Effect of Fertilizer on the Survival Rate of Brine Shrimp


The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of different amounts of fertilizer on the survival rate of brine shrimp.

I became interested in this idea last year when I did an experiment on the effect of oil on brine shrimp and wondered if fertilizers would affect brine shrimp. I have always been interested in fish and marine life. 

The information gained from this experiment could show farmers that synthetic fertilizers are harmful to our environment and that they should consider natural fertilizers.


My hypothesis was that as the amount of fertilizer in the water increased, the survival rate of the brine shrimp would decrease.

I based my hypothesis on the book Animal Care from Protozoa to Small Mammals, which stated that brine shrimp could digest small amounts of certain chemicals.


The constants in this study were:

•    The amount of brine shrimp in each test group

•    The containers the shrimp are in 

•    The amount of salinity in the water

•    The age of the brine shrimp

•    The type of water (well water) 

•    The type of fertilizer

The manipulated variable was the amount of fertilizer in the water.

The responding variable was the survival rate of the brine shrimp.

To measure the responding variable, I looked into the jars and when there was no movement in the jars, then all the shrimp were dead.                                                              


About 4,000         
Brine shrimp or brine shrimp eggs
Glass jars approx 1l each 
Saltwater powder 
Brine shrimp Hatcher (if hatching eggs)
Milk jug (if hatching eggs)
1 bottle                 
Brine shrimp food
Petri dishes
Heat lamp


1.    Hatch brine shrimp if needed: add 4ml of sea salt powder, the temperate should always be about 20-25 degrees Celsius, use the brine shrimp Hatcher to hatch the shrimp

2.    Make sure the heat lamp is always on

3.    Stir shrimp and then put an equal amount in 4 Petri dishes   

4.    Put 1 Petri dish of shrimp in each jar 

5.    Don’t do anything to the first jar of shrimp 

6.    Add 1ml. of fertilizer to the second jar

7.    Add 2ml. of fertilizer to the third jar

8.    Add 3ml. of fertilizer to the fourth jar 
9.    Observe how the brine shrimp react to the fertilizer

10.   Determine the survival/death rate of the shrimp after observation

11.    Record your findings in a journal 

12.    Feed brine shrimp every 24 hours

13.    Each evening repeat steps 9-12

14.    After 7 days graph your results

15.    Repeat steps 1-14 two more times


The original purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of different amounts of fertilizer on the survival rate of brine shrimp

The results of the experiment showed the more fertilizer in the water, the faster the brine shrimp died. The brine shrimp in the control group lived the longest (7+ days average). The shrimp in group number 3 lived the shortest (1 day average). The brine shrimp in group number 2 took 2 days to completely die out on average. The brine shrimp in group number 1 lasted 3 days on average.


My original hypothesis was that as the amount of fertilizer goes up the number of brine shrimp would go down.

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be accepted, because the brine shrimp in-group 3 died out first and that was the group with the most fertilizer.

After thinking about the results of this experiment, I wonder if different types of fertilizer would affect them in the same way. In particular I would test natural fertilizers.

If I were to conduct this project again I would conduct many more trials to show better results.

Researched by --- Kolton W


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