Introduction: 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)

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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!

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!

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

*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!

USB Contest

Finalist in the
USB Contest