- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 17 years ago by Pete Giwojna.
February 23, 2007 at 9:09 am #1138thornoelleMember
I just added 2 srhc to my tank today. 1 is very small and 1 horse has been actively stalking it since I put it in. Will the horses kill it? Do they eat hc? The larger one seems to be being ignored but will the horse likely turn its attention to it too? I moved it deeper in to the live rock but now I think it is on it\’s back and I can\’t reach it:((( Will it be able to right itself? I feel so bad!
Post edited by: thornoelle, at: 2007/02/23 04:35February 23, 2007 at 9:43 pm #3456Pete GiwojnaGuest
It’s pretty uncommon, but over the years, I’ve had a few seahorses that were confirmed crab killers. These particular ponies were persistent hermit crab predators that specialized in plucking the hermits out of their shells and attacking their soft, unprotected abdomens, and they honed their skullduggery to a fine art. They were experts at extricating the crabs and would eat only their fleshy abdomens and discard the rest. Mind you, that was only a few individuals out of a great many Hippocampines, but I could never keep hermit crabs in the same tank with those specific seahorses.
It’s the smallest hermit crabs that are at greatest risk, of course, but this behavior sometimes becomes habitual. So if my experience is any guide, crab killing could become a bad habit for the seahorse that is doing the stalking and you’ll have to watch that particular pony around hermit crabs from now one. Once they have discovered how to go about it, a seahorse may develop a taste for hermit hinders and consider them to be a regular part of its menu henceforth.
Hopefully, the crab stalker will lose interest come mealtime when the next serving of mouthwatering Mysis is forthcoming. If the new hermit crabs make it through the first few days, then they are likely to be accepted as tankmates rather than regarded as potential prey, and all should go well. But keep an eye on the seahorse that has been taking an unhealthy interest in the small hermit just in case. Most of the time in situations like this, once they’ve had a chance to size up the situation, the seahorse decides the hermit is not a proper prey item or is too large to handle and quickly loses interest in it.
Best of luck with your scarlet reef hermits and sea horses, thornoelle!
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