Last night, I tried to get some pictures of our triops. Rather difficult, considering how active they are. That and focusing the camera on something that's in water is a bit of a challenge. This picture shows one of them reflected agains the side of the tank.
We've actually got 2 triops "tanks" going. They came from different kits with slightly different instructions, so we're experimenting to see which works out better. They are also being kept in different rooms for the difference in natural and artificial light, as well as temperatures. The triops themselves have to have their water within certain temperatures, but it takes more to keep it there in one room than another.
The eggs were put in the prepared water on Oct. 3, and as of Oct. 8, the ones in this picture are about a centimetre in length, and have grown noticably just overnight. There's only 2 left in there. It started out with quite a lot more, but triops are cannibals and the larger ones will eat the smaller ones. Gravel from the kit was added to this tank shortly after the picture was taken (a mistake in the instructions - the gravel should've been put in at the start, but since we missed that detail, I waited until they were large enough to add without accidentally crushing one). One of the two triops is incredibly active, and proceeded to thoroughly explore the new additions, including the air bubbles stuck to them. I can see this tank and the triops within as I type this, and they're quite fun to watch.
The other "tank" is actually the bottom of a water bottle (as per instructions). Only a couple of eggs succeeded in hatching, and this morning, I could only see one triop in there. My daughter, who's desk it sits on, tells me there's actually two. The one I could see this morning is quite a lot smaller than the ones in the tank on my desk. After 8 days, that "tank" will be transferred to a 1 gallon tank.
Aside from how interesting triops are in general, there's a definate reason I've encouraged having these kits. As a child, I remember finding triops in one of the ponds on our farm. I had no idea what they were, but the youngest of my brothers and I would catch them and look at them before setting them free again, and I remember them quite clearly. Some 25 years later, a conversation with my sister happened to turn to these creatures, and she remembered them as well. Being 10 years older then me, her memories are more extensive, but the details we recalled of the creatures themselves matched exactly. Neither of us had any idea what they were, and the closest I could come to finding something like it was the horseshoe crab.
A couple of months later, I was exploring a store and found a triops kit. Seeing the photo on the box, I immediately recognized them. I promptly bought the kid and proceeded to do more research on them. How strange is seems that we had these creatures living wild on that pond. None of us recall seeing them anywhere else, nor have we seen them again since that short time period I remember.
So not only are the triops a fun thing to do with my kids, it's a wonderful way to share a part of my childhood with them.