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Old 07/14/2017, 05:29 PM   #1
ichthyogeek
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Dwarf Seahorse Foods

I know that BBS is the norm for dwarf seahorses...but has anybody experimented with main'ing (sorry, gamer talk: using as the primary food source) Tisbe copepods, amphipods, mysid shrimp, or a suitable pelagic copepod species? I'd love to keep dwarves one day in like a 2.5, but the concept of having to buy so many BBS eggs to keep the horses going seems a little ridiculous to me: why purchase all those eggs, when you can more easily culture amphipods/copepods/mysids?

Additionally...why do we need to feed them live? Has anybody successfully weaned them onto frozen?


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Old 07/14/2017, 05:41 PM   #2
nutbar29
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I have erectus seahorses and they will only eat live adult enriched brine shrimp, live ghost shrimp or frozen mysis shrimp but they will not eat frozen brine shrimp or anything thing else frozen. My tank however is loaded with all types of pods I will usually add a new bottle of pods every 4-6 months because I also have 4 dragonets that are very fat and they eat pods all day long.


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Old 07/14/2017, 06:23 PM   #3
rayjay
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No, using only non live foods for dwarfs has not been accomplished in the long term. Some have occasionally had them feed a bit on other foods, but not enough to sustain them in the long term. I have seen claims that some individuals have, but I've never seen anyone reputable state that it can be done. I had a bit of luck myself using freeze dried copepods, but they were not near as interested enough to sustain themselves, with some eating a fair bit but many others not eating any at all.
Over the years I've been in the hobby, there has been a LOT of experimenting but to no avail that I'm aware of.
Artemia are used for the main foods because it's the EASIEST way to supply what they need. Copepods are a great addition to the menu but they don't multiply fast enough to supply the needs of the dwarfs unless you have one heck of a large culture on the go. Mysids work well too as the dwarfs will feed on the nauplii which can be caught fairly easy, but he adults generally move too fast for them. Mysids also don't reproduce fast enough to be the main source.
I don't know how you find culturing copepods to be easier than hatching and enriching artemia. The culturing is a lot of work to get any significant numbers to harvest.


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Old 07/15/2017, 06:21 PM   #4
ichthyogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
No, using only non live foods for dwarfs has not been accomplished in the long term. Some have occasionally had them feed a bit on other foods, but not enough to sustain them in the long term. I have seen claims that some individuals have, but I've never seen anyone reputable state that it can be done. I had a bit of luck myself using freeze dried copepods, but they were not near as interested enough to sustain themselves, with some eating a fair bit but many others not eating any at all.
Over the years I've been in the hobby, there has been a LOT of experimenting but to no avail that I'm aware of.
Artemia are used for the main foods because it's the EASIEST way to supply what they need. Copepods are a great addition to the menu but they don't multiply fast enough to supply the needs of the dwarfs unless you have one heck of a large culture on the go. Mysids work well too as the dwarfs will feed on the nauplii which can be caught fairly easy, but he adults generally move too fast for them. Mysids also don't reproduce fast enough to be the main source.
I don't know how you find culturing copepods to be easier than hatching and enriching artemia. The culturing is a lot of work to get any significant numbers to harvest.
Hmm...okay, that answers a lot of the questions. Maybe dwarves aren't for me then. I think(emphasis on think) that copepods would be easier, as I do plan to attempt breeding fish in the future, and it would make sense to culture copepods due to their smaller size and suitability as prey items for fish larvae, and why not kill two birds with one stone? Keep copepod cultures up, and feed seahorses, while the fish are resting/breeding and the larvae aren't active yet. If they are active, then switch to artemia, that way it's easier to feed copepods to larvae, then there'll be artemia ready when the fish are ready to graduate to that food item.


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Old 07/15/2017, 10:14 PM   #5
rayjay
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Well just because I couldn't culture enough doesn't mean that it can't be done. Maybe pick one copepod to culture and see how it works out for you and if so, then you can jump into dwarf keeping.
However, I feel that if it could be done, someone would have posted by now, and, commercial breeders would do it if it was easier than hatching artemia.
If you are on facebook, type in "seahorse" and some groups will come up that have numerous members keeping dwarfs so you could ask if anyone has been successful. Group names I follow now are Seahorse Keepers, Seahorses and Pipefish, and Seahorse Keeping made fun.


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Old 08/11/2017, 11:53 AM   #6
HorseoftheSea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
Artemia are used for the main foods because it's the EASIEST way to supply what they need. Copepods are a great addition to the menu but they don't multiply fast enough to supply the needs of the dwarfs unless you have one heck of a large culture on the go.
Feeding dwarves on copepods could be done, not as easy as with Atermia but still within the realm of feasibility for a hobbiest. Rather than a single large culture you would benefit from using multiple small cultures. Parvocalanus pods would be a good option, as their pelagic(swims in the water column, rather than crawling around) nature is more suitable to the Dwarves feeding habits compared to Tisbe.
IMHO unless you have a source for buying live Pods for a decent price, Artemia makes the most sense when weighing time and effort vs any possible advantages.
BTW rotifers wouldn't be a terrible idea but they would need to be gut-loaded. My LFS sells live rotifers(as well as live Mysis, adult Artemia, Pods, and phyto) but cost would be prohibitive.


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Old 08/13/2017, 07:08 PM   #7
DanU
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The problem with copepods and rotifers is that many of them are smaller in mass than artemia nauplii. In some cases many times smaller. So it takes more of them than the artemia to properly feed these guys. Seahorses eat a lot more than most folks realize. It takes a huge culture unless you only have a couple of zosterae.

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