Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › malnurished female
- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 13 years ago by Pete Giwojna.
June 12, 2010 at 4:27 am #1826cstmpprlMember
I picked up a female reidi yesterday from a fellow reefer, The male had passed 2 days ago. I have 3 other H reidi. All around the same age. All came from the same place. When i picked up the new female i could not get over how small she was. She is pencil thin. I sent a note off to the breeder and she said when he picked the horses up a month and a half ago they were big and fat. So what should i do? She did eat 1 PE myisis this ASM. But i have yet to see her eat this evening. Should i put her into a QT tank, and then what?
Any help would be appreciated.
MichelleJune 12, 2010 at 7:16 am #5140Pete GiwojnaGuest
It sounds like your new female Brazilian seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) is very emaciated but the fact that she ate one of the large Piscine Energetics frozen Mysis is proof that she is not yet too far gone. The new female is not doomed to starvation.
Yes, I think it would be advisable to isolate the new female in your quarantine tank or hospital tank, Michelle. She appears to be unhealthy so it would be a good idea to separate her from your healthy H. reidi seahorses as a precaution, and it will also be better for the emaciated little female if she does not have to compete with the other seahorses at mealtime.
I would recommend obtaining some of the smaller Mysis that may be easier for the small female to handle. Hikari brand frozen Mysis or the H2O Mini Mysis might be better suited for her than the jumbo PE frozen Mysis, Michelle. And I suggest enriching the frozen Mysis for your new female using live-rich Vibrance 1 (the original Vibrance formulation).
The original Vibrance (i.e., Vibrance 1) is a lipid-rich formula including beta-glucan, the proper balance of long chain fatty acids (DHA and EPA) derived from natural schizochytrium algae, and color-enhancing carotenoids, all combined with just the right amount of vitamins, minerals and water-soluble stabilized vitamin C. It is ideal for enriching live foods with poor nutritional value that are naturally low in lipids, such as newly hatched brine shrimp or adult Artemia.
Personally, aside from enriching live foods, I prefer the high-fat formula (Vibrance 1) for young seahorses that are still growing, and for adult seahorses that are actively breeding, churning out brood after brood, since they need all the calories and energy they can get. Vibrance 1 is also great for fattening up skinny, underweight seahorses of any age, which means it should be very helpful for putting some weight on your emaciated new female, Michelle.
You’ll find that enriching frozen Mysis with Vibrance 1 (the original high-fat formulation) is really very easy once you get the hang of it. Here are the online instructions for using and storing the Vibrance, sir, and I will be happy to elaborate on them later in this e-mail as well:
Vibrance 1 Instructions
How to use Vibrance: our original high fat formula, a must when feeding Artemia (brine shrimp) of all sizes. Use with all feedings.
For seahorses and other marine fish that eat frozen Mysis: simply sprinkle a “pinch” of Vibrance onto the frozen Mysis. Allow the Mysis shrimp to thaw. Gently mix the Vibrance into the Mysis so that the head is red. Apply the feed to seahorse tank. You will see that they recognize this food quickly taking the Mysis directly from the feeding station or from the tank bottom.
For other frozen foods simply sprinkle a “pinch” of Vibrance onto the frozen food. Allow the food to thaw and mix the Vibrance gently into the food. Feed to your fish.
For enriching or “gut packing” live artmeia (brine shrimp), or other live shrimp or live food of all sizes. Blend 1 teaspoon of Vibrance into 1 cup of water for 3 minutes. Add this to the live food vessel for 30 minutes, or until you see the gut of the animal turn red. Rinse the animals with clean salt water and feed immediately to your seahorses or other fish.
So the first thing I would suggest is to obtain some Hikari frozen Mysis or H2O Mini Mysis, enriched them using lipid-rich Vibrance 1, and offer them to the new female in isolation where she won’t have to compete with the other seahorses. If she will accept the enriched frozen Mysis, she should fatten up nicely.
If not — if she refuses even the smaller types of frozen Mysis, Michelle — then I would suggest tempting her with choice live foods that have been gutloaded with the high-fat Vibrance 1. When seahorses stop eating, the most important thing is to get some food into them one way or another. You’ve got to keep their strength up and give them a chance to recover before you can worry about weaning them back onto frozen foods again. Hawaiian red feeder shrimp or volcano shrimp (Halocaridina rubra) are ideal for this — seahorses find them utterly irresistible! But anything that’s readily available — enriched adult brine shrimp, live ghost shrimp that are small enough to be swallowed, newborn guppies or mollies, Gammarus amphipods, copepods, Tigger pods, you name it — is worth a try. Just get some good meals into your H. reidi ASAP to build up her strength and help her regain her conditioning.
When seahorses tire of the same old, boring frozen food and refuse to eat their "veggies," living prey is what they crave: Mysids, ghost shrimp, Gammarus or adult Artemia — the type of food isn’t really as important as the fact that it’s alive and kicking. Nothing stimulates a sea horse’s feeding instincts like the frantic movements and evasive maneuvers of real, live, "catch-me-if-you-can" prey items (Giwojna, 1996).
Adult brine shrimp (Artemia spp.) can certainly be used as occasional treats or dietary supplements, or to help break a hunger strike, providing you enrich it to fortified nutritional content. Here are the instructions for enriching brine shrimp, in case you that’s the most convenient live food for you to provide. The original Vibrance formula that is rich in highly unsaturated fatty acids and other lipids (i.e., Vibrance I) works best for fortified brine shrimp:
Enriching Artemia with Vibrance I
For enriching or "gut packing" live Artemia (brine shrimp), or other live shrimp or live food of all sizes. Blend 1 teaspoon of Vibrance into 1 cup of water for 3 minutes. Add this to the live food vessel for 30 minutes, or until you see the gut of the animal turn red. Rinse the animals with clean salt water and feed immediately to your seahorses or other fish.
When it comes to good sources for live foods, you can get Gammarus amphipods (green iron horse feed) and Hawaiian volcano shrimp (red iron horse feed) from Ocean Rider and live Mysis from Sachs Systems Aquaculture. All of these live shrimp are what I’d like to call "feed-and-forget" foods. 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.
The Ocean Rider Aquaculture Facility in Hawaii (http://seahorse.com/) is a good source for the following live foods but the shipping costs from Hawaii can be considerable:
Green Iron Horse Feed (Gammarus amphipods)
Red Iron Horse Feed or Volcano Shrimp (Halocaridina rubra)
Or the live Mysis from Sachs Systems Aquaculture would also be a good choice for live Mysis shrimp. They provide live Mysis in lots ranging anywhere from 100 to 5000 for very reasonable prices which include the cost of priority shipping. For example, you can obtain 200 live Mysidopsis bahia for $35 (priority shipping included) from Sachs and your seahorses will love them. Or the or the very smallest (1/4") of the common shore shrimp (Palaemonetes vulgaris) from Sachs would also be a good choice:
All of the sources listed above are high-health aquaculture facilities that provide disease free live foods. You can buy be feeder shrimp or live foods in quantity and set up a small holding tank for them so that you can dole them out as live treats for your seahorses whenever it’s convenient.
So in your case, I would suggest ordering perhaps 100-200 of the live Mysis from Sachs Aquaculture for starters, and setting them up in a small tank of their own with a few small algae-covered live rock as for them to feed on and use for shelter. If your new female was able to eat one of the large frozen Mysis from piscine energetics, Michelle, she should find the small live Mysidopsis bahia to be irresistible.
Another good possibility you can consider are the Tigger Pods, which are now carried by some pet stores. Seahorses eat them very readily and if you can find a local fish store that carries them, that could be a very convenient option for you. Here is some more information about the Tigger Pods:
Tigger Pods by Reed Mariculture
Receiving your Tigger Pods™
Receiving your Tigger Pods™
Tigger Pods™ are wonderful little creatures, full of energy, fun to watch, and great food for your reef tank.
When you receive your shipment, here are some steps that will help ensure their health and survival.
Upon arrival you may notice the Tigger-Pods™ aren’t very active. This is normal when cold shipped or cold stored. As the bottles warm up, the Tigger Pods™ will become more active. It is not uncommon to have a few of the oldest copepods to die from old age. We pack the bottle with all stages of life, but only count the adults. On average, we pack at least 10% more in every bottle to account for any DOA.
Upon arrival, open bottle cap and remove the inside liner. Let stand at room temp for 2 hours to allow temperature to rise. The Tigger Pods™ can be poured directly into your refugium and/or main tank. They can live several weeks in the bottle, as long as they are fed and the bottle is open to the air.
Tigger Pods™ feed on microalgae and we recommend feeding them with Phyto-Feast™. Phyto-Feast™ can be dosed directly into both your refugium and main tank. The recommended feeding rate is 1 to 5 drops per gallon each day, depending on the bio-density of your reef tank.
Store Use and Display
Open the bottle cap and remove the inside liner.
Leave the cap open for 1 hour or more to re-oxygenate the water.
Replace the cap on the bottle and close the flip-spout.
During the day put the bottles in a high traffic area to attract the customer’s attention, but keep out of direct sunlight. Light is ok, and needed.
At night put the bottles under gentle light so the accompanying Macro-Feast™ will produce oxygen. The flip-caps can also be left open to increase oxygen.
Every 2-3 days add 1 drop of Phyto-Feast to each bottle.
Longer Term Storage
Tigger Pods™ can be stored in a "warm" (40 F +) refrigerator to slow down their metabolic processes, which will increase store shelf life.
For more information about Tigger Pods™ please visit our website at http://www.Tigger-Pods.com.
Best of luck getting your new female H. reidi back into top condition, Michelle.
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