Introduction: USB Sea Monkeys

Picture of USB Sea Monkeys

Add a living feature to your desk, USB Sea Monkeys! Follow the step-by-step instructable and you to can be the talk of the office. This little project is quick, easy, and cheap. Please ignore the little fish bowl in the background. Fred there is just an innocent by-stander.

Step 1: The Elixir of Life (water)

Picture of The Elixir of Life (water)

Retail bottled water gives you both the container and the water. I chose this bottle simply for its cool shape and labeling. Any bottled 'spring' water will do. You should avoid the distilled water as it is a bit too clean to sustain your monkeys. Dirty little monkeys!

Again, please ignore Fred in the fish bowl back behind there. He was sort of jealous and wanted in on at least a few pictures. Sit, Fred, sit!

Step 2: The Base Platform

Picture of The Base Platform

I got a cheap USB coffee warmer from ebay. This one  both plugs into a USB port on the computer and it has a USB 'out' port on the back.

Sea Monkeys like to be warm, but a coffee warmer gets a bit too hot!

So....(go to the next step, silly)....

Step 3: No Sea Monkey Soup for Me, Please

Picture of No Sea Monkey Soup for Me, Please

Yes the coffee warmer will get to darn hot. So I fooled around with a thermometer and several options for having it warm the water with out cooking the contents. I came up with this ingenious little spacer that really works well.

You can mess around with a thermometer yourself and other ways of cooling the base down a bit.  You want the water to be 80-100 degrees F. Hot little monkeys!

Seriously, just pop a few K'nex together and you're good to go.

Step 4: Platform Base With Spacer

Picture of Platform Base With Spacer

This spacer was just a little bit too big to fit snuggly. I had to shave the ends of the white rods down a bit to get a good fit. I used a small hand file for a while, but I got bored. The dremel was much more fun!

Step 5: Let There Be Light!

Picture of Let There Be Light!

I got a small adjustable, goose neck, LED, USB light form ebay cheap, cheap. Not much to say about this step...see the picture...

Step 6: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Ok, here's the hard stuff! 

1) Put the base on the desk.
2) Place the spacer on the base.
3) Plug the light into the back of the base.
4) Plug the base into the computer.

Now take a break, sit down, relax, pacer yourself, you're doing fine.

Fred! quit playing dead, you are freaking me out.

Step 7: Lets Get Cooking

Picture of Lets Get Cooking

OK, now place the water bottle on the spacer and let it warm up for a day or longer. Remember, you want the water to be up there around 80-100 degrees F for a good hatch.

Step 8: The Sea Monkey Eggs

Picture of The Sea Monkey Eggs

I got the Sea Monkey eggs from:  though you can get them from many sources. You are looking for fresh water fairy shrimp. They are also found on ebay (is there any thing you can't find on ebay?)

Step 9: Hatching the Babies

Picture of Hatching the Babies

1) Read the information that comes with the eggs. 
2) A small amount is more then enough for this little container.
3) The light is good, but you will get a better hatch with direct sunlight that first day or two.
4) Water temp, again should be 80-100 degrees F.

Step 10: Feed Me Seymour!

Picture of Feed Me Seymour!

Feeding these twisted little monkeys is an easy task.
Get a little pack of yeast in the baking isle at the grocery store.
Don't worry about refrigerating it or any of that jazz, just keep it clean and dry

Step 11: Go Easy on the Feedings!

Picture of Go Easy on the Feedings!

Use very very little of the food! You can fowl the water quickly with too much of a good thing.
Give then 6-7 grains of the yeast every other day. That really is enough!

Step 12: Final Note

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*You will likely have less survive then hatch, it happens.
* The extra eggs you have will last darn near forever if you just keep them dry.
*The survivors will live 3-4 months and get up to a 1/2 inch long.
*Green algae growth can be good natural food, let it grow.
*Sunlight can make this small amount of water vary in temperature widely, you may want to get them monkeys out of sunlight after the first day or two of hatching. Sunlight is not absolutely required for hatching anyway, I keep my out of sunlight all together and do just fine.
*Mine is plugged into a computer that never gets 'turned off' fully so the USB post is always energized, the heater and light are always on. Life is good. this link has lots of good information on the care and feeding of Sea Monkeys, give it a look, see. This is were I get my eggs too.
*My Sea Monkeys are too small and my camera too pitiful to get a decent picture. This is a really close-up picture that I snagged from the website link above.
*Have fun, you sick little monkey!


AluminumFoilMaster (author)2015-02-12

Damn all you guys have terrible parents.

sle4 (author)2011-08-15

were do we buy

spenfisher12 (author)2010-09-30

not much to say yet i still find a way to post a comment


yoyology (author)2010-06-26

I'm still mourning the Sea Monkeys my grandmother flushed down the toilet when I was a kid. Perhaps I can heal my broken soul by following your Instructable. Thank you for this chance at renewal, Heef. You are truly a messenger of good.

Jumbo Ninja (author)yoyology2010-06-26

I know the feeling my mom knocked of my sea monkey tank ... gone forever .... and she wouldnt buy me a new one >.>

i used to have tryops (about the same thing, except theyre more orange and look like tiny horseshoe crabs), and my mom flushed the three that survived by day 4... never did get new ones :[

TOCO (author)predatory meatball2011-01-16

My 7th grade science teacher had those. I ended up getting some. I didnt use all of the eggs at once. I ended up doing it two times. They didnt last long. I was going to give my science teacher the rest of the eggs but he bought a pac-man frog for the tank after the triops died. I looked at this ible when it was extremely popular. I went to the basement to look for my extra sea monkey eggs but I only had triops eggs. Those wont fit in a water bottle. Last time I had to use a fish tank warmer to get the water warm enough for the triops.

predatory meatball (author)TOCO2011-01-25

cant realy get more win than a pac man frog... what is it anyway?

TOCO (author)predatory meatball2011-01-29

It is just a big frog that we feed mice.

yoyology (author)Jumbo Ninja2010-06-26

Maybe we should start a support group.

sk8r4life (author)yoyology2010-06-28

my younger brother thought you were supposed to put soap in it to help them get clean >.>

Madrigorne (author)sk8r4life2010-07-02

There there, its all right. (pat pat) I'm sure your sea monkeys knew you cared. It's not your fault. There there...

Same here

imBobertRobert (author)2011-01-13

i dont see fred... you might want to check to see if he's floating... or maybe my sights gone bad

Dr.Squirrel (author)2011-01-01

Just saying... You do know that "Sea-Monkeys" name is restricted to the something NYOS or Sea-Monkey products.... Don't kill me...

predatory meatball (author)2010-07-18

you could cut out the same shape in rubber... thats what i used instead of knex

How about a rubber seal from a canning (Ball or Mason) jar? Maybe gaskets for garden hoses? You might also be able to get hose gaskets from your local Fire Dept.

hmm... never tried it, but i dont see why it wouldnt work... just make sure it doesent melt, i guess

SasquatchKid (author)2010-07-27

You cant buy nukes on ebay

you can get nukes but not the bomb


srsly serch nuke on ebay

HAHAHA frisbeys

Capfl2k5 (author)SasquatchKid2010-08-08

yet. lol

Screamo (author)2010-09-27

Sea monkeys hate me, I always accidentaly kill them Spill something in it, smash the bowl u know what i mean right?:D

Javin007 (author)2010-07-02

5 stars (and I'm VERY picky about what I give five stars). I am very literally going out today to find the parts to make this. Unfortunately, I can't bring a camera in to work to show it in action, but I'll definitely be making it.

Javin007 (author)Javin0072010-07-02

Oh my Jesus you can really find this stuff for cheap on E-Bay. The light cost me $2 (shipping included) and the warmer cost $3.

Javin007 (author)Javin0072010-08-23

I ended up opting for a single ghost shrimp instead of the sea monkeys, and have put some plants in the water with him to see how he'll fare. This was almost two months ago, and I haven't had to feed him or anything yet, and he's still as happy as a clam! Great 'ible!

jamster545 (author)2010-07-11

lol, that reminded me of Monty Python (Not Dead Fred "I'm not dead yet.") haha

monty python lolololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol...


Redgerr (author)2010-07-08

my only complaint is that the fuji sticker should be taken off, otherwise this is awsome! the sea monkeys live a good life as they should :) hope its plugged into a laptop or somthing because of power outages :o

puppetmaker77 (author)2010-07-04

I loved the Little Shop of Horrors reference!

GiL42 (author)2010-07-02

You could add a resistor to the coffee warmer circuits and control the temperature depending on it's resistance.

bytehead (author)2010-07-01

Nice. I've had sea monkeys before, but I always only managed to get one to actually get full grown. I like this. And I never saw what the food was., Never knew about the warm part either. I need to do this. My attempts at trying to keep a betta on my desk were always thwarted by my cats, one in particular. The only way that one of them would make sense would be by gluing the tank to the desk so he couldn't knock it over/off. I'm assuming that there's still enough oxygen in the water even after the lid has been kept on for awhile? Getting some algae to grow would help, I'm sure. I might still be tempted to throw a small piece of anachris in, just to help. Keeping the lid on would be good in my case, considering the cats

xenor (author)bytehead2010-07-01

The reason you can keep a betta in such a small tank is that they have an unusual addition called a labyrinth organ that allows them to extract oxygen from the atmosphere as well as from the water as normal fish do.

bytehead (author)xenor2010-07-02

Yep. I've also found out that room temperature is still a bit low for them. And I usually had a bit of anachris or hornwort with them. It goes back to when I was a kid living on a lake, with my jars of lake water and algae, raising cyclops ( ) and water fleas ( ) and even the occasional hydra.

Klappstuhl (author)2010-07-02

A glass bottle might be a better idea, as the chemical Bisphenol A inside the plastic is released when in contact with water, killing off the sea monkeys slowly over time.

xnifx (author)2010-07-01

My fish's name is Fred, too!! In fact, every Betta fish since I was a child was named Fred, all except for one who was named Barney. My fish now is called "Fred Fabio." Just because he is probably the prettiest Fred I've ever had. Thanks for the Sea Monkeys thing. I might give this a shot. But only when Fred's not around. He gets jealous too.

pacowarabi (author)2010-07-01

Great 'Ible! You have a knack for writing, and this is a brilliantly simple method. Excellent use of everyday materials and easy-to-find extras. You obviously know your sea monkeys! I knew that they were just brine shrimp, but I had no idea about using yeast as food. Makes me want to go grow some!

ikeike40 (author)2010-07-01

after they die i feed them to my fish which seem to like them more than fish food

tw2sheds (author)2010-07-01

Not to be fussy but isn't Fred an innocent by-swimmer or by-drifter and not a by-stander?

IAMSPARTA (author)2010-07-01

I loved your intructable! Not only fun and informative and easy to follow BUT, yes there is always a but, VERY etertaining! I laughed the whole time I made this while reading your instructions!

AngelBunny (author)2010-07-01

I love your instructable!!! I cannot wait to create this with my 8 yr old, what a fun and resourceful way to learn a science lesson! He will be thrilled about being able to recycle a water bottle too! Thanks for the great and easy to understand directions, the pics are very well done too!

Fred82664 (author)2010-06-30

Thank you ,,,I look darn good as a pet fish

Ghost Wolf (author)2010-06-29

Monkeys in a fuji! thats cool! 5 stars!!!

rhaubejoi (author)2010-06-27

Heef, how long have your sea monkeys thrived in the water bottle? Do you leave the lid on all the time? Do they need oxygen? If so, what method do you use to aerate the water?

Heef (author)rhaubejoi2010-06-29

Mine go 2-3 months with the lid on. They naturally live in muddy, low oxygen water. Anyway, I have had no obvious need for suplimental oxygen thus far. But I am not trying to, or advocating, hatching out hundreds of these beastes in such a small container. I like to have a half dozen or so at a time. I would invision more problems with an open container of water on my desk, near my computer...yikes! In fact, Fred (the goldfish-in-bowl) is presently running an office betting pool to guess when (not if) I tip him over. Thanks, Heef

chuckr44 (author)2010-06-28

Sea Monkeys are not the same as fairy shrimp. Sea monkeys require brackish water, fairy shrimp require fresh water, though both look the same. Sea Monkeys are actually a patented form of brine shrimp. Good 'ible though.

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