Commonly called Brine Shrimp, Artemia are small aquatic animals (zooplankton) used as live, freeze-dried or frozen foods for a variety of captive organisms. Mostly used as early live food for fish and shrimp larval culture.
Brine shrimp reproduce either sexually or asexually via parthenogenesis. Females produce eggs that either develop as live young or form a hard shell (cysts) as a result of environmental conditions. Newly hatched baby brine shrimp (NHBBS) known as Nauplii, transform through 15-17 moulting stages lasting about eight days before reaching the adult stage. Two important stages for aquarists are the first stage, instar 1 and the second stage, instar 2. During instar 1, nauplii do not eat and rely on yolk reserves. Approximately eight hours later the nauplii enters the instar 2 stage and may start feeding on small food particles less then 50um.
Chemical removal of the shell (chorion) exposing a thin hatching membrane and embryo. Brine shrimp cyst shells; are not digestible, carriers of disease, decrease water quality and can become lodge inside larval fish resulting in death. Hatching rates and percentages increase after decapsulation and left over eggs are fully edible.
Lysmata vittata, Peppermint Shrimp, feeding on artemia nauplii
- Growing Rotifers, Artemia and Green Water by Jake Levi
- Artemia: Decapsulation, Hatching, Feeding, On-Growing and Enrichment by David Warland and Tracy Warland - OZ REEF
- Life history of the brine shrimp Artemia by Patrick Sorgeloos - Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center
- Artemia (Brine Shrimp) FAQ by Kai Schumann
- Production and use of live food for aquaculture: Artemia
- Automation of Artemia production in industrial hatcheries, flowchart