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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jenn,

My seahorses are on their way. I have been cycling my tank for over 7 weeks now. (Chemistry is stable and first time I have ever seen zero nitrates). It is chock full of copepods and ampods. I have started my brine shrimp rearing tanks last nite. (Gallon jars with air). I have also designed a film cansister sea horse feeder. (I took a black film cansiter and put in a portion of brine shrimp eggs and made a small hole at the bottom. The Idea is that when the shrimp hatch, they will make for the hole. I made the hole about .25 inches above the bottom so that the shells from the eggs collect on the bottom and only the shrimp come out of the hole. )

The calurpa and gracilera is growing profilicly and my baby peppermint shrimp is happily in his live rock cave. (it is less than .25 inches and I found it in my reef tank...I guess a baby does survive every so often.) I have 2 astrea snails. Currently my lighting is a small MH desklamp with a double ended fixture that has enough blue in it to look brighter than my 13 watt pc fixture. (Ballast died this weeked). Only reason I know about it is that my wife used it in small nano reef and it has the little double ended 7.7 K bulbs that she ordered.

Anything I could have forgotton?

I am hoping the copepods and amipods will supplement the feeding but I have a refugium (2.5 gal) next to it in the event I need space for babies and/or more pods.

Also you mentioned guppies in a 20 gal in previous conversation. Ironically that is what I have in my basement as a snail growout tank and they were food for my pipefish. Would they make a viable supplement for my dwarfs, or would they be too big?

Ray
 

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Good planning:cool:

I would reconsider peppermint shrimp as it/they will kill the pod population soon or later. Not to mention, when they grow big, they will snatch food from your horsey:p


Just thought I share my experience with you about the P.S.:mad:
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks,

I was worried about that but I figured this one is so small, I will let him grow a bit before I move him. I removed the hermits after I saw them going after pods. (feared they would go after the horses.)

What is the best way to acclimate them. I figure to do with the lights off.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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You didn't mention the size of tank or type of filtration?

Dwarfs (Hippocampus zostrae) are REALLY REALLY small -- about as small as this 2 (well on my computer screen anyway) they are about a maximum of 1 1/2 inches from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail - and they stay hitched with their tails all curled up they are miniscule. Please tell me about your tank/filter...I ran a tiny whisper power filter with almost no flow, on a 10 g hex and 10 dwarfs were almost invisible in it. I still had issues with the odd one getting stuck on the intake, but at least they did not get pulled up into the filter impeller and mangled...

The only tank I wouldn't want bristleworms in, is one with dwarfs, as I watched a bristleworm pick one right off her hitch once.

Guppies would be larger than the horses - so that's out. Brine, pods, and I even had some zostrae eating Cyclop-eeze and then Kent Zooplex. Technology is making life easier in that regard, but I'd be ready with brine in case they don't take to the prepared foods - that is hit and miss...Keep an eye on that peppermint shrimp - it's good in with greater horses (if it's big enough not to become dinner...) but it could be a problem to the tiny dwarfs. Ditto with hermits, they will eat the horses right off their hitches, and the same with other "herbivore" crabs -- they are all opportunists, and the horses are too slow and too curious to stay out of harm's way.

If you are using newly hatched brine, I'd decapsulate them first - if you are unfamiliar with that process, ask me and I'll write out the process (perhaps a good idea for a club demo some day???). There is mixed belief that brine eggs that aren't decapsulated carry hydroids, and after reading that that notion was a myth, I stopped decapsulating, only to find I got a HUGE infestation -- and I was using sterile new synthetic sea water and no additives, no LR, nothing in seahorse fry tanks -- the hydroids HAD to come from the baby brine... If you do find hydroids (they start as little "bugs" on the glass - small body in the middle and little legs all around, and they grow into little colonies on the rocks that look like ultra-tiny button polyps -- these can sting and EAT dwarfs and their fry if unchecked. Limpets eat hydroids, albeit slowly, I've got some limpets that hitchiked in on my LR and with the infestation I had in my main horse tank, they have multiplied like little rabbits ;) I can try to harvest a few if you wish... I still have some hydroid colonies, but over time they are disappearing as the limpet population increases.

Hope this helps.

Jenn
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dwarfs

The tank is a 3 gallon Eclipse and they sent me a pregnant male along with 2 other males and 5 other horses. So far I havent been able to catch the peppermint shrimp but I am hoping that it doesnt go after one. It is very small but I guess they are opportunistic. They are loving the grape and one of them is an orange hue but he is staying on the bottom of the tank. I have brine hatching as we speak but I didn't know about zooplex or cyclops eeze.
I removed the filter that came with the top and I am using a sponge filter that is rated for a 10-20 gal tank but a lower rated airpump. (Chem is great after 7 weeks).


Ray
 

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The tank is a 3 gallon Eclipse and they sent me a pregnant male along with 2 other males and 5 other horses
Am I counting

1 Pregnant male +
2 other male +
5 other horeses +
________________
8 Horses in 3 Gallon Eclipse?:eek:

I am not a horse expert, and never kept one in my life, but doesn't it sound too many horses in so little tank? I am curious:confused:

--On a different note, I really wanted to keep a pair of Sea-Horse in my tank (200G Reef) but after doing some research, decided that it wont be a good idea. But I have a dream. One day I might setup a tank for them.

Take pictures of your tank if you can. Good luck.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Yep 8 in a 3 gallon is a good start. You answered my filtration concerns too, sponge filters are a good way to go, just watch for nitrates, and watch for hydroid infestations on the sponge -- looks like little hairs, then hairs that branch, then they turn brown and colonize...

Intekhab, these horses are TINY -- WAY tiny.

You could keep 50 or more in a 10 gallon and have lots of room to spare. I have read about a LFS that had 100 in a 10 g and they were breeding like mad.

Zostrae do best in groups of 6 or more, particularly if you want them to breed. Fry can be kept in with the parents, they all eat baby brine. As long as your flitration isn't too powerful, you should do just fine.

If you become overrun with them, let me know ;)

Jenn
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jenn,

I tried cyclops eeze and one of the females seemed to love it. As for the others I amfeeding bbs. I am feeding about a netful twice a day and rinsing it with ro/di water. Currently they are in instar1 but tommorrow I start supplemening the bbs with zoe and artemira food.

Ray
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Adult dwarfs will eat adult brine too -- I grow mine out in a salt bucket in the back yard. Nasty old tank water, some leftover baby brine, and I've got one culture going on almost 2 years. They crash now and then, but I just keep starting new cultures from the old.

Zostrae can live on brine alone, one of the few fishes that does well with the "fast food" of fish foods.

Jenn
 

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I have some left over brine cysts and a hatchery that I used when I had & bred dwarfs. I'll bring them to the next club meeting.
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks

Ncolon

As much as I would like to go I may not be there. I have a previous engagement but I am thinking I may make it afterall.
Ray
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Adult dwarfs will eat adult brine too -- I grow mine out in a salt bucket in the back yard. Nasty old tank water, some leftover baby brine, and I've got one culture going on almost 2 years. They crash now and then, but I just keep starting new cultures from the old.

Jenn,

Would it be a good idea to take the bbs that are instar2 and start a culture? The culture you keep outside, do you have to worry about freezes? I am thinking to just get me a rubber maid container or one of my other tanks and just put some of the bbs to start a culture. Could you give me some tips? Currently I am using 1 gal pickle jars to culture bbs. I have 4 of them in a rubbermaid container, then the container is full of water with a 150 watt heater to maintain temp. The water around the jars are just plain old tap water, while I use old tank water to start each culture.

I ordered a product called "Life A". They are already decapsulated. Have you any experience with this product. Also I ordered artemira food but I hear green water is just as good but I get this foul smelling nasty stuff when I try to make a culture. (with nothing really visible, even with a microscope). I also use a product called "liquifry" to feed the brine shrimp, and add a teaspoon every so often of Zoe. (I didn't care for the oil rings that Selcon leaves in the jars).

Back to the Life A, I built a small feeder with a black film canister. I have it in the water with a small hole about 1/4 inch above the bottom. I figure to put some eggs in it and the bbs will swim out of the hole toward the light. The ledge at the bottom will prevent any shell fragements from getting into the tank.

Ray
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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So many questions, so little time...

I use salt buckets for my cultures outside. Glass tanks will crack in the winter.

No heat, no aeration, no nuthin'. Old tank water allowed to stand in the sun til it turns soupy green, then throw in the brine and let Nature do her thing.

Be careful enriching brine with 'stuff' most artemia food is yeast, and pretty useless. Zoecon and Selcon foul the water fast, rinse the brine before you feed.

To my knowledge you don't need to enrich brine to feed zostrae, they do fine on it by themselves. Of course the adult brine feeds on the greenwater so there is algae nutrient in that but I don't fuss with anything else.

Jenn
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Oh and the cultures do freeze over in the winter (brine goes dormant). I don't harvest from the outdoor cultures in winter, but I sometimes bring one indoors.

They spring right back to life when the weather warms up a bit.

Jenn
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nuttin special?

Hmm...My wife decided that she likes the dwarfs so much that we are taking down the 15 Gal betta tank and turning it into a dwarf habitat. We figure with the pregnant male, we will have plenty of horses. Of course I am planning to start it this weekend with a 6 weeks to cycle. (Their current home was cycled 8-9 weeks, with a final 3 week of stable chemistry, but of course my ballast blows out last weekend and I am lighting the tank with a 25 watt halogen "Cool Blue" light bulb desklamp. the new light is tons brighter and actually looks cleaner than the little pc fixture that came with the hood. (The ballast is in a bad place if you don't use the powerhoood, I am guessing the reason why I never had problems before is that the filter protected the ballast from the water spray. I removed the filter for the searhorses after runnning it a week to remove some of the cloudiness from the cc)

What did you think of the hatcher Idea? I noticed that they already seem to know where I shoot their food too and all hitch up near there. Two of them seems to eat anything I can put in the tank. BTW...I am trying to wean them on Frozen BBS. I saw them (San Fransico brand) at the fish store Sat, so I am weaning them with the live.

Ray
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My male is very pregnant, and I plan on removing the peppermint and hermits. So far I still have 8 horses.
We are actually planning on moving them to a 15 gal tank (There is a perfect spot for one on our bar but a 10 is just too short)
I will probably forgo the hermit crabs and get some bumblebee snails for color and detrius.
The baby rearing tank is about to a bust. It had an aptisia looking thing already pop it's ugly head. This is one of the small 1 gallon explorer tanks with a ugf. I am going to remove everything and boil the gravel but I am planning on keeping it beside the main tank. That way, I figure to leave the lights on 24/7 for a week or so for the babies and I can concentrate the feeding and they will not have to compete with the adults. This batch will have to compete since I wont have it ready in time. (noticed the stupid aptisia this morning, probably came in with the red gracilera, I was hoping to grow for this tank). Do you think the UGF may be too much for the babies? I am hoping not.

Do you sell Rotifer cultures? I went to someone inthe reef club's house and he had micro algae and rotifer cultures started from a product called DT's. I am thinking this is proabaly the best way to go along with a brine shrimp culture. How stinky will a brine shrimp culture get? I plan on having it in the garage.

Ray
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ponies

Jenn,

I be a grandpa. I have 28 seaponies. I figure when they move over to the larger tank, I will have to have a nursery because of the feeding concentrations, but they seem to be eating. I fed them some frozen bbs and "Life A" this morning.

Ray
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Wow - miss a day or two, miss a lot!

Congrats on the babies, that's a huge brood for zostrae, they average around 15 per brood.

IMO don't leave the light on 24/7. They need to digest the food they take in, and what they eat before lights out will stay with them longer.

I've seen H. reidi fry poop out live baby brine if overfed -- they eat so fast and their digestive tract is so short that they were just not digesting, so I went to feeding less, but more fequently, with a couple of hours in between, and while I had no long-term success with H. reidi fry (that are WAY less developed than your zostrae), this seemed to work, and was recommended to me by another breeder.

If you become overrun, I've got a nice 10-hex :funny: I'd be happy to take some off your hands!

I've seen that hatcher idea used before, people like it (black film canister...), if it's working, keep on using it.

I don't have rotifers but I can get them in for you. At some point I plan to have cultures with greenwater and rotifers, but I'm not quite "there" yet. I had miserable luck with roties at home but I'm hoping that a larger culture pot(s) will be more forgiving.

Jenn
 

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Ghetto Reefer 101
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wow, neat thread...any pics ray???
 
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