The Perfect Pet (?)

By , June 18, 2007 8:09 am

On International Sea Monkey Day (May 16th – mark your calender for next year) I revealed my secret fascination with the sea monkey concept. So, during one of my as-infrequent-as-possible trips to Walmart, how could I pass up the $6.00 Sea Monkey kit that I happened to see!

Despite my warnings that the “Sea Monkeys” (aka. brine shrimp) would definitely not be as cute and cuddly as the picture on the package, my kids were thrilled with this experiment.

It was really quite simple. First we had to fill the tank with tap water. Then we put in the powdery contents of packet Number 1, a water purifier, and let it sit 24 hours.

The next evening was the fun time. After insuring that the water was the recommended temperature, my daughter poured in Packet #2, the eggs! My son stirred, and voila!

The results? Well, not much that we could see. Perhaps our water was a little colder than recommended (means a longer hatching period).

By the next morning however, three almost microscopic little squiggles were visible (sort of). The children christened them Squiggles, Squirmy, and Wiggles. By that evening we had such a colony that naming them was impossible (how about Squiggles 1, Squiggles 2, Squiggles 3… Squiggles 142, etc.). Such excitement! You’d think we were hatching chickens or elephants or something.

On day 5 we gave them a bit of food from Packet #3. They seem pretty happy. I guess I don’t see why brine shrimp can’t be happy.

We have had them a week now and I must say they are growing rapidly. You can now make them out easily, and if you look closely, you can even see their little waving legs (arms? fins? cilia?). Still too small for a photo though, so I will post this dramatic closeup from Wikipedia:

Try this project with your kids. I would say that we have definitely had our $6.00 worth of fun already!

Plus, maybe they are not so cute, maybe they are not so cuddly but – they don’t yack up furballs on your new sisal rug, need a walk in the middle of the night or shed fur all over your favorite little black dress.

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6 Responses to “The Perfect Pet (?)”

  1. utenzi says:

    I remember “growing” sea monkeys when I was a kid. Where in the world did they ever come up with that name? It was a great marketing ploy, that’s for sure, but not very accurate. Oh, well…

    [Reply]

  2. Andamom says:

    I almost picked sea monkeys up for a present last year. I vividly remember talking to the aunt of the child I was going to give it to and her asking me “what happens when the experiment is over? — what do you do with them?” I didn’t have an answer back then… So, I wanted to know how long these little guys last? (Or rather, how long do you anticipate them lasting?)

    [Reply]

  3. Mom Unplugged says:

    Andamom: That is an excellent question! As a lover of all living creatures (I can’t even kill flies)
    I read about this while researching my first Sea Monkey post and would not have decided to do this if it meant killing something living or flushing them down the toilet at the end!

    Apparently, with proper care, they can live up to two years and grow to be 1/2″ to 3/4″ long! Once they get to a certain size, they reproduce, so I suppose you could keep a tank going for quite some time.

    I view it like keeping a fish tank. They may seem quite small and “primitive,” but they deserve proper treatment and responsible care. The experiment is never over until they die a natural death. I just hope we have more luck with these little guys than we have had with fish tanks in the past (I have given up on fish).

    It actually seems to me to be a great way to encourage my children to love and care for all living creatures, even those that are not of a familiar mammal form.

    Here are some more resources if anyone has any further questions:

    Official Sea Monkey Website

    Sea Monkey Mania

    Sea Monkey Geek

    [Reply]

  4. Sea Monkey Geek says:

    I agree, Sea Monkeys are great fun for kids. My nephew is having a blast with his.
    And I love the whole idea of ‘Unplugging.’ Though I may not be ready to unplug myself quite yet.
    Thanks for the link.

    [Reply]

  5. [...] read about the process of hatching Sea Monkeys, see my June 18th, Perfect Pet post, or click on the label “sea monkeys” in the right [...]

  6. [...] Make Your Yard a Certified Wildlife HabitatUnplug Your Kids » Happy Birthday Sea Monkeys! on The Perfect Pet (?)Unplug Your Kids » Another Backyard Wildlife Slideshow on Project: Make Your Yard a Certified [...]

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