Re:Pixie fry this morning, but…

Pete Giwojna

Dear Carrie:

Yes, it certainly does sound like some of the newborns were born prematurely. Such preemies are typically undersized, very noticeably pug-nosed, and still attached to yolk sacs. That’s not an unusual occurrence with seahorses. For example, when culling a large brood of seahorses, its customary to cull out the runts, pug-nosed preemies, and stillborn young immediately. There can sometimes be large numbers of these and it’s important to weed them out to strengthen and improve the strain (for instance, in the Encyclopedia of Seahorses, Mildred Bellamy reports that up to one third of an entire brood in H. erectus may sometimes be stillborn).

Like all other animals, a certain small percentage of the seahorse fry may be born with various birth defects. As long as your aquarium parameters are where they should be, the water chemistry looks good, your brood stock is healthy and well fed, and your tank is free of hydroids, this unusual occurrence may simply be a one-time aberration. Very likely, the next brood your Pixie produces will be carried to full term and delivered fully formed and healthy.

Best of luck with your Pixies and their future progeny, Carrie!

Respect fully,
Pete Giwojna

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