Triops Water Guide

The ULTIMATE Triops Water Guide

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.

Water for Hatching Triops Eggs (From 1-2 weeks old)

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.

Triops Tank Water

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

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  1. Posted August 28, 2015 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    My daughter got the smithsonisn prehistoric sea monster kit. Kit says to use half of the egg mixture. We ended up with one triop. After 1 month we transferred it to a 3 gallon aquarium. He was doing fine till about 3 weeks later my daughter accidentally over feed him and he died the next day molting. So i removed the body. And that was that.
    The aquarium sat… sat for 2-1/2 months with the dirty ol water still in it from the over feeding incident.
    I was getting ready for work one night and i noticed 3 triops swimming around in the nasty old dirty murky water! I couldn’t believe it. They appeared to be about 3 weeks old. So of course i cleaned up the water, feed them some beta food pellets, and slightly cooked carrot chunks. Ran the filter a couple hours a day. And they are doing great! Still swimming around to this day! They appear to be about 2 inches long now ☺

  2. Gregg Martin
    Posted August 31, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I hatched my triops from a kit with tap water treated with water conditioner. I dropped 12-15 eggs with my grandson in a 2.5 gal. tank with about 3.5 liters of water and had 5 young of which one survived longer than 2 days, I believed he ate the other babies. I use an incandescent lamp with a touch 3 position setting and keep the temperature now from 69F to 83F and have it off at night. The single triops (Scooter) is now 5 weeks and one day post hatching and perhaps 1.5″. He seems to molt every 5th day now. My water changes are drastic compared to I’ve read of, 30-50% in the AM and 30% in the afternoon. He has a bare bottom substrate except for a tiny patch of gravel from the kit. I feed him Yardley’s Shrimp Pellet pieces,, algae wafer crumbs, flake food for fish and imitation crab, small bits 3X daily. This is my first try and has been a lot of fun for myself and my grandson. May use a sponge filter for my next try. Just thought I’d pass my very limited experience on.


  3. Gregg Martin
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Suzanne’s comments are interesting, it makes me wonder if my triops has eggs in a small patch of gravel provided. I have been cleaning the gravel but now just do the bare portion of the tank. I look but see no egg sacs on it. My routine is the same and it is doing well. I would like to share this. As a heater, it lives in a cool room with an unheated fish tank, and with lows outside now in the low 50’sF, I slipped a small heating pad under it and found that an hours worth on the lowest setting will raise a gal. of water 4F. It still lowers greatly at night, but this certainly helps now.


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  6. Gregg Martin
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    As I posted elsewhere my triops, Scooter, died 9/12/15 or 48 days post hatching. Almost 7 weeks. He began to be upside down feathering his gills and then regain normalcy. My care routine is above in a earlier post. I hope I did not cause his death and that dying at 7 weeks could be the norm. Any ideas? He was 1 3/4″ at the end, a sad day for my grand kids and neighbor children as well.


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  10. Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I had many fish before. I uslluay filled it with sink water that is at room temperature. I once had a fish that lasted 2 years at room temperature tap water but gave it to the pet store because i got tired of it a few weeks ago for all i know it is still living.I have had many fish before.

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