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Re: [Killietalk] Decapsulating brine shrimp cysts
Dr. Dan Nielsen perfected a decapsulation protocol which I found works well
such that you can still hatch the shrimp. Dan took a volume of straight
laundry bleach (cheap works just like Chlorox!) and bubble with heavy
aeration for exactly 8 minutes using a timer. (Ratios - I use a tablespoon
of cysts to 4 ounces of bleach.) I use a 2 liter bottle neck down to
concentrate the cysts flowing to the bottom and the plastic tube needs to
reach the bottom. I dilute the solution with 2 times the volume (of bleach
used) of clean water to retard the decapsulation and immediately pour the
solution at the end of the allotted time through a net and rinse some more
(this also does a number on your brine shrimp net and cleans up a lot of the
organic "gunk" between the weave!). I then transfer the decapsulated cysts
to funnel like hatcher with a fresh salt solution with more rigorous bubbling
than if I was just hatching good/new cysts without decapsulation. (I
normally just hatch with a tipped gallon jar and the lighter cysts move more
easily with mild current/bubbling. What is also imperative is that you
constantly rinse down the "eggs" into the hatching solution (I use a wash
bottle for this) and your hatch rate is a function of your diligence in
performing this task. I have played around with varying the salt
concentration but high or low salinities don't seem to improve the hatch rate
or solve the "ring around the hatcher" problem. I also thought the "foaming"
action might impact the shrimp or maybe you had a soap residue. I tried
neutralizing the eggs with a rinse of vinegar (acid to kill the cyst
decapsulation reaction) but it didn't help. On other hand, the vigorous
aeration might help to eliminate any residual hypochlorite from the bleach.
I can get a very good hatch from old eggs that you cannot hatch normally even
with the aid of voodoo or a witch doctor! The method is a pain in the
butt...but you can't argue with the results.
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