View Full Version : enriching bbs for baby seahorses

02/10/2017, 08:54 AM

What is the easiest and fastest overall way to enrich bbs? I was going to use Dan's feed. And from what I can tell it requires completely changing the water the bbs are in and blending a new batch of 1liter of dans feed, enriching for 12 hrs. Doing this 2 times a day.
I'd like to be able to raise my next batch of baby seahorses. If I get a lower % that survive, I see it as survival of the fittest. I normally work super long hours lately, and sometimes cant keep my eyes open end of my work day. So even the "few" (5-10 mins) 2 x a day to enrich bbs "right" is too much right now. I know I'm sounding lazy, but is there a 'quicker' way that doesnt require it to be so frequently done also? Again, I know my yield will be lower.


02/10/2017, 12:56 PM
BBS cannot be enriched until grown out to the second instar stage where the digestive tract is completed. Under ideal conditions this can be a matter of 8 to 12 hours after hatch out, but because they don't all hatch at the same time, and, because most of us, if any, have ideal conditions, it's best to wait for 24 hours after hatch out to start the enrichment.
For nauplii, the gut loading takes about 12 hours, but for more nutritious nauplii, a second 12 hour stage with new water and new enrichment (for bacteria reasons) will allow for assimilation of the nutrients into the flesh of the nauplii.
This last stage you can skip but it's not recommended to skip the earlier steps.
Without enrichment, you would need to do frequent separation of hatched and unhatched cysts as soon as the hatching process begins so that you get the nauplii with the egg sack as fully complete as possible. If you leave them longer until more hatch out, the egg sacks with be continually depleting the nutrients to foster growth of the nauplii. This can be a bigger PITA than doing the gut loading IMO.
While it's nice to have fresh blended enrichment each time, I forgo it for blending a concentrated batch, enough for a few days, and storing it in a bottle in the fridge. Then I just add enough to cloud the water to the aerated enrichment container, adding more if it clears before the process is done.
I don't think you understand what level of time you are going to need to raise even a small batch of fry as it's not only the enrichment process that is time consuming, but keeping the rearing container extremely clean, and continually wiping off the bacterial slime is going to take even more time.
If you are as busy as you say then I'd suggest waiting until you DO have more time, or, you are going to be in for at least 4 to 6 months of absolutely no time for yourself. (SOOO not good for family life if you have such)

02/10/2017, 01:22 PM
THanks for that info. Yes, i have a good idea of the time involved. I just attempted to raise a batch. Pretty much failed. But I rather try and fail than to have all the babies born chopped up by the filter pump in my tank etc. My tank was too large (20 gallon long). A much smaller tank where freq water changes and cleanings is clearly better. So I am getting a 7 gallon nano tank... next to my bathroom so I can easily just take the tank in there do maintenance and back to it's spot. **Also I would not want a huge % yield, as I do believe in survival of the fittest at least to some extent. A 10% yield of the most robust would be I think ideal << though maybe even that is considered a large yield, I havent seen what a normal successful yield is, but again I would want whoever survives to be more "fit" ... Im' not looking for the most bang for my buck so to say :) .

Thanks again!

02/10/2017, 09:51 PM
I initially now use a 16g muck bucket with 20g sump for the initial fry and that will handle about 300 fry for about a month when I have to divide them up and move them to 20g tanks and 40gB tanks to grow out to juvenile. From there, I move them to 90g tanks until sold.
Many years ago when I first started breeding it was H. reidi and I used 4L wide mouth jars for the fry to start them off with. Just aerated salt water with greenwater added to consume ammonia and lighted 24 hours and I would start with 50 per jar (12 jars) I would clean out 6 jars one night and six the next so every jar was cleaned out every 48 hours.

The other thing to consider is to arrange for another hobbyist to pick up your fry to raise for themselves rather than see them caught up in filtration etc..