Re:Hello – Looking seriously into Seahorses!

Pete Giwojna

Dear Rachel:

You’re very welcome!

It sounds like you’re making good progress and cycling the tank with live rock is a good technique. Okay, that sounds like a sensible plan to relocate the coarser live sand to your sump where it cannot cause any problems and then sticking with a thin layer (1/2 to 1 inch deep) of very fine-grained or "sugar" size oolitic live sand in your main tank.

It’s a good thing you spotted the mantis — Stomotopods, or "thumb splitters" as they are sometimes known, can present a real danger to seahorses as they grow.

Mantis shrimp can certainly be trapped but you have to be patient and persistent to succeed. They are cautious animals and often need time to become accustomed to the presence of the trap, so you might have to be your trap for several days in succession before you bag the little bugger. A number of commercially made mantis traps are available, but you can easily fabricate your own from items around our house. For example, the following link shows how to construct a simple trap for stomotopods:

There are quite a number of other methods that often work well for killing or capturing a mantis shrimp if you happen to know where it holes up. See the following website for a good discussion of various other techniques for removing mantis shrimp from your aquarium:

Click here: OZ REEF – Mantis Shrimp

One of the methods described in the article above should work well for you, Rachel. Best of luck bagging the little beasty!

Yes, if you’re going to be moving out in late August, it’s probably a good idea to delay ordering your seahorses until after you have completed the move. However, you needn’t be worried that Ocean Rider will run out of seahorses in the meantime, Rachel. You can order your seahorses anytime and then specify the date that you would like them to be delivered. For example, it would be perfectly acceptable for you to place your order today and then specify that you would like the seahorses to be delivered in the first week of September at a particular date. That would lock in your order and assure that suitable seahorses are set aside to fill that order. And you can always contact Ocean Rider and changed or requested delivery date if anything comes up in the interim.

But that probably isn’t necessary either. I should think that Ocean Rider would have plenty of Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) at least available at the end of August and into September, since that is when they typically begin building up their inventory in anticipation of the increasing demand in the Fall and winter.

Best of luck with your new seahorse setup, Rachel, and the upcoming move. Let me know when you’re getting ready to relocate and I will provide you with some tips for moving an aquarium that should help assure that all goes smoothly.

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

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