How to Raise Sea Monkeys or Brine Shrimp

An ad similar to the one in the above photo was run in the late 1950's through the 1960's in comic books offering sea monkeys for sale.
An ad similar to the one in the above photo was run in the late 1950s through the 1960s in comic books offering sea monkeys for sale.

How To Raise Sea Monkeys Or Brine Shrimp

I remember all those years ago when I found the sea monkeys advertised for sale in the back of a comic book. I carefully saved my money until I could send in the $3.99 for the sea monkeys and their habitat. I think it was in about 1961. I waited it seemed like for months for my sea monkeys and their home to arrive. It was probably only a week or two but when the brown package finally arrived I was one of the happiest kids ever. I think at the time I really thought their really was a creature like the sea monkeys in the above photo.

I remember me and my Mom reading the instructions and when I looked in the package of what looked like crystals I couldn't see how anything could be alive in that powdered crystal mixture. But I followed the directions and mixed the crystals up in water and set the habitat up on a shelf above the kitchen stove to keep them warm.

Every day I rushed home to check to see if my sea monkeys had hatched. I know at least two weeks had gone by and I had just about given up when I saw something swimming in the water or I thought I did. I borrowed my Mom's magnifying glass but what I saw in the water didn't look anything like the picture I had seen of sea monkeys. You see up until this point I think I really thought I was going to see a sea monkey. I remember going to the library and the librarian told me that sea monkeys were really brine shrimp. And that their really wasn't anything like a real sea monkey. At least not the cute little critters shown in the ad. I felt cheated to say the least. I remember thinking that I had been scammed. Especially when I found out I wasn't going to be seeing sea monkeys.

I remember I wrote to the company and I never received an answer. I wonder how many other disappointed kids wrote to them complaining about deceptive advertising practices.

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There in the aquarium are indeed sea monkeys which are in fact really brine shrimp.
There in the aquarium are indeed sea monkeys which are in fact really brine shrimp.

More About Those Sea Monkeys

You see I know know that Sea Monkeys were thought up by a man named Harold Von Braunhut. He thought them up and started selling them in 1957. The product was heavily marketed especially in comic books where hundreds of thousands of the sea monkey kits were sold. The kits were sold from $3.99 to $9.99. I bought one of the $3.99 ones.

The year before in 1956 ant farms had been invented by a man named Milton Levine. Braunhut thought up his ideal and at first called it " Instant Life " but later changed the name to Sea Monkeys. He said the tails of brine shrimp resembled monkeys and now you know where the name sea monkeys came from. It was comic book illustrator Joe Orlando who came up with those cute critters that sea monkeys were supposed to be. It was his ideal of what a sea monkey would look like if there was such a thing as a sea monkey. Ant Farms and Sea Monkeys are both still sold though in most ads today people are told they are buying brine shrimp.

And many people did complain about their sea monkey purchase. Though its reported that Braunhut gave his employees orders to dispose of all complaint letters or request for refunds. At least two states, Illinois, and Florida investigated the sea monkey issue and this is why you saw some ads with the words " Sorry No Sales To Florida " in the body of the ad. Florida must have really put the heat on because there were no ads saying no sales to Illinois.

Sea Monkeys Are Still Being Sold

In case you're wondering you can still buy your very own sea monkey kit if your so minded. Most if not all of the kits sold today do tell you that what you are buying is really brine shrimp but on some of the present day kits you'll see those cute little critters called sea monkeys though they do not exist.

In this photo you can see a close up of brine shrimp also known as sea monkeys.
In this photo you can see a close up of brine shrimp also known as sea monkeys.
In this photo are what people were led to believe they were getting when they ordered sea monkeys.
In this photo are what people were led to believe they were getting when they ordered sea monkeys.

How To Raise Sea Monkeys

1. If you buy a kit with the aquarium provided be sure to wash it well with running water, rinse it well with hot water and fill the tank with bottled water.

2. Mix the purifying powder that comes with the kit by the directions and let it stand for 24 hours.

3. The next day pour the sea monkeys into the container and stir the water around a few times.

4. After you see that the eggs have hatched leave it along for three days. My eggs way back when took about two weeks to hatch. When they first hatch you'll need a magnifying glass to see them. But you can see them and they will grow a bit after hatching.

5. Give them a little of the food that came with them after three days have gone by.

6. You don't want to add anymore food until after the water has cleared up and you can once again see your sea monkeys.

7. You should keep in mind that if the water is greenish colored that there is still too much food in the water and you should wait until the water is clear before adding more food.

Guess what. I bet you already know. You now know exactly how to raise sea monkeys.

But please don't assume that your sea monkeys are going to play games with each other and look like the sea monkeys in the two photos of them above. Sea Monkeys after all are really brine shrimp and that is what your going to be getting. For about the first six weeks your going to need a magnifying glass to look at them but if you feed and take care of them in time you will be able to see them with out the magnifying glass.

If you can use a small aquarium pump to make sure that your tank and those funny creatures in it are getting enough oxygen. They need a good amount of oxygen in the water to be able to live a healthy happy life.

You don't want to over feed your new pets as this is actually worse than not giving them enough food. You should expose them to direct sunlight for about two hours a day for ideal growth. But not over two hours a day or they may get to hot.

If you keep a healthy tank with proper food and oxygen your sea monkeys will breed and lay more eggs in the water staring the cycle all over again. Males will fight with each other to establish territory and males and females will breed.

I want to wish you luck and I hope you get to raise your very own sea monkeys real soon. If you have comments or questions please post them below.

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Please Feel Free To Post Your Comments Or Questions Now. Thanks For Reading. 5 comments

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks so much for your really great comment. I really enjoyed it. Thanks.


Lifefusion profile image

Lifefusion 3 years ago from Georgia

Sea Monkeys were always something I would beg my Maw-Maw to buy me. If I remember correctly I found them in a video-game magazine the first time I saw them. This was in the early 1990’s and they were priced at $14.99. Maw-Maw would always say I couldn't take care of sea-monkeys. I am still not sure if she just didn't want to pay fifteen bucks for them or she truly believed I couldn't raise sea monkeys. I have a four month old now and think it would be fun for us to raise sea monkeys in the future, and will definitely use your instructions to teach her how to raise sea moneys.

I never knew that sea monkeys are actually brine shrimp! That is so odd to me...it took real genius to market shrimp as a pet.

I really enjoyed your article and will surely visit it again when my little girl is old enough to appreciate the experience. I can feel from your writing how much you cherish the memories of spending time with your mother Thank you so much for the bringing me some nostalgia and for the interesting info. I will be following you for sure.


Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

My gosh, memories have been rushing back from my childhood over these as well my friend. Thanks for bringing a little nostalgia back into my life. Voting this up and I'm sharing as well.


jrueff profile image

jrueff 3 years ago from Kansas City

Real-life Pokémon!!! Haha, sea monkeys - I completely forgot about these little guys - I wanted them so bad when I was a kid (never got them). I still want to get one.

-And an ant farm too.


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

I remember purchasing a Sea-Monkey aquarium at my school book fair once. I hatched, grew, fed and raised them. Then if memory serves right, I was visiting my grandma for a few days, only to return to find my monkeys gone. My mom told me she got rid of them in the plumbing! Then again, they were breading like rabbits...and the little package of food can only last you so long

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