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Sea monkeys have been popular with kids since the 1970s, and even with adults. People grow them because they’re easier to care for than your average pet.
While their popularity is increasing, many questions arise on why they keep dying quickly. Some people believe that sea monkeys eat each other.
Is it real? Do sea monkeys eat each other? Let’s find out!
What Is a Sea Monkey?
Sea monkeys are members of the Artemia family. They are an artificial breed of brine shrimp invented by Harold von Braunhut in 1957.
They were sold in packages as low-maintenance aquatic pets. People would buy them, follow the instructions, and watch what seemed to be just some powder turn into life.
These creatures grow up to three-quarters of an inch. Although rare, some people reported that their pet sea monkeys grew up to a whole inch.
Their average lifespan is around two years. With proper care, some people manage to keep them alive for up to five years.
Do Sea Monkeys Eat Each Other?
The answer is no. Sea monkeys don’t eat each other, and they don’t eat each other’s babies or eggs. Two male sea monkeys may fight over a female, but they won’t kill or eat each other.
So, if sea monkeys don’t eat each other, what exactly is the cause of their death? Well, it could be a wide range of things, from overfeeding to a dirty tank.
Here are the most common reasons why sea monkeys die prematurely:
1 – Overfeeding
Sea monkeys should be fed once a week in a quantity that’s compliant with the manufacturer’s instructions.
If their water is cloudy, then you’re mostly overfeeding them, which could lead to their death.
Generally, to feed adult sea monkeys, use the big cup on the feeding spoon. As for baby sea monkeys, use the small cup.
2 – Cold or Hot Water
Sea monkeys’ ideal water temperature ranges between 75 – 80 °F. If it’s too cold, they may stop growing and eventually die.
Sea monkeys love light, and they will chase it whenever they see it. Some people mistake that for placing them under direct sunlight.
While sea monkeys should be exposed to sunlight from time to time, it should be in an indirect manner to prevent the tank from getting too hot.
3 – Not Removing Dead Sea Monkeys
It’s natural for a few sea monkeys to die in the early stages. If you don’t scoop out the dead ones in the bottom of the tank, they will decompose and the bacteria will harm the healthy ones.
4 – Dirty Tank
Bacteria will form around any foreign body in the tank. Cotton, cloth particles, or any debris that falls in the tank should be cleaned.
5 – Not Enough Oxygen
The tank could have little oxygen, or maybe you have many sea monkeys in one tank. Either blow fresh oxygen into the tank and stir it or have an extra tank for your excess sea monkeys.
Sea monkeys breathe through their feet and will turn upside down whenever they need extra oxygen.
If you notice your sea monkeys upside down most of the time, chances are that oxygen isn’t enough.
6 – Having Other Fish Around Them
Sea monkeys are by no means harmful to any aquatic life, but other fish will harm them and try to eat them.
If you like to have fish as pets, that’s totally fine. But unless you want to feed the sea monkeys to them, keep them in separate tanks.
7 – Not Noticing When They’re Sick
Sea monkeys are translucent in color, but dark spots start to form on their bodies when they’re ill. If you fail to notice such a thing, their sickness will eventually get the best of them.
8 – Using Tap Water
Tap water isn’t guaranteed to be clean. Make sure to use distilled or bottled water to keep your sea monkeys healthy.
9 – Changing the Water
Sea monkeys don’t like when their watery environment is changed. Unless their tanks are visibly dirty, don’t change their water.
10 – Nibbling at Their Dead
When a sea monkey dies because of any of the mentioned problems, it will sink to the bottom of the tank. This is when things get a little confusing.
As sea monkeys decompose, their translucent body color will start to get darker and more opaque. That means the bacteria consuming them are increasing in number.
It happens rarely, but when the food is insufficient, some sea monkeys will confuse the dark dead bodies for dark food particles. That’s why they start to take a few bites.
Even if the food is enough, some sea monkeys will be curious to nibble at those newly formed dark bodies in their tank.
This is another occasion where they could be misunderstood for eating each other.
How to Grow a Sea Monkey?
Sea monkeys come in three packages: the water purifier or conditioner, the eggs, and the food package.
You start by filling their tank with distilled water if available. If distilled water isn’t something you can get, you could use bottled water.
Add the first package that contains the water purifier. This conditioner should be left in the tank for around 24 hours.
After the required period, add the eggs package. You should be able to see tiny sea monkeys within seconds of adding the second package.
Five days after hatching, you may add the food package. Then you should feed them once a week following the food manufacturer’s instructions.
So, do sea monkeys eat each other? The answer is no. Sea monkeys won’t eat each other, their eggs, or their babies.
Although male sea monkeys may fight each other over a female, they don’t kill or eat each other.
As mentioned, there are many reasons why people would notice a reduced number of sea monkeys in their tanks. However, eating each other isn’t one of them.
In fact, one of the above-mentioned reasons, which is not removing dead sea monkeys, is probably why that question appeared, to begin with.