Shrimp Lab

One method to test the Hatch-out for your brine shrimp eggs

Have you ever wondered if there is a simple way to double check the hatch-rates of the brine shrimp eggs you are buying?  For all you know the Premium grade brine shrimp eggs you bought from your local or on-line feed store has had the egg in there inventory for several months and perhaps years!  The egg  may be able to sustain the “Premium Guaranteed” hatch-rate, but there is a good chance the egg has decreased in hatching percentage.

I am compiling a little DIY video, so you can easily check the hatching percentage.  This video could also be used as a great science experiment for middle school to high school aged students.  I hope to have it completed by the first of July 09.  The video will be posted on this page via

Analysis and Lab Tests

Usually for Artemia or brine shrimp which is being shipped international there are various documents that need to accompany the Artemia.  These documents may include a Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Product Quality, Vet or Health Certificate, Labs testing results, and a Guaranteed Analysis.

The Artemia and processing facility will need to be  inspected and approved by VS (or UDAF).

Lab samples will need to yield the following results:

  1. Rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, hog cholera, swine vesicular disease, African swine fever, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia do not exist in this product.
  2. Negative results for the following:
    1. Taura Syndrome
    2. Whitespot virus
    3. Yellow Head Virus
    4. Salmonella 


Artemia or Brine Shrimp

Proximate Analysis


Protein (min)


Fat (min)


Ash (min)


Moisture (max)






Nauplii (Instar 1)






Microbiological Analysis


Marine Bacteria (CFU/g.)

50% min

Yeast/Molds (CFU/g.)

10,000 max

Coliforms (MPN/g.)

1,000 max



V. Cholerae














Commercial Testing

This is how Brine shrimp Harvesting and Processing companies conduct tests do determine Nauplii-per-gram (NPG) count or hatching percentage:

Materials required

  • Imhoff/Nalgene transparent cone (1000 ml / 1 L)
  • 25 grams table salt
  • NaHCO3 (Baking Soda) used as a buffer
  • 2000 lux of light
  • Brine Shrimp (1.00 gram)
  • Filter paper
  • Air supply
  • Heater 
  1. Prepare saline solution by dissolving 25 grams of salt in Imhoff transparent cone at the 1 liter or 1000 ml water mark.
  2. Test cones must have aeration from the bottom at all times, as well as being illuminated by lights (2000 lux) during the full 24 hr. incubation process. 
  3. A temperature of 25°-29° Celsius must be present and consistent during the full 24 hr. incubation.
  4. Exactly 1.00 gram of Artemia Cysts are measured out.
  5. The Artemia Cysts are add to the saline solution to incubate for 24 hours.
  6. Occasionally the sides should be washed down with saline solution to keep eggs from drying on the side.
  7. After 24 hours, with aeration and illumination still on, draw exactly 1 ml with a pipette of the saline/artemia solution.
  8. Evenly spread the 1ml sample across filter paper and count the only the fully hatched nauplii.
  9. Take the number counted and multiply this by 1000 to arrive to at the Nauplii Per Gram (NPG) count (i.e. 235 nauplii * 1000 = 235,000 NPG.)
  10. When finished counting, turn off aeration, let cysts and nauplii separate for about 10 minutes…the cysts will float while the nauplii will settle to the bottom of container.  Separation is graded by the following criteria:
  • the eggs is “GREAT” if their is no egg stuck the side of the cone, all the shell floats to the top, the nauplii sink to the bottom, and the nauplii are a bright orange color.
  • the egg is “GOOD” if the nauplii color is a dull orange, OR the cone contains a SMALL amount of egg stuck to the side, OR a VERY SMALL amount of cysts settle at the bottom with the nauplii.
  • the egg is “FAIR” if there is a MODERATE amount of cysts in the nauplii, or if there is a fair amount of egg stuck on the side of the cone.
  • the egg is “POOR” if there is a lot of cysts in the nauplii, the water is cloudy, or the whole cone is just poor looking or may have bacteria contamination.

The NPG is then divided by the Cysts Per Gram (CPG) to arrive at the hatch rate.  The CPG is calculated every year, and varies from harvest year to harvest year.  So if we take the NPG of 235,000 as our numerator (from our example above), and divide this by the denominator or CPG of 280,000 then the hatch rate would be 83.9%.


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