Artemia cysts won't decapsulate

Discussion in 'Fish Food' started by RichardinMa, Nov 16, 2012.

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  1. RichardinMa

    RichardinMa Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Nov 22, 2011
    I tried decapsualting some Artemia this evening and it did not go so well. I am not sure what I may have done wrong and would appreciate any input from others that have had the same experience. The eggs I used are several years old but have been stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Hatch rate is pretty good even without decapsulation. I watched a few videos and read several websites that explain how to do this and it seemed relatively straight forward. What I did and what happened:

    Using a 2-liter soda bottle style hatcher with aeration I filled the container up about half way with tap water. I added 1/8th of a cup of artemia cysts, turned on the pump and let them hydrate for about 2.5-3 hrs. I then drained off the majority of the water and added bleach at 2 times the remaining volume of water. I let the pump run and watched for color change. At around 3 minutes or so I noticed the cysts turn white. Within another 3 minutes or so I saw the color change back to a creamy brown, nearly the same color as it started. I left them in this solution for several more minutes. At around 10 minutes there was still no further color change even though there was now a foamy layer on the surface of the water, similar to a head on Guiness beer.

    At this point I drained the cysts and rinsed them worried that I may just be misreading the color. After doing this I could see that the cysts still looked very much like round brown eggs. I then put them back into straight bleach and let them aerate even longer, some went as long at a half hour, but the cysts never went to orange. I don't understand what I may have done wrong. The bleach was not old. I wondered if perhaps the quantity of eggs was just too much for the amount of bleach but I would have thought that half an hour in straight bleach would have done something. Unfortunately I do not have a microscope handy to see the details of them at this point. I finally gave them a good final rinse and put the majority into a concentrated brine solution to store them in the fridge. I also put some back into a hatcher to see what kind of viability I have on this batch now.

    Any ideas what went wrong?