Species group: Shrimps
Other common names: Sea-Monkeys; Brine Shrimp; Artemia NYOS; Artemia; Sea Dragons; Fairy Shrimp
Scientific name: Artemia nyos
Sea Monkeys are an ancient arthropod which have feathery appendages that are used to swim and filter food from the water of the inland salt lakes in which they live. Sea Monkeys are also known as Brine Shrimp and are also not a true shrimp like you often see in other fish tanks. When they aren't being used as a food for aquarium fish they are often sold as part of an "all in one" bundle to create instant pets in a small plastic tank. While not quite magic, the secret to this sudden appearance of shrimp is because of the way they can put their eggs in to a dormant dry state. They will hatch when exposed to salt water once again, but only in very specific conditions. While most brine shrimp fall under the Artemia genus those commonly included in starter pet packages are a hybrid form bred for size, hardiness and activity. They are dubbed Artemia NYOS, which stands for New York Ocean Science.
The bodies of Sea Monkeys are transparent or white.
Entirely docile filter feeders, these can be housed with other micro-organisms and small crustaceans that will not eat them.
Sea Monkeys are very easy to feed. They accept most types of food that they filter out of the water, whether vegetable or animal in origin. There are commercial brine shrimp foods available in pet stores or through online retailers that contain micro algae and often yeast for the nauplii (freshly hatched Sea Monkeys) to eat, however there are quite a few cheaper alternatives at your regular grocery store. Examples include yeast, spirulina, wheat flour, soybean powder, and powedered or boiled egg yolk crushed into a fine powder. While they can live in very small tanks it is important to do large water changes weekly as the small size means excess foods and waste accumulate quickly and can wipe out an entire colony. The sheddings of the shrimp as well as excess food should be removed when possible. Oxygenation is also important and a small bubble stone on a very low air rate can keep enough water movement and oxygen without disturbing the Sea Monkeys.
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