I have sad news about my little Brine Shrimp, as you may be able to tell from this blog title. There were only three naupauli alive in my last post. I strongly suspected that a bacteria had gotten in my tank and had caused the mass die off.
Another Sea Monkey enthusiast reached out to me through Instagram and reccommended that I change how I was aerating the tank. At this point I had two Brine Shrimp remaining and felt like I had nothing to lose. I changed from blowing bubbles through a syringe to tipping the water into a cup and back into the tank. This disturbed the debris but did not seem to cause my remaining shrimps any immediate harm. In fact, they seemed to perk up and began rooting in falling algae and debris at the bottom of the tank. Perhaps there was hope afterall!
I went on YouTube and looked up DIY hatcherys, but they all seemed to focus more on raising large amounts for the purpose of feeding fish. They didn’t seem to be a long-term home. Other Sea Monkey or Aqua Dragon enthusiasts were setting up tanks to give their Shrimp long and healthy lives. I considered going to my local pet shop and buying a small fish tank, complete with a filter and airstone to ensure that my two remaining would have adequate access to oxygen. However, I would need to make sure the saline levels were right (aaah!) and buy some more eggs. I couldn’t shake the suspicion that they were suffering from a bacterial infection. In the end, my mind was made up when I couldn’t leave the house because I was sick. Had I passed my illness onto the Sea Monkeys, as their primary carer?
The younger of the two remaining Brine Shrimp died shortly after starting the intensive aeration regime. I was down to one. My hopes of a breeding colony were offically over, short of adding in more eggs at some point. Besides, I was almost sure that this survivor was infected somehow. I watched as it became more sluggish over the next couple of days.
Finally, I woke up yesterday morning and aerated the tank. I couldn’t see the Shrimp so I shone a light into the tank, this always excited the Shrimp into revealing themselves before.
I went to work, thinking that this might just be the end now. I don’t want to buy a new kit or start a fish tank. You see, I’ve done some research and found that Sea Monkeys as we know them were marketed by a toymaker with little consideration for their longievty. Yes, there are some long-lived colonies on YouTube but it would be ego driving me forward to try again. I’d be doing it to prove to myself that I could, and that’s not a good enough reason for me to try and breed another captive colony. If I did this again, it would be under better conditions for them and I must confess that I don’t feel like making the committment to provide those right now. Still, I would keep that tank going as long I knew that one Shrimp was alive.
I came home from work and found the dreaded cotton-wool bacteria in my tank. Finally, I had my answer. I sterlised the water and tipped it away. The tank is in the recycling bin. The cotton-wool bacteria is almost always fatal with SeaMedic and its appearance coincided with the disappearence of my final Shrimp.
My poor Shrimp never matured into their adult or even juenveille stages. They remained in their baby, or naupiliar, stage and died young.
Have you tried to raise Sea Monkeys or Aqua Dragons? Let me know of your experiences in the comments below.
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