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Moat

Seahorse or bangaii breeder.

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Moat   

Wife and I are doing a pair of seahorses. Research shows they spawn like crazy. Curious to see if we had any captive breeders local. If not we may do same sex duo but heard it puts added stress.

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I always wanted to do seahorses but it was always just more work than I was willing to invest.  The feeding issue is the biggest for me.  I want to be able to go out of town and not have to have someone come over and feed them live food.  Totally cool if you can figure out how to fit it in your schedule.

 

Richard

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Moat   

Read your post twice. Only fry and dwarf sea horses require live food. Common erectus are all captive breed now on frozens. Keep with passive tanks mates. Lower temperature to 71-74 and feed mysis frozen twice a day. Rest is same as other fish. Maintain parameters.

 

Our issue is the baby's:

What i have learned is it's baby brine for first few weeks followed by larger brine. Then cyclopeeze or shredded mysis to frozen.  You have 4 feedings a day too with 6 cultures going early. I mean the square footage logisitics and work are crazy. 

The big problem is they are born fully functioning. And you can see them as mini adults not undeveloped fry. I was hoping to find someone I can give my fry to for free. would be ideal if that person was already raising brine on the regular. The work has payout at least but it's too much hassle for us ATM  

 

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Yeah I guess I knew that you could feed adults frozen food but even that is a big commitment at twice a day. I like to travel too much and need a setup I can put on a monitored auto pilot.

Rich


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mgarden   

We raised seahorses for years.  They do become like clowns with regular births.  They are really interesting to watch.  Make sure there is some open space in the front of the tank.  They will swim back and forth several times, trumpeting and then hitch tails and travel to the top of the tank.  You will need a tall tank in order for the transfer to be successful. 

I would also recommend a species only tank as they are very prone to infections (vibro).  A pair will work in a 15 gallon tall, I would not put 2 pairs in that tank if you used a 40 tall that would work fine.  Watch out for anemones and some stinging corals as these can burn their flesh.  Keeping the tank on the cool side will help with bacterial control. 

Hatching brine is a breeze but you need to sort the shells.  Also you can keep the brine in a container for a couple of days as long as you feed them.  Use instant algae.  Then like Moat said you slowly make the transition using both frozen and live feet to all frozen.  Cleaning the tank is also important, again with infections or dirty tank.  For the first few weeks you can house a batch in a 5-10 gallon tank.  If they are erectus they will hitch right away.  Other species require circulation for a few days before they hitch.  Expect to get hundreds of fry.  YES hundreds.  Then the trick is to send them to market... be prepared to hold them for a few months. 

I would also recommend feeding some live ghost shrimp to the adults.  Although most do eat frozen a few ghost shrimp a couple of times a month does them good.  You see them acting like they do in nature.  Good luck, as with captive culturing this is well worth the effort as you will be one of the few lucky enough to witness this wonder live!  

 

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Moat   

Yea we are doing soft corals, seahorse species only tank with macro. Tank is 32 g led biocube. Keep my house at 68 year round. So keeping tank at 74 should be a breeze. 

May do two females because neither local fish store would want the fry. I don't want to raise brine. Or stress about the babies. I do worry about long vacations but I also have English bulldogs that are family. So if we left they would get a house visitor 2-3x a day. I plan on using a feeding station. So even a random person should be able to take cube and place down feeder and move on. 

The goal is to avoid fry unless we can find a suitable home for them. There is money in it but far more work, why I was hoping there was someone already rearing saltwater fry. I would of course give the fry away for free. Even though they are native to Florida I wouldn't dream of dumping seahorse babies in the ocean. That leaves flushing them, which I think wouldn't be easy to do. 

 

Did you you raise your babies to maturity Mgarden? By send them to market you mean sell the babies past a few months?

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mgarden   

I am glad to hear you wouldn't release them!    If you were successful you could try donating them to Gulf World or the park in Fort Walton but they wont take to many. 

We did raise them to maturity or close enough, some we had for 6-7 months.  We delivered from Mobile, AL to Tallahassee. 

It has been several years since we had seahorses.  The most recent was clowns several types and cardinal fish and got out of that about 2  years ago or so.  We also tried the dwarf seahorses, although the male appeared pregnant a few times, we never were able to catch the fry, too small. 

In all cases we had difficulty selling our fish (with the exception of cardinal fish).  I can go on and on about the trials and difficulties with this.  Once you become successful, you can be overwhelmed with the quantity of fish.  The difficulty became too much supply and not enough demand.  Our market here is very small and our fish were very hardy.  

Culling fish is weird now a days.  There was a time when any mis-bared fish were culled.  For culling, you could give them to someone who has a preditor tank, freeze them, have a tank for your misfits which was what we did.  Breeding of these mis-bars was discouraged.  But now many of the "designer" fish would have been considered for culling.  Large facilities can take these oddities and can quickly have a new "type" of clown morph. The mocha is really a mix of Darwin (black and whites) and a perc.  I personally wouldn't turn those to market but now they are Mocha's, demanding more than the typical perc.   We didn't cull any seahorses there was no need to we just held on to them, replaced any that didn't survive the store tank water even if it were a few weeks from delivery.   

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Moat   

Feeding them to someone with a predator tanks isn't a bad idea. At least then I know they are going to a proper use, which is better than flushing. Wonder which fish would eat these fry in the hundreds though. 

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