Sea Monkeys Triops Fairy Shrimp and Ant Farms

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Our Sea Monkeys

Our Custom Made Sea Monkey Aquarium Light

Sea Monkeys!

Most of us have had a Sea Monkey Kit at some time or we have had a friend or relative who was raising them. These tiny little brine shrimp eggs sold in toy stores world wide and online are easy to grow in three easy steps.

  1. Add tap water and then the Step 1 packet of water conditioner.
  2. 24 hours later add the Sea Monkey eggs to the water and place them in a warm well light area like a window.
  3. Step three add their food after five days with the scoop included in the kit.

It is that simple to do and if you follow the steps in five days you will have these little animated dots with tails swimming around in their small habitat. There are larger more elaborate habitats but they are unnecessary as the smaller kit that costs less than ten dollars is the perfect size.

Many people often get the wrong idea about what Sea Monkeys are when they see the advertisements and art work on their packages. These illustrations were done in comic books by illustrator, Harold von Braunhut in 1957. The shrimp are not as cool or romantic as the artist portrays them. They are small shrimp clear accept for their eyes, their digestive system, and reproductive organs. They have many small hair like legs that help them swim and long tails. But their natural state should not stop you from buying these little creatures.

Also a hint, the packet of food provided is very small. If you decide to regenerate your Sea Monkeys and restart their life cycle use this from your local health food store...

SpirulinaFood

  • Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that can be consumed by humans and other animals. There are two species, Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Wikipedia

Though the life span of these brine shrimp is usually between three to eight weeks long they are the perfect life cycle science experiment for children. They learn incubation, hibernation, and how life can exist when its habitat is favorable. My daughters and I are raising our own right now. We are on day four and I will post their progress on this page.

Sea-Monkeys Original Instant Life
Sea-Monkeys Original Instant Life

This basic starter set introduces you to the wet, wonderful, amazing Sea-Monkey world!

For use in a 10 oz. container (not included), or as a refill pack.

Comes with illustrated instructions, feeding spoon and three packets:#1 Water Purifier, #2 Instant Live Eggs,and #3 Growth Food. .Guaranteed to grow!

 
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Desert Aquafamily Multi-pack

Triops and Fairy Shrimp

What is a Triops? Well these are also sold in toy stores and advertised as you being able to raise your own dinosaur. While this too is misleading it is not far off from the truth. Triops or longicaudatus the tadpole shrimp grow in isolated water pools in extreme environments that most other creatures cannot survive in. They live in pools of shallow water where heavy rain has collected mostly in indentations in rocks and dry lake beds in deserts or highlands. There are fossils 70 million years old in the earth that mirror todays species almost to a tee. Why are these creatures still alive even after the extinction of the dinosaurs? Well it has to do with a few survival factors that these creatures and their kin possess.

These short life cycle species share their unique home with other crustaceans like Fairy Shrimp and clam shrimp which they feed off of in isoloated desert water pools, in high dry high deserts The Triops is an aggressive eater and will consume almost anything, while their cousins consume micro organisms like algae. It's an entire eco system in a small drying pool of water.

When the desert rains come they flood once dry rocky places. As the rain collects in these pools the Triops and shrimp hatch to life and then once mature they mate and then lay their eggs so they will dry with the pool and go into dormancy which can last up to a decade in length. Once it rains again the cycle is repeated.

These creatures are often sold in kits near Ant Farms and Sea Monkeys in toy stores. The kits can be anywhere from $15 to $20+ US dollars. They come with a small bowl instructions and a packet of eggs. You can prepare your own habitat and hatch your own colony by purchasing eggs online out of the kit. There is a link to where my girls and I bought our shrimp.

Smithsonian Prehistoric Sea Monsters
Smithsonian Prehistoric Sea Monsters

Feed them and watch them grow

They grow more than 20x their original size

Watch science come to life

Detailed instructions

 
Click thumbnail to view full-size

Triop and Fairy Shrimp Set Up

Like the Sea Monkeys they really require very little set up. If you buy a kit then just follow the instructions given. But if you are starting from eggs alone this is how my daughters and I did our triops set up.

  1. You will get a packet of eggs and shrimp food for your habitat.
  2. Next make sure the habitat if clean and rinsed with distilled water. Dry with a paper towel.
  3. Next add clean sand or gravel depending and again make sure It is free of soaps.
  4. Fill the tank with clean spring or distilled water up to an inch and a half from the strata line.
  5. Make sure your tank is between 70 and 80 degrees.
  6. Pour in the eggs.

Within 24 hours your eggs will begin hatching.

Our Ant Farm

Ant Farming

Ant Farming can be a very entertaining and educational hobby. Once again these are sold in toy stores. These habitats containing either a sand or gel base inside a thin case come with instructions on how to set up the habitat and instructions on how to order your ants. But like our fairy shrimp and triops we ordered ours online cheaper and we got twice as many ants for our farm. The more ants you have the faster they will dig.

The ants come in tubes that you cool down in the fridge when received to make the ants less active. Once you have poked a hole into the sand or gel of their farm you can begin adding the ants to the colony. After a day or two you will see your ants tunneling their way through their ant farm. After a couple of weeks you will have interconnecting tunnels.

Gel farms come with three LED lights that make your farm glow at night. The sand based farms are good if you wish to watch your ants store their food inside their tunnels. The gel farm provides all the moisture and food your ants will ever need. Most farms are Harvester Ant Farms, as a matter of fact the ants you can order are always harvester ants and all are female drones. Why? Because these drones will not reproduce in areas where they are not native to the area. Drone Harvester Ants are colony workers and serve to enlarge their colony.

In order to have a real ant colony you would be better off with a custom habitat and you have to do lots of searching, digging, and also getting bitten by guardian ants as you destroy their home just to find their queen. This should only be done by a seasoned ant farming enthusiast and left to those who are time tested in raising them.

Uncle Milton Ant Farm Live Ant Habitat, Light-Up Gel Colony
Uncle Milton Ant Farm Live Ant Habitat, Light-Up Gel Colony

This is a nutrient rich gel

Ants get continuous source of

Live ants can be received by mail with coupons

The gel does not need much of maintenance.

Ant habitat pre-filled with tunneling gel

LED and prjecting lens

Tunnel starter tool

No feeding or watering needed

LED Light Module

 

Are They Worth It?

All these life cycle pets from Sea Monkeys to Ant Farms are easy care pets that even a small child can enjoy. They are educational and fun for all. Are they a scam product like the Pet Rock? Well that all depends on what you expect. If you are looking for a pet that you can curl up to then yeah these are not the pets for you. But to experience an exotic creatures life cycle, these creatures are right on target. Biology class in elementary and junior high would be crazy not to have a triops kit. These are very cool projects for younger people to experience. Well no matter what, if you are a old hat pro at raising these creatures, an adult wanting to re-experience a piece of your childhood, or a child wanting to raise some strange creature these toy / pets are awesome. Thanks.

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2 comments

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 16 months ago from Brazil

I personally didn't have any of those but my sister bought the sea monkeys for her kids. It was fascinating and educational.

I think there are so many interesting products like these which can spark an interest in a child and make them curious and want to explore nature more. It is much better than the latest computer game, in my opinion.


Cow Flipper profile image

Cow Flipper 16 months ago from Southern Oregon Author

They can be a really cool learning tool for kids. I have a seven year old and a five year old and I am doing life sciences with them this summer.

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