- This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 17 years ago by Pete Giwojna.
May 27, 2006 at 2:06 am #827nigelseahorseMember
Hi, i\’m not quite positive that I will get a pixie or two but I\’m thinking. Anyway i have a 5gallon hex with a small power filter and a sponge filter(my tank is very similar to the tank described in \"Seahorse with problems\"). Right now it is inhabited by a damsel that is under going a copper treatment, but after he\’s healthy again I can remove him, rinse out the aquarium and filters,refill it and cycle it again. i have heard that pixies only live about a year, is this true? Also I still have a pair of bonded redi horses in my 55 reef if they have babies could the fry live with the pixies? Also if I get a pair of pixies how many brine cysts would I have to hatch every day?If they have babies will the fry eat BBS? And if there are 2 how frequently would water changes have to be preformed?In the Pixie Special about how big would they be?Thanks for all the help.
Post edited by: nigelseahorse, at: 2006/05/26 22:10
Post edited by: nigelseahorse, at: 2006/05/26 22:23May 27, 2006 at 5:38 am #2553LeslieGuest
Yes, the life span of dwarf seahorses is about a year.
Your reidi fry would not be able to be kept with your Pixies. Reidi fry are pelagic. They require a kreisel type nursery bowl which provides circular water movement keeping them off the surface where they can take in air which they will eventually die from.
You would not need to hatch much brine for a pair of pixies….. maybe a 1/4 teaspoon every few days.
I like small frequent water changes in small tanks. I would recommend 10% or 1/2 gallon once a week.
They would be little, actually tiny, 1/2 to 1.5 inches.
Post edited by: Leslie, at: 2006/05/27 01:39May 28, 2006 at 10:51 pm #2554Pete GiwojnaGuest
Pixies are one seahorse that may actually enjoy a greater life span in captivity than the wild. In nature, winter storms and hurricanes take a heavy toll on their numbers, and very few adult dwarf seahorses survive their first winter; none are known to overwinter twice. A detailed field study marked all the individuals of a Cedar Key population and followed them closely for a period of several years (Strawn 1958). The study revealed that the Cedar Key dwarves grew fast, reached sexual maturity early (within 3 months), and died young, with few surviving for more than a year (Strawn 1953; 1958). No 2 year-old specimens were ever observed. (Strawn 1953; 1958) Thus, their natural life span is believed to be about one year in the ocean. In captivity, experienced hobbyists have kept them for 3+ years and not only can they survive to that ripe old age, they are often still going strong and may even keep breeding well into their third year.
I do small weekly water changes on my dwarf tanks of 10%-15%, rather than the monthly or bimonthly water changes I perform on large setups, but the volume of the water exchanged is so small — just a gallon or so at most — that they are a breeze. Heck, if I mix up a 5-gallon bucket of new artificial salt mix in advance, that provides enough clean, aged saltwater for a month’s worth of water changes on my dwarf tank. When I siphon out the water for the weekly exchange, I use the opportunity to vacuum the substrate and tidy up the tank a bit. Once it settles, I use the water I siphoned out to clean the sponge filters. The whole process, water change and all, takes all of 10 minutes.
But that 10 minutes of weekly maintenance returns wonderful rewards in terms of water quality. With such a small volume of water, the conditions can deteriorate quickly in a dwarf tank, and this modicum of weekly maintenance keeps things running smooth and trouble free.
As Leslie mentioned, your dwarf seahorse tank would not make a good nursery for pelagic H. reidi fry, due to their specialized requirements. However, once your reidi fry make it through their pelagic phase and begin orienting to the substrate and hitching, your Pixie tank would make a fine grow-out tank for your juvenile H. reidi
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. Everyone is amazed at how tiny they are the first time they see dwarf seahorses — picture seahorses that are the size of your thumbnail when fully grown and you’ll have a good idea of what Pixies are like. To me, their diminutive dimensions are a source of endless delight; I find them quaint and charming in the extreme.
I find it endlessly fascinating to witness the seahorse’s entire cycle of life taking place in microcosm on a miniature scale — courting, mating, giving birth, newborns, juveniles and young adults all thriving and growing right alongside the old warhorses.
Best of luck with your seahorses, Nigel!
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