Reply To: Housing seahorses together

Pete Giwojna

Dear Eric:

Yes, sir, you’ve got the right idea. As long as they are tropical seahorses with compatible temperature requirements and feeding requirements, you can consider other seahorse species as tankmates for your Tigertails (Hippocampus comes).

This would include Mustangs or Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) that may be larger than the Tigertails.

The only difficulty I can foresee with such an arrangement is that the small two-inch Tigertails will need smaller frozen Mysis whereas the larger Mustangs or Sunbursts will prefer larger frozen Mysis such as Piscine Energetics Mysis relicta, so you will need to keep at least two kinds of frozen Mysis on hand at all times. But that shouldn’t present much of a problem at all because there are so many good Brands of frozen Mysis available these days, sir.

In fact, Eric, it’s a good idea to provide your seahorses with better nutrition by obtaining several different brands of quality frozen Mysis and then rotating which brand of Mysis you feed to my seahorses each day, as explained below in more detail:

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A great way to fatten up your ponies and diversify their diet without having to resort to expensive live foods is to obtain three or four different types of frozen Mysis and then to rotate which type of Mysis you feed to your galloping gourmets at each meal. This is the golden age of seahorse keeping and we are very fortunate that there are now several different varieties of top-quality frozen Mysis that are readily available to feed to our ponies. Different companies use different species of Mysis that they have harvested from different parts of the world. Some of these Mysis are freshwater species obtained from large, deepwater glacial lakes and some of them are saltwater species obtained from the seas, so they naturally have different nutritional profiles. Some of these different mysids are naturally small, maturing at an average length of perhaps 1/4 of an inch, whereas other species are much larger. The jumbo Mysis will often reach an average length 3/4-1 inch in length at maturity.

Furthermore, the different companies that prepare the frozen Mysis for the home hobbyist will add different formulations to fortify the Mysis using different combinations of vitamins and amino acids. Therefore, simply obtaining three or four different brands of frozen Mysis and then alternating which of them you use for each feeding, or each day’s feedings, is a very simple way to add variety to your seahorses diet and to assure that they receive the best possible nutrition. You will find that this simple tip will help keep your seahorses healthier and better fed, and will often result in an increased interest in breeding and mating as a result.

Some of the better brands of frozen Mysis that I would recommend for diversifying the diet of your seahorses include the following:

Piscine Energetics Frozen Freshwater Mysis
Mysis Feast by Reef Nutrition
Ocean Nutrition Frozen Mysis Shrimp
H2O Life Marine Mini Mysis Shrimp
Hikari Frozen Mysis
Hikari Jumbo Frozen Mysis
San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Mysis
Gamma Frozen Mysis Shrimp
Aqua Treasures Mysis Supreme

Piscine Energetics Frozen Freshwater Mysis Relicta, Mysis Feast by Reef Nutrition, Ocean Nutrition Frozen Mysis, and Aqua Treasures Mysis Supreme are all composed of freshwater Mysis with an exceptional nutritional profile that have been harvested from pristine glacial lakes in Canada (Mysis relicta). The PE Energetics Mysis relicta is naturally rich in Omega-3’s and other fatty acids, and is fortified naturally with phytoplankton.

The brands that use the freshwater Mysis relicta (Piscine Energetics, Mysis Feast by Reef Nutrition, Ocean Nutrition, and Aqua Treasures) have a couple of built-in advantages over other brands of Mysis of marine origin. Because the Mysis relicta are from glacial freshwater lakes, they cannot transfer any sort of parasites or disease organisms to seahorses or other marine fish. Secondly, because they originate in freshwater, they are sodium free, which means that saltwater fish do not need to spend as much energy on osmoregulation and eliminating excess salt after eating their fill of the freshwater Mysis.

The Reef Nutrition Mysis Feast has an additional advantage over the other brands because it comes in bottles that are refrigerated rather than frozen. This eliminates the need to thaw out frozen Mysis before it is fed to the seahorses and therefore simplifies things for the hobbyist at feeding time. All the other brands of frozen Mysis are frozen solid and kept in the freezer, so they must be thawed out carefully before they can be fed to the seahorses in a manner that allows whole, intact, lifelike Mysis to be released from the frozen block or cube or tray.

The brands that consist of saltwater Mysis (San Francisco Bay Brand, H2O Life Marine Mini Mysis, Hikari frozen Mysis, and Gamma Frozen Mysis) have advantages of their own. For one thing, many people feel saltwater Mysis are less likely to contribute to problems with fatty liver disease, since seahorses have evolved eating Mysis of marine origin, and therefore digest and utilize them more efficiently. Secondly, some experts report better results breeding seahorses when they are fed saltwater Mysis, although they are speaking primarily of live Mysis, rather than frozen foods. Personally, I believe the saltwater Mysis are primarily useful in diversifying the diet of our seahorses by allowing us to feed a variety of mysids with different nutritional profiles to our seahorses. In this way, we can provide our seahorses with a more varied diet and improved nourishment while still using frozen Mysis as their daily, everyday diet.

One potential drawback to using Mysis of marine origin is that it has the potential to transfer parasites or diseases to marine fish, since it is harvested from the ocean and there is no guarantee that the saltwater Mysis are free of pathogens and parasites when they are collected. Some companies who rely on saltwater Mysis will therefore sterilize the Mysis after they have collected it in order to eliminate any such possibility. Marine Mysis also has a higher salt content than freshwater Mysis, and marine fish will need to devote a bit more energy to eliminating excess salt after eating a big meal of marine Mysis, but that is something that they have evolved to cope with and is therefore their normal state.

In order to diversify the diet of your pet ponies, I recommend obtaining at least one brand of freshwater Mysis (e.g., Ocean Nutrition or Piscine Energetics) and at least two different varieties of saltwater Mysis (e.g., San Francisco Bay Brand, H2O Life Marine Mini Mysis, Hikari Frozen Mysis, or Gamma Frozen Mysis). Go with small packs of each of the different types of frozen Mysis you obtain, because you will be rotating which one you use for your seahorses’ daily feedings, and they will therefore last a long time.

Just use a different variety of frozen Mysis when you feed your seahorses each day, and they will receive a more rounded diet as a result. You may notice an increase in appetite, increased activity levels, and a renewed interest in breeding and mating when your seahorses are receiving a varied diet consisting of different brands of premium quality frozen Mysis. Not only is this a good way to keep your broodstock in top condition during the mating season, it’s also an excellent way to fatten up underweight seahorses.

Here is some additional information about the primary brands of frozen Mysis that are available here in the United States to help you make up your mind regarding which ones you would like to invest in and feed to your galloping gourmets:

Ocean Nutrition Frozen Mysis Shrimp

* Premium mysis shrimp for freshwater and marine aquarium fish
* Excellent frozen food for aquarium omnivores and carnivores
* Quickly frozen mysis shrimp retain their natural shape and nutrition

Increase nutritional variety with a frozen food welcomed by both freshwater and marine fish. Ocean Nutrition Frozen Mysis Shrimp is packed in convenient pre-measured cubes for easy portioning. Carefully cleaned and quickly frozen mysis shrimp retain their natural shape and nutrition for maximum appeal. Naturally nutritious mysis shrimp is a great frozen food option for all omnivorous and carnivorous aquarium fish (freshwater and saltwater) including Guppies, Platys, Angelfish, Tetras, Barbs, Catfish, Swordfish, Mollies, Gouramis, Rainbow Fish, Freshwater Sharks, Seahorses, Marine Angelfish, Clownfish, Damsel Fish, Butterfly Fish, Gobies and more!

Mysis Shrimp, Water and Guar Gum.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Protein 5.2% min
Fat 0.4% min
Fiber 0.5% max
Moisture 93.3% max
Ash 0.7% max
Phosphorus 0.1% min

Hikari Jumbo Frozen Mysis & Hikari Frozen Mysis

Hikari Bio-Pure Mysis Shrimp are vitamin enriched and fortified to increase their nutritional value. Three-step sterilization ensures optimal quality – food is free of parasites, harmful bacteria, and foul odor. Water-packed in convenient, mess-free “no-touch” cube packs.

Hikari Jumbo Mysis Shrimp measure approximately 1 inch, whereas the regular Hikari Frozen Mysis are very small, rarely more than 1/4-inch in length at most.

Ingredients: mysis shrimp, water, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized vitamin C), riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, choline chloride, folic acid, pantothenic acid, inositol, niacin.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein 10.5% min
Crude Fat 1.0% min
Crude Fiber 2.0% max
Moisture 85.0% max

Feeding Suggestions: Feed no more than your fish will eat within a few minutes two times per day. Avoid over-feeding to prevent water quality problems.

San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Mysis

100% saltwater Mysis shrimp.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 4.60% min.
Crude Fat 0.45% min.
Crude Fiber 0.50% max.
Moisture 93.0% max.

Feeding Instructions
Feed twice daily, but only what your fish will consume in three minutes. Remove any uneaten food. Never overfeed. Keep unused cubes in your freezer.

H2O Life Mini Marine Mysis Shrimp

Saltwater Mysis shrimp.

The perfect frozen food for seahorses, sea dragons, and other Sygnathids. H2O Life Mini Mysis Shrimp are half the size of the freshwater mysis, making these meaty morsels ideally suited for fish species with small mouths. Nutritious and tasty shrimp are intact and very “lifelike” to trigger voracious feeding response. H2O Life Mini Mysis Shrimp is enriched with Vitamin C and phytoplankton for coloration and nutritional balance. Great for all carnivorous marine and freshwater tropical fish.

Ingredients: Marine Mysis Shrimp and Potassium Ascorbate (source of stabilized Vitamin C).

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein 8.6% min
Crude Fat 1.6% min
Crude Fiber 0.5% max
Moisture 87.8% max
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.5%
Vitamin C per kg 1,000 IU

Gamma Frozen Mysis Shrimp

Frozen saltwater Mysis shrimp.

Highest quality ingredients.
Rapidly packed, sealed & frozen.
Gamma irradiated: This completely eliminates any risk of introducing harmful parasites or bacteria into your aquarium, and also means that the food is completely safe to store in your freezer.
Blister packs are designed to dispense one measured cube of food at a time, leaving the rest of the product sealed within their separate blisters. A quick and convenient way of feeding fish.
Each pack contains approximately 100g of food.

Piscine Energetics Frozen Freshwater Mysis

Freshwater Mysis relicta from Canada.

Encourage exceptional appetite and growth – even in the most finicky eaters! Piscine Energetics (PE) Mysis relicta boast naturally higher fatty acid profiles and Omega-3’s than enriched brine shrimp. PE Mysis are harvested live from pristine glacial lakes in Canada, flash frozen in premium condition with no binding agents or fillers. PE Mysis induce an energetic feeding response in aquarium fish.

Ingredients: 100% Mysis relicta

Guaranteed Analysis (from dry weight)

Crude Protein 69.5% min.
Crude Fat 8.35% min.
Crude Fiber 2.75% max.
Ash 5.5% max.

Feeding Directions:
If clouding is a concern, rinse PE Mysis under cold running water or thaw in water and then pour off water prior to feeding. Please remember to not to over feed. Only feed as much shrimp as your fish will eat in 2 or 3 minutes. Remove any uneaten food.

General Information

PE Mysis Are:

The Curator’s Choice: Used by over 90% of public aquariums in North America.
Freshwater Mysis (Mysis relicta): This eliminates the possibility of parasite or disease transfer to marine fish.
Sodium Free: As fish don’t need to eliminate excess salt, it’s easier on their systems. Most other brands offer a coastal or marine cousin of Mysis relicta.
Alive on harvest and immediately flash frozen in premium condition: That’s why PE MYSIS is clean and intact.
High in Fatty Acid Profiles (EPA and DHA) related to the food chain found in deep cold waters, where PE MYSIS is harvested.
High in Omega-3’s: Greater values of Omega-3 can be found in PE MYSIS than krill and enriched brine shrimp.
Free of Binding Agent: No fillers or water added to packaging.
Nutritionally Complete: PE MYSIS does not require the addition of vitamin or color enhancement products.

What is Mysis relicta?
Mysis are not a true shrimp though they do closely resemble and are, in fact a primitive relative of the shrimp found in the oceans. There are 58 genuses of mysis which make up the Mysidae family.

PE MYSIS is 100% Mysis relicta which is one of the two types of freshwater Mysidae. All other species of Mysis are either saltwater or estuarine (i.e., brackish water) species.

PE MYSIS are part of the zooplankton, the small invertebrate animals found in lakes that feed on microscopic algae (phytoplankton) as well as other zooplankton. In turn these organisms form the basis of the food supply for many fish.

There are two differences between PE MYSIS and the other zooplankton typically found in lakes.

1.) PE MYSIS have a longer lifespan and usually live upwards of two years. The typical zooplankton, composed of animals known as copepods, cladocerans, and rotifers, live anywhere from only several days to several months. PE MYSIS is a nutritionally complete food. PE MYSIS is a natural product enriched by the food chain of the lakes from which it is harvested. This is because of Mysis relicta’s highly diversified eating habits. The extremely high levels of EPA and DHA (fatty acids) is related to the food chain found in deep cold waters, such as those where Mysis is harvested. These fatty acids not only provide your fish with essential nutrition, but also stimulate an energetic feeding response.

2.) PE MYSIS range in size from newly released young of about one-eight inch to adults of up to 3/4 inch. The other zooplankton are normally much smaller ranging from one one-hundredth to one tenth of an inch in total length. It is the size of the Mysis that makes them of interest as a fish food. Fish that consistently feed on Mysis grow much faster than those feeding strictly on the other smaller zooplankton. Mysis are extremely high in nutritional value and are salt free.

Mysis Feast by Reef Nutrition
Reef Nutrition Mysis-Feast is the latest food being added to the convenient line of delectable foods for all your tank’s critters. Using Piscine Energetics PE Mysis Shrimp, the refrigerated food is pre-rinsed and suspended in the same trusted light preservation media Reef Nutrition is known for, allowing you to just grab the bottle and feed your tank directly with no thawing and rinsing required.
Since Mysis-Feast uses the same tiny shrimp you get in the frozen PE Mysis packages, you get the benefits of the critters with a belly full of phytoplankton high in Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids from pristine Canadian cold lakes fed by mountain glaciers.
Mysis-Feast is perfect for all your fish, corals and other invertebrates and will be a great snack for even some of your most finicky eaters. Since the product has a low salt content, Mysis-Feast also makes a fantastic treat for freshwater fish and inverts as well.
Although Mysis-Feast is labeled containing Mysis diluviana in vary sizes from 7 to 25mm, rest assured they are the same as PE Mysis that are labeled as Mysis relicta. Recent research has suggested the reclassification of M. relicta with M. diluviana being mysis living in North American glacial-fed lakes.
Mysis-Feast® is refrigerated, concentrated freshwater Mysis diluviana (aka Mysis relicta) shrimp (7 – 25mm) harvested by Piscine Energetics® from pristine cold lakes fed by mountain glaciers. These Mysis feed on phytoplankton resulting in a balanced nutritional profile high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Fish and Corals Love Them!

Mysis-Feast elicits a strong feeding response and is an outstanding feed for fish, corals and other invertebrates. Due to its low salt content, it is an excellent feed for freshwater fish and invertebrates as well.

Save Time and Eliminate Waste

With Mysis-Feast, there is no need to thaw or rinse before feeding and no need to throw away left over thawed feed.

Pre-Rinsed Mysis in a Bottle
Excellent Feed for Fish and Corals
Works for Both Saltwater and Freshwater Animals
Refrigerated and Easy To Use


Add 1-2 teaspoons of Mysis-Feast per 100 gallon tank each day. Add to a high flow area of the tank, or for target feeding, premix 4 parts tank water with 1 part Mysis-Feast. You should add enough for your fish to consume within 2 to 3 minutes.

Note that color and size variations in this product are normal.

Refrigerate after opening.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (min) 6.5%
Crude Fat (min) 1.2%
Crude Fiber (max) 1.4%
Moisture (max) 93.0%

Additional Guarantees

Omega-3, Omega-6 (% of fat) 35%
DHA (% of fat) 13.5%
EPA (% of fat) 13.5%
ARA (% of fat) 3.2%

Mysis diluviana, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Proprionic Acid, Sodium Alginate, Larixinic Acid

Aqua Treasures Mysis Supreme

Aqua Treasures sells Mysis Supreme frozen flat packs in 4, 8 and 16oz flat packs. Mysis Supreme contains 100% freshwater Mysis Relicta harvested from clean coldwater lakes in BC Canada. Mysis Relicta is different from most other Mysis sold on the market which consists mainly of the saltwater variety. Aqua Treasures is committed to providing the highest quality fish food on the market with superior customer service.

Those are the main brands of frozen Mysis you will find for sale in your local pet shops and fish stores. Most of them will carry several different brands, but if your LFS is limited in that regard, you could always order all of the different brands listed above online.

For instance, virtually all of the main brands of frozen Mysis can be obtained from Dr. Foster’s & Smith at the following URL:

In general, the brands of frozen Mysis that have already been fortified with various vitamins and amino acids do not need any further enrichment using Vibrance or any other enrichment products.
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Okay, Eric, that’s the quick rundown on some of the good brands of frozen Mysis that are available for home aquarists nowadays. You should be able to find one or more of them at your local fish shops or pet stores that is perfect for your tiny two-inch Tigertails as well as plenty of larger frozen Mysis that would be ideal for Ocean Rider Mustangs or Sunbursts.

Best of luck finding compatible companions for your Tigertails and keeping all of your ponies well fed, sir!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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