My Personal Experience with Triassic Triops

Posted on 3rd April 2008 by Ryan Somma in Geeking Out - Tags:

From my personal observations of my Triassic Triops:

Add distilled water to the tank. Added nutrient pack, which is like a tea bag. Nutrient pack floats. Accidentally popped it trying to get it to submerge. Particulate, sticks and twigs, are floating in water.

Added eggs. Eggs clump together on water’s surface.

Triops Eggs

Triops Eggs

No life yet.

0900: No life yet. Eggs still floating. Dropped water droplets on some of them to submerge, but they float right back to the surface.
1400: Life! A little white dot jiggling up and down and around the tank. About 1mm in size. It pushes its way through the ater rather than swims.

Triops One Day Old

Triops One Day Old

1100: There are now two triops in the tanks. The one from yesterday has doubled in size to 2mm, and it now swims much more smoothly. Younger counterpart still in the ‘pushing through water’ phase.
1340: Just counted four triops in the tank.
1700: Trying to photograph triops. Keep getting blurry dots. One triops swam close to the egg cluster and got stuck in the mucous-tendrils that spread out from it in the water.

Triops Two Days Old

Triops Two Days Old

0800: Crushed two food pellets and added them to the tank.
0930: The first hatchling is now 4mm long and 2mm wide. I’ve decided to name it Spaz because it swims crazily all over the tank. Other triops are hard to find. Only observed one other, the size of a hatchling. Spaz must have eaten the others. This suggests and evolutionary advantage to being the early-born triops, and getting the size jump on your siblings so you can eat them.
0500: Removed nutrient pack. Spaz is the only triop in the aquarium. It has even eaten most of the eggs at the surface. I put several crushed pellets worth of food in the tank for the weekend. Took apart nutrient pack. It’s all twigs. Don’t know why the directions have you treat it like toxic waste.

1000: Spaz is huge and still a spaz. One inch long. Head antenna and tail antenna are very visible. Added four food pellets. During the day, Spaz will grab one from the surface and pull it down to munch on it.
1700: Fed Spaz four pellets. It took one and nibbled on it upside down, rolling it over and over in its legs.

Spaz Six Days Old

Spaz Six Days Old

1200: Spaz ate two pellets given this morning, out of four. It is two inches in length now. Carapace is solid. Spaz swims like a dolphin, up and down, rather than like a fish, side to side. Mandibles are clearly visible as well. They look like big white buckteeth.

Spaz Six Days Old

Spaz Six Days Old

1400: Six food pellets from this morning are gone. Spaz is still two cm long. Two and a half counting tail antenna.
1430: Noticed a shell at the bottom of the tank. Spaz has shed its outer layer since yesterday.

Spaz Six Days Old

Spaz Six Days Old

0815: Put a dab of tuna into the tank. Spaz jumped right on it, and then went crazy swimming around the tank.
0850: Tuna has been torn to little pieces, which Spaz continues to munch on.
1700: Dumped a bunch of tuna and triops food (12 pellets) into the tank before leaving for the weekend.

0800: Spaz is dead, lying upside down at the bottom of the tank. All food pellets in the tank are eaten, but the tuna is untouched. I suspect the tuna was responsible for Spaz’s death.
1730: I have preserved Spaz in a test tube filled with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol.

Future Plans: I still have half the eggs left and another nutrient pack. Intend to try the whole thing again very soon.


  1. I am sorry to hear of Spaz’s death. Sounds like he lived a happy (albeit short) and enriched life filled with swimming and cannibalism.

    It makes me think of a haiku to help honor his life:

    Poor Spaz ate tuna.
    What is the triops’ future?
    Dead in a test tube.

    The instructions make it sound like the triops are very sensitive to water chemistry and temperature. They apparently can not live under conditions that are typical to most people’s freshwater fish tanks.

    My own attempts failed; nothing hatched. I bought the kit from some random seller on, so maybe that was part of the problem. I’ve submitted the warranty claim to the manufacturer and should receive replacement eggs soon.

    Good luck with your second run!

    Comment by doranchak — April 3, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  2. Mercury in tuna? ;)

    Comment by ClintJCL — April 3, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  3. Very cool. You should do more of this. With video.


    Comment by BMF — April 3, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

  4. Video! Yes. I have the capabilities. I just haven’t tried it yet. : )

    Comment by ideonexus — April 3, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

  5. […] of them in there. I was only expecting to see a few little hatchlings. But after reading about Ryan’s experience with triops cannibalism, I imagine the triops count will dwindle over the next few […]

    Pingback by » Blog Archive » How long before they eat each other? — April 7, 2008 @ 5:10 am

  6. I have triops, but i lost mt nutrients pack. Whatcan i use instead?

    Comment by Olivia — October 26, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  7. According to the Triassic Triops website, the nutrient pack is dried plants found in ponds. I don’t want to say to go out and get some pond plants and dry them out to put in your tank; however, the TT website doesn’t appear to sell replacement nutrient packs:

    They do sell other packages. You could buy a pack of triops, which should come with a nutrient pack, and then reuse the nutrient pack for two sets of triops (I have not tried this myself). You might want to contact the company directly for advice, they’ve got a 1-800 number:

    Hope this helps!

    Comment by ideonexus — October 27, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

  8. best website, covers what they eat and everything else.
    Long live the triops!

    Comment by merlin — February 1, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

  9. I had a similar problem, I fed mine egg yolk after i removed the teabag due to not trusting it, I fed egg yolk since I was also feeding it to my fry instead of infusoria. Loved it for the first two days. But I think I might have overfed and that started water quality issues. Or the egg yolk was bad because most of my fry died that same day. Or, if that wasn’t it, the teabag that came with the kit at first definitely gave infusoria, i could see tiny things swimming around, but then a big fuzzy growth happened. Wasn’t sure if it was some type of infusoria or bacteria but I had to keep rescuing the triops because it kept swimming deeper and deeper into the tangles until it couldn’t move. Seemed to be eating it so not sure what it was. I ended up removing the tea bag as I kept having to rescue him and it was making me anxious. But that same stuff was stuck to his tail when I found he’d died at 7 days old. About to start another batch, definitely going to watch how much i feed this time. Good luck with your next batch!

    Comment by ducky — April 1, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.