- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 16 years, 5 months ago by Pete Giwojna.
December 13, 2006 at 6:22 am #1037nigelseahorseMember
Im thinking about getting shrimpfish after my new aquarium is set up. I know where to get them but they are out of stock right now. But I have some qyestions about them.
What do they eat?:P
Do I need some sort of plant for them to hide in? :pinch:
Should I even get them at all?:unsure:
Do them share the same disases as seahorses?:sick:
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a damsel fish and 10 being um…. well really, realy hard. what would it rank?:blink:
I hope this isn\’t too out of the question.:blush:
Just tell me any info you can find. :woohoo:
Thanks, I;ve always liked these little guys;)December 19, 2006 at 1:14 am #3167nigelseahorseGuest
Yes or no question: Does anyone know anything about these creatures?December 19, 2006 at 4:26 am #3169Pete GiwojnaGuest
I don’t know any hobbyists that have kept shrimpfish in their home aquarium. They are sometimes displayed at public aquaria and are peaceful fish that might make good tankmates for seahorses if you can obtain healthy specimens and quarantine them properly before introducing them to your main tank.
They are normally fed with live Mysis and small live feeder shrimp. I don’t know if they would accept frozen Mysis or other nonliving foods.
They are very curious fish that make fascinating aquarium animals because their unusual behavior. It is their habit to swim upside down with their heads pointing toward the bottom in an up-and-down vertical posture. The striped shrimpfish have longitudinal stripes and are accustomed to sheltering amidst the spines of long-spined sea urchins (Diadema spp.). Their inverted, vertical swimming style and stripes help them blend in amidst the spines of the sea urchin. Once established in the aquarium, they seem to be fairly hardy, but they sometimes have a hard time adjusting to aquarium conditions.
If the price is right, and you can obtain healthy specimens from a reputable dealer, I think they may be worth a try. If you quarantine them properly and can keep them eating, and provide them with one or two long-spines sea urchins to make them feel at home, they might do well. And they should make fine companions for seahorses under the right circumstances.
Unlike seahorses, the armor-plated shrimpfish do not seem to be very susceptible to Gas Bubble Syndrome (GBS), but they are vulnerable to all the same diseases and disorders as other tropical marine fishes.
If you decide to give them a try, Nigel, be sure to quarantine them properly and by all means let us know how well they do in your aquarium and it they are indeed good tankmates for seahorses.
Best wishes with all your fishes, sir!
Pete GiwojnaDecember 23, 2006 at 6:10 am #3182nigelseahorseGuest
If shrimpfish like to hide in sea urchins. are sea urchins safe for seahorses?December 24, 2006 at 8:09 am #3187Pete GiwojnaGuest
That’s an interesting question and it depends largely on the type of sea urchin. The short answer is that pincushion urchins should be quite safe, as I believe would be the long-spine Diadema urchins that striped shrimpfish associate with, whereas it’s probably best to avoid pencil urchins and club urchins. But there are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re considering keeping a sea urchin or two with seahorses.
In general, sea urchins are quite inoffensive and do a good job of controlling microalgae in the aquarium. But like all echinoderms, they require pristine water quality and specimens from your LFS must be acclimated to the aquarium very carefully over a period of several hours, preferably via drip acclimation. They will not do well in a newly established aquarium without abundant algae or one that has high nitrate levels.
I have never had occasion to keep urchins with seahorses, so I can’t speak from personal experience regarding their compatibility. But when it comes to seahorses, I think the pincushion urchins should make great tankmates, providing you can meet their dietary requirements, which means a tank with lots of algae for them to dine upon. Personally, I think the long-spine urchins (Diadema species) would also do well with seahorses, although some folks might caution against them due to the possibility that the seahorses may accidentally impale themselves on their sharp spines. I suspect that risk is highly overstated, however, and is more of an imagined danger than an actual threat. For example, seahorses in the wild are known to associate with urchins and seem to regard them as part of the substrate, commonly even using them as hitching posts.
In fact, Tom Bowling has observed all ages of H. tristis on sea urchins, from newly settled juveniles to fully-grown adults, an unusual form of commensalism never before reported for seahorses (Bowling, pers. comm.). He believes they remain with the urchins throughout their lifetime (Tom Bowling, pers. comm.). Bowling reports the seahorses actually perch amidst the spines and ride around on the sea urchins, feeding on schools of larval shrimp and other small crustaceans. In their deep-water environment, the urchins apparently provide them with shelter and a microhabitat that attracts small crustaceans and tiny fish, creating a wide range of feeding options for the seahorses (Tom Bowling, pers. comm.).
I think I would be inclined to avoid the pencil sea urchins and club or urchins when it comes to seahorses, however. They are much more carnivorous than the other urchins, which tend to be strict herbivores. Pencil urchins will feed on sessile animal life, particularly once they’ve depleted all will be available algae, and I once saw a pencil urchin capture and consume a small horseshoe crab in an aquarium. It’s conceivable that they could also pin down the tail of a seahorse and do serious damage with their bony mouthparts.
So in general, I think pincushion urchins would do well with seahorses providing you can provide them with adequate water quality and a sufficient supply of algae. The only danger I can possibly see from them would be accidentally toppling over a piece of coral or live rock and accidentally pinning a seahorse beneath it. And if you get small pincushions and ankle the corals flash Drive rock solidly in place the chances of that seem very slim. And I think long-spined sea urchins would probably be all right as well, except for the same risk of toppling things over, but some hobbyists may prefer to be perfectly safe and avoid them to eliminate all danger, however slight, of a puncture wound from their spines. And I would tend to stay away from pencil urchins and club urchins due to their carnivorous tendencies.
If you have a stable, well established aquarium with optimum water quality and you can provide the urchin(s) with plenty of algae or a suitable substitute, then I would say you could give long-spined sea urchins a try, and I am sure they would make striped shrimpfish feel much more at home.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Nigel!
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