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How to Grow Triops

Updated on July 3, 2012

Triops, also called "horseshoe shrimp," are a group of crustaceans that have existed for nearly 220 million years, with little change in their evolution. The "living fossils" can be found worldwide in small bodies of water. Their entire lifespan is about 8 to 14 weeks. Triop eggs hatch during wet seasons, lay eggs then die when the wet seasons end. Triop eggs remain in a dormant state called diapause until the eggs re-hydrated. They make for pretty entertaining aquatic pets due to their underwater acrobatics, and are fairly easy to maintain and raise.

Things Needed

  • 1-quart container
  • Triops sand and egg mixture
  • Clean sand/ filter sand
  • Lamp
  • Aquarium Themometer
  • Aquarium with pump & filter
  • Triops or betta fish food
  • Aquarium siphon/ turkey baster

Triops are crustaceans and close cousins to the shrimp.
Triops are crustaceans and close cousins to the shrimp. | Source

Growing Triops

  1. Fill a 1-quart container with distilled water 3/4 full, and let sit for 24 hours. The water must be distilled, because tap water has chemicals that harm triops. Water from a well has a possibility of it harming the triops as well. Remember, triops live in puddles of rainwater which is free of chemicals and pollution.
  2. Pour the mixture of sand and triops eggs into the container of water.
  3. Place the container under a lamp or other light source. Maintain the water temperature required by the species of triops eggs. Each species requires a different temperature to hatch, but most will hatch at room temperature. Do plenty of research to determine the specific water temperature for your species. Most species of triops will hatch within 24 hours, while others may require a week or more.
  4. Do not feed the newly hatched triops for at least 3 days. The baby triops will feed off of particles in the water, which are invisible to the naked eye. Once the 3 days are up, a very small amount of food can be sprinkled into the water.
  5. Crush a very small piece of triops food into a fine powder and sprinkle it into the water. Crushed betta fish-food pellets are sufficient if triops food is unavailable, but only 1 pellet should be crushed and fed to the triops.
  6. Increase food depending on the size of the triops, sprinkling only enough for the triops to eat entirely withing a few minutes. Overfeeding will eventually kill the triops. Triops very opportunistic eaters and will gorge themselves if the amount of food is not regulated. Crushing the food isn't necessary once the triops are about 1/4 inch long or larger.
  7. Use a turkey baster or aquarium siphon to remove waste from the bottom of the container after a few days or so.
  8. Fill an aquarium with distilled water and run the filter for about a week. This will condition the tank and the water for the triops.
  9. Transfer the triops one by one, with a 24-hour interval between transfers, into the aquarium once they are about 1/2 inch long. Clean the filter weekly to prevent bacteria and diseases from spreading.


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