My daughter managed to keep our sea monkeys going through several generations. After the initial feeding, we never added food (the algae seemed to keep growing) and she mixed the water once a day. But one day, a tragic accident, and it was all over. After a suitable period of mourning, we went to a toy store to start over. But they were out of sea monkeys. They did, however, have Triops, which were supposed to be bigger and therefore, better. So we gave them a go.
I was unable to find the scientific name on the box or the instructions, but judging from the pictures, it looks like Triops longicaudatus, which approximately means, "three eyes, long tail" like some cruel schoolyard taunt. The common name is "summer tadpole shrimp" and the marketing name is "dinosaur shrimp." My box called them Triassic Triops, with a picture of a dinosaur on it. They are called "living fossils" because they look pretty much the same as fossils from the Triassic (248 to 206 million years ago). Individually, they only live a few months.
It took me a while to get started because they had an instruction telling me to get bottled spring water and not the kind that involved reverse osmosis, deionization, or distillation. How could something that has survived so long be so picky about the water? Anyway, so finally found some of that. But then I saw that it's not supposed to have minerals in it either. Too late. I forged ahead.
The next problem was that the water needed to be at least 23 degrees C. We don't keep our place that warm. I put a desk lamp over it, but I used one of those energy efficient CFL bulbs so it didn't give off much heat. Again, I thought how picky could they be? I should also mention that I forgot to put the plant stuff in first.
So I dumped the eggs in. They are tiny and the static or something made them a little tricky to get in there. It is quite amazing how they can last for many years in suspended animation, also known as diapause. I couldn't see anything move for a couple of days.
Then I saw this video of Triops in Arizona in 100F muddy water, which made me think temperature might be critical. I put a quarter cup of spring water in the microwave for ten seconds then added it to the container and the temperature went up a few degress. Success! I noticed a few specks wiggling around. Of course, they may have been sitting there before and then I just got them moving around.
In any case, I am leaving the light on during the day, but I don't want to waste too much more energy keeping them warm, so I don't know how long this experiment will last. Let me know if you have any Triops raising tips.