Re:New Mated Pair doing great

Pete Giwojna

Dear Ed:

Yes, it does sound as if your female is a very shy, deliberate feeder. If she is too shy to chase after the food and is having trouble zeroing in on the live prey and slurping it up before it gets out of range, then I would suggest crippling or disabling the live shrimp to slow it down and make it easier to target before you offer it to her. The most humane way to do this is to cool the live shrimp down so that it’s barely moving when you offer it to her. If you still have any of the red feeder shrimp left, but several of them in a small container of saltwater and chill it in your refrigerator or even your freezer until the shrimp’s metabolism has slowed down to the point that they are barely moving. When you’ve done it right and chilled them down sufficiently, their legs will still be twitching and moving around enough to attract the interest of the seahorse and trigger a feeding response, but they will be too lethargic and torpid for coordinated movements or evasive maneuvers. Drop the disabled shrimp right in front of the seahorse one or two at a time and they should be sitting ducks. To save time, you can also accomplish the same thing by removing most of the shrimp’s legs to cripple it and slow it down. The live red feeder shrimp or volcano shrimp (Halocaridina rubra) from Hawaii are ideal for this since they are bite-sized morsels that are easy to swallow.

If you’re out of the room red feeder shrimp, you could try the same thing using the live feeder shrimp from Seawater Express instead. 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 in order to fatten up your finicky female a bit:

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:

Best of luck with your new arrivals, Ed! Here’s hoping you soon have your female eating right out of your hand!

Pete Giwojna

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