The care and keeping of Triops
So years ago I got a little packet of triops eggs off the internet after stumbling on to information about these guys on a website. I followed the directions but after making a couple dumb mistakes they all died. I resolved that one day I’d try again to raise these interesting creatures. Some time later I came across another package at Hobby Lobby and then promptly put it on the shelf for several months. After reading an article in tropical fish hobbyist about Triops I set about the task of raising them and I got bit by the Triops bug. Despite the seemingly complicated process of raising them they are generally very easy to keep if you follow the rules.
Triops Australiensis, Note the grey area just above and between the eyes.
This is a third, simple eye! (hence the name Triops)
The Triops is a crustacean and despite looking like miniature horseshoe crabs they are most closely related to brine shrimp and daphnia belonging to the branchiopoda class. Branchiopoda meaning gill feet describes the breathing method of its members utilizing their many feathery legs to breath. Like brine shrimp Triops produce cysts which can remain viable in a state of suspended animation called diapause reportedly for as long as 30 years or more. Triops come from vernal pools which are only full of water for short periods before drying out much like annual killifish. Also like annual killifish they have a very rapid lifecycle going from newly hatched to dead in a couple months tops. Triops come from vernal pools which are only full of water for short periods before drying out much like annual killifish. Also like annual killifish they have a very rapid lifecycle going from newly hatched to dead in a couple months tops. An interesting fact is that the European Triops Cancriformis is the oldest still living creature on earth, pre-dating even the dinosaurs!
Triops eggs (hint they are the stuff that looks like sand)
Triops Longicaudatus, This is the most common species of Triops in the US in kits
Triops are tons of fun to watch they endlessly zip around their homes and seem to be having a great time. I think if they made a noise it would be akin to a little kid squealing with glee while running around in circles until he passes out. All in all Triops are not only fun but in a lot of ways cheaper and less labor intensive than raising fish, as well as a very exciting and unique pet.
Somebody call the fun police!