Meet one of Aqua Dragons biggest fans. Thomas Ullrich, a 46 year old brine shrimp kit (artemia salina kit) enthusiast and kit collector from Germany. Thomas works for a sweets and lollipop factory and privately is a passionate brine shrimp kit collector
We talked to him about it and made him some questions, these were his answers:
A.D: Why are brine shrimp kits so important to you?
T.U : As you can see from my age, I grew up in the 70's. As a kid I first heard of "brine shrimp or artemia" when a friend of mine found these as a gimmick in the German kid magazine called YPS.
YPS called these "Urzeitkrebse" which means Prehistoric Shrimps. I was fascinated by the idea of creating prehistoric life from powder inside a bag.
"I got my 1st Artemia kit for Christmas. It was sold as a toy in fancy packaging by an American Company. It was just a simple card with 4 packets on it, bit it was the gift that impressed me most in my whole childhood. It was so mysterious and I wondered if these will also be "Urzeitkrebse" or if really these small cartoon characters would hatch out of these mysterious powders... I was not disappointed when I found out that they all are certain species of Brine Shrimp as I always was very interested in crustaceans anyway.
I have always looked for crabs in my holidays and later I also had tanks with various shrimps, crayfish and crabs as a kid... Then I got further kits with amazing tanks and ordered Artemia salina kits supplies.
In the 70's and early 80's the American company that was selling Artemia kits also had a mail order service in Germany. Their catalogues from the USA were so impressing when I was a kid. My father had to translate them again and again.
So to me collecting Brine Shrimp kits, besides my interest in crustaceans, is mainly nostalgia...
A.D: How long have you been collecting them and why? How many kits do you have?
T.U: As a kid I did not collect these, but actually hatch them, of course. Fortunately I did not hatch the last German Artemia kit which I had ordered in the beginning of the 80's. This kit as well as some packets of various "YPS magazines" were my 1st collectables. But I did not know that by that time. I just wanted to keep them "for later". When I discovered Artemia kits in the Internet in the 90's I started collecting them. To be honest, I have not counted my kits. Really hard to say how many I have... Maybe about 100? Really no idea... Remember that a kit can be a big carton with many supplies and also just a small bag in a kids magazine ;-)
A.D: What do you think of our brand, Aqua Dragons?
T.U: I was attracted by the artwork of your Aqua Dragon Kits as well as by the tank designs. To me they are interesting additions to my collection, though I mainly collect vintage kits... It is not often that modern kits seem to be worth adding to a collection, but yours are... They look special... In my opinion you are the 1st European producer of attractive brine shrimp kits worth collecting.
A.D: Have you hatched them lately?
T.U: To be honest, I have not hatched any of my kits any more since I grew up... Maybe a mistake...
A.D: Why would you recommend Artemia Salina kits?
T.U: I would recommend Artemia for kids who are interested in animals and for parents who want to teach their kids responsibility for living creatures and show them the mysteries of nature. Kids can learn about a fascinating life cycle. After all they are not just a toy, but living creatures and should be treated with respect when brought to life...
Here’s Thomas with two of our newest kits of the Aqua Dragons Jurassic Time Travel range!