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Dwarf Seahorse food question

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Dwarf Seahorse food question

« posted: 3 years ago »
So...this question's been gnawing at me for a bit. I'm a bit rusty on my dwarf seahorse (H. zosterae) knowledge, so please bear with me if I've got this completely wrong. Dwarf seahorses are fed a diet consisting mainly of live BBS, usually newly hatched to maintain nutritional values, correct? This diet is usually supplemented with bottles and bottles of copepods added in, along with mysis shrimp larvae, decapodal shrimp larvae, snail veligers, and other various plankton. I'm so confused. How is it that we can get the larger seahorse species to adapt to frozen brine shrimp and mysis, and not the dwarves? Is there some physiological characteristic that's missing? I know that Reef Nutrition sells jars of baby brine shrimp (called Instant Baby Brine Shrimp), and we have Cyclop-eeze in frozen and freeze dried forms. If we can get larger seahorses to feed off of frozen, what prevents us from attempting to wean the dwarves onto frozen? Is it due to the prey size, and how it's harder to determine how many prey items are needed per horse, in contrast to the larger size of whole mysid shrimp? Or are people just not willing to try and wean their horses off of brine shrimp? I know that in fish breeding, feeding the juveniles of marine species BBS too long can lead to shock and death from seemingly tiny disturbances, it just doesn't make sense to me to keep feeding our seahorses that.
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  • Offline rayjay
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Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #1 posted: 3 years ago »
It certainly isn't for lack of trying. Many have attempted to do this, and some even claim to have accomplished it, but not for the long term.
I don't feed the newly hatched to the dwarfs or to fry of standards as first of all they are apparently not as digestible as the later Instar stages, plus as they hatch out at differing times their nutrient level is quite varied, loosing nutrient immediately upon emergence as they consume the egg sack.
After hatch out, I grow out for a day, and then enrich with Dan's Feed for two 12 hour stages with new water and new enrichment for each stage. They can be considered gut loaded after just 12 hours of enrichment, but after the second 12 hour stage they will have begun to assimilate the nutrient into their flesh, making them even better. Also, the new water and enrichment for each stage helps to limit the nasty bacteria that can quickly develop in the enrichment container.
Dwarfs need a heavy density of food in the tank so they can snick the food up without leaving their hitches as many dwarfs don't appear to hunt their food enough to be able to survive. That is another reason why Pelagic pods work better for them than the Benthic ones.
If you used a non motile food, it would be harder to keep it in suspension long enough to get eaten.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #2 posted: 3 years ago »
I think it's more due to the suspension of foods I suspect if conditions were right, you could get them on a frozen only diet. But I haven't seen anyone that has long term. I certainly get a feeding response offering cyclopeeze, but it settles too quickly.

I suspect someone could create a system the same way that NPS coral systems are being built with both a high volume of feeds and a high nutrient export system. But I wouldn't start with dwarf seahorses in such a system, I'd ensure I could create such a system and then try keeping dwarf seahorses in it. Too often it goes the other way, with the seahorses suffering. One example is what the Steinhart Aquarium did - they wanted pygmy seahorses (H. bargibanti), and were told they could only do it if they could bring the host coral in and keep IT successfully for three years before they could get the seahorses in. Dwarf seahorses don't have a host coral, but I think if you had a similar challenge, either keeping a challenging seafan alive on solely prepared foods for a year or more OR some way of quantifying the amount of food in circulation consistently throughout the day.

One thing I've also noticed is that many frozen foods seem appealing to dwarf seahorses at first, but they lose interest after a short while. I've never tried to push it for too long, so perhaps I could. But it's not worth trying at the risk of the animals I keep.

At the end of the day, enriched brine shrimp is just easier. Even supplementing with copepods, live mysis, etc is easier. I don't think it's an impossible task, but no one has done it yet, and you can't start with the dwarf seahorses and assume you'll be the one to crack that nut because that's where everyone gets it wrong.
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Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #3 posted: 2 years ago »
Does anyone know how to get rid of the pink fungus I get from feeding my dwarf seahorses newly hatched bbs? I  have tried looking everywhere for answers but no one seems to know. This has killed all my dwarf fry and now my adults.
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Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #4 posted: 2 years ago »
Is this 'pink fungus' not a type of hydroid?  I have the same problem and read quite a bit on it and I see there is a type of hydroid that they describe as a pink, fluffy, cobweb-like, grows on the glass of the tank and on the bottom of the tank.  I moved my dwarfs to a new clean tank until I can get rid of the hydroids.  Apparently some types of hydroids (not the jellyfish kind) can be killed by raising the temp of the tank to 33 degrees celcius for 3 to 5 days.  I'm going to try this and see if it works as I stay in South Africa and am struggling to get hold of panacur.
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Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #5 posted: 2 years ago »
I have found the fungus only appears when I feed my dwarfs the bbs. I have cleaned the tank more times than I can count, started new tanks, moved them u name it I've tried it bit it always comes back. I have not heard about raising the temp. I have a tank that I moved my dwarfs from due to the fungus and the fungus is now gone. I am now trying a cpr refusium and have seeded it with about 25000 pods in all variations and made the mistake of feeding the babies bbs until the population of pods increased now the fungus is back ugh! I will let you know if I find a cure but I think the cpr is the best bet.
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Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #6 posted: 8 months ago »
That is a very good knowledge.

Re: Dwarf Seahorse food question

« Reply #7 posted: 8 months ago »
It's the knowledge I'm looking for.