Re:An office tank?

Pete Giwojna

Dear Lorli:

Unfortunately, there are no frozen foods that can last a weekend in the aquarium without spoiling. However, there is an alternative that works very well for feeding seahorses under circumstances such as yours, Lorli — provide them with live foods that can survive indefinitely in a saltwater aquarium until they are hunted down and eaten. Providing a generous portion of feed-and-forget live foods for the last meal before you leave the office on Friday should last your seahorses over the weekend quite nicely, and there are a number of live foods that would work well for this. For example, Ocean Rider’s red feeder shrimp (Red Iron Horse Feed, Halocaridina rubra) are ideal for this as are the post-larval white shrimp (i.e., "snicking shrimp") from Seawater Express and the live Mysis from Sachs Systems Aquaculture. These live shrimp are what I’d like to call a "feed-and-forget" food. They are tough, rugged little shrimp that you can toss in your tank with no acclimation whatsoever. They are agile and elusive enough that your filters won’t eat them and the seahorses won’t be able to capture them all right away. Some will hide and evade well enough that your seahorses will still be hunting down the stragglers for the next day or two. Best of all, you can toss a nice batch of them in your aquarium, secure in the knowledge that they won’t perish and pollute it, but thrive and survive as real, live, "catch-me-if-you-can" prey items that seahorses cannot resist. Nothing stimulates a seahorse’s feeding instinct like the frantic movements and evasive maneuvers of natural, living prey.

So in your case, I would suggest ordering perhaps 200 of the Red Iron Horse Feed from Ocean Rider or a similar amount of the Snicking Shrimp from Seawater Express or live Mysis from Sachs Aquaculture for starters, and setting them up in a refugium attached to your office seahorse tank with a few small algae-covered live rock as for them to feed on and use for shelter. That way, before you leave the office on Friday, you can can just add a netful of live feeder shrimp to the tank and that should take care of your seahorses’ feeding requirements until you return the following Monday. That would solve your feeding problems and give you a chance to enjoy your seahorses while they are stalking and hunting live prey, which is fascinating to watch.

The Ocean Rider Aquaculture Facility in Hawaii ( is a good source for the following live foods:

Green Iron Horse Feed (Gammarus amphipods)
Red Iron Horse Feed or Volcano Shrimp (Halocaridina rubra)

Seawater Express is an excellent source for post-larval white shrimp. They provide bite-sized white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in batches of anywhere from 50 to 1000 each. They are hardy, easy-to-keep and disease free. I recommend getting the smallest of the "Snicking Shrimp" they offer:

Seawater Express Inc.
Organic Shrimp Farm / Hatchery

Or the live Mysis from Sachs Systems Aquaculture would also be a good choice for this. You can obtain 200 live Mysidopsis bahia for $35 from Sachs and your seahorses will love them:


Finally, Aquatic Research Organisms is a another supplier for live Mysis. They culture Americamysis (Mysidopsis) bahia in addition to a variety of other live foods:

Aquatic Research Organisms
Mark Rosenqvist

All of the sources listed above are high-health aquaculture facilities that provide disease free live foods.

Best of luck with your office seahorse tank, Lorli! Let us know if you need any help setting up the aquarium and aquascaping that could create an ideal environment for your seahorses.

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2008/01/31 01:44

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