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Sea Monkeys Vs Brine Shrimp – 4 Questions Answered!

Sea monkeys seem to be making a come back with there being a number of marketing campaigns going to try and spike their popularity again.

Although most people had sea monkeys as children, we usually see a number of questions being asked from the community each time sea monkeys return to the spot light and start to see a surge in their popularity again.

This time round however, we have been asking people specifically comparing sea monkeys and brine shrimp to each other and asking about the differences between the two as well as some common mistakes that we see people making all the time.

Due to this we have decided to publish our very own sea monkeys vs brine shrimp comparison article to try and address the four main questions that we see from the community about sea monkeys and brine shrimp.

Our table of contents below should make it easy to navigate the article to allow you to quickly and easily skip to specific sections without having to skim the full article.

If you are planning on getting some sea monkeys then reading the full article may be worth it though as it addresses many common misconceptions that people have about the animals.

Are Brine Shrimp And Sea-Monkeys The Same?

Sea monkeys are a type of brine shrimp but they are actually a hybrid breed that were originally developed in 1957 by Harold von Braunhut.

Their technical name is Artemia NYOS but are marketed under the “Sea Monkeys” name to make them easier to sell and due to being a hybrid animal, they tend to grow much larger than regular brine shrimp while also being more resilient to common problems that bring shrimp have too.

Although many people will keep a Brine Shrimp Hatchery as a way to produce consistent live food for their pet fish in their aquarium, sea monkeys are usually kept as pets in their own novelty aquarium.

The majority of the standard sea monkey kits come with a food source to allow you to keep the sea monkeys alive for as long as possible too.

There is actually a conspiracy theory that brine shrimp and sea monkeys are exactly the same thing and that regular brine shrimp will be able to grow to the size of sea monkeys if they are kept in a protected environment free from predators.

You also have to keep in mind that most brine shrimp are often used as a food source and are not catered to for their dietary requirements once added to the aquarium where as sea monkeys are fed a steady and optimised diet helping them grow.

“mating sea monkeys, Dec 2010” by you get the picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Are Sea-Monkeys Bigger Than Brine Shrimp?

Sea monkeys are commonly known to grow larger than brine shrimp but could be due to the different ways that the animals are cared for.

Some people speculate that is brine shrimp were kept in a safe aquarium free from predators while being fed a steady, optimized food source they would also be able to grow to the same size as a sea monkey.

For the most part though, even if brine shrimp and sea monkeys are the exact same animal with different marketing tactics, the vast majority of people will never mix the two to see if they can grow to be the same size.

Most people simply order their brine shrimp and add them to their aquarium as a food source for their pet fish without letting them grow to a full size where are sea monkeys are kept as pets and left to grow as they wish.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, there have actually been some in-depth discussions between fish keepers as to if there is any difference between Artemia NYOS (sea monkeys) and Artemia Salina (brine shrimp) at all.

A number of the more experienced fish keepers claim to have done the tests that we just covered and their the regular brine shrimp that they hatched into their sea monkey tanks grew to the exact same size of the sea monkeys that they hatched.

Do Sea-Monkeys Eat Brine Shrimp?

Sea monkeys do not eat brine shrimp and will focus on plankton and algae as the main foods in their diet but they can also be fed a diet of yeast or wheat flour in some situations. The jaws of an adult sea monkey are simply too small to eat a brine shrimp anyway.

As we mentioned in the section above, a number of people from the fish keeping community have claimed to have kept both sea monkeys and brine shrimp in the same tank from hatching and that both animals grew at the same rate to the same size.

We also touched on the conspiracy theory that sea monkeys are just rebranded brine shrimp earlier too and although some species will eat their own young, this is not apparent in brine shrimp.

Plankton and algae are both the natural foods of sea monkeys though and we would always recommend that you re-stock actual baby shrimp food once you run out of the food packet that comes with your sea monkeys.

It is a much better food source for them than yeast or wheat flour and will help keep your sea monkeys alive for much longer.

Why Do They Call Brine Shrimp Sea-Monkeys?

The sea monkey’s name is just a clever marketing ploy similar to the aqua dragons brand.

Sea monkeys were originally marketed as “instant life” and saw poor sales until the rebrand and they have stuck with the term sea monkeys ever since due to it resulting in consisteably better sales.

If they just sold sea monkeys as shrimp or brine shrimp then we doubt that the sea monkey company would even be a thing today as there is just too much competition from other companies selling various types of shrimp as fish food out there.

The name sea monkeys also helps to differentiate brine shrimp from the crowd as their own unique product where they shrimp are meant to be kept as pets rather than used as food for fish.

In our opinion, the aqua dragons name is even better for marketing and we feel that they will over take sea monkeys in terms of sales and dominate the industry.

It will be interesting to see how things progress for the aqua dragon brand though due to sea monkeys being such an established name in the industry.


That brings our sea monkeys vs brine shrimp comparison article to an end. We hope that we have been able to help our readers better understand the various differences between the two and that many experienced fish keepers believe they are they exact same thing that with seam monkeys just having some very clever marketing done on it.