THE CARE AND FEEDING OF BRINE SHRIMP
How to keep brine shrimp in good condintion for betta food:
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I dissolve 360 grams (about 14 ounces by weight) of aquarium salt, 3 drops of Aquarisol, 15 drops of AmQuel, 1 tablespoon of baking soda to change the water's PH from 7.1 to 8.0 (Check your water's PH and change the amount of baking soda accordingly.), and 15 drops of NovAqua in a 2 & 1/2 gallon tank with a bubble wand attached near the rear, lower long edge. One ounce of live brine shrimp are allowed to float in the tank in their purchasing bag for an hour to get used to the water's temperature and are then released into the tank. Enough air is fed to the bubble wand so that a slow flow of coarse bubbles cause a gentle circulation throughout the tank. The circulation is slow enough so that the shrimp can swim against it if they wish. A freely-suspended piece of material will circular about once in ten seconds.
I mix 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina algae in one cup of water for a minute with a stick blender. I feed the shrimp three tablespoons of this once a day in the morning. After they've cleared the tank, which takes about two hours, I collect the shrimp needed and feed them to the bettas. This way the shrimp have been pumped full of nutrients before they're eaten. The amount of spirulina water fed to them is decreased slowly day-by-day in proportion to the decrease in the number of shrimp. For my 17 bettas, about half the shrimp are gone in a week and the food has been cut to 1 & 1/2 tablespoons. The spirulina water can be kept in a refrigerator for one week before it starts to go bad. At that point I mix up a fresh batch. Don't balk at the high price of the spirulina powder, a small bottle will last a long time.
I syphon debris off the tank bottom every third day and change the water once a week.
The above procedure keeps brine shrimp alive over two weeks, by which time my bettas have eaten them all. Since I have spotted baby brine shrimp in that tank at the end of the second week, I assume the shrimp feel comfortable enough to reproduce and that they could go on much longer.
NEW! The reason I only feed the brine shrimp once a day is that when fed more often, their wastes build up so fast that the water fouls and requires cleaning every third day. The feed-once-a-day routine eliminates a lot of work and the shrimp appear to do well with it.
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