Aquatics Unlimited: Articles: Seahorses
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for the week of 7/22/99

With their unusual shape, peculiar feeding behavior, and downright bizarre breeding habits (the males give birth to live young), seahorses have long been an object of fascination and desire for aquarists. Unfortunately, many hobbyists are unaware of their requirements, and many seahorses fail to thrive.

Picky eaters - Seahorses do not often eat flake, pellet or even most frozen foods. They prefer small live crustaceans like brine shrimp or Gammarus, but may learn to accept them frozen. The hobbyist should make sure these foods are regularly available before attempting to maintain seahorses.

More nourishment - Even though they may be eaten in great quantities, brine shrimp and Gammarus fall short as balanced diets. They should be pre-soaked in some sort of vitamin/HUFA mix such as Selcon before being offered.

Slow eaters - Providing acceptable, nutritious food is a start, but the aquarist must also make sure the seahorses can get to it. Seahorses are very slow, methodical feeders, and even a single eager-eating companion fish will get the bulk of any feedings. Even a small filter system will out-compete a seahorse, especially in a larger tank. Seahorses are best kept in smaller tanks with no other fish, and filtration should be turned down or off during feeding time.

"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.

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