Aqua Dragons are little aquatic creatures also known as brine shrimp or artemia to tropical fish keepers like us. I won’t scar you by letting you know what we do with them but they are labelled ‘live food’.
They’re actually incredibly interesting.
Artemia are prehistoric little creatures which have been around unchanged for millions of years. Due to a process called cryptobiosis, if their eggs dry out they can then be stored and hatched even many years later, if and when they come into contact with brine solution, meaning they can be stored, bought and hatched at home.
We were sent the Aqua Dragons Deluxe Deep Sea Habitat with LED lights to review.
Having had Sea Monkeys when I was young and been entirely underwhelmed, I wondered what the children would make of the the tiny aquatic Aqua Dragons.
What do you get in the kit?
The box includes the deluxe aquarium with LED lights, a little packet of Aqua Dragon eggs, a packet of food, pipette to aireate the tank, feeding spoon and magnifying glass so you can see what your new pets are up to.
To turn the LED light on there’s a little switch in the base. You’ll need to put in 2 AAA batteries (not included) to make the light work.
Hatching your Aqua Dragons
Hatching your Aqua Dragons should be really simple, according to the instructions. Add 350ml of bottled water to the aquarium (make sure you put the batteries in first!) and then carefully pour in the packet of eggs. This packet also contains the salt needed to make the water saline, which kickstarts the hatching process.
Give the water a gentle mix and leave it. The Aqua Dragons should hatch in a couple of days. You’ll be able to see them from about 5 days but you can use the magnifier to check on them before then.
Once hatched you will need to feed them some of the included food every 2-3 days.
You can watch them growing (up to 1cm) and even having Aqua Dragon babies.
What did we think?
The tank was smaller than we had expected. Obviously these creatures are tiny rarely reaching 2cm but it is small enough to place on a shelf at 15cm x 12cm and only 3cm thick.
The light was a nice addition; it could be used as a nightlight in an older and more trustworthy child’s room, although you can’t really replace the batteries with ease once it’s filled so I’d be nervous about leaving the light on too much.
It’s easy to set up as the tank comes assembled. As the kit is suitable for slightly older children (recommended for ages 6+) and my children are pretty rubbish at waiting, we set the kit up on evening when they were in bed.
There was nothing the next day, despite regular inspections.
Five days after they were ‘hatched’, I could see tiny specks moving in the tank.
There were probably more than a dozen, not even a millimetre long. I got stupidly excited, and so did the kids… and then DISASTER.
Despite following the instructions to the letter,a few days afterwards I could only see one little guy moving around… and then there was nothing.
I kept the tank going for a further week just in case they were hiding, aerating the tank every now and then, but alas, our dragons had ceased to be. They were ex-aqua dragons. RIP little buddies.
As someone who has managed to breed and keep tropical fish I was a bit annoyed at my inability to keep Aqua Dragons alive.
However, I contacted Aqua Dragons and they were happy to send me another batch of eggs – so watch this space!
Top tip: If this happens to you, pop to your local tropical fish shop and buy some brine shrimp.
They’re only a few quid. Your child will never know.
If you think you can do better than I, then the Aqua Dragons Deluxe Deep Sea Habitat with LED lights has an RRP of £19.99 and can be bought from most good toy shops including Amazon using the affiliate links below.
We received the Aqua Dragons Deluxe Deep Sea Habitat with LED lights free for the purposes of this review but words and pictures are my own.
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