And one last thing. I've had poor success hatching baby brine shrimp. Is this a no brainer easy exercise and I just have a bad batch of cysts or does it take some practice and expertise?
Takes some practice and a bit of attention to detail .Here's what I do .
Salt solution : I prepare a stock solution to a specific gravity of 1.030 , or a touch higher measured via a hydrometer. Halite ice melter (sodium chloride NOT calcium chloride )is what I usually use , but right now I'm using 'Instant Ocean' marine salt as I was able to get a broken box cheap . The ice melter works just fine, is cheap , and can be found in 5lb bags . Table salt less so , as it contains an anti-caking agent and dextrose which I suspect messes up the salinity reading .
Hatcher: a 2l. soda bottle with the bottom cut off and the top on tightly so it doesn't leak . It's inverted in a 1lb. coffee can stand .
To get things going , I put shrimp eggs into the bottle , and then add the water . This seems to saturate the eggs better and maybe results in less eggs floating . The egg/water mix is heavily aerated . My fish room is a bit cool (low 70's F.) so hatching takes a bit longer . Usually I'll get a pretty good harvest after 48 hrs. or so , with decent, but diminishing, ones for the next 2 days. Warmer temps. will give a faster hatch .
My eggs are kept in the freezer . Once the seal is broken on the container you want to keep the eggs cool and dry . I get 1 lb. cans as I hatch a lot of shrimp , and a can , once opened, will be good for at least a year when covered and kept in the freezer .
I've found the eggs in the little glass vials to be questionable at best .
Hope this helps some.