Breeding and raising Triops: How to breed the Triops properly?

Breeding and rearing Triops is basically easy. If you want to breed and raise Triops, you only need a few utensils. You fill the tank with water, add the Triops eggs, turn on the light and wait until the next day. Typically, Triops hatch within 24 hours – often even less than 12 hours – and tiny nauplii can be seen in the tank. Raising primeval crabs is basically easy and anyone can do it. However, beginners often make mistakes when breeding Triops, Triops do not hatch or die early. If the Triops die, breeding can turn into a disaster early on. Expectations quickly turn into disappointment. As a breeder, you start to doubt yourself and ask yourself endless questions: What am I doing wrong? Why is it not working for me? How can I successfully breed Triops? The good news is that anyone can successfully breed Triops. In most cases, lack of knowledge is the most common reason for breeding failure, followed by lack of experience.

Breeding Triops: Why should I breed Triops?

In general, the motivation to keep a Triops or an aquarium dweller varies from person to person. Triops are among the oldest creatures on earth and have lived for over 200 million years. The Triops survived to the present day after the dinosaurs became extinct in a mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. So Triops are living fossils and specimens of past life on Earth.

It is fascinating to cultivate and preserve a piece of Earth’s history from 10,000 years before the beginning of the Holocene in your home aquarium.

Keeping Triops is like having a little dinosaur at home 😉 Especially for children, breeding Triops is a lot of fun and inspiring for the little ones. Due to their short lifespan of three months at the most, no too close a bond develops with the animal. Another reason to breed Triops is to protect this prehistoric animal.

By keeping Triops at home, you help to save them from extinction and make them more popular. Prehistoric crabs are extremely endangered today. Through agriculture, humans are increasingly depriving ancient creatures of their habitat. The Bavarian State Office for the Environment carried out an inventory in 2014 and documented all known locations in Bavaria over the past decades.

Studies show that the conservation status of Bavarian species is critical. There are only about 630 known settlements in Germany and Austria, and they are small. However, primeval crabs should not be bred at home and then exposed to nature or taken.

Breeding Triops: What should you look for when buying Triops eggs?

Where can you buy Triops eggs? At Triops Galaxy, of course. 😉 You can buy your Triops eggs from any good breeder. As a beginner, you will certainly have to test breeding approaches from different suppliers until you find the best product. Many breeders have countless false starts with their first breedings in the early days. Under certain circumstances, you will spend more than 100 euros on breeding kits and accessories until the first nauplii have hatched.

This is how it is for many hobby biologists, but also for breeders who have bought an experimental kit. These know after several breeding attempts that the hatching probability of Triops is extremely low. The eggs offered in the trade often come from huge breeding farms where they are stored for a long time and incorrectly. In combination with a lack of experience on the part of the breeder as well as incorrect instructions, Triops breeding is doomed to failure from the start. Nothing will hatch.

What distinguishes good Triops eggs from the bad ones? It depends on the breeding process. If they are bred incorrectly, the eggs are bad. The Triops eggs need at least two weeks after laying to develop completely. Only after this time are they ready for drying and subsequent winter simulation. In large farms, Triops are bred en masse. There, this time is usually not available. The result is:

The Triops eggs are not able to hatch.

Such eggs from factory farming are also mixed with „dead sand“, which was never in the aquarium and contains no nutrients. But it is precisely these nutrients that are important to nourish the nauplii in the first days after hatching. With Triops Galaxy, the eggs are always in the water for at least two weeks to fully develop. A balanced diet is used as well as live food such as worms.

A balanced diet ensures a higher hatching rate.

We summarise: The Triops eggs from home breeding are usually better than the eggs from industrial breeding. With a good home breeder, the eggs have enough time to develop after they are laid.

My Triops do not hatch

Under optimal conditions, the nauplii hatch after 24 hours. However, it can also happen that the Triops have not hatched even after a week. Many breeders are then disappointed and give up. But it is normal that it sometimes takes longer until they hatch. If you want to breed Triops, you should be patient. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks until the first nauplii can be seen in the tank. In a heated breeding tank the nauplii hatch faster than in unheated tanks. Since we can assume that you always use quality breeding methods when breeding at home instead of industrially, it can still happen that Triops do not hatch. Below are the most common reasons for failure to hatch.

1. Too little light

Triops have perfect lighting conditions in nature. As a breeder, you have to provide good light at home. It is important to know that the light triggers the hatching stimulus and the Triops cannot hatch without light. LED aquarium lamps are perfect for Triops breeding and most lamps have a day and a night mode. During the day, the lamp should burn for at least twelve hours. However, the American species Triops longicaudatus can also tolerate two extra hours of light and is even happy about it.

2. Wrong water

One of the most common reasons why Triops do not hatch is the use of the wrong water. Tap water should be avoided. In most cases it is too hard and contains chlorine. The primeval crabs will not hatch if the water contains too many chemicals. River water is very good for breeding. It contains many vital minerals, nutrients and microorganisms. Water from lakes or streams is also good for breeding Triops. Rainwater is also a good option. For beginners, a combination of distilled water and still mineral water is recommended. The mixture of 70 % distilled water and 30 % still mineral water is optimal.

3. Water temperature

Besides the water quality, the correct water temperature is the most important criterion. If the wrong water temperature is used, the Triops will not hatch or die in the nauplii stage. Especially in winter, the breeding tank must be heated additionally.

In the table below you will find an overview of the water temperature for the most common Triops species.

Triops Cancriformis20 – 24 °C
Triops Longicaudatus23 – 26 °C
Triops Longicaudatus Red23 – 26 °C
Triops Beni kabuto ebi Albino22 – 25 °C
Triops Granarius24 – 26 °C
Triops Newberryi27 – 31 °C
Triops Australiensis27 – 31 °C

4. Conservation of nature

Nature is much smarter than we think. Nature-driven species conservation is the reason that Triops have survived to the present day. In the wild, they live in pools of water and puddles. Before the waters dry out, the Triops females lay eggs. The eggs show extreme resilience. They can survive extreme heat, cold and UV rays for many years. In good climatic conditions, the Triops eggs come into contact with water and a hatching impulse is triggered. The eggs are activated.

But not all eggs are activated. A nauplius hatches only from about every fourth egg.

The remaining eggs can still hatch after many years and even decades. In the meantime, they remain in a dry state. Through this phenomenon, our nature ensures the preservation of the Triops species. If all the eggs were to hatch at the same time, the Triops could not survive for many millions of years.

What equipment do I need?

The good news is: you can start and breed Triops without high costs.

You will definitely need the following accessories:

  • Triops eggs (egg-sand mixture)
  • Water
  • Lighting
  • Thermometer
  • Heater
  • Transparent tank.

With this you are well equipped and can breed primeval crabs from now on. It is recommended to have the following accessories:

  • Test tube
  • Pipette
  • Syringe
  • Toothpick
  • seaweed leaves.

With the pipette, take water from the Triops basin and put it into the test tube. You have previously added some spirulina powder (just a toothpick tip) to the test tube with the toothpick. Pour this mixture from the test tube into the water. Feed the nauplii with this for four days from the second morning after hatching. Use the syringe to clean the tank.

In the following we go through the most important utensils.

1. Container

You choose a container with a capacity of up to five litres. The Triops should be able to survive in this tank for the first two weeks. It should not be too big, otherwise the Triops will not find the food in the first few days and could die.

2. Lighting

Light is essential if you want to breed Triops. Without light, the Triops will not hatch, as this triggers the hatching stimulus. The light source can also serve as a heat source, but it should not be used as a substitute for a heating rod in winter, as the temperature drops sharply when the LED lamp is switched off and the required water temperature is no longer given. In the worst case, the nauplii will die.

3. Heater

From late autumn and when temperatures drop in winter, manual heating of the pool is necessary. In summer, however, it is not necessary to heat the tank. For the American species Triops longicaudatus, a room temperature of approx. 19 °C is sufficient. Other Triops species require higher temperatures.

4. Thermometers

A thermometer should be purchased if the heater does not have a built-in temperature indicator.

5. Triops breeding kit (egg-sand mixture)

The criteria for a good Triops breeding stock have already been described in this article. At Triops Galaxy you can buy Triops eggs in different price ranges with different egg quantities. There are breeding kits with 50, 150 or 300 eggs. Which breeding kit should I buy? You can start with 50 eggs and this amount is enough to get you started. If you want to be on the safe side, you should buy 150 eggs. If you have several breeding tanks and want to distribute the eggs, the bag with 300 eggs is best suited.

6. Sea almond leaf

A sea almond leaf an absolute must in Triops breeding. This plant has been highly valued by breeders for many years. Sea almond leaves have a disinfecting and fungicidal effect and hold back pathogens. They improve the water quality. The leaves of the sea almond tree (Terminalia catappa) prevent fish diseases and contain many beneficial ingredients. These include humic acids, tannins and flavonoids. These are responsible for the cell regulation of the fish and lower the pH value. The immune defence of the fish is strengthened.

You can download our breeding guide as a PDF for free. Click on the button below.