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Health & Care

Tips & Hints
for Sea-Monkey Success

Come on in, the water's fine:
To help keep your Sea-Monkeys water at a cozy 70+ degrees, pick up an aquarium thermometer from your local pet store. These inexpensive units are a thin, smallish piece of plastic that will stick right on the OUTSIDE of your Ocean-Zoo tank and help you chart the comfort-zone within.

Feeding frenzy:
There seems to be some confusion over feeding Sea-Monkeys. This is due to conflicting directions in the variety of Sea-Monkey handbooks and instruction sheets currently on the market. The Growth Food packet and illustrated instruction sheet states every 8 to 10 days, the new Magic Castle and old handbook says once a week, and the new handbook is amended to read every 3 days. So what's a Sea-Monkey parent to do?

This just in: Here's the latest word on feeding Sea-Monkeys according to ExploraToy. First feeding: Feed 5 days after hatching with the small end of the Aqua-Measure Spoon. Regular feedings: Continue feeding once a week with the small end of the Aqua-Measure Spoon. Adult Sea-Monkeys: As your Sea-Monkeys grow larger, use the large end of the Aqua-Measure Spoon and feed once a week.Cloudy water: If the water gets cloudy, you're over-feeding and should stop adding food until the water clears. Common sense: Employ common sense. Obviously, you would feed 5 dogs MORE food than you would feed just 1. This is the same with Sea-Monkeys. My suggestion is to begin with weekly feedings and adjust the amount and frequency based on the number of Sea-Monkeys you have, their size, and your daily observations.

What's it all about, algae:
Exposure to INDIRECT sunlight is one of the BEST GIFTS you can give your Sea-Monkey pets. Natural sunlight allows algae (an underwater vegetation) to grow in the tank. This serves your briny breed in two ways: 1.) It provides them with a SCRUMPTIOUS food source they will enjoy "grazing" on, and 2.) the algae puts off oxygen providing them with an ample supply of air to breath in their watery underworld. Caution: Direct sunlight will be TOO HOT for your aqua-pets so make sure you don't accidentally cook up a batch of boiled shrimp by leaving them in DIRECT sunlight. Note: If an indirect natural sun source is not available, a grow lamp (used for plants) will also get the job done. Once again, be sure to monitor the waters temperature to keep your Sea-Monkeys comfortable and happy.

Breath of life:
Sea-Monkeys need oxygen in their water in order to survive. This can be accomplished several ways;

1.) Stir the Sea-Monkey water with a plastic spoon handle, straw, or swizzle stick. This will help a little bit but it is the least desirable way of adding oxygen to your tank. Make sure the stirring device is sterile -- see "Soap duds" below.

2.) Pour the Sea-Monkey water back and forth (several times) from their tank into another sterile container. They will enjoy the ride and it will give them a breath of fresh air.

3.) The PREFERRED method is to aerate the water with a "Million-Bubble Air Pump". If one did not come with your Sea-Monkeys kit, they can be ordered from the back of your "Official Sea-Monkey Handbook".

4.) If you happen to have a low power electric aquarium pump around the house, you can use this to keep a constant flow of air streaming into your Ocean-Zoo. You'll also need a filter and some clear plastic tubing to run from the air pump to the filter in your Sea-Monkey tank. All of these items can be purchased from your local pet store. Caution: A high power air pump may cause too much motion in the water. Make sure your Sea-Monkey pets are able to swim freely and are not being violently tossed around by an extreme air flow.

Soap duds:
When using ANY item that will come in contact with your Sea-Monkey's water, make sure it is washed thoroughly but do NOT use any soaps or detergents in the process. Cleansers contain chemicals that can kill your sea creatures. This next tip requires ADULT SUPERVISION: To insure an item is sterile, boil it in water. This will kill any bacteria or agents that may be harmful to your Sea-Monkey pets. Remember, ASK FOR ASSISTANCE!

The Carbonic Plague:
The first seven days of a Sea-Monkey's life are critical. I highly recommend aerating the tank EVERY DAY for the FIRST WEEK. One of the greatest enemies for Sea-Monkeys is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a gas which all animals naturally produce but is more important to underwater animals than to land animals. In water, some of the carbon dioxide forms a compound called carbonic acid. This is a very weak acid but it is strong enough to kill Brine Shrimp. If there is too much carbonic acid present in your tank, Sea-Monkeys cannot make use of the oxygen that is available to them. As a result, they suffocate. So for the best results (and as a precautionary measure), aerate on a daily basis the first week. And if your Sea-Monkeys begin swimming in a sluggish manner, START AERATING again immediately to supply them with oxygen and help fight off the toxic carbonic acid.
To clean, or not to clean?:
As your Sea-Monkeys age, sediment will begin to gather in the bottom of your tank -- a combination of food, algae, waste and un-hatched eggs. This is a natural part of the process and is not necessarily harmful to your pets. In fact, the Sea-Monkeys seem to enjoy routing around the murky basin. I choose not to clean my tanks -- rather let the process in their ecosystem continue naturally.

If you are neat by nature and demand a tidy bowl, a Sea-Monkey Aqua-Leash makes a great aquatic vacuum cleaner. It has also been reported that pouring the water through a household coffee filter is an effective way of removing the debris. Keep in mind this will also filter out any dormant eggs that reside in the murk and muck.

When an adult Sea-Monkey passes on, their blackened carcass will sink to the bottom of the Ocean-Zoo floor. These deceased Sea-Monkeys should be removed. An Aqua-Leash is a handy utensil for this task as well. In a pinch, a new straw or sterile eye dropper might also serve the purpose.

A salty crew:
As the name suggests, Brine Shrimp live in "brine", the name given to VERY salty water. This crustacean lives well in many places but perhaps best in two very salty lakes -- the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the Salton Sea in California. These lakes are all that is left of two very large salty seas which are steadily evaporating and becoming more salty. Only a few animals and plants can live in the extreme salty water of these lakes. One breed that thrives in these conditions is the Brine Shrimp. Once your Sea-Monkey tank is fully assembled and ingredients #1 and #2 have been added, the water has been specially formulated with the exact salt content needed for your briny pets to thrive. As water evaporates from your tank, the salt consistency will strengthen. To learn how to combat this, see "Water Evaporation" below.

Water evaporation:
As the water slowly evaporates in your Sea-Monkey tank, the salt content remains behind and the water becomes more salt concentrated. Sea-Monkeys adapt well to the gradual process of their water world becoming more salty as the water level drops. However, replenishing the water can be a shock to their system as the salt concentration quickly changes when fresh water is added back to their tank. The more water that has evaporated from the tank, the greater the shock to their system when the water is replaced. For this reason, it is recommended to replenish the evaporated water when the level has dropped by one or two inches in your tank. When replenishing water, it is recommended you use room temperature distilled water or boiled tap water that has been left to cool for 24 hours or until it has reached room temperature.

Pump up the volume:
Here's a tip on how to make a "Million-Bubble Air Pump" a permanent part of your Ocean-Zoo aquarium. This requires ADULT SUPERVISION. You'll need HELP from a PARENT or GUARDIAN who has access to a hand drill and a 1/2" drill bit. Take the Aeration lid from your Ocean-Zoo tank and have an adult guardian drill a 1/2" hole through the top of the lid. This newly drilled hole gives your "Million-Bubble Air Pump" an opening where it can dangle in your tank and still allow you to keep your Sea-Monkey tank covered at all times. This makes it really EASY to give your pets a "squirt" of air any time you pass their tank. And we all know, when it comes to Sea-Monkeys, oxygen is a GOOD THING!

Interior decorating:
A common desire is to want to add aquarium decorations to the inside of your Sea-Monkey tank. While this is a fun idea, it can be risky business. The wrong item could contain chemicals that will kill your Sea-Monkey family. ExploraToy's NEW Ghostly Galleon kit comes with a glow-in-the-dark sunken ship that lies in the bottom of the Ocean-Zoo. It's GUARANTEED SAFE and looks GREAT. Another way of adding interest to your tank is to draw an underwater scene (called a seascape or a diorama) on a piece of paper (3.5" wide x 4" tall) and tape it to the outside of your Ocean-Zoo aquarium with the drawing facing inward. It's a GREAT art project for you to do on a rainy day and it provides a scenic backdrop that both you and your pets can ENJOY.

Sea-Monkeys®, Instant Life®, Instant Pets®, Ocean-Zoo®, Sea-Circus® and the official Sea-Monkey hatching logo are trademarks of the Transcience Corporation and registered with U.S. and foreign patent offices -- all rights reserved. Sea-Monkeys are distributed by ExploraToy, a division of Educational Insights. Site best viewed at 1024x768.