Seahorse Diet

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by rykna, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. rykna

    rykna New Member

    Wanted some input on varying the diet of a seahorse. Enriched mysis shrimp is the number one food, according to the "experts".
    I wanted to input about frozen brine shrimp. So far this is what I have turned up:
    Frozen Enriched Brine Shrimp
    While its not a particularly good food source, some seahorses are too small to eat anything other than brine shrimp. A few companies like Hikari and San Francisco Bay put out enriched brine shrimp. I would recommend ONLY feeding frozen brine as a last resort, and only the enriched kind.
    So what would be the pros and cons to varying my horse's( He's tank bred) diet with enriched frozen brine? :thinking:
  2. bronco300

    bronco300 New Member

    itd be like you varying your diet...different enrichments are going to have different vitamins,etcetc that can help valiant
  3. monalisa

    monalisa New Member

    I know, I've asked this before but never got a response...so just clock me upside the head, but what about frozen Cyclops? Will horses benefit from that? I want to make sure I've got everything in place before I get my horses in June (OMG, that's coming up FAST)
    Lisa :happyfish
  4. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    Originally Posted by MonaLisa
    I know, I've asked this before but never got a response...so just clock me upside the head, but what about frozen Cyclops? Will horses benefit from that? I want to make sure I've got everything in place before I get my horses in June (OMG, that's coming up FAST)
    Lisa :happyfish
    I think you mean cyclopees (sp? still).
    The tough thing with these animals is that they get "hung up" about one food or another, so trading off doesn't work easily. They often completely refuse to see another food as something worth trying. It doesn't appear to be food to them.
    If you can get a horse to try different foods, that would be benficial, as long as the foods are nutrient rich and intended for carnivores.
    The only caution would be to be sure the seahorse does not come to prefer a less nutritional food over what is best for them. Maybe mix in a variety, but always offer the staple food with the treat.
    Lisa, you are sooo funny! :happyfish
  5. monalisa

    monalisa New Member

    Originally Posted by PonieGirl
    I think you mean cyclopees (sp? still).
    The tough thing with these animals is that they get "hung up" about one food or another, so trading off doesn't work easily. They often completely refuse to see another food as something worth trying. It doesn't appear to be food to them.
    If you can get a horse to try different foods, that would be benficial, as long as the foods are nutrient rich and intended for carnivores.
    The only caution would be to be sure the seahorse does not come to prefer a less nutritional food over what is best for them. Maybe mix in a variety, but always offer the staple food with the treat.
    Lisa, you are sooo funny! :happyfish
    Oh pssshhhawww...[toe in sand, back and forth]...
    So, what would be the best route to go with foods for my soon to be coming seahorses? Stick with one thing...what would that be...try a variety? What would that be? This seems to be the question of the day when it comes to horses...what's the best thing for their diets? I'm just hoping that I can get this figured out before I have my livestock.
    Lisa :happyfish
  6. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    In a species only tank, you may have a better opportunity to try things out with your new seahorses. If you do decide to offer a variety, I would say do so from day one.
    For instance, if they are large enough, offer a couple of krill with the mysis. These two foods look similar.
    Seahorses are very visual feeders and are NOT easily tempted, or fooled.
    Also realize that whatever they will eat, they must have daily. Don't try to force them to change. It can happen that they starve before they try a new food. You don't want your seahorse off of its feed for more than 24 hours, ever. They can become very quickly nutritionally depleted and it is very difficult to catch them up.
    What that also means is that any additional foods you add that they ignore are only adding to the waste in the water. A great cleanup crew helps.
  7. nygel

    nygel New Member

    this sorta goes along with this I believe, my pipefish eats frozen mysis, and sometimes marine algae (hikari)... do you think he'll go for Krill? I'm gonna buy some soon to try, but figured I better check first before wasting it.
  8. rykna

    rykna New Member

    Originally Posted by PonieGirl
    In a species only tank, you may have a better opportunity to try things out with your new seahorses. If you do decide to offer a variety, I would say do so from day one.
    For instance, if they are large enough, offer a couple of krill with the mysis. These two foods look similar.
    Seahorses are very visual feeders and are NOT easily tempted, or fooled.
    Also realize that whatever they will eat, they must have daily. Don't try to force them to change. It can happen that they starve before they try a new food. You don't want your seahorse off of its feed for more than 24 hours, ever. They can become very quickly nutritionally depleted and it is very difficult to catch them up.
    What that also means is that any additional foods you add that they ignore are only adding to the waste in the water. A great cleanup crew helps.
    So it might be better to offer a little bit of each during feeding time. Start with the regular food and add a peice or 2 of the other.
  9. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    Originally Posted by Rykna
    So it might be better to offer a little bit of each during feeding time. Start with the regular food and add a peice or 2 of the other.
    Yes, always the accepted food at regular feeding times. Mix in the new food pieces; use discretion for amount depending on waste factors.
    The best way to improve the chance of the seahorse trying the new food is if you use a feeding station, or the horse is fed in the same location every time. They will see a difference with the new addition and may even "chase" it, only to then decide against it. Whether or not they risk it depends on the horse, the distractions and who-knows-what else! If you have the time to persevere....
    Maybe even at odd times during the day, offer a piece, if that is do-able and you have their attention.
  10. darthtang aw

    darthtang aw Active Member

    I am back....after a year away from here had to come back, same name as before, just had to ad the AW to the end since I couldn't remember anything about my old account. For those that remember.
    Ok that is out of the way
    Brine shrimp are the worst food in the world to feed to your seahorse (the frozen kind). If you want to feed brine you can culture live brine and feed them baby brine shrimp as long as they still have the sack attached to them as this will supply at least a small form of nutritional value to them.
    Pending the size of the seahorses Mysis shrimp will be the staple of their diet. Soak this in selcon each day for a minimum of 12 hours to enrich it further.
    If the seahorses are over 4-5 inches long You can feed them bigger items such as frozen krill, Live ghost shrimp, and small peppermint shrimp (though that can get expensive.
    Another thing you can do if the seahorses are smaller is have 4-5 peppermint shrimp in the tank. They will make babies and the horses will eat these as well. There is yet another option...the more live rock and grass/algae you can place in the tank the better. This will become a breeding ground for copepods and other pods. Seahorses will supplement their diet by hunting these down as well.
  11. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    Hi Darthtang!
    I think brine shrimp are acceptable as an addition to staple diets; I agree mysis is the most likely accepted.
    While I do agree that ghost shrimp, feeder fry, etc are good live food supplements, my experience is that it is difficult to find these animals in a consistent size for most seahorses. The horses will definitely kill the animals, but may not snick it in one blow and don't tend to eat it if it is killed. More waste.
    Breeding live foods is also an option, but I would caution against spoiling the seahorse to live food. The goal would be to feed the seahorse nutritional and sustainable
    diets. If live food is a constant alternative, your seahorse might become finicky, and that spells disaster.
    Pods in the tank are without a doubt a golden egg, also good excercise and entertainment for seahorses.
  12. rykna

    rykna New Member

    How many peppermint shrimp can I safely add to my 90 gallon to provide extra baby shrimp treats for Valiant?
  13. darthtang aw

    darthtang aw Active Member

    Ponie, I have to disagree a bit with regards to Brine. This is the equivalent to feeding your child potatoe chips or popcorn. While OK as a snack, they are worthless nutritionally and why waste the money. The horses won't beg for potatoe chips like your child, so why bother. Like I said, unless they still have the sack attached I wouldn't bother.
    If some one wants to mix up the diet, they are better off using frozen krill to do this and slicing them smaller if the horse is to tiny for this.
  14. darthtang aw

    darthtang aw Active Member

    Originally Posted by Rykna
    How many peppermint shrimp can I safely add to my 90 gallon to provide extra baby shrimp treats for Valiant?

    What eklse is in the tank with the horses and how big is the tank. 2-4 is a safe bet usually, but It will depend on what is in the tank and how big the horses are.
  15. rykna

    rykna New Member

    Originally Posted by Darthtang AW
    What eklse is in the tank with the horses and how big is the tank. 2-4 is a safe bet usually, but It will depend on what is in the tank and how big the horses are.
    It's a 90 gallon
    outer orbit lighting
    1 ehiem canister
    2 aquaclear power filters with biobeds
    All that's in there is the Kuda horse, a fire goby, a sand tiger star, a few zoos and mushrooms, and crabs and snails.
    45lbs of LR, which I need to upgrade to 100lbs
    and a 2 inch sand bed
    Basically I was hoping to have the shrimp multiply for tasty snacks.
  16. darthtang aw

    darthtang aw Active Member

    I think you could sustain 4 shrimp no problem....atleast two
  17. rykna

    rykna New Member

    Sounds good
    Thanks,
    Rykna
  18. poniegirl

    poniegirl New Member

    Originally Posted by Darthtang AW
    Ponie, I have to disagree a bit with regards to Brine. This is the equivalent to feeding your child potatoe chips or popcorn. While OK as a snack, they are worthless nutritionally and why waste the money. The horses won't beg for potatoe chips like your child, so why bother. Like I said, unless they still have the sack attached I wouldn't bother.
    If some one wants to mix up the diet, they are better off using frozen krill to do this and slicing them smaller if the horse is to tiny for this.
    Unlike potato chips to a child, brine shrimp are not harmful to a seahorse. As an additional treat (to hunt) they are OK.
    The question might be, why vary at all; mysis are a good food.
    The answer might be, for variety.
    Again, in addition to a staple diet.

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