Like any other pet, it’s important to take care of your aquarium fish and make sure they have the best possible food source in order to remain healthy and live a long life. Feeding your fish live natural food like Mysis or Brine shrimp can extend your fish’s life span.
Mysis shrimp are microscopic crustaceans that aren’t true shrimp. They come in a wide range of sizes but at the most, they usually grow to be an inch in size. They are found in northern freshwater lakes and off the coast of the Arctic.
Mysis Shrimp Vs Brine Shrimp
These two types of frozen shrimp are the most common options for your fish. What is the difference between these two species? Mysis shrimps are usually larger than Brine shrimp which only grow up to 0.3 inches in length.
Brine shrimps are also actually shrimp, while Mysis aren’t. When it comes to the two Mysis is a more efficient food source with more protein and nutrients. Brine shrimp aren’t as nutritious but are cheaper.
Considering live food, Mysis shrimp aren’t as available as Brine shrimp and live Brine shrimp are very healthy for your fish unlike frozen. It depends on what is more available to you.
Raising Mysis Shrimp
Due to Mysis shrimp not being as available live, it is easier to supply your own. You can raise Mysis shrimp by using a 20- or 30-gallon aquarium filled with saltwater to a salinity of 1.023. Any salt can be used.
Next, use a mesh separator to separate the aquarium in half. You’ll need a powerhead to place at one end of the tank. Add live rock with algae and let it sit in the tank for three to four weeks to build up beneficial bacteria.
Add 200 adult Mysis shrimp to the side of the tank with the powerhead. The mesh separator will filter the babies to the other side of the tank as they are born to prevent them from being eaten by the adults.
Raising Brine Shrimp
You can also raise Brine shrimp. First, you’ll need a Brine shrimp hatchery. Once you have obtained a hatchery, you’ll need the following:
- Containers (at least two)
- Air pump and tubing
- Air stones
- Food supply
Fill The Container
You can use two small tanks for growing containers, but 5-gallon buckets will also work. Fill one of the buckets with fresh water that has a salt content of 1.018. Use the other bucket for weekly water changes.
Drop an air stone in the tank or container to circulate the water. It’s best to keep the shrimp and their food in constant motion.
Rinse your baby Brine shrimp with fresh saltwater and put them into your container.
To grow, the Brine shrimp will need a food supply. You can make your own Brine shrimp food or buy commercial food.
For the best results, Brine shrimp should have food available to them constantly, but you also don’t want to flood the container with excess food. So, how often should you feed?
- A good rule is to feed just enough food to make the container water slightly cloudy.
- When the water appears to be clear add more food.
- As you add more shrimp you will need more food and more frequent feeding.
When your container gets dirty it will need to be changed. Here is how to change your container:
- Turn off the air supply for 15 minutes, allowing debris to settle and the Brine shrimp to rise to the top.
- Fill the second container with clean saltwater, then move over the air pump.
- Use a mesh net to transfer the Brine shrimp to the new container
- Turn on the air pump and feed your shrimp
- Clean out the old container
You can use your Brine shrimp as food for your fish or as food for your adult Mysis shrimp.
Mysis Shrimp Vs Brine Shrimp
We’ve covered that Mysis shrimp are more nutritious, but does that mean your fish will like them better? If given the choice, fish always seem to prefer Brine shrimp over Mysis shrimp.
Here are some key differences between the two:
|Mysis Shrimp||Brine Shrimp|
|Less nutritious frozen||More nutritious in frozen form|
|Larger in size||Smaller in size|
|Not all fish like them||Almost all fish take to them|
|A dollar more than Brine Shrimp||Cheaper|
|Not always available||Readily available|
The Main Debate
Let’s further break down everything mentioned above.
In terms of accessibility, Brine shrimp are more available. Mysis are not always readily available. There is often a lack of supply. However, changing a fish’s food from time to time is a good idea. You can use Brine shrimp when you do not have access to Mysis shrimp and then switch back after some time.
Live Mysis are richer in protein and fat, but is the difference significant? Not really. Frozen Brine shrimp are richer in nutrients than frozen Mysis. Here is a comparison between frozen Brine and frozen Mysis shrimp in terms of nutritional value.
|Brine Shrimp||Mysis Shrimp|
|Minimum Crude Protein||7.1%||5.7%|
|Minimum Crude Fat||1.1%||0.1%|
|Maximum Crude Fiber||0.5%||0.2%|
As you can see the differences in the frozen shrimps aren’t significant.
In terms of size, Brine shrimp are smaller, so they are preferred when feeding live shrimp to fish. Smaller shrimp is easier for them to eat. It would be difficult to start making them eat larger shrimp all of a sudden so starting them out with Mysis is preferred.
Fish tend to prefer Brine shrimp due to its size and taste. The most important factor in a fish’s diet is variety.
Which Shrimp Is Better For Your Fish?
Live Mysis shrimps are a winner if you’re looking for the best nutrition, but they are hard to access at times and Brine shrimp are simpler for fish to eat and more accessible. Which you choose for your fish depends on your budget, availability, tank size, fish type, ability to grow shrimps, etc.
Can Freshwater Fish Eat Mysis?
There is a type of frozen Mysis for freshwater fish. PE frozen Mysis are rich in Omega 3’s and fatty acids like Brine shrimp. It is a great option to supplement your fish’s diet.
How Often Should I Feed Mysis to My Fish?
It’s best to vary your fish’s food now and then. They can be fed Mysis a couple of times a week and other foods can be supplemented on the other days of the week.
Can You Feed Fish Brine Shrimp Daily?
Like Mysis shrimp, you can feed your fish Brine shrimp a couple of times a week and supplement other foods on the other days like flakes, pellets, etc.
Both Mysis Shrimp and Brine Shrimp are nutritious for your fish depending on the form they are in. When in doubt, live is usually best. Which option you choose depends on your budget, accessibility to each type, what your fish prefers, and other factors. The key to a healthy fish is a varied diet that is well-balanced.