Date of this Version
We report the hatching of brine shrimp nauplii and their growth to preadults, and occasionally adults, in vacuum grease- sealed, 0.835-1.67 cc microalgal-based, xenic microcosms. Dormant brine shrimp cysts (1-5) were added to 0.75-1.50 ml Chlorella sp. cultures in Lexan™ plastic chambers (the microcosms) of the Materials Dispersion Apparatus (MDA); the chambers were then sealed. The assembled MDA was placed in a lighted incubator with continuous illumination at ca 26-30° C, on a shaker at 100 rpm. Occasionally the MDA was vibrated for 10 sec/day and sometimes mixed with 5-10 culture inversions at one time/day to insure particulate dispersion. Adult brine shrimp developed in as little as 9 days, with survival of preadults or adults (1 or 2/chamber maximum) for 12-56 days, at which times the experiments were terminated. Cultures with human fertilizer produced better brine shrimp growth and much longer survival compared to cultures without this fertilizer. That is, the nutrient wastes from the brine shrimp themselves were not sufficient without added human fertilizer to provide for best growth or survivorship of brine shrimp when compared to similar cultures that had this fertilizer. Some cultures (those that remained transparent and yellow to green) showed rather complete and sometimes obvious cyclic mineralization of their feces and shed chitinous exoskeletons, while other cultures (cloudy, and yellow to green) had much less particulate degradation. The concepts of bioregeneration and endogenous community culture regulation in a very small, xenic, microalgal-based metazoan closed-culture system are therefore demonstrated.