For Pete G.- Kudas not eating mysis

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    Hi Pete, I appreciate all your help with the ammonia crisis. that seems to be over (hopefully) and both have survived (It\’s now been week since they arrived), the seahorses have stopped with the convulsions and have regained their balance. Problem is, While they weren\’t feeling so good, they would only eat the live volcano shrimp…and now I can\’t get them to go back to thawed enriched mysis! I\’ve been hand feeding putting the mysis directly under their snouts and they\’ll watch it fall to the ground…sometimes lean down and look at it, but they won\’t snick it!! I\’ve already bought live mysis, but I can\’t afford to feed them live food all the time (20cents/shrimpX20 shrimp/day=4$/day…that\’s more then MY food budget!!:) and am unsure if I can build a large enough culture fast enough to feed them. I don\’t know what else to do. They ARE eating the volcano shrimp (which are all gone now)…any suggestions on how to get them back on dead food?


    hey girl,

    I know Im not Pete but I can tell you from experience that if you get the P.E. mysis and add some Entice they will wolf it down. When I first got my OR they would not eat either,but I wipped out the Entice and they started chowing down. You can get Entice at any individually owned pet store. Just try it you have nothing to loose, hope this helps


    Pete Giwojna

    Dear ecogirl:

    You’re absolutely right, you shouldn’t have to consider using live foods to coax captive bred seahorses to eat. Ocean Rider seahorses are typically taking minced Mysis as their staple diet from the time they’re a few weeks old. But the kudas are OR’s newest line of seahorses and they haven’t been selectively bred for aggressive feeding habits for nearly as many generations as Mustangs or Sunbursts, for example. The conditioning to accept frozen foods is evidently not as ingrained in the kudas yet, and it appears they can still sometimes break that conditioning and revert to their old preference for live foods under circumstances like yours.

    It’s unfortunate that your pair got off to such a rocky start, but it sounds like you did it great job helping them recover from exposure to high ammonia levels during shipping and acclimation. You did very well to keep them going with the live feeder shrimp while they recovered, and now the trick is going to be getting them accustomed to eating the frozen Mysis again instead.

    It sounds like you’ve already tried target feeding and all the other tried-and-true tricks that normally work so well when new arrivals are off their feed, including paying careful attention to any size preferences the kudas may have exhibited. In that case, I would suggest a two-stage approach to your feeding problems.

    First, I would try fasting your new kudas for two days and then target-feeding them with half-sized Mysis relicta from Piscine Energetics. Dangle the Mysis halves right in front of their snouts and try to keep it moving enticingly. If they still don’t go for it, then we need to start them on inexpensive live foods and retrain them to eat the frozen Mysis.

    I would suggest using adult brine shrimp that have been soaked in the juices from several crushed up PE Mysis relicta for this training process. Once your kudas are eating the juice-soaked adult Artemia well, try mixing in a few pieces of half-sized Mysis along with the brine shrimp. If all goes well, they will be very interested in the half-sized Mysis at this point and all you need to do to wean them off the live brine shrimp is to gradually increase the proportion of thawed Mysis you feed along with the shrimp at each meal.

    The following article discusses training seahorses to eat frozen foods in more detail. It’s an old article that was written long before captive-bred seahorses became available, so the focus of the article is how to train wild seahorses to take frozen foods, but it should be equally helpful for helping to get your balky kudas back on track as well. It is available online from the Breeder’s Registry at the following URL:

    Click here: FAMA Nov 1996. Seahorse Nutrition – Part II: Frozen Foods for Adults

    Best of luck getting your new kudas feeding aggressively again, ecogirl! I’m very sorry that getting your kudas eating frozen fare again has proven to be much more trouble than it ever should have been, creating difficulties for you where there should have been none. I do know that that is quite out of the ordinary for Ocean Rider seahorses, and I dare say after another generation or two of further strengthening and improvement, no one will be having any feeding difficulties with their line of kuda in the future.

    Pete Giwojna


    I had already tried brine shimp enriched with vibrance and entice, but that hadn’t worked so I tried your suggestion to crush up some PE msysis and soak the live BS in. That didn’t work. I also tried to hand feed with 1/2 PE mysis- that didn’t work. Tomorrow I’m going to the Vet to try to find the correct size syringe to tube feed. At this point they are so thin and haven’t eaten for so long I think its the only chance for them to get their appetites back. I’m following leslie leddo’s tube feeding instructions.

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