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I recentently purchased Triops, about 3 weeks ago. They work in the same way as the more popular Sea monkeys, which a lot of people have owned in their lifetime.
In the pack, you get a container, the Triops eggs, food and a few other tools and of course instructions. they are very simple, you use bottled water, and let it warm to room temperature, then drop in the gravel, food and eggs. 24-48 hours later you should have tiny little Triops swimming about, but i also found that some other creatures hatched, including sea monkeys. I'm not sure why this was, maybe food for the Triops as they grow much bigger than anything else, but it does not say anything about this on the box or n the instructions. Either way they grow fast and a very entertaining if not also a little bit creepy. The girlfriend is terrified by them.
For under a 10 this a little bit of fun science and some small pets all rolled into 1 little package that i would recommend.
My nephew has so many toys that i was completely stumped when it came to christmas. My sister wants to buy him a hamster and i thought this would be the ideal present to teach him a bit of responsibility.
~~ Triops ~~
Triops have been around since there were dinosaurs and hatch from little eggs that are supplied with the kit. They are more commonly known as the tadpole shrimp and so aren't as exotic as i first thought! Along with the eggs you get the container to store them in, sand, food and an instruction booklet.
If you ask me, they are very strange little creatures and I was freaked out by the way they kept digging into the sand. After a few weeks, they grow to quite a size (though not as big as the box makes out) and whilst my nephew was fascinated, i hated them!
~~ Good Bits ~~
The triops hatch with little effort within 24 hours of putting the eggs into the water so your child won't be waiting around for days for something to happen. They are also guaranteed to hatch so long as you follow the instructions properly. There are a couple of other species that hatch alongside it and grow along with the triops, but don't get too attached because the triops actually eat these after a while! They are fascinating to watch though so your little one can see lots of different species.
It teaches your child responsibility and i think these are ideal for anyone thinking of getting a pet for their children. You have to feed them and change their water to a certain extent so it's just a practice run for something larger.
The triops don't have a long life span but don't think that you have to run off to the shop to buy more everytime they die. They actually lay eggs and rehatch so you can have all of the enjoyment over and over again. Well, for as long as the food lasts! You do have to wait for the sand to dry out before they rehatch but it's a lot cheaper than running off to replace a fish that has died.
The food is provided along with plenty of eggs and sand for the triops but please remember to buy a bottle of water before you take everything out of the box with an excited child. They won't hatch with tap water.
~~ Bad Bits ~~
You don't have to clean them out as such so the water does go a bit green and yucky looking. I suppose this can be a good thing as it's less work for you, but it gets harder to see them and the water just looks disgusting! The container that they come in is also a bit disappointing as it's only plastic and isn't very sturdy, a few nudges and I'm sure they would be on the floor.
How do you explain to a child that some of the creatures eat each other so you'll only have the actual triop at the end? My sister thought she'd killed them all at first before we read that the triop actually ate them. It lead to a rather funny conversation with my 5 year old nephew!
The short life span of the triops is also very disappointing and hard to explain to a child how they have all died. I think it's twelve weeks they are supposed to live for but ours only lasted for 3. This could be because they are supposed to live in warm water (we kept the light on over the top) and our winter has made it very hard to keep things warm all of the time! I'd definitely buy them in summer next time.
~~ Value for Money ~~
We bought these for around £6.50 in asda just before christmas and my nephew loved every minute of them. He's had a few attempts and gets to sit and feed them and watch them swim around and dig in the sand at the bottom of the container. I think this is definitely value for money, even if they didn't last as long as we expected them to. Nevertheless, we still have food and we're currently waiting for the sand to dry out so we can try it for a third time. They always say third time lucky, i'll let you know how that goes!
~~ My Verdict ~~
I would definitely recommend these to someone else although i'd perhaps recommend to try them in summer rather than winter. They are cheap, easy to look after and rehatch several times. If your child has been asking for a pet, introduce them to the triop and see how they go. You can also see if they get bored of them quickly and whether they are actually ready for a pet.
Triops have been around since dinosaur time (no I?d never heard of them until I bought this kit for my daughter either!) Triops are crustaceans and obtain the oxygen that they need to breathe, from the water that they live in. They absorb the oxygen through their feet. Triops are also know as ?dinosaur shrimps? or ?tadpole shrimps?. Triops have an outer shell, a tail and up to 70 pairs of legs. Seemingly these can be found in every continent, and the ones in the kit come from the USA where they can be found in desert areas. The triops live in small ponds in their natural habitats and unfortunately only live for a few weeks. The basic idea of the Triop World kit, is that you can ?grow? your own triops from eggs supplied with the kit. Intrigued??????then read on! I came across Triop World whilst trying to come up with some novel stocking fillers for Christmas last year, and came across a site called www.prezzybox.com (but that?s another review!!!) The kit caught my eye as my children are ?into? any sort of animals and anything that they can make or grow, so I knew this would be a hit. I bought it for my daughter who was eight at the time, and she?s had hours of pleasure with it. One of the things that persuaded me to buy the kit was a guarantee that the triops would hatch. Phew I thought, I didn?t want endless questions of ?Why isn?t this working?? a couple of days after setting it all up! The kit costs £9.95 and comprises of the following: Large plastic round tank to grow your creatures Triop eggs for hatching (enough for two batches) Sand (the triops use this to burrow in) Triop food Instruction leaflet. Very easy to use. Although the best time to grow your triops is in the summer, they can be grown with the aid of natural light, so we rigged a desk lamp up over the tank for 12 hours a day, as when we first tried the kit, it was just after Christmas. Instructions Fill tank with water (must be mineral as tap water will kill the triops) and put the eggs in. Before filling the tank, it must be swilled out with mineral water. After 24 hours, the triops will hatch, although they are difficult to see at this stage. Amber spent hours peering through the tank to see if she could see them! They do not need to be fed until the third day and then they grow like crazy. After this, feeding takes place every other day. On our first batch, we had some fairy shrimps as well as the triop, but the triop ate them all. According to the instruction leaflet this can happen as they are greedy little critters! On the third week, sand can be put into the tank. The triops love this as they enjoy burrowing. The tank does need to be cleaned out once or twice during the life of the triop, but as it states in the instructions, triops live in puddles normally so they?re not that bothered. A disadvantage to this whole experience is that the water does appear quite green and murky after a while, and it does not seem to make any difference when the sand is added. Maybe it will be better if they are in natural light instead of under a lamp. The triops however, don't seem to mind. The downside is that they only live for a few weeks, their natural life span is about 6 to 12 weeks. The first batch we had lived for six weeks but the second only for two. You will find that kids are fascinated with hatching them and watching them grow and develop. We have already bought some replacement sand, food and eggs, which was easily ordered from the manufacturer, Interplay and cost about £8.00 I would recommend this product as we were as fascinated with them as the children.
Wild Science are a range of science kits with real attitude! Triop World is a popular product for all age groups. Hatch living creatures from the age of the dinosaurs and see how they double in size each day! Triops hatch in 24 hours, can grow up to 4cm long and have an incredible life cycle. You may also hatch other creatures with your Triops that may include Clam Shrimps, Fairy Shrimp and Daphnia. Don't forget these Triops are guaranteed to hatch! Recommended for children aged 7 years and over. Contents may vary slightly from those shown