Quality Assurance and Lot Certification
Argent is the exclusive producer of ARGENTEMIA brand brine shrimp Artemia eggs, offered in four grades:
Grade 0 Platinum Label Grade I Gold Label Grade II Silver Label Grade III Bronze Label.
Our world renowned ARGENTEMIA products are manufactured under a Lot Certification Program whereby Argent QC Specialists inspect each lot of harvested brine shrimp cysts throughout the production process to assure that each and every case of ARGENTEMIA product meets our stringent specifications for aquaculture use.
ARGENTEMIA Superior Nutrient and HUFA Content
The culture of marine shrimp and finfish larvae requires premium quality Artemia, high in cyst count and hatchout, with small nauplii and superior nutrient content. Most importantly, the nutrient profile must provide sufficient quantities of certain highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), specifically the HUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5w3) and dodecahexonoic acid (22:6w3).
It has long been acknowledged that the HUFA composition of Artemia is largely determined, not by genetic factors, but by environmental factors. The most important of these factors is the HUFA profile of the diet supporting the adult Artemia population. In the San Francisco Bay, the HUFA content of the plankton which the adult Artemia feed upon provides abundant sources of the critically important 20:5w3 and 22:6w3 HUFAs.
Thus, Argent harvests the San Francisco Bay for Artemia cysts used in ARGENTEMIA Platinum Grade 0 and Gold Grade I. Both the environment and the ARGENTEMIA cysts are renowned as the finest in quality and nutrient rich production.
ARGENTEMIA Grade 0, Platinum Label
A limited stock of the classic San Francisco Bay Origin Artemia Cysts. Harvested from pond N-4 of the National Wildlife Refuge. Characterized by the highest available cyst count per gram yielding the smallest known Nauplii - allowing the earliest possible first feeding of Artemia. Origin: San Francisco Bay, National Wildlife Refuge, Pond N-5.
Hatch Out%: 90+ Naupli size: < 450 microns
T0: 9 hrs T90: 18 hrs HUFA Profile: "Superb", 20:5w3 > 8.0% Eicosapentaenoic Acid
Cyst count/gram: 330,000 to 400,000 eggs/gram HighlyUnsaturated Fatty Acids 22:6w3 > 3.5% Dodecahexonoic Acid
ARGENTEMIA Grade I Gold Label
Our highest quality Artemia, harvested from the San Francisco Bay and Certified by Argents stringent quality assurance program. Characterized by a very high % hatchout and cyst/gram count (small size), and the shortest hatching induction time (To and T90). Suitable for the most exacting hatchery systems. Origin: San Francisco Bay.
Hatch Out%: 90% Naupli size: 450 - 475 microns
T0:: 8 hrs T90 : 15 hrs HUFA Profile: "Excellent", 20:5w3 > 5.5%
Cyst count/gram: Minimum 280,000 eggs/gram22:6w3 > 3.0%
ARGENTEMIA Grade II Silver Label
Argents best commercial grade of brine shrimp cysts for general aquaculture use. Exceptional hatchout (92% +) cysts are selectively harvested at peak season from specific areas of the Great Salt Lake, Utah that are known to produce very high quality eggs with short induction time. Origin: North Arm Great Salt Lake.
Hatch Out%: 80% Naupli size: 500-525 microns
T0: 9 hrs T90: 16 hrs HUFA Profile: "Good", 20:5w3 > 3.0%
Cyst count/gram: Minimum 260,000 eggs/gram 22:6w3 > 2.0%
ARGENTEMIA Grade III Bronze Label
A commercial grade Artemia cyst, characterized by relatively low cyst count/gram and larger nauplii. Suitable for feeding of finfish larvae and shrimp in latter hatchery stages of
Hatchout Techniques for the Brine Shrimp, Artemia:
An overview of methods
The value of the brine shrimp, Artemia is well known by hatchery managers and aquaculturalists the world over. variation occurs in the viability of Artemia cysts due to harvest date, species, parental stock, etc.. Consequently, Argent Laboratories continuously subjects incoming stocks of brine shrimp eggs (BSE) to repetitive quality control tests. One of the most important of these is the determination of percent hatchout, that is, the number of hatched nauplii as a percentage of the total number of cysts per gram. This information guide is presented to help the hatchery manager/technician accurately replicate the methods and results of Argents Artemia hatchouts. All of the methods presented are used by quality control technicians at Argent. These methods have been developed following the research work of numerous scientists, including those at Argent Laboratories.
These methods are presented here after strict and repetitive testing at Argent. Please note that parameters like temperature, time, pH, salinity, light, density, and counting accuracy are most important to the successful outcome of these tests. Follow these methods as closely as possible.
Equipment and supplies required:
Imhoff cones (graduated). It is important that the incubation container be conical in shape and be graduated so that volume can be determined. Water bath (tank or aquarium). A glass tank is preferred as it allows light to penetrate the hatching medium. Thermostatically-controlled heater. Water pump to adequately circulate the water in the water bath surrounding the cones. Fluorescent light, or equivalent to provide 1000 lux and light in the 400-600 nm spectral range. Air pump, tubing, valves. Ring stands, or other method to support the cones in the water bath that does not interfere with light transmission. Balance or scale, with sensitivity of at least .01 g. 10 ml Pipette. Filter paper, sometimes called "analytical paper", 15 cm diameter or some other absorbent, tight mesh paper. Dissecting microscope, magnification 30 - 40x to count hatched nauplii. A piece of 1/4" square grid graph paper. pH Meter, Salinity refractometer, and a Thermometer.
Equipment and sample preparation:
Fill water bath with fresh water and heat to 28 - 29 degrees C. Attach air tube to apex of cones and assure a tight seal. Start air supply to all cones. Suspend Imhoff cones in water bath and fill with 1000 ml of Instant Ocean or other commercial seawater solution mix. This solution should be freshly prepared or thawed from frozen solutions as bacteria tend to colonize in it, affecting hatchout.The use of natural seawater must be viewed with caution in doing these assays since a number of parameters like bacterial count and other contaminants cannot be easily controlled. Measure salinity. Desired level is 29-300/00. Check pH. Optimum level is 8.5-9. Correct pH levels are very important. If pH is lower than this, add sodium bicarbonate to the solution in increments until this level is reached. Adjust air supply so that a gentle aeration occurs. Violent aeration will cause the cysts to stick to the upper cone out of the water. This condition significantly effects hatchout. Allow saline solution in cones to adjust to the same temperature as the bath (28-30o C.). Place light source 20 cm from top of cones. Make certain that this light remains on during hatchout. Weigh out exactly 1.0 g of cysts from a freshly opened can for each cone. Up to 5 grams of cysts have been used in this procedure, but counting of hatched nauplii is more difficult under such conditions. A density of higher than 5 grams should never be used. A note on sampling: Each can sampled should be tested in 3 separate cones to minimize sampling error. Once the saline solution in the cones is 28-29o C, check pH again. Pour the 1 gram cyst sample into each cone. Cyst will float initially, but will sink as they become hydrated. After 20-30 minutes, spray any cysts stuck to the side of the cone down with a saline solution identical to that in the cone. This procedure should be repeated as necessary to be certain all cysts are suspended in the solution. Make sure that aeration is not excessive, causing the cysts to stick to the cone. Monitor temperature.
Sampling of the hatched nauplii:
Allow the cysts to incubate for at least 24-26 hours. While the sample solution is being aerated, place a 10 ml pipette about halfway into the solution and remove a 2-3 ml sample. Quickly release exactly 1 ml of the solution onto a sheet of filter paper, moving the pipette tip around to distribute the nauplii over the sheet. The water will drain through the filter paper,, leaving the nauplii and cysts visible for counting. Place the drained filter paper sample over a piece of 1/4" square grid graph paper mounted on a sheet of plastic or wood. The graph lines should show through the filter paper. Carefully count the number of nauplii, using the grid background to keep your place. Count both the N1 and EZ nauplii since the EZ nauplii were in the process of hatching when the sample was taken and are/will be considered a food source. Large numbers of EZ nauplii indicate that the sample from the incubation cone was taken too soon. (See figure 2). Repeat steps 9-11 at least three times, taking 1 ml samples from the same cone (minimizes sampling errors).
The number of nauplii counting on each piece of filter paper equals the number of nauplii per ml of solution (N). Add the results of the three (or more) sample counts: N1 + N2 + N3 = A Divide the results by the number of samples to get an average: A : 3 = A Note the exact volume of the incubation solution remaining in the Imhoff cone (V). This is usually around 950 ml due to evaporation. Multiply to get the total number of nauplii/g in the cone. A x V = Nc The number of nauplii/g in the cone divided by the cyst count/g (C) yields percent hatchout: (Nc : C) x 100 = percent hatchout Note: Cyst count/g can be obtained off the Argentemia label or may be independently arrived at by manual counting/unit weight. If a cyst count is made, empty cysts and fragments are not counted.
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