Re:Hitching Post

Pete Giwojna

Dear Jamie:

Yes, indeed — Botryocladia is one of the colorful macroalgae that is a real favorite of seahorses. It is superficially similar to Caulerpa and is often mistakenly referred to as red grape Caulerpa, although it’s an entirely different genus of macroalgae. Seahorses love to perch on a nice colony of the Red Grape Kelp (Botryocladia) and are naturally attracted to it as a convenient hitching post.

Aside from its utility as a comfy hitching post, Jamie, the colorful Botryocladia also makes an attractive natural feeding station for seahorses. Release a baster full of frozen Mysis over the Red Grape Kelp, and you will find that the Mysis becomes trapped amongst the tightly packed branches of the algae, clinging to the cluster of fronds wherever it happens to settle (Leddo, pers. comm.). The hungry seahorses will then carefully scour the branches of the Botryocladia for the Mysis just as if they were hunting live shrimp amid the beds of seagrass in the wild. Red grape Caulerpa or Kelp is ideal for this because the seahorse’s tubular snout is adapted for suctorial feeding, perfectly designed for plucking small invertebrates from amongst dense foliage.

I think anchoring a nice cluster or two of the Red Grape Kelp in your seahorse tank would make a wonderful feeding station for your seahorses, Jamie. This is because it can remain right in the aquarium at all times and the seahorses do not really need to be trained to use it. They will naturally be attracted to the colony of red grape kelp and will instinctively search through it for small crustaceans. So they will take to the Botryocladia feeding station virtually instantly, making it easy for you get them all accustomed to feeding in the same place.

Best of luck with your seahorses, Jamie!

Pete Giwojna

Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2010/06/18 02:43

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