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Project: feeding station

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  • Offline TamiW
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Project: feeding station

« posted: 4 years ago »
I'm sick of free feeding my seahorses, it's pretty wasteful. So I've been working on making a feeding station. It started out as an idea to just use a bird feeder and use magnets, but of course I couldn't leave well enough alone. I live a few miles from a plastic manufacturer and so I got some scrap acrylic.

It still needs work, I have to come up with a casing for the magnets. And I'm using a laser cuter to make some of the pieces, which is causing some crazing on the edges so I need to figure out better settings to cut without heat damage. But I thought I'd share what I have so far.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #1 posted: 4 years ago »
Close up of the crazing.
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  • Offline suew
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #2 posted: 4 years ago »
Looking Good Tami,I have one that I got from Nigel @simply,but I've not been useing it,now I want too I'm not sure how to get them to fed from it.The feeding station is not unlike the one you are making,the trouble I'm finding is that once the mysis has been thawed it won't stay in the station,when looking at what Nigei does he puts the whole cube in the station and the horses come and feed.Will keep trying,must get the hang of it sooner or later.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #3 posted: 4 years ago »
The best way I've found is to feed from a turkey baster near the feeding station. They'll eventually learn the food comes from that area. Then start just dropping it in.

There is an art to getting the mysis to stay in. If you "blow" too much, it just blows right out of the feeder.

I wouldn't thaw a cube in there, that will just make a mess and leave the water that should be rinsed away. I'm also not sure how you would do that since the cubes float.

Years ago I had made one with a feeding tube attached, and that worked really well because you just poured food down and eventually it settled in the feeder. The down side was that it was a clear tube and the seahorses would snick at the tube.

Eventually I plan to make another one like that, but the tube will be opaque on the side facing the seahorses. That one will require a lot more skill though, the plan I have in mind requires lots of curves, and I'm not there yet.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
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  • Offline darrellw
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #4 posted: 4 years ago »
Years ago I had made one with a feeding tube attached, and that worked really well because you just poured food down and eventually it settled in the feeder. The down side was that it was a clear tube and the seahorses would snick at the tube.

I experienced this with one of my males that has been in a hospital tank (a 5 gallon bucket) being treated for gas bubbles (he is now back in the display and fine).  I have a large pipette that I was using to feed him, either trying to float the mysis in front of him, or get them to lay of the fake coral I had as a holdfast.  But he was mostly only interested in the mysis still inside the pipette, and would strike it quite hard.  I was really concerned he might injure his snout!

I'll have to try to train them all with a feeding station again.  Last time I tried, they just stared at the mysis through the clear sides, none of them thought to try from the top.  I guess I could place it lower in the tank, though the current is stronger there.
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  • Offline darrellw
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #5 posted: 4 years ago »
It still needs work, I have to come up with a casing for the magnets. And I'm using a laser cuter to make some of the pieces, which is causing some crazing on the edges so I need to figure out better settings to cut without heat damage.

I've taken to mostly scoring and snapping plexiglas these days, seems to work quite well.  Score deeply (you can do multiple passes) with a utility knife, then snap over an edge like you would glass or drywall.  A small butane torch can be used to flame polish the exposed edges.  For a really nice edge, sand or file a bit first, then finish with the flame.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #6 posted: 4 years ago »
I've wondered if clear is the right answer with feeding stations for the same reason clear tubes are a problem. Clear looks nice, but it might turn out to be better to something like black or smoked acrylic. Or maybe have the side that is against the aquarium be clear, but the dish itself colored.

The problem with scoring is that most of what we've (My husband has been helping) been doing is odd shapes. We have access to a laser cutter and many of the people that work on the laser cutters get nice edges, so it's obviously something we've been doing wrong.

The other problem is that when we cut straight cuts on the table saw, the edges are crappy. Yesterday we talked to one of the employees at the plastic company and he suggested that the problem might be from too much wobble with the saw blade. We're using a triple chip 80 tooth blade, which is supposed to be ideal for cutting acrylic with a nice flat edge. The plastic guy suggested that we might need a new throat plate; and we should make one with the blade itself cutting the hole for the saw. Fortunately between the scrap plastic and the laser cutter, that should be easy to do!
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #7 posted: 3 years ago »
I used a tube to drop food into a glass bowl near a fake coral.  It took me at least 2 months to get them to eat regularly from the bowl.  Now I just baster the food into the glass bowl and they eat! I love Seahorses, but I am starting to think they are not that bright..... beautiful but.. lol  On the other hand all the hermit crabs learned to eat from the bowl in one day!  but maybe I am unfair to the horses and the hermits are just using scent
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  • Offline Knap_123
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #8 posted: 3 years ago »
This is the tank that made coral magazine not long ago. The feeding station is cool! http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UeekUEU3u9o

Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #9 posted: 3 years ago »
We use one side of a clam shell lying on the sand bed. It looks natural and it holds the shrimp from washing away while she eats.
  • Offline vlangel
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #10 posted: 3 years ago »
We use one side of a clam shell lying on the sand bed. It looks natural and it holds the shrimp from washing away while she eats.
I also use half a clam shell.  It has just enough curve to hold the mysis in.  I use a clear tube to get the mysis down to the clam shell. My ponies must be pretty smart.  They are waiting at the clam shell first thing in the morning.
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  • Offline greytdog
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #11 posted: 3 years ago »
How do you get the mysis to go down the tube to the shell?  I tried it today and the mysis stayed suspended in the tube.  Is there a trick to get it to work?
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #12 posted: 3 years ago »
How do you get the mysis to go down the tube to the shell?  I tried it today and the mysis stayed suspended in the tube.  Is there a trick to get it to work?
I suck the mysis, (which has been thawed in salt water) in a turkey baster with the salt water. BTW, thawing in salt water helps them sink rather than float which is what happens if they are thawed with fresh water.  Now is the tricky part...I shoot the salt water laden mysis 3/4 down the tube. Generally they sink the rest of the way but I can dribble water from the tank to gently encourage them down to the shell.
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: Project: feeding station

« Reply #13 posted: 3 years ago »
You can use a baster, or a large bore rigid airline tub. Even pvc would work; the problem with the rigid tube us that the seahorses see it and often snick at the mysis before they flow out the bottom.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!