Wow, you’re certainly very well prepared to feed your Pixies (Hippocampus zosterae) when they arrive, so the advance preparations you’ve made for rearing your reidi fry definitely won’t go to waste!
But, as Shorty pointed out, your main problem will be to maintain an adequate feeding density of newly-hatched brine shrimp in a 6 gallon tank. If you can manage that, things should work out all right, although your twosome is going to look mighty lonely in a tank that size. The recommended stocking density for dwarf seahorses (H. zosterae) is two pairs per gallon, and that’s a very conservative figure. So you could easily have 12 pairs of Pixies or 24 individuals in your six-gallon aquarium, Judith, and at that level it would be considered fairly lightly stocked.
Don’t be disappointed if your tank looks quite barren or virtually empty at first, Judith. Everybody is surprised at how small H. zosterae is the first time they see them. Commonly known as Pixies or dwarf seahorses, Hippocampus zosterae is the smallest of all the seahorses available to hobbyists. Dwarf seahorses reach a maximum size of about 1.75 inches or 45 mm, half of which is tail. Some people are disappointed to find that these miniature marvels are only about the size of your thumbnail when they are fully grown. To me, however, their diminutive dimensions are a source of endless delight; I find them quaint and charming in the extreme. I find it utterly fascinating to witness the seahorse’s entire cycle of life taking place in microcosm — courting, mating, giving birth, newborns, juveniles and young adults all thriving and growing right alongside the old warhorses, all on an infinitesimal scale.
There have been a couple of other discussions on the Ocean Rider Club message board regarding dwarf seahorses that you might also find to be of interest, Judith, so please check out the following links when you have a chance:
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:Setting up my very firs
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:Dwarfs – Ocean Rider Cl
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:pixies – Ocean Rider Cl
The new Eclipse designs may be better (it’s been sometime since I had an Eclipse tank or hood), but I was not a fan of the older models. As an example of what I’m talking about, those Marineland Eclipse tanks with the top-mounted bio-wheel filter have a few shortcomings that the seahorse keeper must overcome in order for them to be suitable tanks. The main problems with the Marineland tanks are that they have a tendency to overheat, can be somewhat prone to short-circuits due to salt deposits building up on the electronics, and the intake for the filter needs to be screened off to make it safe for seahorses. The bio-wheels can sometimes have a tendency to stop turning.
The heat given off by the enclosed motors tends to get trapped and build up under the hood, so overheating is my biggest concern with the Eclipse hoods. Seahorses in general are vulnerable to heat stress, so that’s a potential problem if you’re Eclipse tank has the same drawbacks as the older units.
In case you’re Eclipse will tration system or hood prove to be problematic, there are a number of other simple setups that work great for Pixies and that are quite inexpensive and really foolproof, which I would be happy to discuss with you. Please write me off list at the following e-mail address as soon as possible, Judith, and I will send you a great deal of additional information about these tiny elfin creatures that discusses everything you need to know about keeping and breeding them and setting up an ideal home for your Pixies: [email protected]
And if you don’t already have a copy of Alisa Abbott’s guidebook (Complete Guide to Dwarf Seahorses), be sure to pick one up, Judith. That’s one book every Pixie owner and dwarf seahorse keeper should have on hand. I proofed Alisa’s dwarf seahorse book for TFH publications and wrote the preface for it, so I’m quite familiar with your guide and I highly recommend it!
Best of wishes with your new Pixie tank, Judith! I hope to hear from you via my personal e-mail soon.