Many types of baby fish, including goldfish, grow best on a diet of live baby brine shrimp. Baby fish, also called “fry” eat baby brine shrimp readily because the movements of the shrimp entice them to eat. Baby brine shrimp are also good for fry because they are high in protein, are easily digestible, and can survive for hours in the fry tank, giving the fry a more continuous food source. Hatching baby brine shrimp is fairly simple and it’s easy to make a brine shrimp hatchery on your own. Here are step-by-step instructions showing how to construct your brine shrimp hatchery and how to raise the brine shrimp.
You’ll need two 1-liter bottles, an air pump, a lamp, flexible airline tubing, rigid airline tubing, brine shrimp eggs, baking soda, and salt (kosher salt, canning and pickling salt, rock salt, or any non-iodized and additive-free salt will work fine).
Carefully cut the bottom 1-2 inches off of one bottle and discard the bottom piece. This will be inverted to become the reservoir to hatch the brine shrimp in. Brine shrimp hatch best when they are continuously circulating, so the inverted bottle is a good shape to hatch brine shrimp in because there is no bottom surface for them to settle on.
Next, carefully cut the bottom 6 inches off of the second bottle and discard the top piece. This second bottle will become the base for the hatchery. Put the two bottles together so the second bottle supports the first in an upside-down position. And if you like, you can tape them together for extra strength.
Cut a length of rigid airline tubing to roughly the same height as the reservoir bottle and attach a length of flexible airline tubing to it. Attach the other end of flexible airline tubing to an air pump. The rigid airline tubing should be placed into the hatchery reservoir so that the end of it is right at the very bottom of the bottle.