Sea monkeys have been around for a really long time, loved by both adults and children; these unusual pets are interesting pets to keep.
Sea monkeys were actually created based on a species of brine shrimp, generally found in lakes and oceans worldwide. Today they are readily available in pet stores and can be purchased with a kit to care for them.
Novelty sea monkeys, also known as brine shrimp, have a lifespan of one to two years, but some sea monkey owners have kept their sea monkeys alive for five years. Sea monkeys only live two to six months in the wild due to environmental disruptions like predators and salinity levels.
Although sea monkeys are prone to get eaten by other predators and don’t generally have a high survival rate in the wild, they have a remarkable quality. Their exceptional quality is that their eggs undergo a process called cryptobiosis when no water is present.
This process enables sea monkeys to go into a hibernation-type phase for months or years, coming back to life once covered in water again.
What Is the Lifespan of Sea Monkeys?
The average lifespan of sea monkeys is between one and two years, although many live up to a year. Some sea monkeys have lived up to five years, although this isn’t common.
In the wild, these tiny creatures kept in captivity generally have a longer lifespan than their counterparts, known as brine shrimp. They are pretty easy pets to keep, and their small size makes them an attractive option for pet owners who can’t have larger pets.
Sea monkeys in the perfect environment can reach adult form in just a week. If the aquarium or tank conditions for the sea monkeys are not conducive for their growth, sea monkeys could take up to six weeks to be fully grown.
Sea monkeys have a longer life span than the brine shrimp in the wild. This is due to hybridization, which allows them to possibly reach a lifespan of five years instead of six months.
The hybridization allows the sea monkeys to be packaged and brought to life when required and can survive for much longer compared to the brine shrimp.
Can Sea Monkeys Come Back to Life?
Sea monkeys can, in theory, come back to life, but not in the way you would expect them to.
In your sea monkey kit, there will probably be hundreds of sea monkeys. Over time this will decrease and leave you with much less in just a couple of weeks. If you have just a single female sea monkey left in your tank, your sea monkeys will not be depleted entirely.
Female sea monkeys can produce up to fifty baby sea monkeys in their lifetime. If your entire sea monkey aquarium has nothing but a single female, there will still be new life and a new sea monkey life cycle.
If your sea monkey aquarium dries up, there will still be eggs left behind. Treated water can be used to bring the eggs to life, and a new generation of sea monkeys will be part of your aquarium.
Dead sea monkeys can also give birth to live sea monkeys, which is impressive for such tiny creatures. So even if you think you have lost all your sea monkeys, there is a good possibility that there are a few left behind for the sea monkey life cycle to continue.
But if your sea monkey has died, there is no way to bring it back to life. The only way there can be more sea monkeys is if there are eggs. These eggs grow and mature into adult sea monkeys, who then, in turn, reproduce and increase the number of sea monkeys in the aquarium.
Tips on Extending the Lifespan of Sea Monkeys
Getting everything you need to raise sea monkeys is probably the most crucial step in extending the lifespan of your sea monkeys. Buying a sea monkey kit is generally the most popular choice. Still, some may prefer to purchase all the items separately.
Once you have everything you need, you’ll want to look into caring for them properly. The care that goes into looking after sea monkeys is essential for establishing a sea monkey colony that can thrive and grow.
Keep the Water in the Aquarium at a Consistent Temperature
To extend the lifespan of your sea monkeys, you want to keep the water at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This can easily be monitored with an aquarium thermometer available at your local pet store.
The thermometer is placed outside the aquarium or tank. It helps you keep track of the water temperature for your sea monkeys, allowing you to keep the temperature consistent.
Proper Feeding When Caring for Your Sea Monkeys
Feeding and determining how much food to feed your sea monkeys can be a bit difficult. Many kits provide different instructions, but there are a few ways to keep track of feeding your sea monkeys. If the water in your tank or aquarium seems murky or cloudy, then you are overfeeding the sea monkeys.
The first feeding is generally five days after hatching and then a little feed once a week. Depending on the number of sea monkeys you have, you’ll adjust this measure accordingly.
A general rule is to use the small section of the feeding spoon to measure the amount of food needed for your sea monkeys.
The Correct Amount of Sunlight for Sea Monkeys
Placing your aquarium in a place that provides indirect sunlight for your sea monkeys is best. Direct sunlight will be too hot and could harm your sea monkeys.
The natural, indirect sunlight will provide algae to grow inside the tank, providing another food source for your little pets and allowing for more oxygen in the tank.
Suppose sunlight is not available in the room where your sea monkeys are kept. In that case, using a grow lamp can work just as well, but keep an eye on the temperature in the tank, which may rise slightly with the grow lamp.
Aerate the Aquarium Regularly
The first week of having sea monkeys is the most important. Extending their lifespan and ensuring they have a good chance of survival, it’s recommended to aerate the aquarium or tank every day for the first week.
Suppose you notice your sea monkeys are swimming slower than usual. In that case, it’s a sign the tank or aquarium needs to be aerated.
Not enough aerated water in the tank could lead to the sea monkeys suffocating. In this case, too much carbon dioxide in the water is terrible for your little pets.
Cleaning Your Sea Monkey Aquarium
As your sea monkeys continue to grow, you may notice some gunk at the bottom of the aquarium. This is generally a combination of algae, waste, and eggs that have not hatched yet.
It may be tempting to clean this layer of gunk and keep the aquarium clean. As tempting as it may be, is cleaning your sea monkey aquarium the best thing to do?
Yes and No. This mostly comes down to how you’d like to care for your sea monkeys. Still, many people opt to let the sea monkeys continue their life cycle without causing interruptions by cleaning the aquarium or the gunk at the bottom. Other sea monkey owners tend to wash their aquariums regularly.
Suppose you would like to keep your aquarium clean but don’t want to clean it yourself. In that case, a safer option could be installing an aqua leash to filter any waste in the water. This way, all the dirt and debris in the aquarium will be filtered out without cleaning the tank.
It is advisable to look out for any bacteria or other organisms which could be harmful to your sea monkeys and remove them as soon as possible. This does not form part of the general cleaning of your aquarium, more as a precautionary measure for keeping your sea monkeys healthy.
Adding Additional Water to Your Aquarium
Water in the aquarium or tank will evaporate over time. This, in turn, increases the salt content in the water, which the sea monkeys will adjust to and won’t cause harm to them due to their high salt tolerance.
You can top up the tank/aquarium with additional water when the water level drops. Topping up of water should be done slowly, and you should use water that is room temperature.
Tap water is not the best water to use and boiled, or distilled water is preferred.
Be Cautious About Products Used for Your Sea Monkeys
Detergents can be highly harmful to your sea monkeys and some chemicals. Many sea monkey owners use decorations or toys in their aquariums.
These toys or decorations need to be safe for use in an aquarium, as they could be made with chemicals or products that could be toxic to your sea monkeys.
Other items used to clean the aquarium or objects placed in the aquarium to clean it could be washed with harsh detergents. Using these in your aquarium could make your sea monkeys sick.
Caution is required when putting any object into your sea monkey aquarium; it needs to be safe to use and not cause harm to your little pets.
Common Mistakes That Affect the Lifespan of Sea Monkeys
Sea monkeys are remarkable creatures; they have been dated to 100 million years ago and can survive many impossible conditions. Although their survival skills are impressive, there are a few common mistakes that could severely affect the lifespan of your sea monkeys.
Feeding Sea Monkeys the Incorrect Food
Sea monkeys can live off algae which generally grows in their tank over time. Food alternatives suck as spirulina, yeast, and powdered algae can also be given to sea monkeys.
Sea monkeys can’t eat fish food, and some sea monkey owners mistake fish food as an excellent alternative food source for sea monkeys.
Using Tap Water Instead o Distilled, Boiled, or Bottled Water
Bottled, boiled, or distilled water should be used, and tap water should be avoided in your sea monkey aquarium. Tap water can contain chlorine or other toxins that could affect the health of your sea monkeys.
If topping up your tank, it’s recommended to use only distilled, boiled, or bottled water for your sea monkeys.
Putting Sea Monkeys in an Aquarium with Fish
If both are kept as pets, sea monkeys and fish are not a great combination in your aquarium. Sea monkeys are loved by fish, and your fish will more than likely end up eating your sea monkeys.
Sea monkeys are best kept in their own tank and not added to a tank with fish.
Having Too Many Sea Monkeys in One Aquarium
Too many sea monkeys in one aquarium could shorten the lifespan of your sea monkeys. If your aquarium is too small, the sea monkeys may not have enough space to live. Overfeeding can also occur, and the oxygen level in the tank may have dropped and needs to be aerated.
Ideally, you’d want to separate the babies and the adults into two separate tanks; this would also create enough space for them to live.
Not Removing Bacteria from Your Aquarium
Sea monkeys live in their own ecosystem, composed of waste products, food, and sea monkey eggs, which can sink to the bottom of the aquarium. This ecosystem could be prone to specific bacteria growth.
These bacteria often have a cotton wool-like resemblance and can be floating in the water with your sea monkeys. This should be removed carefully to avoid disrupting your sea monkeys to keep your sea monkeys healthy.
Sea monkeys are magnificent little pets that can be brought back to life. Sea monkeys kept in an aquarium can typically live up to two years with the proper care. Due to harsh environmental conditions, sea monkeys in the wild have a shorter life span, generally about six months.
Extending the lifespan of your sea monkeys requires a little love, a small aquarium, and lots of care. This novelty pet is sure to remain a mysterious favorite amongst current and future generations.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. I have a wife and two children and love taking them to the zoo to see all the animals. I grew up with dogs and fish and now have two dogs and two cats. I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.