View Full Version : Brine Shrimps for Dwarf Seahorses

04/19/2016, 08:38 PM
Hi all!
I was just gifted about 6 baby dwarf seahorses. While I have a 300 gal system as well as a 60 with dragon pipefish in both, I am new to seahorses.

I have been reading, and it seems like live brine shrimps are the way to go with dwarfs. My question is:
Can I just put the eggs directly into the seahorse tank where they will hatch and some can develop to maturity and then reproduce, or should I just stick with my 1 liter soda bottle hatchery?

Also, in terms of things for the horses to grip on to, I have several species of macro algae, but will they also take to things like non-photosynthetic gorgonians?

04/19/2016, 09:58 PM
Yes, Dwarf seahorses h. Zostera are fed live brine shrimp nauplii.
DO NOT PUT CYSTS IN THE TANK as they are known carriers of nasty bacteria.
Because newly hatched brine are not digested very well, and because they don't have sufficient DHA for seahorse needs, you need to hatch, grow out for a day, and then enrich with something like Dan's Feed (from seahorsesource.com) or other high DHA enrichment.
I hatch out over a day, grow out for another day, and then enrich in two 12 hour stages with new water and new enrichment for each of the two stages.
You can hatch out a weeks amount of nauplii, and then just do your daily enrichment, leaving the remainder in the grow containers until needed.
I can't help on the hitching as all I use for hitching is artificial decorations, but with appropriate sizing for the small tails of dwarfs.
Just an FYI, adding brine shrimp nauplii to a tank won't work for getting them to maturity and reproducing. They are so slow moving that any predation in a tank will clear them out in short order. Also, the amount of food required in the water would be at prohibitive levels for seahorse tanks.

04/20/2016, 08:47 AM
Dwarf seahorses need to be in a species tank and are usually kept in small aquaria between 2-5 gallon. The reason for this is you have to have high a density of food items BBS for them to get enough to eat.

There is zero chance they could live in large tanks with other species as most dwarf tanks are almost sterile with no live rock, live sand, macros and no inverts.

You might be able to save them if you hang a 2 gallon plastic fish bowl in one of your tanks with something to hitch onto and start hatching BBS right away. Run the fish bowl until you can set up and cycle a small aquarium just for them.

04/20/2016, 12:45 PM
They are in their own 4 gallon aquarium with some macro algae, and water is taken out of my big tank daily for a water change. There is nothing but the seahorses and the algae in the pico. I may put a non-photosynthetic gorgonian in as well, just to give them some variety for hitching.

I am currently hatching out in a 1 L soda bottle, and I got some supplement food for the brine shrimps. What is the best way of getting them out of the hatchery for feeding? Just a long syringe?

04/20/2016, 02:39 PM
I use mesh bags from Brine Shrimp Direct to make nets with. The 150 mesh is suitable for newly hatched brine nauplii and the 250 mesh one is suitable for rotifers and some copepods.
I use two litre pop (soda) bottles for my hatchers and enrichers.
I remove the air for 4 to 5 minutes and allow the unhatched cysts to settle and the empty cysts to float to the top and then use the rigid air line tube with flex tubing attached to siphon out from between the top and bottom. Then pour the siphoned nauplii through the mesh and rinse well in tap water before placing them in the growout container to get to the second Instar stage where you can then enrich them.
You can maximize the harvest by repeating this proceedure by pouring the siphoned fluid through the mesh and into the original hatcher, let sit, and then siphon off again.

Personally, I wouldn't allow ANYTHING from another tank to contact my dwarf tanks as you could be transferring anything from pathogens to spores for hydroids to the dwarf tank. Just ask those who have had to try to get rid of hydroids.