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Old 07-06-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
nadawag579
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Palos, Illinois
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Dwarf Seahorse food


Hi everyone,
I was looking to buy two pairs of captive bred H. zosterae (Dwarf seahorses) for the seahorse tank I will start in the near future. I've been researching a lot, and for my ideal tank, they are the best option. But, all my research says that they must be fed baby brine shrimp eggs (live). This is quite a hassle, as you have to breed them yourself daily.

So, are frozen mysis shrimp too big? Would there be a way I could crush or blend the mysis to make them smaller? Or, are there any alternatives to the baby brine shrimp eggs for dwarves?

I found this online. Would this work?
http://www.brineshrimpdirect.com/c2/...-Eggs-c21.html

Thanks in advance for the help!!!

Last edited by nadawag579; 07-06-2011 at 09:24 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
rayjay
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H. zosterae, the dwarf seahorses, will not eat foods that are not live, at least not for long. Some have reported them to eat frozen but after a bit they refused to do so any more and had to be switched back onto live.
I only hatch out about once a week or 10 days, preferring to grow them out to larger sizes and having a mixture of 2 to 4 day olds, with older ones up to 1/3 the size of adults.
With that mix, there is small ones for any newborn dwarfs, and larger ones for the adults.
Before feeding the brine to the seahorses they should be enriched with a product like Dan's Feed from seahorsesource.com.
Newborn cannot eat as they don't have a completed digestive tract, but after about a day, you can transfer the portion you need for a day's feeding and enrich them over two 12 hour periods with new water and new enrichment for each stage. Ones that have reached 1/3 of adult size will be pretty well enriched after one 12 hour stage. (adults can be fully enriched in 4 to 8 hours)
The non hatching decapsulated cysts will NOT work as they will not produce live food. You can buy hatching decapped cysts from seahorsesource.com, or, you can bleach them yourself.
Brine shrimp are used as their food even though it's not natural for them, because their natural foods like copepods and other pod life forms, take too long to culture so you would need huge culture vessels and a lot more work than the culturing of the brine.
I usually recommend to people wanting dwarfs, to set up and culture the brine first, to see if they can hack the work and develop a protocol that best suits their conditions in the home, before they get dwarfs.
Also, it's best to read through the older posts on the dwarf forum on seahorse.org.
At the moment I have 18 dwarfs in my 5g tank but I can keep a lot more in there.
What size tank are you planning to use for only two pair?
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:52 PM   #3
nadawag579
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
H. zosterae, the dwarf seahorses, will not eat foods that are not live, at least not for long. Some have reported them to eat frozen but after a bit they refused to do so any more and had to be switched back onto live.
I only hatch out about once a week or 10 days, preferring to grow them out to larger sizes and having a mixture of 2 to 4 day olds, with older ones up to 1/3 the size of adults.
With that mix, there is small ones for any newborn dwarfs, and larger ones for the adults.
Before feeding the brine to the seahorses they should be enriched with a product like Dan's Feed from seahorsesource.com.
Newborn cannot eat as they don't have a completed digestive tract, but after about a day, you can transfer the portion you need for a day's feeding and enrich them over two 12 hour periods with new water and new enrichment for each stage. Ones that have reached 1/3 of adult size will be pretty well enriched after one 12 hour stage. (adults can be fully enriched in 4 to 8 hours)
The non hatching decapsulated cysts will NOT work as they will not produce live food. You can buy hatching decapped cysts from seahorsesource.com, or, you can bleach them yourself.
Brine shrimp are used as their food even though it's not natural for them, because their natural foods like copepods and other pod life forms, take too long to culture so you would need huge culture vessels and a lot more work than the culturing of the brine.
I usually recommend to people wanting dwarfs, to set up and culture the brine first, to see if they can hack the work and develop a protocol that best suits their conditions in the home, before they get dwarfs.
Also, it's best to read through the older posts on the dwarf forum on seahorse.org.
At the moment I have 18 dwarfs in my 5g tank but I can keep a lot more in there.
What size tank are you planning to use for only two pair?
Oh okay, so dwarves can eat live brine shrimp when the shrimp are fully grown? I thought they could only eat BBS because of their small size. How long could I keep the brine shrimp ration before they die off and I have to rebreed them? The dwarves I will be getting won't be newborns. Wow, you have 18 dwarves in a 5g?! Do they breed often or something? I was planning on getting 4 for my 4gallon. What do you reccommend? Thank you so so much for the help!
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
rayjay
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No, most dwarfs cannot eat full sized brine shrimp. As I mentioned in the post you quoted, the adults can eat brine that are up to 1/3 of adult sized, but you need very small ones included if you have any dwarf fry in the tank with the adults. I mix a variety of sizes in the enrichment bottle each day before feeding the variety to the dwarf tank.
One of my 26g containers of brine I've had continuous now since early December 2010. I can use a course net and remove large ones for the standard seahorses, or if I crash a new batch, or nearly new batch of brine meant for the dwarfs, I use that old batch as a back up supply because I can net out the shrimp in three sizes of net, a fish net to remove full size adults and replace them in the container, a standard brine shrimp net meant for brine other than when they are newly hatched, and a 150 mesh net that captures the nauplii.
If you have a large enough culture going for the amount you need to harvest, then they can be an ongoing culture, as the artemia lifespan will be between 3 and 4 months but if you can keep enough adults in there to keep renewing the population theoretically you can keep it going in perpetuity.
It took me quite some time though to get a handle on growing artemia in meaningful densities for my needs, but it is a fairly simple task to do in low density cultures.
Remember, I'm only using this "perpetual" container as a backup to my regular hatching and growing.
I usually suggest than anyone wanting to keep dwarfs, start first by hatching and growing brine shrimp until they get the hang of it because it's not something that comes natural to most people and starting at the same time as receiving the dwarfs can be risky if they don't get it right as soon as they start.
If I was only going to start with four dwarfs I would start with a one gallon and as they multiply, move up in tank size.
Be sure to buy true captive bred dwarfs like from seahorsesource.com where you can also buy the best enrichment for the artemia before they get fed to the seahorses.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
zeroblake07
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Dwarf seahorses


Hello!! I will like to ask you some questions about dwarf seahorses!!
I hope you could help me!

Well 1st of all i'll like to introduce my self, my Name is Alex and i'm new in this hobby i used to had fresh water aquariums and i set it up a saltwater tank, this tank is a ecopico 5 gallons i have in there a couple of corals and couple of fish too! And about 10 days ago i start a new tank, i'm planning to have some dwarf seahorses, i've been reading about them but i've seen than will be a challenge to keep them healthy! I not to much familiar with live food, also i don't know which is the best live food for them, but also i've read that the seahorses keepers they hatch the food in home! And i don't know if i could have the time to hatch it in home , because i work and sometimes i get home late , but i read in your post something about Dan's Feed from seahorsesource.com. What exactly is that! How this could help to the food for the seahorses,
Thank you and i hope an answer soon!! Have a great holidays ..
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
rayjay
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Dwarfs will eat small live foods like many of the copepods, rotifers and baby brine shrimp.
Dan's feed is the enrichment that you feed to the brine shrimp to make them sufficiently nutritious for longer term survival of the dwarfs. (average 1 1/2 to 2 years)
Because of it's easy of growing relative to that of producing sufficient numbers of copepods, bbs are the standard live food to feed the dwarfs.
You sterilize or decap the cysts, hatch them out for a day, rinse well and grow out for another day, and then enrich them in water where you have added a small amount of Dan's Feed for a twelve hour period. Then rinse again and put them in new water and enrichment for a second twelve hour period.
Before you get dwarfs, you should practice hatching the bbs to be sure you have the "hang" of it, and, to know what kind of work load you are getting yourself into.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:23 AM   #7
zeroblake07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
Dwarfs will eat small live foods like many of the copepods, rotifers and baby brine shrimp.
Dan's feed is the enrichment that you feed to the brine shrimp to make them sufficiently nutritious for longer term survival of the dwarfs. (average 1 1/2 to 2 years)
Because of it's easy of growing relative to that of producing sufficient numbers of copepods, bbs are the standard live food to feed the dwarfs.
You sterilize or decap the cysts, hatch them out for a day, rinse well and grow out for another day, and then enrich them in water where you have added a small amount of Dan's Feed for a twelve hour period. Then rinse again and put them in new water and enrichment for a second twelve hour period.
Before you get dwarfs, you should practice hatching the bbs to be sure you have the "hang" of it, and, to know what kind of work load you are getting yourself into.
Hello!! Thanks for the info, and i have another questions i saw in the web pages of seahorse sourse , than they have the Decapsulated Artemia Cysts GSL strain this one will be good to start the culture or i have to find the eggs and hatch them by my self, also i saw than they have the hatchering tool !! And if so, i have like two week or so before to add my seahorses to hatch some live food and work with that to understand it more!! Thank you for the answer!! Have agreat day
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
rayjay
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The decapsulated cysts from seahorsesource.com are excellent for hatching for dwarfs. They also sell the best enrichment you can get.
http://www.seahorsesource.com/cgi-bin/shop/detail.cgi?id=205101
I use pop bottle hatchers/enrichers as they work well and you can't beat the price.
http://www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/Hatcher.html
The
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