- This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 16 years ago by nigelseahorse.
January 19, 2008 at 3:49 am #1335Lorli2Member
I am thinking about starting a seahorse-only tank – was thinking about buying the starting kit on this website, and starting with a couple of pairs.
I was hoping to keep it in my office, but am not always there at weekends. I saw that the horses need a fasting day, but would a fasting weekend be okay? Are there any foods that keep for a couple of days?
Thank you. this is an amazing website!January 22, 2008 at 1:59 am #3949Pete GiwojnaGuest
Unfortunately, there are no frozen foods that can last a weekend in the aquarium without spoiling. However, there is an alternative that works very well for feeding seahorses under circumstances such as yours, Lorli — provide them with live foods that can survive indefinitely in a saltwater aquarium until they are hunted down and eaten. Providing a generous portion of feed-and-forget live foods for the last meal before you leave the office on Friday should last your seahorses over the weekend quite nicely, and there are a number of live foods that would work well for this. For example, Ocean Rider’s red feeder shrimp (Red Iron Horse Feed, Halocaridina rubra) are ideal for this as are the post-larval white shrimp (i.e., "snicking shrimp") from Seawater Express and the live Mysis from Sachs Systems Aquaculture. These live shrimp are what I’d like to call a "feed-and-forget" food. They are tough, rugged little shrimp that you can toss in your tank with no acclimation whatsoever. They are agile and elusive enough that your filters won’t eat them and the seahorses won’t be able to capture them all right away. Some will hide and evade well enough that your seahorses will still be hunting down the stragglers for the next day or two. Best of all, you can toss a nice batch of them in your aquarium, secure in the knowledge that they won’t perish and pollute it, but thrive and survive as real, live, "catch-me-if-you-can" prey items that seahorses cannot resist. Nothing stimulates a seahorse’s feeding instinct like the frantic movements and evasive maneuvers of natural, living prey.
So in your case, I would suggest ordering perhaps 200 of the Red Iron Horse Feed from Ocean Rider or a similar amount of the Snicking Shrimp from Seawater Express or live Mysis from Sachs Aquaculture for starters, and setting them up in a refugium attached to your office seahorse tank with a few small algae-covered live rock as for them to feed on and use for shelter. That way, before you leave the office on Friday, you can can just add a netful of live feeder shrimp to the tank and that should take care of your seahorses’ feeding requirements until you return the following Monday. That would solve your feeding problems and give you a chance to enjoy your seahorses while they are stalking and hunting live prey, which is fascinating to watch.
The Ocean Rider Aquaculture Facility in Hawaii (http://seahorse.com/) is a good source for the following live foods:
Green Iron Horse Feed (Gammarus amphipods)
Red Iron Horse Feed or Volcano Shrimp (Halocaridina rubra)
Seawater Express is an excellent source for post-larval white shrimp. 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:
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:
Finally, Aquatic Research Organisms is a another supplier for live Mysis. They culture Americamysis (Mysidopsis) bahia in addition to a variety of other live foods:
Aquatic Research Organisms
All of the sources listed above are high-health aquaculture facilities that provide disease free live foods.
Best of luck with your office seahorse tank, Lorli! Let us know if you need any help setting up the aquarium and aquascaping that could create an ideal environment for your seahorses.
Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2008/01/31 01:44January 31, 2008 at 5:59 am #3967Lorli2Guest
Thank you for your very helpful replies! Do you think that the hexagonal tank sold on Seahorses.com would be okay for long term use? I’d like to start with a mated pair of mustangs and maybe a pair of sunbursts or another type of seahorse which would be suitable for a beginner.
Thank you again,
LorliFebruary 2, 2008 at 4:20 am #3969Pete GiwojnaGuest
Yes, the Basic Sea Ranch with a 20-gallon hex tank would make a fine office aquarium and at 24 inches tall and has the height that is so important for a seahorse setup. But it is a bit under filtered and is best suited for one pair of medium Hippocampus erectus (Mustangs and Sunbursts) rather than two pairs. Keeping two pairs of seahorses in that particular set up would be stocking it to capacity, and would leave you very little margin for error. So I wouldn’t recommend keeping two pairs of seahorses in that system as a beginner, although it’s a great little tank if you’re willing to limit yourself to one pair of ponies.
One other thing to consider is that the 20-gallon hexagonal tank would be difficult to equip with a refugium because of its unusual shape. And I think it would be a good idea for you to have a refugium in your office tank for the "feed-and-forget" live shrimp you will be using to tide your seahorses over on the weekends.
For this reason, I’m thinking you may want to stick with a standard rectangular aquarium for your office tank, Lorli. Either a 20 gallon Extra-High All-Glass Aquarium (20"L x 10"W x 24"H), or better yet, the 30 gallon Extra-High All-Glass Aquarium (24"L x 12"W x 24"H), might work well for you. Any local fish store can special order one for you and they are economical tanks that also have excellent height for seahorses at 24-inches tall. The 30-gallon version would have a footprint of just 24" x 12" — not much larger than the footprint for the 20-gallon hex tank — so it could also serve as a desktop tank. And, most importantly, it has the right dimensions to accommodate either a hang-on-the-back refugium or even an in-tank refugium for your live feeder shrimp. With the right filtration system, this tank could easily support several large seahorses.
Let me know if that’s something you are willing to consider and I’ll be happy to discuss how to filter and set up such a tank to create an ideal environment for Mustangs or Sunbursts, Lorli!
Pete GiwojnaFebruary 3, 2008 at 6:45 am #3970nigelseahorseGuest
You could if you invested in getting some live rock or copepods. But it’s not the best idea to leave your animals for that long things can happen while you’re gone. Maybe if you wanted a fish at the office you could try a betta or something hardyer. If it was up to me i would keep them at home.
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