Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

Seahorse Club
Aquarium & Livestock

Feed Ezy Frozen Mysis

I Need Some Help!

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 16 years ago by Pete Giwojna.
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  • #1364
    Okatedz
    Member

    My girlfriends sisters boyfriends goes crab fishing well he opened his traps and he found 4 seahorses in the cages he was on land when he opened them up so he couldnt put them back so we bought a 10 gallon tank bought some plants for them to hang on and bought filter food and sand for them but i dont know what kind there are.Can anyone tell me what kind they are if i post a picture they are big and brown? I just bought a 55 gallon tank with my b-day money surpising they had babies 2 days ago is it normal that the one that gave birth has white spots now?Is putting them in a bigger tank wise?The Babies are in a small net cage so they wont get caught in the filter is this ok?How should i move the babies to the new tank i have alot more questions if you could answer them i would be very thankful and so would the babies:cheer: THANK YOU

    #3992
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear hobbyist:

    Hey, that’s very exciting to find wild seahorses in your own backyard like that, and even more thrilling that one of the males turned out to be pregnant! How cool is that!?!?

    If this happened in the coastal waters of the United States, then there’s no need for a picture to identify the seahorses. Assuming that your girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriends were fishing for blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), they were probably working their traps in shallow water along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, and, in that case, the large brown seahorses that turned up in the crab traps can only be one species — the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus).

    You bet — transferring the seahorses to a larger aquarium is a very smart idea. Hippocampus erectus is a large, robust species and a 10-gallon aquarium is entirely inadequate for the long-term care of four big specimens. For one thing, they will not be able to mate successfully in a 10-gallon aquarium, and the pregnant male would ordinarily re-mate within a day or two of delivering his latest brood. But that’s simply not going to happen in a 10-gallon tank. Even worse, the lack of water depth in such a shallow tank will leave them susceptible to problems with gas bubble syndrome, a potentially fatal condition. And the water quality can go downhill so quickly in such a small volume of water that you will find it very difficult to maintain the water chemistry and aquarium parameters where you want them.

    In general, if you’re new to seahorses, you will be better off starting out with the largest aquarium you can reasonably afford and maintain (the taller, the better). In general, a tank of at least 40 gallons (150 L) is best since that’s the size when one begins to see significant benefits in terms of the greater stability a larger volume of water can provide. An aquarium of 40-gallons or more will be more resistant to overcrowding and to rapid fluctuations in temperature, pH, and salinity than smaller setups. The larger the aquarium the larger the margin for error it offers the aquarist and the greater the benefits it provides in terms of stability. The 55-gallon setup you bought with your birthday money is an excellent upgrade and should make a fine seahorse tank for your herd of four wild H. erectus.

    It is equally desirable to select an aquarium at least 20-inches high when keeping the greater seahorses. They need the vertical swimming space to perform their complex mating ritual and successfully complete the egg transfer, which is accomplished while the pair is rising through the water column or drifting slowly downwards from the apex of their rise. If the aquarium is too shallow, eggs will be spilled during the transfer from the female to the male’s brood pouch, and mating becomes increasingly difficult or impossible below a certain minimum depth. A tall aquarium can also help protect the seahorses from depth-related health problems such as bloated pouch and certain forms of gas bubble syndrome. Again, your 55-gallon tank will have sufficient height for your ponies to mate comfortably and to minimize problems with gas bubble syndrome.

    Yes, a small net cage can be used as a nursery tank for pelagic seahorse fry in a pinch. Such setups are commonly known as in-tank nurseries, and they can be quite effective as long as you keep them scrupulously clean, as discussed below:

    The In-Tank Nursery.

    In-tank nurseries enjoy all the advantages of divided nurseries and then some. For example, like divided nurseries, the tank-within-a-tank design makes it much easier to provide seahorse fry with stable conditions and optimum water quality, vastly increases filtration and equipment options, simplifies maintenance and offers enormous versatility. The idea behind the in-tank nursery is to confine the seahorse fry in a small, flow-through enclosure that can then be attached securely inside a larger aquarium. The in-tank fry enclosure must allow water to pass through it freely but not fry food such as copepods, rotifers or Artemia nauplii. The enclosure thus allows the food to be concentrated in a small space to maintain the proper feeding density, while at the same time providing the fry with all the benefits of living in a much larger volume of water. This includes greater stability in terms of water temp, pH, oxygen levels, salinity and so on.

    But by far the biggest advantage of the in-tank nursery is the superior water quality it provides. The larger tanks that accommodate the fry enclosures are normally in the 10-20 gallon range, but there is no upper limit to the size of the host aquarium — the bigger, the better. Of course, for starters, the larger volume of water is naturally more resistant to pollution from the mass consumption and elimination one must deal with when rearing seahorse fry. But more importantly, with the fry safely sheltered in their nursery, the main tank can be equipped with any kind of filtration and filter media you can think of to improve water quality or safeguard the health of the fry. This includes heaters, sponge filters, inside box filters or external power filters with activated carbon, polyfilter pads, or ion-exchange resins, micron-level mechanical filtration, bio-wheels, wet/dry filtration, protein skimmers, UV sterilizers, ozonizers — you name it. Airstones, bubble wands, powerheads, filters and the like can operated full blast without worrying that they’ll buffet the fragile fry or that they filters may ‘eat’ the newborns or consume all their food. Use your imagination — anything goes!

    Water quality benefits as a result, and the added filtration reduces the need for frequent water changes. When substantial water changes are called for, the main tank makes the whole process easier.

    The first in-tank nurseries were ready-made breeder nets intended for livebearing freshwater tropicals (Abbott, 2003). I know several hobbyists who use breeder nets for rearing dwarf seahorse fry. They tend to get a bit dirtier than bare-bottomed nurseries (uneaten brine shrimp and fecal pellets will accumulate on the netting and cling to the mesh) so you’ll need to be diligent about siphoning the netting clean of such wastes and debris, just as you would be when cleaning the glass of a bare-bottome nursery. The dirty water should be replaced with cleaned, newly mixed saltwater you’ve prepared and aged/aerated overnight. These small water changes will help maintain good water quality in the nursery.

    Many hobbyists who used these breeder nets for rearing fry keep two of the nets, one which is in use as a nursery, and a clean spare which they transfer the fry into when the breeder net that’s currently in use gets too dirty despite the siphoning. The dirty net is then cleaned and disinfected thoroughly and held in reserve until the other breeder net needs to be replaced. The two breeder nets are then switched back and forth as often as necessary to assure that fry are always contained within a reasonably clean enclosure.

    These breeder nets worked very well for dwarf seahorses, which produce small numbers of babies (Abbott, 2003), but they are not well suited for the huge broods of fry many of the greater seahorses produce. Hobbyists soon began to improvise in order to overcome the limitations of such breeder nets and accommodate larger broods in their fry enclosures. Breeders began to experiment with in-tank refugia, “critter keepers,” and various plastic containers to meet their needs. They modified these by drilling them full of holes and covering the holes with plastic mesh. If necessary, an airline is added to the fry enclosure for better circulation and a drip line brings filtered water in from the main tank or an external power filter.

    The versatility of in-tank nurseries is one of their biggest assets. They allow almost any existing aquarium to “host” a fry enclosure and there is also great flexibility in the design of the inner nursery tank. They can easily be modified to accommodate either benthic or pelagic seahorse fry, and multiple in-tank nurseries can be housed in one big main aquarium. Endless variations on this basic concept are possible. The in-tank nursery is simply a much more versatile and adaptable design than the divided nurseries that preceded it.

    So feel free to attempt keeping this unexpected brood of babies in the net cage for now, as long as you are very careful to keep it scrupulously clean. Remember, like all babies, seahorse fry exist only to eat and poop.

    To say they are voracious is a gross understatement — at this stage of their development, the newborns have but one mission in life: to eat and thus to grow. Researchers have found that a single seahorse only a few weeks old can consume 3000-4000 newly hatched brine shrimp in a single day! Milligram for milligram, a great white sharks feeding habits appear downright dainty and positively anorexic compared to a baby seahorse on the prowl for live prey. And as you can imagine, when well-fed fry eat that much, defecation is amazingly rapid, with each newborn producing an average of one fecal pellet every 25-30 minutes.

    And you probably have several dozen gluttonous H. erectus fry in your net cage nursery, each adding its own fecal pellets to that total at the same alarming pace. You really have to stay on top of the sanitation when this sort of wholesale, assembly-line defecation is taking place in a small nursery enclosure.

    Since the nursery tanks have limited filtration, daily water changes are the only way to keep up with the metabolic wastes and oxygen demand of several dozen baby seahorses and the thousands of brine shrimp needed to feed them. The best way to perform the necessary maintenance is to use a length of airline tubing to siphon off the waste that accumulates to the netting at least twice a day (morning and evening are ideal for this). Replace the water that was removed while siphoning with freshly mixed saltwater that has been pre-adjusted to the same temp and salinity as the nursery tank. Change about 10% of the water each time you siphon the bottom, so that a total of at least 20% of the water in the nursery tanks is exchanged every day.

    Even so, after a week or so, you will still no doubt need to transfer the fry into a clean fishnet breeder so the old can be removed, cleaned and disinfected thoroughly, and used again when it’s time to move the fry into more sanitary surroundings next time.

    When transferring the fry, scoop them up in a small measuring cup or something similar along with a little water. It’s important that the newborns aren’t exposed to the air during the transfers. Or a plastic turkey baster works well for delicately sucking up the fry when transferring them, providing you cut off a bit from the tip of the baster to enlarge the opening at the tip.

    Newborn Hippocampus erectus are large enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimp (i.e., 1st instar Artemia nauplii) as their first food, and right now you should be concentrating on hatching out enough of the baby brine shrimp to keep all of the babies well fed throughout the day. To get you started off on the right foot, here are some tips on hatching and enriching the baby brine shrimp you’ll need to feed the newborns:

    Hatching Out Brine Shrimp (Artemia)

    Many commercially made hatcheries are available or you can easily improvise your own from 2-liter soda pop bottles or quart jars. Fill the jars or bottles about 4/5 full with saltwater or brine solution and equip each container with an airstone connected to a length of rigid airline tubing that reaches all the way to the bottom. An inexpensive vibrator air pump with a set of gang valves with put out enough air for the entire battery of hatching containers. Add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of brine shrimp eggs to each container and adjust the valves so the airstones bubble vigorously, keeping the eggs in suspension at all times. Shine a light directly on the hatching bottles and keep them illuminated 24 hours a day. A temperature of 80°F-82°F is optimum for hatching brine shrimp.

    The eggs will begin hatching after 1-24 hours, and the emerging nauplii should be harvested and used as soon as possible after incubation while they still retain their full nutritional value. (The yolk supply lasts about 6-8 hours after hatching, and the food value of the nauplii deteriorates steadily as the yolk sac is consumed. Once it has been exhausted after about 8 hours, the nutritional worth of the nauplii drops drastically.)

    However, before they can be used as food, the nauplii must first be separated from the indigestible egg shells. Otherwise the empty shells may be accidentally ingested by the seahorse fry, which has been known to cause intestinal blockages and death.

    The brine shrimp nauplii can be separated from the eggs simply by turning off the air for a few minutes and allowing the water to settle. The unhatched eggs will sink to the bottom of the hatching jar while the empty egg shells will float to the top. The nauplii can then be concentrated in the center of the jar by darkening the room and shining a flashlight on the jar’s midsection. (Brine shrimp are attracted to light and will be drawn together in midwater where the light is focused.) Harvest the nauplii by using a siphon or turkey baster to suck up the concentrated mass of shrimp. The shrimp-laden water can then be strained through a plankton screen or fine-meshed brine shrimp net.

    Return the strained water to the hatching container, add more eggs, and readjust the aeration. The same hatching solution can be used for a week’s worth of hatchings before it has to be replaced.

    Alternating the hatching container from which you harvest each day’s supply of nauplii will assure that you have a nonstop supply of newly hatched brine shrimp available at all times.

    If you’re still uncertain about how to proceed, the information at the following link should make everything perfectly clear:

    Click here: Brine Shrimp Technical Information 1
    http://www.brineshrimpdirect.com/brineshrimpdirect-faq-1-2-13.html#hatching

    The best eggs or cysts to use for your brine shrimp factory are decapsulated eggs which have had their hard, outer shells stripped away. These shell-less eggs have many advantages over ordinary Artemia cysts. For starters, they simplify the task of separating the live nauplii from the unhatched eggs, since there are no empty shells, and the decapsulated eggs eliminate the possibility of clogged intestines due to the indigestible cysts. Secondly, the decapsulation process destroys virtually all known pathogenic organisms. Since the shell-less eggs have been disinfected, there is much less risk of introducing disease or parasites to the aquarium when you feed your seahorses with brine shrimp from decapsulated cysts. More importantly, the nauplii produced from decapsulated eggs have greater caloric value than the nauplii from unaltered cysts. This is because the nauplii from decapsulated eggs do not have to waste energy struggling to break free of their shells, and thus emerge with 20% greater food value, primarily in the form of additional amino acids and essential fatty acids. This extra nutritional value can make a crucial difference to the rapidly growing seahorses.

    Decapsulated brine shrimp eggs are now available from some manufacturers. Although the shell-less eggs are expensive to buy, it is easy for the serious hobbyist to decapsulate his own brine shrimp eggs at home.

    Decapsulating Brine Shrimp Eggs.

    Decapsulating brine shrimp cysts — the process of dissolving away their hard outer shell — may sound intimidating at first and may seem awkward when you first attempt it. No doubt you will have these instructions open, your eyes glued to the page, with all of your supplies at the ready the first few times you perform this procedure. Relax, this is not difficult at all, and after you’ve done it a couple of times, you will see how truly easy it is and realize decapping is well worth the extra few steps. I will walk you through each numbered step. Measurements do not have to be exact. Regular strength bleach is best, but ultra bleach can be used at lesser portions. You can estimate this yourself. Decapsulating your cysts is beneficial for a number of reasons:

    • Reduces the risk of hydroids.
    • Removes the outer shell, which means less mess and no fouling of your tank.
    • Eliminates intestinal blockages from accidental ingestion of indigestible shells.
    • Kills off any and all unwanted contaminants.
    • Slightly quicker hatching times.
    • Better hatch rates.
    • Increased nutritional value secondary to less energy expenditure during hatching.

    Supplies Needed for Decapsulating:

    • Brine shrimp net
    • Air pump
    • plastic clip or paper clip wrapped in baggie to clip airline into the container
    • Approximately 2 teaspoons brine cysts.
    • Approximately 2/3 cup of bleach
    • Approximately 2 cups of water

    Procedure:

    1. Pour your water into a container and clip airline tubing to the side. (No air stone is needed for this). This will keep the cysts in motion. Allow the cysts to aerate this way for approximately 1 hour or a little more.

    2. Add in your bleach and continue aerating. As the outer shell gradually dissolves, the eggs go through a series of color changes from brown to gray to white and finally to orange–the color of the nauplii within. This process takes about 7 minutes. The decapsulation process is complete when your cysts become an orange-yellowish color.

    3. Pour decapsulated eggs into a brine shrimp net. Add a dechlorination product if you want and rinse until you no longer smell bleach.

    4. Drop eggs into your hatching container. You can also refrigerate eggs for about 1 week prior to use in a supersaturated saline solution.

    Don’t worry about decapsulating your brine shrimp eggs or Artemia cysts for now, Joey. Just get your hatchery going with ordinary brine shrimp eggs or cysts so you can have a suitable food to feed the fry as soon as possible.

    Once you get your brine shrimp hatcheries cranked up and running in high gear, you’ll need to maintain frequent feedings in order for the newborns to do well. I’ve outlined the recommended fry feeding schedule for you below, which is based on Tracy Warland’s fry feeding regimen as a professional breeder. When looking over these recommendations, bear in mind that the home hobbyist almost always needs to be more concerned about underfeeding than overfeeding (it’s ordinarily only the pros that worry they might be feeding their fry too much). The humble home breeder will have his or her hands full just trying to keep up with the endless appetites of all those fry.

    With that in mind, here are some suggestions and information to serve as guidelines when getting your rearing program started:

    Fry Feeding Schedule

    When feeding baby brine shrimp (bbs) or Artemia nauplii to seahorse fry, you want to avoid overfeeding (feeding them too much at a single feeding) as well as feeding them newly hatched bbs which have depleted their yolk supply and are nutritionally barren. The best way to do that is provide the fry with many small feedings throughout the course of the day, each of which they can clean up fairly quickly, rather than one or two massive feedings.

    I suggest feeding the fry 3-5 times daily, at least 2-3 hours apart. When you are feeding the right amount, the fry should consume most of the nauplii within the first 20-30 minutes, but give them 3 hours to finish the rest and digest it fully before you feed them again. Ideally some brine shrimp will remain throughout each 3-hour feeding session, albeit at a greatly reduced feeding density after the first half-hour.

    In other words, your ideal fry feeding schedule should go something like this: 8 AM feed, 11 AM feed, 2 PM feed, 5 PM feed, 8 PM feed, lights out at 11 PM. Harvest the baby brine shrimp for each feeding session in succession from each of the jars you started hatching at 3-hour intervals. This will assure that the Artemia nauplii you are feeding to the fry are no more than 3 hours old and thus at the peak of their nutritional value.

    Like all babies, seahorse fry exist only to eat and poop. To say they are voracious is a gross understatement — at this stage of their development, the newborns have but one mission in life: to eat and thus to grow. Researchers have found that a single seahorse only a few weeks old can consume 3000-4000 newly hatched brine shrimp in a single day! Milligram for milligram, a great white sharks feeding habits appear downright dainty and positively anorexic compared to a baby seahorse on the prowl for live prey. And as you can imagine, when well-fed fry eat that much, defecation is amazingly rapid, with each newborn producing an average of one fecal pellet every 25-30 minutes.

    One of the many quirks of seahorse anatomy is that they lack a true stomach like ours with the capacity to store food between meals (Bellomy, 1969). Rather, they are endowed with a rudimentary "stomach" that is little more than a pouchlike expansion of their intestine with no distinct separation between it and the rest of their digestive tract (Tamaru, Aug. 2001). Food passes continuously through this simple stomach instead of being stored therein. This is an adaptation to a sedentary lifestyle in which seahorses feed while at rest (as ambush predators that wait for their prey to come to them) more or less continuously throughout the daylight hours, rather than storing food or stockpiling energy in fat reserves (Tamaru, Aug. 2001). And like other carnivorous fishes, their intestinal tract is also relatively short (Tamaru, Aug. 2001).

    Therefore, think of their digestive tract as a short continuous tube. When a seahorse is full, nothing more can be taken in at one end of its digestive tract without something being passed out of the other end. Seahorse fry don’t stop eating once they are full — the feeding instinct of these seagoing gluttons is so strong it compels them to keep eating as long as suitable prey is present. Baby seahorses, not sharks, are the ocean’s "remorseless eating machines!"

    When they are overfed, particularly on hard-to-process Artemia nauplii, food passes through their system too fast to be digested properly. Because they swallow their prey whole and intact, this can actually reach the absurd point where they are passing live Artemia in their fecal pellets (Warland, 2003)! When that happens they are getting virtually no nourishment from their food and are literally starving in the midst of plenty. Here’s how Tracy Warland, a commercial seahorse farmer in Port Lincoln, Australia, describes this feeding dilemma and how to deal with it:

    "We feed by looking closely at the ponies feces under a microscope, (a cheap dissecting microscope is ample); we breed 5 different species and all the ponies are the same, in as much as they are total gluttons. Baby seahorses (ponies) will eat so much instar 2 Artemia that they will pass out live Artemia in their feces, and they will of course not get any nutritional value from any feeds, so by over feeding you will starve them to death. We have done this. So if you feed them too much you will just love them to death as they will starve due to inability to digest. We look at the feces to determine the level of digestion and feed accordingly. Usually a feed is what the biomass of the tank can clean up in a 20-minute session, after which we leave them alone for about 2 hours and then feed them again. As soon as they defecate, we use a pipette to gather up the droppings and examine them under the microscope to check digestion levels and adjust our feeding accordingly. This is not necessary for every feed as you can soon learn the quantity required for each feeding; just make sure that the Artemia is digested fully (Warland, 2003)."

    So if you have a microscope, you can easily verify that you are feeding enough but not too much at any given feeding by visual examination of the fry’s fecal pellets. Otherwise, you will eventually learn the right amount to feed and how often to feed from experience. The right feeding regimen varies according to species, the size of the brood and the size of your nursery tanks, as well as the type of food you are providing, so it is difficult to make generalizations in that regard. But Tracy Warland recommends the following:

    "You need to add enough food for your fry to eat for about 15-20 minutes (75%
    of the food should have been consumed within that time). If it is not, then you have added too much. The fry then should have some time to digest this food, about 2 – 3 hours is plenty. Provide at least 3-5 feedings daily. Only feed during daylight hours and turn off lights at night (Warland, 2003)."

    As I said, Tracy’s feeding regimen may not be the best option for the home hobbyist, however. The average hobbyist has his hands full just trying to keep up with the demands of a brood of fry, doesn’t have access to a microscope to monitor the fecal pellets of the fry, and generally needs to be far more concerned about underfeeding than overfeeding. The salient point is that when rearing fry, many small feedings daily are vastly preferable to one or two large feedings. Most hobbyists are more successful at rearing when their goal is to assure that the fry have access to at least some food throughout the day. Many breeders accomplish this by adding small amounts of newly hatched Artemia to their nurseries whenever they walk by. For the sake of hygiene and water quality, its important to siphon off the bottom of the nursery tanks between feedings, whether or not you are able to do a microscopic examination of the fecal pellets.

    It’s imperative that you work out the most efficient feeding regimen one way or another, since overfeeding is not only bad for the seahorse’s digestion, it also debilitates the fry because it is very energetically demanding for them to pursue prey and eat nonstop all day long (Warland, 2003). With a little experience, you will soon work out the feeding regimen that works best for you.

    Many home hobbyists find an alternating 2-hour feeding schedule works well during the day. The fry are allowed to feed for 2 hours, then fasted for 2 hours, then given another feeding and fasted for 2 hours, and so on. The nursery is then darkened overnight and the seahorses are rested.

    The general idea is to set up multiple hatching containers so that you can harvest the newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii from a different hatchery for each feeding. Thus, if you’re going to be feeding five times a day (i.e., every three hours throughout the day), then you would set up a battery of five separate brine shrimp hatcheries, and you would start the brine shrimp cysts hatching in each of them at three hour intervals.

    The reason you stagger the hatching jars that way, adding the eggs to each at three hour intervals, is to assure that you are feeding the fry newly-hatched Artemia nauplii that have just emerged from their eggs, and therefore are at the peak of their nutritional value, for each of the feedings. Right after the first instar Artemia nauplii have emerged from their shells, their yolk supply is completely intact and they are more nutritious, since when the seahorse fry eat them, they get the benefit of all the nutrients in the rich yolk supply. Several hours after the Artemia nauplii have hatched out, they will have consumed much of their yolk supply and have relatively little nutritional value as a result. So it is very desirable to feed the newborns seahorse fry first-instar Artemia nauplii that have just emerged from their shells, because the nauplii are the smallest at that stage and therefore the easiest for even the undersized fry (i.e., runts) to swallow and more importantly because the newly emerged nauplii retain their maximum nutritional value at that point.

    Once the Artemia nauplii undergo their first molt and becomes second-instar nauplii, they have exhausted their yolk supply and develop mouthparts so they can begin feeding on their own. Baby brine shrimp at this stage are larger and and may be too large for the smallest newborns to eat, and the second-instar bbs must be fed or enriched (i.e., gut-loaded) at this stage or they have very poor nutritional value. So the idea is to assure that you are always feeding the newborn seahorses first-instar Artemia nauplii that have just hatched and retain their full supply of yolk.

    That’s why it’s important to stagger the start of the hatch in each of the hatcheries. If you started the brine shrimp hatching at the same time in all five of the hatcheries, by the time you did your second feeding of the day, some of the brine shrimp would be three hours old. Likewise, some of the brine shrimp you fed for the third feeding would be six hours old, and some of the brine shrimp you offered at the fourth feeding that day would already be nine hours old, and so on. The older brine shrimp nauplii would have used up more and more of their yolk supply, or already entered the second-instar phase before they were fed to your seahorses, and not have been nearly as nutritious as the brine shrimp you offered for the first feeding that day.

    Staggering the start of the hatch in each of the hatching containers therefore allows you to offer primarily newly-hatched first-instar Artemia nauplii with complete yolk supplies at each of the feedings throughout the day. In other words, for the first feeding of the day, you harvest the Artemia nauplii from the hatchery you started first. You harvest the nauplii for your second feeding from the hatching jar you started hatching three hours later, and you harvest the nauplii for the third feeding from the hatchery you added the Artemia cysts to six hours later, and so on.

    In short, if you will be feeding your seahorse fry five times a day, your ideal fry feeding schedule should go something like this: 8 AM feed, 11 AM feed, 2 PM feed, 5 PM feed, 8 PM feed, lights out at 11 PM. Harvest the baby brine shrimp for each feeding session in succession from each of the jars you started hatching at 3-hour intervals. This will assure that the Artemia nauplii you are feeding to the fry are no more than 3 hours old and thus at the peak of their nutritional value.

    Okay, that should cover the basic information you need to get started. If you contact me off list ([email protected]), I can provide you with a lot more information on breeding and rearing Hippocampus erectus babies, as well as providing you with lots of suggestions for setting up your new 55-gallon aquarium in order to create an ideal environment for your lined seahorses.

    Best of luck keeping up with the endless appetites of your bonus babies!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna

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