Top 11 Questions About Sea Monkeys

Click on a question to find it in the list, or just scroll down! Feel free to write to the Sea Monkey Lady with any further questions, but please remember that I get many messages and might not be able to get to yours right away.

  1. I started a tank but it’s not working!
  2. My Sea Monkeys are not clear colored but a shade of pink or beige
  3. How often should I feed them?
  4. My tank is seriously grungy!
  5. My tank is full of little white cotton balls!
  6. My Sea Monkeys aren’t growing!
  7. What are these white crystals around the top of the tank?
  8. My Sea Monkey is flailing at the bottom of the tank!
  9. I see pregnant females but I never see babies!
  10. What are all these black spots in the tank?
  11. My Sea Monkey is going black but is still alive.

1. I started a tank and I can’t see a thing! All I see are little brown dots in the water! Help!


So your Sea Monkey tank didn’t work. May I make a suggestion…give it time. The eggs in the package are waiting for just the right moment to hatch — they’ve been waiting up to 50 years, so a few more days won’t make a difference to them. You need to prepare the tank for their arrival. You’ve added the water purifier and eggs, but nothing has happened…but we can fix that. Okay, pretend the tank is teeming with life! What would you do? You would feed them every five days with the small spoon.
You would aerate the tank twice a day with the Bubble Pump or Aqua Leash, or perhaps you are going to blow through a straw (or you could get a little turkey baster from a dollar store…) You would also make sure the water temperature was good, putting them indirect light and keeping them out of the cold. Do all these things, and if they have not come to life after ten days, we may need to discuss cashing in that life insurance policy.

2. My Sea Monkeys are orange or brown or beige or pink? What’s going on?


Your Sea Monkeys need oxygen to live. If they don’t have enough, they will start turning a pinky colour (for more information on why, please visit the Science page.) What can you do? Do you have an Aqua Leash or Million Bubble Air Pump? If not, then you can blow into the tank with a straw (but you run the risk of sucking them up!) or use a small turkey baster that you can get for about $1 at your local dollar store. Aerate the tank at least twice a day —
morning and night — and more often if you can remember. There is nothing wrong with a lot of oxygen in the tank! As a note, you can stir the tank or move the water back and forth from the tank to a clean container, but I find this doesn’t work as well and can get messy. Invest a dollar in the pump or a turkey baster as these will work better!

For a quick cure, aerate the tank during every meal (your meals, not theirs…) so do it first thing in the morning, during breakfast, during lunch (if you are home), during dinner, and before bed time. Keep doing this until they return to their white colour. How long should you aerate each time? At least a minute.

3. How often should I feed my Sea Monkeys? The instructions in one place say to do it once a week, in another every three days, and in yet another every fourteen days!


Sea Monkeys should be fed once every five days, and I always recommend you do it with the small spoon. Once the algae gets going in the tank, then you can actually stop feeding so often. How to tell if they are well fed? You will see a black line down the Sea Monkey’s body; this is the digestive tract. If they are full, the line will be black. If not, then get a’feeding! Secondly, if they have a white tail coming from behind them they are well fed. This is Sea Monkey excrement.

4. My Sea Monkey tank is really grungy and smells funny! The Sea Monkeys are dying! What should I do?


Only clean the tank if it smells funny. If it smells like a freshly mown lawn or green vegetables (okay, to some of us that’s gross…but you know what I mean!) then the tank is just grungy, but not sick. The grunge in the tank is algae, and it’s good for Sea Monkeys. It offers oxygen and food, and it’s a great way to keep the tank alive! If you are feeding them more than every five days, you are going to see a build up of algae very quickly. If you really must clean the tank, I
suggest the following:

1. Get a coffee filter and a nice clean glass that will hold all your Sea Monkeys.

2. Get the Sea Monkeys out of the tank and put them in the clean glass with some of the Sea Monkey water.

3. Filter the tank water through a coffee filter a few times to make sure that all the gunk is gone.

4. Clean the bottom and sides of the tank with a paper towel — I use a paper towel on a chopstick so I don’t get my hands grungy. Get into the tank bottom crevices with a Q-tip or something similar. (You can also use the new Tiny Tank Tool — this works great, and remember I don’t get paid to say that!) Rinse the tank out so it’s lovely and clean (my mom uses baking soda, but this can end up in the bottom of the tank so if you aren’t sure you can get it all out, don’t use it…)

5. Smell the tank water. Does it still smell gross? If so, then filter some more. If not, then put the water back in the newly cleaned tank. Then put the Sea Monkeys back in the tank.

6. Make sure you top the tank up with boiled tap water (cooled to room temperature) or purified/distilled water (again, at room temperature). Feed them and aerate the tank a few times that day. Feed them again within 3 or 4 days, but not too much. Always use the little end of the spoon. After this, feed them every five days as usual.

Normally I don’t suggest this because you lose eggs and babies, but if you you don’t seem to have any of either, then this last ditch emergency effort to save the tank is worth it.

5. What are all these little white cotton balls in the tank?


These are a type of bacteria that can kill the tank. You need to remove them. Try to do it with a small spoon and see if you can get all of it out. Keep trying until they have all gone. If you have some Sea Medic, this is the time to add it to the tank! Add it, wait a day or two, then add it again. Finally, if you simply can’t get them out of the tank, clean the tank as above. As warned, you will lose eggs and babies, but you are in an emergency situation and need to clean the tank

6. My Sea Monkeys aren’t growing!


It is possible that the water is too cold. When Sea Monkeys face cold, they don’t grow. And, in fact, the new eggs won’t hatch because the conditions aren’t just right. So, they enclose themselves in the cryptobiotically sealed eggs and wait for the conditions to be right. You need to get them into some light every day — some direct light for a while — to heat up the tank. Get them into a nice warm place and keep checking that water. If it’s cold to the touch, then it’s too cold
for them.

7. What is this white crystally stuff at the top of the tank? What should I do with it?


This is a mixture of salt and other minerals. You can break it off if you hate the look of it, and you can return it to the tank if you want. It’s all good …

8. My Sea Monkeys look like they are dying at the bottom of the tank?


Is the Sea Monkey in question female with an egg sac? If so, she could be giving birth at the bottom of the tank. It looks violent, but it is a good thing as you should be seeing babies soon!

9. I have female Sea Monkeys with egg sacs, but I never see any babies! What’s going on?


Sea Monkeys can procreate in five different ways. She can give birth to live babies, but if the conditions aren’t right, she will lay eggs that will seal themselves until the conditions are just right. So perhaps the conditions in your tank aren’t right. Ensure there is enough oxygen, light, warmth, and food in the tank. Make sure it is free from the cotton ball bacteria! And make sure that you are treating the tank in the best possible way. Those eggs don’t need to hatch right away
— they can wait fifty years! — so if you don’t get the conditions right, they won’t bother hatching!

10. My tank has these weird little black spots all over the place?


This is serious. There is only way to save this tank — you need Sea Medic and you need it quickly. This is a rare bacteria that gets into the tank and will eventually kill the Sea Monkeys. Fortunately for you it will take some time, so if you want to order some Sea Medic, you’ll have time to save at least most of the tank. As a secondary note, if you can’t order Sea Medic, try moving the Sea Monkeys to another container with the water. It may be too late and the bacteria may follow
you to that tank, but it’s worth a shot!

11. My Sea Monkey looks black, but he/she is still alive. What is this?


This is a rare Sea Monkey condition in which the Sea Monkey doesn’t moult his/her shell successfully and it remains hanging on its body. It can’t re-generate another shell there, so its body is exposed to the world. There is nothing you can do. It is going to die. I’m sorry.