Whats up NY! I have something that I've noticed is missing from TPT...
These little guys can be traced back to prehistoric times. They lived in the temporary pools of water and when those pools dried out. So did their eggs, but wait! Wouldn't they just die out? Nope! The eggs go into a state of diapause. Meaning they go into a state of long hibernation until the next time it rains.
I'll tell you, these eggs are like diamonds. *I wish they were worth as much* But they are like indestructible. I've heard of people boiling sand, throwing them in the freezer or just keeping the eggs dry for decades. My eggs lived through being soaked in salt water with a blue crab that was living in the sand! After I rinsed the sand and then dried it out. I added in distilled water and bam the eggs hatched again.
They are extremely prolific, so they lay their eggs just about everyday after maturing.
If I missed anything refer to this video :P
Anyways enough of that. Lets get down to business.
I'm offering a small sandwich bag full of sand for 5 bucks. I can meet up in Chinatown or Little Italy. I'm usually in the area on the weekends either Saturday or Sunday, I'll let you know via PM.
If you're too far from these locations, just PM me and we can work something out.
The species is Triops longicaudatus which is the standard North American species.
There's probably gonna be well around 50 eggs or more I really can't give you a solid number because they are so tiny and its sand. But I'll guarantee that you'll get some eggs.
Average lifespan for me is 3 months, some people have gotten past it.
Ok so now your wondering.... How am I going to hatch them? I'll tell you how to hatch them the best way I know how to.
What you'll need
A Plastic Container *look at the picture for a reference*
A 3-5 gallon tank
A floating thermometer
A pipette *highly recommended*
A sponge filter.
A lamp *I'd recommend you use an energy saving light bulb to save some cash on power no need for any heat*
Ok so most people say oh just use a heating lamp to maintain a 74-78 degree temp.
I strongly disagree with this. Why? The first two time's I've tried to hatch triops using this method it was a waste of energy and time. It really isn't reliable. Plus I was always sad to see nothing swimming in my container of water.
So I came up with this method. Take a container and put the sand in add water, stir the sand around with the thermometer. Then place the container in your fish tank full of tap water, it will float in the water. If not add more sand. Crank up your heater to 70-74 degrees F. You can add plain sand into your tank now too. I'd give it an inch. Don't bother with hills because Triop's love to dig.
Then turn on your lamp and shine it over the container. It'll take like 6-10 hours. So leave it on overnight and wake up and you'll see tiny little things wriggling around in the water.
I usually turn off the lamp at night now and turn it on when I wake up.
I usually have detritus that feed's them via micro organisms for the first 3 days. From what I've read some people don't use detritus and are fine without it for the first 3 days.
However I know that you can use Spirulina powder to feed em. I ground up Tetra color bits and mixed a tiny portion with water and used my pipette to feed them.
If you don't have any detritus but you have some IAL you could just break a small bit off and use it to feed them. I'd just soak it ahead of time.
You'll notice they'll get bigger everyday. Be sure not to over feed and take out and excess waste in the container. Add in more water too when the water gets low or when your replacing it.
So after 1 week you should be able to transfer them into the tank.
WAIT! Don't just dump them into the tank. Just like shrimps you need to acclimate them. Just take a small cup water from the tank and pour it into the container every hour.
After about 4 cycles you can let em loose!
Also at the end of the life cycle, just drain out the water and let the sand dry out for about a week. Then you can either bag the sand with the triops eggs for another time or start it all over again.
So that is just about the basics. Let me know if you have any questions.
The floating container method!
Can I just put the sand in a tank and ditch the container? Yes and no.
Yes because it still does work, however survival rates aren't gonna be as high because they gotta swim around to eat the micro organisms in the water. With a more smaller area to swim around in, they are able to feed more easily.
Can I keep these with my fish or shrimps?
Personally I wouldn't, even though some people I've seen had no problems. Triops will eat your shrimps and small fishes, don't forget they are predators and will eat anything, so it's best to keep them in a separate tank.
Putting plants in?
You could, but they will most likely just eat it. If you have trimmings that you want to get rid of, well just toss em in if you want.
Can I keep em without substrate? If not, what's the best substrate for them?
No, these guys are natural diggers, they deposit their eggs in the substrate. If you don't have any substrate, they'll get stressed and end up dying on you.
You could use dirt or gravel that isn't too big. However, I'd say sand, it isn't too expensive *or free from the beach just rinse it a few times* and it seems to me its more natural to them. Also, if you want to see the eggs in the sand more easily, use black sand. The eggs are a peachy color.
What do I feed these guys?
Anything really! these guys aren't picky eaters. I've fed them bloodworms, Tetra color bits, peas, corn, spinach. I just wouldn't feed them expensive food because they are just temporary pets.