end of a paper clip to remove the clog.

Wait For The Eggs To Hatch

Once you’ve let the aquarium air pump run for 24 hours, you can shut it off and let the water settle on its own for about 15 minutes. To gather your brine shrimp, use the airline tubing to create a siphon effect and drain the water from the hatchery into a paper coffee filter. The water will flow through the filter, leaving the hatched brine shrimp behind. Once you’ve rinsed and drained the brine shrimp, you can place them in a container of dechlorinated water and collect them for feeding using a pipette.

And there you have it! Now you know how to take brine shrimp eggs that have been dormant and how to hatch them. If you have any eggs that you don’t plan to use right away, be sure to store them properly in an airtight container in a cool environment.


Did you enjoy this tutorial for how to hatch brine shrimp? Whether you are keeping brine shrimp as pets or feeding them to another pet, learning how to hatch them properly is important. Hopefully by now you have a thorough understanding of how the process works and you are ready to try it for yourself. We encourage you to like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience hatching brine shrimp. Good luck with your brine shrimp and thanks for reading!

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