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Re: Supplementing Live BBS with Vitamins
> This bio-enrichment or bioencapsulation of brine shrimp nauplii (instar 2
or adults) began using emulsified fish oils containing high HUFA's or highly
unsaturated fatty acids for marine finfish and crustacean larvae...Today,
there are at least a dozen different Artemia enrichment formulas on the
market, however, I only know of one brand (Selcon) that is sold in aquarium
I raise Artemia for a variety of fish, supplementing them mainly for their
low B complex content. I still haven't found a supplement specifically for
brine shrimp, but Warner Marine Research's Reef Pure labels have a
Vitamin/HUFA Supplement that I've found to be very useful. It contains most
of the major Bs as well as A and C, and is fairly easy to obtain. I imagine
others, like Coralife, have HUFAs also, but I haven't looked very hard.
> Although we do not market any enrichment formula, we do enrich and freeze
live adult Artemia with a HUFA formula and Spirulina algae for the
aquaculture and aquarium markets. However, almost all of the sales for these
two enriched products go to the aquaculture market due to the "unawareness"
of the benefits of bioenrichment in the aquarium trade.
Until someone told me about the human "health food" market, the only
reliable source I found for "pure" spirulina was Aquatrol, who markets it as
a color enhancing bird supplement. Being "for the birds", however, they are
apt to leave it as a coursely ground powder that is full of mill stone
pieces. The powder is a little too heavy to emulsify well, and the mill
stone wreaks havoc on anything like a mortar and pestle set used to reduce
If you check the health food industry though, some very pure sources of bulk
spirulina can be found since it is processed for human consumption. They
generally run at about $30.00 - $35.00 per pound retail, the price rising
with their popularity. I'm still trying to source it at wholesale.
California raised varieties like the Earthrise brand are a lot finer than
something like the Aquatrol, but are still heavy enough to be hard to
emulsify and easily settled out. The Hawaiian brands like Nutrex are
slightly richer, purer and more easily mixed.
The tendency of Artemia to take on the color of its food source is quite
pronounced with spirulina; a constant supply will keep them the bright
blue-green of the algae. I have found that over-crowding them is about the
easiest method to induce hemoglobin production, as any method of oxygen
deprivation or reduction is too inclined to "crash" the culture. I induce
hemoglobin mainly for the benefit of the larger fish, like Discus, that the
adults are destined for.
Another benefit of the health-typed spirulina products is the presence of
live spoor. Just a little touch of powdered spirulina easily induces "green
water" during warm weather outdoor production for the small scale culturer.
Another thing the small scale grower might find helpful are lower salinity
levels. Since the aim of small cultures is a self-sustaining environment
rather than a concentration of cyst production, salinities of 1.020 - 1.030
seem to work much better than the oft-advised 1.050. Lower salinities
enhance live birth of nauplii - hence the announcement of low harvests from
the Great Salt Lake. Lower salinities also aid in culture maintenance, being
less prone to "crashing".
David A. Youngker
nestor10 at mindspring_com