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Old 11/24/2015, 01:32 PM   #1
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Location: North Central Florida
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Food for Ponies

Good afternoon!

Ok, this may be post elsewhere, but I have been stalking for awhile and I have somehow missed it. I am looking for info on feeding ponies. I am in the researching about mainly 2 varieties: Reidi and Barbouri, but ANY information is welcome. I have a friend that is breeding Erectus and has them all on artemia at different ages and then moves them over to frozen but the male she has brooding is owned by someone else who does not want to raise the fry right now, so I don't know what the male gets on a "normal" basis because we feed him PE mysis for the 24 hours we keep him then he goes home.

So to get to the point...

things I know:
- a varied diet is important
- I am getting a captive bred Kuda (down the road) who should come eating frozen
- I am capable of enriching any brine, but that is poor nutrition and should only be used as a treat
- I am good at culturing pods and phyto (and I am open to new things)

things I need to know:
- What you feed your ponies and how often
- Is there anything specific you have found with experience to feeding and nutrition?
- I would like to feed live, how often can I feed live without them refusing frozen? (this is only approximate I understand each pony is their own creature and will do their own thing) Sometimes, I go out of town I have a reef savvy person to feed, but they are most comfortable with frozen and I like the convenience if it is needed for some reason.

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Old 11/24/2015, 11:01 PM   #2
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It doesn't matter which species you choose as all the species available for the hobby should be trained to eat frozen mysis now. (except dwarfs)
Not like in days past when wild caught were common and needed live foods.
Frozen brine can be used but many seahorses don't eat it, and, it should not be used as the primary source. The frozen mysis is a superior food to frozen artemia.
Artemia are used as an initial food for the seahorse fry because they really only go for the live foods until one trains them over to frozen as they get a bit older.
The artemia nauplii need to be enriched, preferrably with a product high in DHA.
For these fry, many also augment their food variety with pods of appropriate size.
As the fry become juvenile and adults, the nauplii are too small to be of any benefit even if enriched, because they would need to eat SOOO many it's probably not possible to get enough enrichment even if they would hunt them down, which in most cases they won't.
That means ongrowing or buying adult brine and enriching them before feeding.
In my own experience, I found that feeding live more than twice a week cause problems in their uptake of frozen mysis, so now at the most I feed the enriched brine no more than once a week to ten days.
Live pods are a welcome addition to the food pool but again, they have to be appropriately sized, not the size used for the fry.
I can't honestly say just how much a varied diet needs to be as many of use use the frozen mysis with live food additions, but many others feed nothing but frozen mysis and are successful also.
I don't think you should feed seahorses less than twice a day, but I feed my own three times a day.
Seahorses don't have a stomach as such and normally feed throughout the day to get their needed nutrition so I feel more frequent smaller feedings are better than larger less frequent ones.
If you are enriching the live foods, even artemia are fine because they naturally have a decent protein level, but only need the enrichment for the fatty acid profile, especially the DHA component.
You can feed other shrimp like ghost shrimp and others but again, it's best to enrich them first. For some, these are a better alternative than the brine.
Before I forget, with regard to frozen foods, it's far better to thaw and rinse and feed only the portion you need for the immediate feeding.
Don't thaw enough for the day's feedings as bacteria start growing as soon as the thaw occurs.
With the propensity that seahorses seem to have for bacterial problems, you don't want to make it possible for those problems to be more prevalent.
Hopefully others are going to chime in here as it's always better to have more opinions to base your own decisions on what you will do as I've become pretty set in my ways now after 13 yrs of keeping.
Some aspects of seahorse keeping will merely depend on personal likes and dislikes as long as the basic needs are accomplished.
You can't find a better source of seahorses than from

Seahorses. Culture nanno, rotifers and brine shrimp.

Current Tank Info: Seahorses
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Old 11/25/2015, 05:06 AM   #3
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Hi Dogshowgrl. I have captive bred h erectus. My pair eat primarily frozen mysis 2 Xs a day and I often offer enriched ghost shrimp for stimulation as a 3rd meal in the evening. For whatever reason my pair like smaller frozen mysis and do not eat PE mysis well. So I offer Hikari or San Francisco Bay. Ha ha, they are funny creatures with their likes and dislikes. They eat with gusto though and I have been thinking about adding a little bit of small krill to their mysis in an effort to vary their diet a little.

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Old 11/25/2015, 05:24 AM   #4
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Thank you for the info!!! I love the male we watch, he eats straight from my hand!

Do you mean the fresh water kind of ghost shrimp? (I know you can acclimate to salt) I can only find those like 4 times the size of the mysis. I will have to look for little ones. Thank you.

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Old 11/25/2015, 06:49 AM   #5
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Besides mysis, my two Seahorses eat Hikari frozen Ocean Plankton. You can try that for some variety.

Four legs good. Two legs better.

Current Tank Info: 50G SPS/NPS Reef, 120G Mixed Reef, 120G FOWRL, 29G Seahorse tank, 20G Observation tank,
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Old 11/25/2015, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dogshowgrl View Post
Thank you for the info!!! I love the male we watch, he eats straight from my hand!

Do you mean the fresh water kind of ghost shrimp? (I know you can acclimate to salt) I can only find those like 4 times the size of the mysis. I will have to look for little ones. Thank you.
I think most ghost shrimp are fresh water or brackish. I order them online from FL in quantities of at least 250. I specifically ask for smaller shrimp and tell them i am feeding seahorses. I keep the shrimp in low salinity, .017 in a 10 gallon. I feed them Dan's Feed to gut load them for the seahorses.

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Old 11/28/2015, 12:47 PM   #7
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My horses like Hikari and PE mysis.

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Old 02/28/2018, 04:36 PM   #8
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Hikari, SFBB, or V20 frozen mysis. SFBB or Hikari Ocean Plankton.

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Old 03/01/2018, 04:16 PM   #9
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My seahorses like Hikari and PE mysis also.

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Old 03/02/2018, 06:35 AM   #10
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My horses like the hakari mysid.

They love live amphipods and baby brine. I put baby brine in for my small dragonface pipe fish but my male always goes over and sucks his share up. I culture both amphipods and a couple varieties of copepods. I can't say my male pays much attention to the copepods but my female will seemingly hunt all day both copepods and amphipods.

As far as refusing frozen, well my female often times does not come and eat the frozen. This first worried me but she finds enough nutrition to become gravid and give my male eggs so I figure she is finding enough. And when I haven't dosed the tank with culture in a while she'll come and eat her frozen. I feed twice a day and there are plenty of days she only comes once a day to eat. I used to worry but now I figure she comes when she is hungry. I think most would be like that. They recognize frozen as food but only eat it if something yummier isn't available. But once they recognize it for food I don't think they would starve themselves to not eat it.

However, I haven't had my seahorses that long so maybe they would.

Sterile is not better. Successfully bred: Banggai, Lined Seahorse. Restarting work on Ruby Red dragonets, Blue Mandarins, Davinci Clowns, Pink Skunk Clowns (not mature yet) dragonface pipefish.

Current Tank Info: 125 gal tank, 40 gal refugium - 30 gal Ruby Red tank - 70 gallon erectus / mandarin tank
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