Triops tolerate a wide variety of water. However if you want optimum growth rate, health, egg production, and water clarity there are a few simple things you can do with your water make sure your triops are the envy of all the other triops on the block.
I use the two container method for hatching triops. First a small (1-2cup) container for hatching and the first 1-2 weeks, and then I move them into their final tank.
The reason I like this method is it is a lot easier to control the temperature, feeding, and quality of the water when the triops are small and more sensitive to these things. I’m not going to go into the actual hatching method here, but you can watch the hatching triops eggs video which covers hatching detail.
So this guide is divided into two parts, water for hatching, then water for the final tank.
Use ONLY distilled water in your hatching container *See Note
The most important thing to remember is to only use DISTILLED WATER for hatching triops. Young triops are sensitive to mineral content in water, bacteria, chlorine, etc, and distilled water removes all these problems. You can find distilled water at any grocery store for a dollar a gallon.
After they grow to adult size and you transfer them to the big tank you don’t have to keep buying distilled water.
*NOTE – Although I have hatched triops with distilled water and I had a guy who hatches thousands of triops tell me to only use distilled water for hatching, I recently bought a kit that said to only used spring water for the mineral content that the baby triops needs. Confusing huh? I haven’t done enough tests to say it’s one way or the other, I’ve hatched with distilled water and I’ve hatched with spring water. My advice is that if your kit doesn’t recommend one or the other, go with spring water. If they don’t hatch, dry out the container, then go with distilled water. If you’ve had success with either distilled or spring, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT!!!
Also if you are looking to buy spring water, make sure it doesn’t say “reverse-osmosis, distilled, etc” in the small print. Make sure it’s just plain spring water.
Find your triops hatching temperature
Each species of triops has a water temperature range before the triops eggs will hatch. If you know your species you can check out our species pages to find that temperature.
If you purchased a triops kit and for some reason they don’t tell you what species you have, then it’s a pretty safe bet that you have triops cancriformus.
After you know your triops hatching temperature range you can heat the water with a lamp, aquarium heater, or a heating mat. If you use a lamp, remember to not use a flouresent bulb because they don’t give off enough heat.
If you are using a lamp, remember to put it closer to the container at night if your room temperature drops at night.
You’ll need a way of checking your water temperature, I reccomend the drop in glass thermometers which are a couple bucks at walmart or a pet store. DO NOT use the “sticker” type temperature gauges, the heat from your lamp can mess them up and give you a higher reading then the actual water temperature.
Adding water to your hatching container
Everyday you will lose a little water from evaporation. I try not to distrub the water at all the first 2-3 days, but after that I add water. If you add water, just make sure the water you are adding is at room temperature, and only add a little bit at a time (in other words don’t dump a ton of water to fill the hatching container up, instead it’s better to do small regular top-offs.)
Keeping your water clean
I talk about this more in the triops food guide, but you want to keep your water clean to stop bacteria from growing. A dollar store turkey baster is great for cleaning up uneaten food and old carapeices. Uneaten food shouldn’t be left for long periods of time, clean it up and add new food or you’ll get algae growth.
If your container was used for something else before, say food, then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to swish some hot water around in there first to sanitize it.
How much water
According to various sources I’ve read and personal experience, half a gallon to one gallon per adult triops seems to be the best for growth rate, health, egg production, and a big one for me is water clarity.
Although you can just as easily raise triops in a smaller tank (like the dollar store shoebox tank), there is one thing to consider…triops are messy. A bigger tank means you’ll have to do less water changes.
If you have no choice but to use a small tank, just keep the tank clean by not letting uneaten food sit around, and do regular water changes to keep the ph levels healthy. A aquarium pump / filter goes a long way for water clarity too.
What makes good triops water?
Fortunetly you don’t have to keep buying distilled water for this phase of a triops life. Tap water works fine, BUT you may have to use a water conditioner if you have chlorine or other chemicals in your water. Water conditioners are easily and cheaply avaliable at any pet store or walmart. Basically these are little bottles of liquid and you put a few drops into your tank to make it safe for triops, the bottle will say “water conditioner” or “tank conditioner” on it, and the label will say if it takes chlorine out or whatever.
And of course you can still use distilled water, spring water, or filtered water.
Although each species of triops has a different ph requirement, in general aim to keep your PH in the 7 – 9 range. If you have a rarer species you should check out the species page first for optimal PH. You can buy easy to use test kits at walmart or any pet store.
That being said, I usually don’t test my PH too often. If you do 1/4 tank water changes once a week and don’t leave too much uneaten food sitting in the tank you should be fine.
The final “is my triops tank water ok?” test
When you are ready to transfer your triops, only transfer one triops first. Wait 24 hours…if he is still alive then you’re good to go.
If you don’t want to get fancy with all these conditioners and ph tests, etc…
Remember that triops are pretty hardy creatures. Sure, if you get all these things right then your triops will grow fast, produce lots of eggs, be the healthiest they can be, have high self-esteem, etc.
But chances are they will do just fine with any old container and some decent water, without having to spend money on PH tests and water conditioners. They are wild creatures that live in puddles after all…
If this is your approach, then I suggest doing the final test I mentioned above, just so you don’t accidently kill all your triops on one go.
And that’s it. I hope this guide helps. If you have a question having to do with triops water that you don’t see here, just contact us and we’ll do our best to answer your question or point you in the right direction.
The ULTIMATE Triops water guide