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Old 08/08/2017, 01:38 PM   #1
ashleymay
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Unhappy New Underweight Seahorse Not Eating

Hi all,
On Saturday I brought home a new seahorse. The store was going out of business and practically gave her to me. I knew she was wild caught and looked a little underweight but I figured I'd try my chances. Got her home, and she refuses to eat (forgot to ask the store to feed her while I was there). She won't chase a thing. I tried hand feeding her (using sterile dull tweezers to hold live brine shrimp up to her mouth) and she'll slurp them up, but spit out 90% of them. Yesterday I got her to keep down maybe 10. Today, maybe 3. But after eating last night, she was pretty active, exploring the tank versus staying in a corner. This morning I did add some of the enrichment formula you can add to the shrimp to make them more nutritious (I figured it'd fatten her up faster), so maybe she ate fewer today because she doesn't like the flavor? I'm swinging by my LFS after work to pick up fresh brine shrimp. I have a 20gallon tank, 10lb of live rock, and 2 peppermint shrimp. I realize it may just be from the stress of being caught and put in a tank, and there may be nothing I can do. Any help would be appreciate. I don't have high hopes for her but I really want to do what I can!


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Old 08/08/2017, 02:46 PM   #2
nutbar29
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Buy ghost shrimp to get her to eat


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Old 08/08/2017, 04:39 PM   #3
ashleymay
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Oh my gosh! That completely worked! She went after them like a bat out of hell!! How many should she be getting a day?? She's maybe 4 inches long.


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Old 08/08/2017, 04:40 PM   #4
ashleymay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutbar29 View Post
Buy ghost shrimp to get her to eat


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Oh my gosh! That completely worked! She went after them like a bat out of hell!! How many should she be getting a day?? She's maybe 4 inches long.


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Old 08/09/2017, 11:26 AM   #5
rayjay
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As many as she likes. If you see shrimp dying or dead then you have overfed for that occasion.
Better to gut load the ghost shrimp though before feeding them to the seahorse.
Next start adding thawed mysis shrimp with the ghost shrimp, gradually reducing the numbers of ghost shrimp and increasing the frozen to wean her off the live.


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Old 08/09/2017, 01:40 PM   #6
nutbar29
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Oh my gosh! That completely worked! She went after them like a bat out of hell!! How many should she be getting a day?? She's maybe 4 inches long.


I'm glad that usually works. Now to wing her off them and get her to eat frozen is a challenge cuz it's a step by step process, I would wait a week of her eating live ghost shrimp. Then the following week I would cut the tail off half the shrimp that you feed her to injure them and she should start to eat those to for 1 week. Then I would cut all the shrimp tails for 1 week. Then I would kill half of the shrimp so 1/2 injured and 1/2 dead for 1 week. Then if she is eating the dead ones I would add 1/2 dead with 1/2 frozen mysis shrimp and when you see that she is eating the frozen mysis I would only feed frozen mysis. This is the best method that has worked for me and many others that I know with wild caught seahorses. You need to do this on a week to week basis to give her a week to get used to seeing and tasting something different. Good luck and let us know how she does.


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Old 08/17/2017, 05:39 PM   #7
nutbar29
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How is she doing?


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Old 08/21/2017, 11:18 AM   #8
ozmosis7
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Glad you got her eating. Do you know what type of seahorse it is? I had kudas for a long time. Miss having seahorses.


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Old 08/22/2017, 11:47 PM   #9
DanU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutbar29 View Post
I'm glad that usually works. Now to wing her off them and get her to eat frozen is a challenge cuz it's a step by step process, I would wait a week of her eating live ghost shrimp. Then the following week I would cut the tail off half the shrimp that you feed her to injure them and she should start to eat those to for 1 week. Then I would cut all the shrimp tails for 1 week. Then I would kill half of the shrimp so 1/2 injured and 1/2 dead for 1 week. Then if she is eating the dead ones I would add 1/2 dead with 1/2 frozen mysis shrimp and when you see that she is eating the frozen mysis I would only feed frozen mysis. This is the best method that has worked for me and many others that I know with wild caught seahorses. You need to do this on a week to week basis to give her a week to get used to seeing and tasting something different. Good luck and let us know how she does.
Wow. That is a lot of work!

When we have had the occasion to bring in WC or receive them to hold for researchers, we take an entirely different tactic. We place them in bare bottom tanks and offer frozen mysis in the water column several times a day. If by the end of day 2 they haven't eaten, we give a small amount of live food. Not much, just enough to give them a taste and keep the digestion system going. Again, do the same process. We usually have them eating some frozen mysis in 2 to 3 days but by the end of the week, they are typically fully onto frozen mysis. This has worked for H. erectus, H. reidi and H. kuda.
I will say this, when I first started I could not get a WC to eat frozen to save my life! I had no confidence. My sister, took over with a pair I had had for months. Within a couple of days she had them starting to eat frozen mysis. After watching her, I realized how much confidence and a little know how
plays into it.

Dan


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Old 08/31/2017, 06:39 PM   #10
tjdouglas
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Dan, thanks so much for sharing the above info. It is great to know that you can usually get them to switch over within a week's time!


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Old 09/07/2017, 01:58 PM   #11
pfan151
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Might be a good idea to add some wormer to the shrimp as well. I've injected it into the shrimp before and then made sure to give each seahorse a med loaded shrimp. Seems to work well.


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Old 09/13/2017, 02:52 PM   #12
Babyboo1971
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What wormer do you use?


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Old 09/14/2017, 11:41 AM   #13
pfan151
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What wormer do you use?
http://seahorsesource.com/?wpsc-prod...-10-suspension


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