“I received my order and let me tell you, I am thrilled.
I have dwarf seahorses, and the brine shrimp egg shells
were—well, to say the least—a mess. Now I hatch and
siphon and feed. No shell worries. Thanks again!’
— K.R., Pennsylvania
Now through July 28, 2019 save 15% on E-Z Egg
(100 ml and 400 ml bottles)
Use discount code: E-Z
As all aquarists “worth their salt” should know, newly hatched brine shrimp provide an excellent source of nutrition for both freshwater and marine species of fish and other sea life. Indeed, Artemia franciscana is a perennial favorite among fish hobbyists, providing a nutritionally rich and irresistible feed for a large majority of the animals kept in home and public aquariums, research institutions, and commercial hatcheries.
Of course, these creatures are not really “shrimp” at all, but a primitive form of aquatic crustacean. As such, one would expect them to be common in all saline ecosystems around the world. Unfortunately for them, the newly hatched artemia nauplii (or larvae) are such slow swimmers that they would make easy prey for any nearby fish or zooplanktivores hungry for a snack, and so would quickly be wiped out in the ecosystem.
For that reason brine shrimp have adapted themselves to thrive in punishing hypersaline environments—such as salt flats, Utah’s Great Salt Lake, and other similar biotopes around the world—that are intolerable to most of their potential predators. Moreover, when conditions become too harsh even for these tough buggers, they are able to survive. If the water in which they live becomes too cold, or is too low in oxygen or too high in salinity, or even begins to evaporate around them, the female artemia will lay eggs with a hard, protective outer shell around them, called a chorion.
Even in the most extreme conditions, these chorion-encased eggs, or cysts, can remain viable, though metabolically dormant, for years. In this state of cryptobiosis, the eggs are commercially harvested, processed, disinfected, and stored in subzero temperatures for future use as fish food. Yet, once placed in lukewarm, briny water, artemia eggs will hatch within a day or so; and the free-swimming brine shrimp larvae can then be transferred to a freshwater or saltwater aquarium as live food.
This conventional method of hatching and harvesting brine shrimp as fish food for aquariums requires some patience, but is perfectly satisfactory in most situations. Regardless of your experience level and quality of the brine shrimp, however, some of the shells of the hatched brine shrimp—along with a number of unhatched eggs—will inevitably find their way into your aquarium. For most fish and in most situations, this poses no problem. The empty brine shrimp shell cases make a bit of a mess, but they tend to float to the top of the tank and can be readily scooped out by hand or siphoned away by the filtration system; while the unhatched cysts, though indigestible, may end up being eaten anyway prior to hatching.
Nevertheless, the presence of discarded shell fragments and unhatched eggs in certain systems may put some aquarium inhabitants at risk. In particular, be aware that unhatched eggs swell prior to hatching and could get stuck in the gut of smaller fish (such as zebrafish) or sensitive fry that may ingest them. In addition, the hard chitinous shell material may harm the delicate digestive tracts of certain animals, such as seahorses, jellyfish, larval crustaceans, and reef coral.
Brine Shrimp Direct’s E-Z Egg Product!
E-Z Egg differs from our regular and Decapsulated (Non-hatching) Brine Shrimp Eggs in that the artemia eggs contained in our E-Z Egg product are not only shell-less, but hatch into live, free-swimming baby brine shrimp (nauplii)—without the fuss and mess of leaving behind a hard, indigestible chorion shell.
Shell-free E-Z Egg eliminates the need for separating live nauplii from unhatched eggs and shell material. Simply set up your hatching apparatus as you would with normal cysts, adding E-Z Egg at the rate of approximately two to four grams per liter of hatching solution. Aerate vigorously for 18–24 hours. Then siphon, rinse, and feed! It’s as easy as that!
With a hatch rate of over 85%, the E-Z Egg product is 100% digestible. Moreover, the nutritional value will be somewhat higher in brine shrimp that have been hatched from decapsulated cysts, since each larva has used up less of its endogenous energy reserve to break out of its shell. As a further bonus, the unhatched eggs also provide an excellent, non-motile, digestible source of protein and lipids, which can be fed together with the free-swimming baby brine shrimp. E-Z Egg can even be fed directly, without hatching—simply rinse and feed.
E-Z Egg has certain advantages over using conventional brine shrimp eggs or decapsulated non-hatching eggs, including:
- Guarantees a clean, shell-free hatch result every time
- Ideal for sensitive species that require artemia nauplii free of non-digestible chitin
- Eliminates the need to store and use harsh and dangerous chemicals on-site
- Reduces labor costs and time required for hatching and separation
- Can be used without change to your present hatching set-up
- Results in a cleaner, healthier aquarium environment
Convenient and safe for all fish, E-Z Egg is the perfect shell-free feeding solution for any hobbyist’s aquarium.
For universities, public aquaria, and commercial hatcheries, E-Z Egg is also available in bulk in 1-kg and 5-kg quantities.
To get the discount, please use discount code E-Z in the shopping cart when you check out.