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Artemia salina (Artemia salina), its features and use

Artemia salina is a small crustacean that lives in estuaries and salt lakes around the world. Due to the unusual structure of the body and biological features, it has become the object of numerous studies conducted not only on earth, but also in space.

For all lovers of aquariums, Artemia is known not as an interesting, from a scientific point of view, organism, but as an indispensable food for young fish.

The crayfish Artemia salina is a crustacean of the family Artemiidae. It was first described by the famous Swedish scholar Carl Linnaeus in 1758.

Over the years of research, it turned out that the crustacean has unique features that are not inherent to other individuals of its family.

Artemia salina often serves as food for certain fish species in aquariums.

The crayfish Artemia salina lives in many saline reservoirs (sulphate, chloride, carbonate). Often they are located in or near resort areas.

These little creatures are involved in the formation of therapeutic mud and help many people cope with various health problems.

In most cases, Artemia salina lives alone. This is due to the fact that the salt concentration in their water bodies is so high that all other organisms simply die.

However, in fresh water the crustacean can live no more than an hour.

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Among the most massive clusters of these crustaceans can be noted:

  1. USA. In Utah’s Great Salt Lake, Marina Salina Lake and San Francisco Bay.
  2. South America. In the Brazilian lake Macau, as well as Argentina – Buenos Aires.
  3. Australia. In this area, the crustacean can be seen only in the Shark Bay.
  4. Kazakhstan. In the lakes of Burliu, Tengiz, as well as throughout the Eastern coast of the Caspian Sea.
  5. Crimean peninsula. In reservoirs that belong to resorts with therapeutic mud. These include the lakes Sakskoye and Sivash.
  6. Ural Bear Lake.
  7. Altai. In the lakes Salty, Bitter, Great Spring.
  8. Siberia. Lake Karachi.

Crustaceans of Artemia salina distributed throughout the globe

Artemia salina lives around the world, and therefore adapts perfectly to the environment. Because of this, in each individual region, it will have small features that are characteristic only for this place.

However, all these crustaceans will have common species similarities.

In most cases, the body length of an adult crustacean will not exceed 20 millimeters. On its sides there are 11 pairs of legs, with the help of which the crustacean not only moves in the water, but also helps itself to feed.

Artemia has three microscopic eyes on the head.

Artemia salina reaches only 2 cm in length

By the appearance of this representative of arthropods one can easily determine the sex of an individual. In males, unlike females, there is an enlarged second pair of antennas, which, during evolution, turned into a capture apparatus during mating. Males have 2 reproductive organs at once, thanks to which they are held together with the female.

In this form, they swim for several days before they manage to mate.

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The life of any Artemia salina begins after the laying of eggs by the female. At one time she is able to release from 150 to 200 future crustaceans for free swimming.. Depending on the environmental conditions, there may be 2 types of eggs:

  1. With thin walls. Young crustaceans hatch immediately after reaching the desired stage of development.
  2. With a thick shell. Such eggs are formed only in the case of drying up of the reservoir or an increased concentration of salt in it. They may remain stationary for several years and will develop only when released into suitable water.

Larvae hatch from eggs. They are very small and not everyone can see them with the naked eye.

They have an organ of vision that helps them find their way to sunlight. With further development, two more eyes and legs are formed.

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Artemia plays an important role in human life. Many cosmetics and medical preparations are made from it.

The crustaceans contain a large amount of substances that are beneficial to the human body, which beneficially affect the operation of all its systems. The most significant among them are:

  • squirrels;
  • fats;
  • amino acids (valine, threonine, leucine and others);
  • hormones and other biologically active substances;
  • vitamins.

The richest in vitamins are artemia saline cysts. They contain a high concentration of vitamin B, as well as carotenoids.

As soon as people discovered the beneficial properties of this crustacean, they immediately began using it as food. For those times it was very tasty, nutritious and often replaced inaccessible meat.

The first mention of Artemia, as an indispensable source of energy and strength, was found among the Indians who lived near the Great Salt Lake. They caught this crustacean in large quantities and prepared various foods.

Did not refuse such food and Arabs-nomads. If they ever found a lake with artemia salina, then they fished it out and ground it into a paste.

In this form, the crustacean meat was stored for a long time and did not deteriorate during long transitions. Nowadays, such food is used only by tribes of people who honor the traditions of their ancestors.

Historical sources mention that artemia salina was widely used as food among the tribes.

Artemia salina is very prolific. They are able to produce offspring all year round.

However, they are not only massively born, but also die. Over time, the bodies of crustaceans settled on the bottom and mixed there with silt, forming curative mud, which possess a number of useful properties and help to cope with such diseases:

  • kidney and urinary system problems;
  • disorders of the musculoskeletal system;
  • skin problems;
  • disorders of the reproductive system in both women and men.

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In addition, crustaceans are useful in pharmacology. Of these, a large number of medications are made that normalize the metabolism and improve digestion.

On the basis of Artemia cysts, they create various dietary supplements that help to cope with such problems:

  • reduce fat mass and help reduce body weight;
  • improve lipid metabolism;
  • reduce the content of the actual total fluid.

Artemia salina breeds year-round

For all lovers of aquariums Artemia salina is an indispensable source of food for fish. However, the price of these crustaceans is quite high and not everyone can afford.

In this case, you can try to breed this representative of the fauna yourself. If you do everything right, you can provide your fish with healthy and fresh food.

Cultivation of crustaceans is rather difficult. The owner of the aquarium need to take into account many nuances that will help cope with the task.

The first thing you need to choose and prepare the aquarium, as well as all related accessories.

Cultivation of brine shrimp requires special conditions

Preparation is as follows:

  1. For growing Artemia salina a vessel with a volume of at least 30 liters is required. The best option is to use the capacity of 40 or 50 liters.
  2. Crustacea, which should settle in an aquarium, are susceptible to infection by various harmful bacteria. On this basis, it is necessary to process the vessel with boiling water.
  3. The walls of the aquarium should be such as to easily carry the constant effects of salt water.

Artemia Aquarium should be located on the sunny side

  1. The bottom of the vessel can be filled with special soil. This is not a mandatory event, but it will help the crustaceans to quickly adapt to environmental conditions. Before adding the earth should be well washed with boiling water. Otherwise, water may begin to cloud, which is unacceptable when diluting Artemia.
  2. For breeding of small crustaceans, it is necessary to provide them with constant access to sunlight. To do this, you can put their “house” on the windowsill or in another place with direct sunlight.
  3. To provide crustaceans with food sources, it is necessary to put small clay objects on the bottom of the vessel. Due to the exposure of the sun they will form algae, which will be an excellent food for small pets.
  4. Container with crustaceans is best covered with a lid. This will protect them from dust and other small particles.

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To obtain the highest quality fish food, you need to properly maintain Artemia salina and monitor the condition of their aquarium. The rapid growth of crustaceans, as well as their usefulness, will depend on these conditions.

For the success of breeding you need to follow the instructions of professionals:

  1. The temperature of the water in the aquarium should be maintained within 21−23 degrees.
  2. Salt concentration should not exceed 30%. For more adult individuals, this indicator can be reduced by several percent.
  3. It is not recommended to change the water in the aquarium. An exception is the turbidity of the fluid.

It is worth changing only clouded water with Artemia crustaceans.

  1. Once every 2–3 days it is necessary to add a little clean fresh water to the container with crustaceans. This is done in order to replenish the liquid after it evaporates.
  2. You can add to the aquarium some useful vitamins and various formulations.
  3. For aeration it is best to use an ordinary compressor. Any other device can create a lot of air bubbles, which, if it gets under the shell of a pet, can destroy it.
  4. To remove crustaceans from eggs, you must first clean them and pour a liter of clean water. Then it is important to put them in a solution of sea salt and put them in the freezer for two months. After these manipulations, eggs can be used at any time.

Artemia water should be salty water

It is very important not only to contain crustaceans correctly, but also to feed them. For these purposes, you can pour small algae into the water.

You can buy them at any pet store for little money. Artemia filters water and separates it from microscopic food particles.

If the algae are too light and float on the surface of the water, the crustaceans will slowly pick them up and use them for their intended purpose.

Artemia that have grown up on such a diet are very popular with almost all types of predatory aquarium fish.

Artemia salina prefers algae as a staple food.

Feeding occurs in several stages:

  1. Adult fish are caught from the aquarium with crustaceans.
  2. Then they are thoroughly washed with fresh water to get rid of salt. In this case, it is possible not to separate living beings from the dead. The fish will gladly eat both.
  3. After this, the crustaceans are placed in a tank with fish, where they end their life path.

Artemia salina is a wonderful crustacean, which is used not only as food for aquarium fish, but also as an indispensable component of medicinal preparations. With the right approach to growing them and following all the advice of professionals, you can get rid of the need to buy food and provide your fish with a nutritious and tasty delicacy.

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