View Full Version : My H. erectus isn't eating frozen, and other husbandry questions.

09/22/2015, 04:44 PM
Hi guys, the LFS near my home was closing shop permanently, and they had this really great sale. One of the salesman sorta convinced me to buy their last seahorse (although I've always wanted one, but was afraid to try). Now that I've sorta unexpectedly got one, can some of you guys perhaps give me some tips? I've read up on them previously, so I'm not diving into this completely blind in terms of caretaking procedures.

My setup:

20 gal tank which houses 3 hermits, a bunch of live rock, deep sandbed, and a ton of copepods + amphipods. It's an established tank over 2 years with my lovely hermits.

The seahorse I have is a "Lined Seahorse". The salesman said it is a very hardy seahorse, so it is the ideal beginner species to start with. Further Google search says that it is H. erectus.

Feeding apparatus:

1 clear rigid tubing
1 clear plastic box as a feeding station

Observations so far:

My seahorse runs away from my feeding tube, so it's hard to target feed. When it doesn't run, it just watches the food fall down onto the sand without eating it.

I've tricked the seahorse into the feeding station a couple of times, and then I would dump some frozen mysis into the station. The seahorse seems to respond to this, and I have observed it 'tasting' the frozen mysis. However, it just spits the frozen mysis back out, not eating it.

I have seen the seahorse poke around the rocks, and even lunging its snout at something. I have also seen the seahorse intently observing the sand, like it was tracking prey. I have seen it excrete feces on one occasion. I haven't seen it actually eat my amphipods, but these behaviors suggest that it's snacking on them.


(0) Is it effective to continually dump frozen mysis into my feeding station, hoping that one day the seahorse will accept it? Uneaten bits get tossed out, which is a waste.

Or maybe mixing live mysis and frozen together?

I don't have a turkey baster, so I was thinking of dumping them all into the feeding station. The live mysis would run around, but the frozen ones will probably just be stationary. Is that more effective in convincing the seahorse to eat the frozen ones?

(1) I have not dewormed or medicated this seahorse. Metronidazole seems to be a popular liquid solution. The procedure to deworm is to gutload live adult brine shrimp inside metronidazole solution for 30 minutes, then feed to the seahorse. However, metronidazole is dangerous to invertebrates so ideally the seahorse should be fed in isolation.

a) If metronidazole is dangerous to invertebrates, wouldn't dumping live brine shrimp into the solution kill them?

b) If it kills the brine shrimp and my seahorse doesn't seem to like frozen (dead) mysis, what should I do if it won't accept the dead brine?

c) Since I have amphipods and hermit crabs, do I need a completely separate tank to feed the medicated brine to my seahorse? Or does 'in isolation' mean that I can use it in my established tank, but I just make sure only the seahorse gets the food (ie, only inside the feeding station that my hermits can't get to).

d) should I also do a freshwater dip in addition to medication? I feel this will significantly stress my already stressed seahorse.

(2) I am afraid that the seahorse will clear my amphipods. I do have a ton since it's a tank running on 2+ years and with no predators, but I don't want to be in a scenario where it's not eating frozen and there's nothing left in the tank.

a) What online stores do you recommend that sells live amphipods or mysis?

b) Are amphipods or mysis preferable from a nutritional standpoint? Or are they equal?

c) Which is cheaper, amphipods or mysis?

Any other tips or suggestions are welcome too!