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

Pregnant?

  • This topic has 16 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 16 years ago by Pete Giwojna.
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  • #1303
    tammyp
    Member

    Pete,

    I have a sunburst that is very swollen. He eats twice a day and swims fine. But I\’m not sure if he\’s pregnant. I just received him maybe about 3 weeks ago. His color was orange and now his attire is brownish/blackish with white markings. He flirted with everyone. He would even attack the bigger male. He was very aggresive towards him. I have just been struggling with my males. I lost one to maybe gas bubble , tried to save him. The other one I lost has deliverered his 2 brood but I\’m thinking he had some kinda of affection, tried to save him but it was to late. I examined his pouch he had eggs with white stuff, so that\’s why assuming some kinda affection. Anyways I\’m not giving up. This male just seems extremely swollen I can\’t even explain it. It also seems to me he swells a little more after he eats. Normal? So I\’ hoping he is pregnant and not sick. I shined a light through his pouch and I can;t see through it. Don\’t iknow if this helps. Gosh I\’m praying he is pregnant and not sick. I\’m thinking maybe I need to get males that have had pregnancies, I not having much luck with the virgins. My females are doing great. Knock on wood. Anyways Pete I\’m hoping you can determine what the swelling is. These males and their pouches are going to drive me crazy. Even so I do adore them and they are remarkable.

    Thanks,

    Tammy P

    #3866
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    There are three possibilities when a male’s pouch is obviously very swollen and enlarged:

    1) He is pregnant and carrying a large brood of developing young;

    2) He is courting and performing pouch displays known as "Pumping" and "Ballooning;"

    3) He is ailing and his pouch is filled with gas or swollen with accumulated fluid.

    When the brood pouch is bloated with gas, we would certainly expect the male to be experiencing positive buoyancy and having severe difficulty swimming, if not actually floating and bobbing at the surface like a cork. On the other hand, if his brood pouch was distended with accumulated fluid (ascites), he would be very likely to have difficulty swimming due to negative buoyancy. When that happens, the seahorse tends to hang downward from his hitching post, rather than assuming the normal upright posture, and he may spend periods of time lying prone on the bottom. Since your male is not having any buoyancy problems or difficulty swimming, Tammy, I think we can probably rule out the third possibility.

    Ballooning is a simple display in which courting males inflate their brood pouches with water to the fullest possible extent and parade around in front of the female in all their glory as though trying to impress her with the sheer dimensions of their pouches. The pumped up paramours perform proudly, putting on quite a show for the flirtatious fillies.

    Pumping is a similar pouch display that requires a series of coordinated movements and a lot more exertion on the part of the courting stallion. Bending vigorously, the aroused male jackknifes his tail to meet his trunk, thereby compressing his inflated brood pouch in the middle. The male then straightens up again, suddenly snapping back to "attention" so as to relieve the pressure on his severely compressed midsection. This rapid pumping motion has the effect of forcing water in and out of the brood pouch in a manner that is virtually identical to the way the young are expelled at birth (Vincent, 1990).

    The strenuous pumping action is the stallion’s way of demonstrating his pouch is empty of eggs and that he is a strong, healthy, vigorous specimen capable of carrying countless eggs (Vincent, 1990). By so doing, he assures the female that he is ready, willing, and able to mate, and that he can successfully carry and deliver her entire brood. The male’s marsupium also becomes grossly distended during displays of Pumping, but in that case, it is obvious the male is courting because it looks like he’s doing abdominal crunches as the vigorously pumps water in and out of his brood pouch. Once a male is pregnant, he seals the aperture of his pouch and no longer performs these this place of pumping, although he will continue to engage in other forms of courtship with his partner during their daily greetings.

    During displays of Ballooning and Pumping, the male’s pouch is inflated with seawater, so he maintains neutral buoyancy and can swim normally. So I would say your male is most likely either pregnant or performing his displays of Ballooning. That seems to be the most likely explanation in your case, Tammy, since the male in question has been aggressive with the other stallions and flirting like crazy with all of the available females. The fact that you can’t see through his swollen pouch with a light shining from behind it could also be an indication of pregnancy, since the placenta like changes that take place in the lining of the pouch (increased vascularization and thickening of the pouch walls) make the marsupium less transparent..

    In other words, you’re stallion is probably either already pregnant or doing his very best to get himself pregnant, and in either case, he may be presenting you with a brood of young in the not-too-distant future. Close observation of your male over the next few days should make it clear which of these possibilities is correct in your case, Tammy.

    Here are some signs to look for that indicate mating has occurred and that the pregnancy is progressing normally:

    Indications of Pregnancy.

    If you witness the copulatory rise and exchange of eggs there is no doubt that mating has occurred and, knowing the date of conception, you can confidently begin the countdown toward the maternal male’s delivery date. Knowing approximately how long the gestation period will be allows plenty of time to prepare nursery tanks, set up a battery of brine shrimp hatcheries, and culture rotifers and ‘pods for the insatiable fry.

    But what if you missed the big moment? How do you proceed if you missed the actual mating and transfer of eggs, and you’re not sure if you will soon be dealing with a gravid male and hordes of hungry newborns?

    There are no aquatic obstetricians, underwater ultrasounds, blood tests or over-the-counter pregnancy tests to perform, and I shudder to think how one might go about collecting a urine specimen to dip! No worries. Fortunately, there are subtle signs and suggestions that indicate a pregnancy is underway. There are number of changes in the parents’ appearance and behavior to look for. For instance, the male and female will still continue to flirt, but the nature a their displays will change from full-blown courtship to regular greeting rituals.

    After mating, in subsequent days the couple will continue to change colors and brighten up when in close proximity and dance together in an abbreviated version of courtship known as the Morning Greeting or Daily Greeting. The pair exhibits the same basic behaviors and maneuvers as when they were courting with one big difference — the male never "pumps" and the female does not "point."

    In addition, as the pregnancy progresses, the male’s pouch darkens due to the proliferation of epithelial and connective tissue and the placenta-like changes taking place in the wall of the marsupium, and the pouch gradually swells and expands according to the number of young developing within. The latter is not always a reliable indicator, however. Inexperienced couples often spill eggs during the exchange and a male’s first few broods are often inordinately small. The brood pouch of a male that is carrying only a few fetal fry is hardly any larger than normal, and hobbyists have often been surprised by unexpected births under such circumstances.

    On the other hand, an experienced male carrying a large brood can be easily distinguished by his obviously expanding pouch. These mature breeders may carry broods numbering over 1600 fetal fry, depending of course on the species. A stallion incubating hundreds of fry will have an enormously distended pouch by the time his due date approaches.

    Gravid males often become increasingly reclusive and secretive as their pregnancy advances. When the onset of labor and birth is imminent, the male will begin to shows signs of distress and his respiration rate will increase to 70-80 beats per minute. The fully developed young become very active and shake loose into the lumen of the pouch shortly before delivery. In some cases, the writhing of the young can be detected through the stretched membrane of the pouch, which causes the male considerable discomfort. He may become restless and agitated as a result, swimming slowly to and fro and pacing back and forth like, well — an expectant father. The fry are usually born in the early morning hours between midnight and dawn, arriving all at once or in multiple batches 24 hours apart.

    So if you happen to miss the exchange of eggs, watch closely for the following indications that mating has occurred:

    (1) A change in the physical appearance of the parents. The gravid male’s pouch will change from a light opaque color to a dark brown due to the elaboration of the internal structures and thickening of the walls of the pouch. It will enlarge steadily over the next few weeks as the young grow and develop, and the aperture will change from fully dilated to a tightly closed vertical slit. The female’s trunk will change from rotund, full with ripe eggs, to noticeably shrunken and pinched in immediately after the exchange of eggs.

    (2) A change in the seahorses’ courtship displays. The pair will continue to flirt and dance and brighten in coloration as part of their Daily Greetings, but the male will no longer pump (no pouch displays) and neither the female nor the male will point. The pair will make no more copulatory rises.

    (3) A change in the behavior of the male. He may become increasingly shy and reclusive. Gravid males may go off their feed as the delivery date approaches, missing meals or even going into hiding. When birth is imminent, he will become agitated and distressed and his respiration will increase markedly.

    When you notice these telltale signs of pregnancy, it’s time to kick your brine shrimp hatchery into high gear and start some microalgae and rotifer cultures brewing.

    At this point, Tammy, it’s difficult to say whether the swelling you noticed in the brood pouch is an early indication of bigger things to come or if it’s just a sign that your male is maturing or preparing his pouch for courtship displays.

    One rule of thumb the pros sometimes rely on in such situations is that if the male’s pouch remains swollen and distended for more than three consecutive days, then he is likely pregnant and not merely performing pouch displays.

    It is normal for the abdomen of a seahorse to become more rotund after a heavy meal, but during a pregnancy, it is the male’s marsupium or brood pouch that swells and expands rather than its abdomen.

    Good luck with your seahorses, Tammy! Here’s hoping your new Sunbursts male provides you with a brood of healthy babies.

    Respectfully,
    Pete Giwojna

    #3884
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,

    YOU WERE RIGHT ON THE MONEY! I have babies I managed to laddle them out. I have fed rotifers the first few days and bbs. I’m going to try and save them. So far so good but have a long ways to go. My nursery tank is just a ten gallon with sponge filter. I have the light towards the middle they still like to swim on top. Some have hitch and stay at the bottoms. I can see that some of them have bubbles in them so I don’t think they will make. I’m going to give my best shot. I do water changes every day. So Im brewing brine getting copepods, I have frozen cyclpeeze, but have not starting using it. Well any tips would be great. These ponies are fasinating to watch as they hitch one another, straggle each other and ride with water. They are so amussing to watch. Thanks Pete.

    Tammy P

    #3887
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    Woohoo! Congratulations on your new brood of babies!

    Remember that a pregnant male typically remates within a day or two after delivering his latest brood, so keep a close eye out on the proud papa for the next couple of days and you may get to witness the exchange of eggs, which is a fascinating spectacle and will give you a much better idea of exactly when to expect the next brood of babies. And, of course, if you can witness the actual mating, it leaves no doubt as to which of the females your stud has bonded with, so you’ll know exactly who both of the parents are.

    It sounds like you did a very nice job of getting the newborns set up in a basic nursery tank. The ones that have developed the visible bubbles are unlikely to thrive, but the ones that are already hitching and orienting to the substrate should have a good fighting chance.

    Newborn Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) are typically able to accept newly hatched brine shrimp (first instar Artemia nauplii) as their first food, but the survival rates improv dramatically if you can start them out with larval copepods for the first few days of life. It’s unlikely that you’ll have any consistent success getting the fry to accept Cyclopeeze until they are at least a few weeks old. When they are old enough, you will find that the frozen Cyclopeeze is excepted much better than the freeze dried Cyclopeeze.

    If you contact me off list, Tammy, I will be happy to provide you with some much more detailed information on the best types of nurseries for keeping the babies away from the surface, and for feeding and rearing the fry (the files are too large for this forum). You can contact me at [email protected] with your e-mail address, and I will send you the additional material as soon as possible.

    In the meantime, you may find the following articles on rearing Hippocampus erectus to be especially helpful:

    <http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/seahorseCulture.shtml&gt;

    <http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/erectusfry.shtml&gt;

    http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles.shtml#propagation

    <http://www.syngnathid.org/articles/raisingFry.html&gt;

    Fry Development Cycle – From Egg to Horse
    <http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/fry.shtml&gt;

    Best of luck with your first attempt at rearing, Tammy! Here’s hoping that our seahorses provide you with many more healthy broods in the months and years ahead.

    Respectfully,
    Pete Giwojna

    #3895
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,

    Amazing that my babies are 3 weeks old and still have about 30 left. I also have new babies that were born yesterday. My older ones encountered a bacterial attack and used formalin and transfer to a new tank. Seems to be helping. Been enriching BBS, with selco. Not sure if I can also enrich with the Vibrance 2 (Just want to mix it up a little). This is a full time job but I can watch my tank hours. Frozen cyclopeze introduced some of them ate it but just 1 piece. The new babies I left in the main tank for 2 hours hoping they would get some copepods. Well just wanted to update everyone. I know the next couple of weeks will be very trying for the older babies I hope some will be able to pull through. Thanks,
    Oh I forgot to tell you I actually witness the birthing what an amazing thing these males have to go through and turn right around and want more, better them than me. LOL

    Tammy P

    #3896
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    Thanks for the update! It’s great to hear that you’re doing so well with the first brood of babies and already have another crop of newborns to help refine your rearing techniques.

    When it comes to enriching the Artemia nauplii, Selco is a good choice and you can certainly alternate fortifying the second instar Artemia with Selcon and Vibrance if you wish to help improve the nutritional profile of the brine shrimp and diversify the diet of the baby seahorses. But Vibrance 2 is not the right choice for that purpose, Tammy (Vibrance 2 is a low-fat formulation designed for enriching frozen Mysis for adult seahorses). The original Vibrance (i.e., Vibrance I) 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 perfect for enriching live foods with poor nutritional value that are naturally low in lipids, such as brine shrimp. So for best results, you might consider ordering some of the Vibrance 1 for enriching the baby brine shrimp with HUFA, Tammy.

    Here is some additional information on weaning the fry onto frozen foods that may be helpful for your three week old offspring, Tammy:

    Converting the Fry to Frozen Foods

    The current thinking is that the fry can remain on a steady diet of newly hatched Artemia until you are ready to begin weaning them onto a diet of frozen foods (usually minced Mysids and/or Cyclop-eeze). Aquaculturists are now converting the fry to frozen foods earlier than ever, often beginning around 3-4 weeks old. Jeff Mitchell reports that the fry are healthier and grow faster the sooner they make the transition to enriched frozen foods, and he expects the young seahorses to have made the transition to frozen foods by the age of 4-1/2 weeks.

    The best way to prepare the Mysis for this is to mince the frozen Mysis coarsely rather than putting it through a blender. How fine or coarse you need to chop it depends on the size of your fry, since you want to wind up with bite-size pieces of Mysis. Initially, many breeders prefer to shave small pieces of Mysis off of a cube while it’s still frozen.

    When the fry have grown a little larger and can accommodate bigger pieces of Mysis, I find it convenient to carefully thaw whole Mysis individually and then carefully chop them into several pieces.

    Either way, it is very important to be extra diligent about vacuuming up leftovers (and any fecal pellets) while the fry are making the transition to frozen Mysis. Otherwise, the minced Mysis that doesn’t get eaten right away while it’s still suspended in the water column or shortly after it has settled on the bottom will begin to degrade the water quality in your nursery tank.

    It’s important to overlap the fry food when they are making the transition. Offer them shaved or minced Mysis along with the newly hatched brine shrimp they are accustomed to eating. (Many times it’s better to offer the minced Mysis first, while the fry is still the hungriest, and then add the baby brine shrimp.) Once they begin eating the bits of frozen Mysis well, gradually increase the amount of minced Mysis and decreased the amount of baby brine shrimp you offer at every feeding until they are finally eating the shaved Mysis almost entirely.

    Overlapping the feedings this way, offering newly-hatched brine shrimp as usual along with just a little frozen Mysis at first, assures that there is familiar food available to the fry while they are making the transition and makes sure that the slow learners still get enough to eat.

    Some hobbyists find it helpful to begin soaking the newly hatched brine shrimp in Mysis juice for a week or two before they actually began offering the bits of minced Mysis along with the bbs. That way, the juveniles get used to the scent of the frozen Mysis and associate it with food before you start to add the bits of frozen Mysis.

    Here’s a previous post from Patti that describes how she weaned her erectus fry onto frozen to Kari Mysis:

    [open quote]
    I’m wondering if nutrition is your problem.
    Could you train them onto frozen mysis? My 4 week old erectus are
    eating shaved Hikari frozen mysis already. They started not eating
    much of the BBS and looking around the bottom of the bowl. I
    enriched the shaved mysis w/Vibrance & put it in the bowl. It goes
    to the bottom and they’re on the hunt. They’ll look at it a good
    while and then snick. It only took 1 day to train them. I swish it
    around a little at first to get them interested.

    I think the mysis is better for them nutritionally and they don’t
    have to spend so much energy eating all those tiny BBS. Give it a
    try. It may take a few days. I gave mine the mysis 1st – before
    adding the BBS. That way they were pretty hungry. Then I gave them
    some BBS for desert to make sure each one got something to eat if
    they weren’t eating enough mysis yet.
    Patti [close quote]

    Notice that Patti’s erectus fry were all hitching and beginning to look around on the bottom for things to eat, indicating that they were ready to give up their planktonic existence (the high-risk pelagic phase) and make the transition from live brine shrimp suspended in the water column to frozen foods.

    When the newborns are the right age, don’t hesitate to try them on frozen Cyclop-Eze first if you aren’t having any luck with the frozen Mysis. Lelia Taylor is one hobbyist who has had good results using the Cyclop-Eze, as she described below:

    <open quote>

    I have had success placing BBS in cyclop-ez, then feeding the mixture to my babies. They readily take the cyclop-eze. As they get bigger I add frozen, enriched brine shrimp. they began eating the frozen food immediately. Using the same principle, I began adding Mysid shrimp, along with the brine shrimp and cyclop-ez. I have found, even very young babies, will pick the larger pieces of Mysid shrimp, into bite sized pieces. I have also had success culturing copepods in my baby and grow up tanks. The babies readily feed on these, as well. <close quote>

    Bonus tip: adding one or two older juveniles that are already eating the frozen Mysis well to the nursery tank along with the inexperienced fry in order to act as their mentors can hasten the transition. Many hobbyists report that fry learn to take frozen minced mysids much faster and easier when they are provided with teachers to show them the way. These teachers are usually a few of the older fry from a previous brood, which have already become proficient at feeding on the frozen mysids (Liisa Coit, pers. com.). The younger fry are quick to copy them, learning from their example.

    Best of luck keeping up with the endless appetites of your voracious fry and weaning them onto frozen foods, Tammy!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna

    #3916
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,:cheer:

    Just wanted to give you an update. My babies are 6 weeks old. WOW! I still can’t believe it. Still have thirty left.I have been feeding the cyclopeze with shaved frozen mysis. They are still frowning on the Mysis. I also feed the enriched brine shrimp (ten day old). I mix up the enrichment. Using tiso algae w/ selco and switch to vibrance 1,. MY new ranch consist of 100 babies that are now are now 3- weeks old. Because of my little experience with the first ranch these guys have been eating new artemia along with 1/4" BBS (enriched) with lots of cyclopeze. These guys are growing quick I have been offering frozen shaved frozen mysis to these guys also. All I know this is a full time job, cooking food, vacumming along with water changes round the clock. I enjoy every minute of it. These babies are so fascinating I could watch them all day. The new 3-week old are in a 10-gallon tank. With approximate of a hundred of them I feel I need to break these guys out. Just an update for you guys. I’m hoping sooner than later they start eating the shaved mysis. I just wish these guys would quit studing it for so long and then swim away. Thanks for your great advice Pete.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE.

    Tammy Pierce

    #3918
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    Thanks for the update! It’s great to hear that you’ve been having such outstanding success rearing your Hippocampus erectus fry, and that the second batch of babies seem to be doing even better than the first brood. Just be patient with your six-week old juveniles and you will eventually be able to wean them onto frozen foods. Once the first of the youngsters begin to accept the minced Mysis or Cyclop-eze readily, the others seem to learn from their example and are usually quick to follow suit.

    Yeah, maintaining good water quality in your nursery tanks and keeping up with the endless appetites of all those hungry horselets can be a full-time job, all right. When they are receiving feedings of live food every couple of hours throughout the day, keeping up with the feeding regimen is quite a dusting challenge, and even more so when they are making the difficult transition from Artemia nauplii to frozen foods. But nothing is more rewarding than having a tankful of healthy juveniles to show for all of your effort.

    Best of luck weaning your youngsters onto minced Mysis, Tammy! Keep up the great work!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna

    #3929
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,

    Updating again. Well my 71/2 week old babies still not to interested in the mysis. They pick every now then. I will tell you my 4 week old babies are eating more mysis by the day. Theres quite a few that really put it way. I may have to take some of the young ones to put with older ones to teach them. Also I still have the 30 of 7 1/2 week olds and as for the 4 weekers to many to count. About 200? I a little over whelmed and tired but enjoying it. I wanted to know I’m still using sponge filters with frequent water changes. Can I up grade to maybe a marineland 400 bio wheel, for the older ones. I broke the big herd in 2 -10 gallon tanks. I’m going to have to break them out here in a week or so. Also should I still ladle them out.? Ill be for ever but the little ones like to hang out at the bottom doing the hunting, scooting and racing across the bottom. They would be quite difficult to get hold of. My older ones still hitch quite frequently at the top still waiting for BBS to float by. I wish they hang to bottom. I guess in time they will. So whats the easiest way to get of hold of these guys that like to stay at the bottom. Thank god my breeding pair did not make another brood. LOL Gotta love them though. Thanks Pete

    Merry Christmas to all!!!!

    Tammy P

    #3934
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    Wow, you are really doing a terrific with your latest broods of young! It’s wonderful that you have been able to get so many of the juveniles from the first brood to the 8-week mark, and it’s very encouraging that so many of the four-week-old youngsters are doing so well with the frozen Mysis.

    With so many fast-growing juveniles on your hands it’s a good idea for you to split up the brood into a number of less crowded nursery tanks or larger grow-out tanks for further rearing, Tammy, just as you are planning. It’s a good idea to upgrade to a Marineland 400 Biowheel for the older juveniles in order to provide them with more efficient biological filtration providing you can screen off the intake for the biowheel so that it doesn’t suck out any of the youngsters or their food, and assuming that you can adjust the output from the filter so that it doesn’t create too much turbulence or water movement for the juveniles.

    It’s not necessary to scoop out or ladle the youngsters when you do that transfers, since they are no longer newborns and will not be harmed by gulping air, but I still prefer ladling the juveniles rather than using the net because there is less chance of injuring the ponies’ delicate fins when you scoop them out.

    The best way to handle any of the youngsters that are hitched, and therefore difficult to scoop up and ladle out, is to induce them to release their grip on their holdfasts and then scoop them up while they are swimming, as described below:

    Handling Seahorses

    I do not like to use an aquarium net to transfer or manipulate seahorses, since their delicate fins and snouts can become entangled in the netting all too easily. I much prefer to transfer the seahorses by hand. Simply wet your hand and fingers (to avoid removing any of the seahorse’s protective slime coat) and scoop the seahorses in your hand. Allow them to curl their tail around your fingers and carefully cup their bodies in your hand to support them while you lift them out of the water. When you gently immerse your hand in the destination tank, the seahorse will release its grip and swim away as though nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

    Composed of solid muscle and endowed with extraordinary skeletal support, the prehensile tail is amazingly strong. Indeed, large specimens have a grip like an anaconda, and when a 12-inch ingens or abdominalis wraps its tail around your hand and tightens its hold, its vise-like grip is powerful enough to leave you counting your fingers afterwards!

    In fact, it can be quite difficult to remove an attached seahorse from its holdfast without injuring it in the process. Never attempt to forcibly detach a seahorse from its hitching post! When it feels threatened, it’s instinct is to clamp down and hold on all the tighter. When you must dislodge a seahorse from its resting place for any reason, it’s best to use the tickle technique instead. Gently tickling the underside of the tail where it’s wrapped around the object will usually induce the seahorse to release its grip (Abbott, 2003). They don’t seem to like that at all, and will quickly let go to move away to another spot. Once they are swimming, they are easy to handle.

    Best of luck with your juveniles, Tammy! Keep up the great work!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna

    Post edited by: Pete Giwojna, at: 2008/01/07 22:43

    #3935
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,

    I say WOW, also. I justed wanted to say thanks for suggestion tomorrow will be moving day for the juvies. Water is done aging. I puchased 2- 20 gallon high tanks and 2- 29 gallon tanks. My babies are getting so big. I had the little ones teach the bigger ones to eat mysis a little better that what they were doing. They are eating me out house and home. Such appetites for such little ones. The hairdo’s are really coming on. It’s very comical. Also I had one grab onto a loose flower petal and he carried it with 2-passengers. It alsmost looked as if he he was pulling a wagon with 2 friends in it. I wish my camera was there at that time. LOL Any ways I’m having fun and I hope my lluck stays with me. I’m on top of them 24/7. Okay so I will continue to update and hopefully it will good news. Thanks!

    OCEAN RIDER HAS THE PRETTIEST AND BEST SEAHORSES EVER! I LOVE THEM.

    Tammy P

    #3936
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,

    I say WOW, also. I justed wanted to say thanks for suggestion tomorrow will be moving day for the juvies. Water is done aging. I puchased 2- 20 gallon high tanks and 2- 29 gallon tanks. My babies are getting so big. I had the little ones teach the bigger ones to eat mysis a little better that what they were doing. They are eating me out house and home. Such appetites for such little ones. The hairdo’s are really coming on. It’s very comical. Also I had one grab onto a loose flower petal and he carried it with 2-passengers. It alsmost looked as if he he was pulling a wagon with 2 friends in it. I wish my camera was there at that time. LOL Any ways I’m having fun and I hope my lluck stays with me. I’m on top of them 24/7. Okay so I will continue to update and hopefully it will good news. Thanks!

    OCEAN RIDER HAS THE PRETTIEST AND BEST SEAHORSES EVER! I LOVE THEM.

    Tammy P

    #3938
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    It’s interesting that some of your youngsters are beginning to develop cirri. Although they are a highly variable trait, Hippocampus erectus (i.e., Mustangs and Sunburst) is one of the species in which these extravagant appendages are not uncommon. Those hair-like growths on the head and neck of some of the youngsters are known as dermal cirri, and are an attractive adornment possessed by certain seahorses. Dermal cirri are fleshy tabs or branching outgrowths of the skin that serve to break up the seahorse’s outline and allow it blend into its weedy habitat all the better, a sort of natural camouflage. Unlike spines, cirri are not permanent structures in most cases. Up to a certain age at least, seahorses appear to be capable of growing or shedding these fleshy filaments as the occasion demands in order to better suit their surroundings. For example, specimens that are rafting in clumps of Sargassum are apt to have well-developed cirri, giving them an appropriately shaggy appearance, while a seahorse inhabiting the mudflats of an estuary will be smooth skinned. Cirri grow most commonly on the head and neck region and are more common in juveniles than adults.

    It’s a shame seahorses with well-developed cirri like some of your juvies aren’t more commonplace because they can be quite breathtaking. A heavy growth of cirri can transform an ordinary specimen into a real show horse, making them appear as if they were adorned with a fancy mane or wearing an Indian war bonnet. A seahorse with extravagant, well-developed cirri can indeed be very exotic looking, but sometimes it has the opposite effect, lending them a comical appearance instead. I’ve seen shaggy specimens that looked like they were having a bad hair day, sporting a Mohawk or spike hairdo. Voila — a punk-rock pony, going through its rebellious teenage phase! Either way, they dress up the seahorses and give them a little extra pizzazz, and that’s what makes seahorse keeping so much fun!

    By all means, please do keep us updated from time to time on the progress of your juveniles as they grow and mature, Tammy! Here’s hoping that the move into more spacious grow-out tanks goes smoothly and all of the youngsters tolerate the transfer very well.

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna

    #3957
    tammyp
    Guest

    Pete,

    I just want to let you know, I’m at the 12 week mark and still have them all. What a miracle.They are eating frozen PE mysis. I mix it up with biocapupsulated vitamin mysis from Hakari. They also get enriched brine shrimp( adult size) as their treat. They are all different colors, yellow, peach, orange, reddish orange, brown and 1 black one. What a color scheme I have going. My 9-weekers are also doing great but when i moved them to the new tank they all turned brown on me and stayed that color since the move. I guess that was pretty dramatic for them. Pete, I was wondering how old do they have to be to maybe put some of them in my main tank? I would really like to. I know they have to be able to handle the flow. Also when feeding the PE mysis to them, how many should I allow them to eat. They are really nuts for it. They actually pull it out of each other’s snout. They really produce a lot of smoke. Which in turn causing that oily film in the tank. With the 29-gallon it can change my water quallity quickly. But I’m sure it is better for them to eat these. I do try to rinse well but in turn I don’t want to ruin the quallity of the mysis either and making it mush. Any suggestions would be great.

    Tammy P

    #3963
    Pete Giwojna
    Guest

    Dear Tammy:

    Congratulations on raising so many of your juvenile Hippocampus erectus to the 12-week mark — that’s quite an accomplishment for a home hobbyist, indeed! It’s wonderful to hear that they have all made the transition from newly hatched Artemia nauplii to frozen Mysis so smoothly, since it’s quite common to lose some of the youngsters while weaning them from live foods on to frozen fare. Well done!

    Minced Mysis certainly can be a messy food and you have to be more diligent than ever about maintaining water quality in your rearing tanks so that any of the smoky residue and uneaten tidbits don’t degrade the water quality or cause transient ammonia spikes. But it’s a landmark event whenever you get your latest brood successfully weaned onto frozen Mysis — it’s such a nutritious, easily digested natural food for seahorses then it’s well worth the extra effort. Your seahorses are still growing rapidly at this age and need all the calories they can get, so don’t hesitate to allow them to eat their fill of the frozen Mysis. Just be sure to stay atop of the water quality while you do so.

    If you can equip your 29-gallon grow out tank with a small protein skimmer or a surface extraction box for the filter, that would effectively remove and prevent the oily film that the frozen Mysis tends to produce, and make it easier to maintain optimum water quality.

    Now (i.e., after they have been weaned onto frozen Mysis) is the time when you can start thinking about transferring some of the juveniles into the main tank. They need to be eating the frozen Mysis well and they need to be large enough to handle the stronger currents in the main tank, but it sounds like your 12-week juveniles have just about reached that point, Tammy. I would say that you could start moving a few of the largest juveniles into the main tank with the adults whenever you are comfortable doing so. Just keep a close eye on them at first to make sure they are able to handle the currents in the main tank and are able to get their fair share at feeding time (you may need to target feed the juvies individually at first to make sure that they are not being bullied or outcompeted at mealtime).

    As you know, Tammy, one of the neat things about raising Ocean Rider’s Hippocampus erectus is the tremendous amount of genetic diversity that is built right into the strains. This will often manifest itself in variable coloration among the offspring, and it sounds like you have one of those "rainbow" broods. They should make a very colorful herd as they grow up.

    When you consider that Ocean Rider has been working with Hippocampus erectus since 1998, producing dozens of generations of Mustangs and Sunbursts, each more genetically diverse than its predecessors, it’s easy to understand why there is so much variation within a given brood of seahorse fry. It is very commonplace for brothers and sisters in the same brood to express differences in variable traits such as coloration, spininess, the size and shape of the coronet, the presence or absence of cirri, and so on.

    In short, within the same brood of young, it is quite common to have some juveniles that are very spiny along with others that are very smooth skinned. In the same brood, there may be some fry with all well-developed coronets and others with only low, rounded bumps, and many whose crowns are somewhere in between those extremes. There may be a few fry with very elaborate cirri adorning their heads and necks, whereas most of their brothers and sisters have no cirri at all. The same variability in coloration holds true as well.

    So you may well have juveniles that show all of the sunset colors (yellow, gold, orange, peach, salmon, certain shades of red or purple, as well as the usual brown and black, all in the same brood. It’s all a function of the tremendous diversity that’s built right into the genes of Mustangs and Sunbursts as intraspecific hybrids.

    Best of luck raising your rainbow youngsters to maturity, Tammy! Keep up the great work!

    Happy Trails!
    Pete Giwojna

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