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Old 12/15/2008, 02:47 PM   #1
Octoberfest
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2 questions, food and tank size

I'm getting ready to setup a local tank and have a couple questions.

What do seahorses eat in the wild?

Although I know a smaller tank is a challenge, woudl a 14 gallon biocube be too small for a tiny sea horse?


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Old 12/15/2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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In the wild seahorses eat pods and live mysis. Yes a 14 gallon would be too small for seahorses and too big for dwarf seahorses. I will get too hot in the biocube without a chiller too.
I would go with a 30 gallon if you could.


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Old 12/15/2008, 06:03 PM   #3
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How big does it need to be for a dwarf seahorse and what classifies a seahorse as a dwarf?


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Old 12/15/2008, 06:09 PM   #4
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Dwarf seahorse refers to the species hippocampus zostrae. They are about an inch long. Dwarfs need to be fed baby brine shrimp daily so to get the right feeding density most people reccomend 5 gallons max.


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Old 12/15/2008, 06:24 PM   #5
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A friend and I have been set up a local tank this summer. We ended up with a couple small seahorses, orange in color, about 2" high. They've been doing great in the 75 gallon, constantly eating the pods and we offset it with live brine shrimp and frozen mysis. I'm setting up a 14 gallon bio-cube as a local only tank and was hoping to put one of them in there but it sounds as though I'll need to re-think this idea.


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Old 12/16/2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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If they are local seahorses from NC and they are already 2" long, then they are most likely H. erectus, and will reach 6"-8" or larger. It is possible that they could be H. reidi, but that would be very north for their range. Either way, they are both a large species of seahorse, so the 30 gallon minimum tank size given is accurate. If the 75 is seahorse-friendly, I'd leave them in there. Try to feed them primarily frozen mysis though, if they'll take it. pods aren't going to sustain them for long and live brine isn't really a nutritional food source, especially if you aren't gutloading it. Frozen mysis twice a day would be a good feeding plan.


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Old 12/16/2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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Why would hte pods not sustain them for very long? Just curious, not disagreeing.

The 75 is seahorse friendly, there are only three other local gobies in there and one small flounder (didn't know we had it until after about a week of the tank being setup). The tank is loaded with inverts though as well as tons of different macros. The number of pods is almost freaky, came on the macros we collected.


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Old 12/16/2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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Eventually, the seahorses will deplete the tank of pods. I know it seems crazy, having a 75 gallon full of pods, but they will. They eat A LOT. You'd need several hundred (thousand?) gallons producing pods to sustain the two seahorses long term. Aside from that, I am assuming you are talking about amphipods and/or isopods. Copepods are really too small a food source to do a whole lot of good other than supplemental snacking.


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Old 12/16/2008, 11:17 AM   #9
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yeah there are a ton of amphipods in there, even after several months you can still see them just about anywhere in the tank. Maybe its because the SH's are still small. No idea.


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Old 12/16/2008, 11:20 AM   #10
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The fact that the seahorses are still only 2" after several months says that they are not getting enough to eat. Perhaps many/most of the amphipods are too large for them to eat? I'd expect most amphipods to be too large for a 2" seahorse. I'd up how often you feed mysis, and go with a smaller brand like Hikari. Are they 2" tip of tail to top of head, or is it just their body that is 2" ?


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Old 12/16/2008, 11:27 AM   #11
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Just just the body size and honestly that's just a guess.


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Old 12/17/2008, 10:48 AM   #12
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A lot of folks assume that because a seahorse will eat pods that is their primary diet. This is not necessarily true. Seahorses are opportunistic feeders. In general, they will eat most live items that are available, can be consumed and within range. Their favorite food is appropriately sized shrimp. I believe this to be their primary diet in the wild.

If the seahorses were collected locally, I would agree with Ann that they are most likely H. erectus. A pair of H. erectus can consume up to 1 cube of mysis 3 times a day or anywhere from a dozen to 2 dozen ghost shrimp per day. It takes a lot of pods to equal that mass.

After several months, most H. erectus will in the 4 to 5 inch size range when properly fed.

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