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Brine Shrimp Experiment

Page history last edited by Hassan Wilson 15 years ago


The Brine Shrimp Experiment


To design and conduct a laboratory investigation to determine how different factors may affect the hatching and development of brine shrimp eggs.



The Brine Shrimp Project is an investigation in which you and your partner will gather and analyze data about how different factors may affect the hatching and development of brine shrimp. In addition, all students will have the opportunity to design an experiment, conduct an investigation using the scientific method, analyze the results and share the results with the rest of the class in the form of an oral report. Students will also be required to write a formal laboratory report using the format we discussed the first day of class.


Brine Shrimp Facts


Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Arthropoda

Class Crustacea

The common brine shrimp (artemia) are closely related to zooplankton such as Daphnia and are often used as live food for aquariums. The artemia life cycle begins by the hatching of dormant cysts which are encased embryos that are metabolically inactive. The cysts can remain dormant for many years as long as they are kept dry. When the cysts are placed in salt water, they are rehydrated and resume their development.

After 15 or 20 hours at 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), the cysts burst and the embryo leaves the shell. For the first few hours, the embryo hangs beneath the cyst shell, still enclosed in the hatching membrane. The embryo will grow and progress through 15 molts before reaching adulthood in approximately 8 days. Adult artemia average about 8mm long, but can reach lengths of 20 mm under ideal conditions.

Other variables of importance are pH, light and oxygen. A pH of 7.5-8.5 is optimal, and can be lowered with acids (vinegar, lemon juice) or increased with bases (baking soda). A minimum amount of light is necessary for hatching and is beneficial for increased adult growth. Two liter soda bottles with the tops cut off and filled with tap water make great hatching containers. To the bottle filled with water add 10 to 20 grams of salt without iodine and a pinch of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Feeding the brine shrimp is necessary, if the culture is to be used for several days. A solution of baker’s yeast and fish tank water to form a milky solution is an ideal food for the growing brine shrimp. The brine shrimp culture only needs a few drops of the yeast solution as they are not big eaters and overfeeding can foul the culture. The yeast solution can be placed in a dropper bottle and stored in the refrigerator.



Day 1

Your name:

Group member’s names:

1. Identify people in your group who will be able to bring in a camera every day of experiment.

2. Read and briefly discuss if you are interested in investigating the following

project suggestions.


Project Suggestions:


Brine Shrimp Eggs

1. Does temperature affect the rate at which brine shrimp eggs hatch?

2. Do different concentrations of salt affect the rate at which brine shrimp hatch?

3. Does increased acidity (acid rain) affect the hatching rate of the brine shrimp?

4. Do increased amounts of light increase or decrease hatching rates?

5. Do pollutants (oil, etc.) have an effect on hatching rates?


Live Brine Shrimp

The same problems may be investigated using live brine shrimp, but determinations can be made on mortality rates.

1. What amounts of food are optimal for brine shrimp survival?

2. What is the optimal salt concentration for brine shrimp survival?

3. Can brine shrimp survive at temperatures which are less than optimal (storage in the refrigerator, etc.)?


Day 1

With your group brainstorm 3 problems you would like to investigate.




Oral presentation to the rest of class on the three problems you selected and ways in which you would carry out the investigation.


Day 1

List three additional problems presented by other teams which might be of interest to you and your group.





Day 1

Select a problem.

State the problem you and your group would like to investigate.


Day 1

Write a hypothesis.

You may write it as ________ affects _________.


Day 1

Title of your project.

The title should be specific and relate to the problem and the hypothesis.


Day 1 Homework

Locate Research Bookmarks file on moodle. Find two links about Brine Shrimp. Take notes from each link.


Day 1 - 3

Design the investigation. Fill in Blank Procedure & Materials List Form PDF document Show completed form to Mr. Wilson for approval. He will sign below once he approves your design.

Your experiment should:

-test the hypothesis

-test only a single variable

-describe the procedure

-list materials and equipment needed

-include a design drawing

When planning experiment, consider that Mr. Wilson successfully hatched and raised Brine Shrimp using the following materials, which he can provide to you:

2000 ml of tap water, 20ml/20grams of sea salt, .6 grams of Brine Shrimp eggs, .3 grams of baking soda


Approval of design __________________________ Date ___________________


Day 3

Once you receive approval of your design, fill in Experiment Design Template Sheet PDF document


Day 3

Homework – 1. Bring in materials. 2. Create a data table, which will be filled in during the experiment.


Day 4

Set up the Experiment

Determine any problems which may be encountered and correct them at this time. List any sources of error which may be encountered.


Day 4-8

Homework – Bring in camera to take photo of experiment set up. You should bring in camera everyday to take picture of changes to your experiment as part of your results.


Day 5

First Data Collection

Record the data you collect in the form of a data table.

Day 6

Second Data Collection


Day 7

Third Data Collection


Day 8

Fourth Data Collection


Day 8

Analyze the data.

Does the data support your hypothesis? How confident are you in this decision?


Day 8

Plan Oral Presentation

Develop a written outline or plan for your oral presentation.


Day 8

Homework - Formal Laboratory Report (will be done at home, not class)

Check moodle for updated document How to Write a Good Lab Report Resource Updated 10/29/08

Upcoming: Oral presentations & peer evaluations of lab reports. Peer evaluators must use lab report evaluation form found on moodle.


Source: http://www.ncsu.edu/sciencejunction/terminal/lessons/brine.html


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