Last week I wrote a little post about our experiences with Sea Monkeys. I figured they were such a popular science kit that I didn’t need to go into too much depth about them. What I did not expect was the mass of questions from my readers who had never heard of Sea Monkeys or who had no first hand experience with them and wanted know more. So many of you reached out via Facebook, email, and even blog comments that I’ve decided to postpone the post I had planned to address your questions today.
Question #1: What do you feed them?
Answer: The kits generally come with little packets of food. The food is basically just freeze dried algae. Some kits suggest giving them a bit of fresh crushed carrot along with the supplied food. The food lasts a few months but if you run out then you can always order more. Do not feed them fish food, that will kill them.
Question #2: How long do they live?
Answer: Thats a tricky one. If you get Triops (tadpole shrimp) then they only live a few weeks-couple months. But if you get Sea Monkeys (brine shrimp) then they could live much longer. Some people have even been able to successfully keep a sustained colony of sea monkeys which reproduces at a rate to balance out the deaths. Colonies like this have been known to last for years! Now, I won’t promise you that they will live that long because they are finicky, they require proper care to reproduce and live long lives.
Hatching sea monkeys and keeping them alive a few months is so easy that a child could do it. Keeping them alive for several years and encouraging them to mate is a bit more complex. The tank needs the right levels of oxygen, light, warmth, food, etc.. in order for the females to give birth.
Question #3: How big do they get?
Answer: Depends on what kind. Sea Monkeys are tiny. It takes about a month for them to reach full size (1.5cm). I suggest having a magnifying glass handy to observe them those first couple weeks. Triops are bigger, but not too much bigger.
Question #4: What do I keep them in?
Answer: Some kits come with little plastic hatching dishes and tanks, others do not. Any sort of CLEAN plastic or glass container will do. I suggest a clear container so that you can actually see them swimming around inside of it.
If you’re interested in buying your own tiny crustaceans then you can do so at the following links:
Triops (tadpole shrimp, which are bigger and live 20-90 days)
Sea Monkeys (brine shrimp, which are smaller and can live for months or years)
To learn more about Sea Monkeys, visit the following links:
How Stuff Works: How Do Sea Monkeys Work?
Kids Net: Fun Stuff & Ideas: Sea Monkeys
Sea Monkey Worship, a blog dedicated to sea monkeys
Be sure to see what my Saturday Science Co-Hosts are up to this week!
Science Books about the Seasons for Kids from Stir the Wonder
A Year Of Fizzing Erupting Baking Soda Activities from Little Bins For Little Hands
Dissolving Candy Pumpkins | Halloween Science for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures
For more science ideas, check out our collaborative science Pinterest board!Follow Science Experiments for Kids on Pinterest.
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