Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Ups and Downs

Raising fry (or should I say attempting to raise fry), is like a big emotional rollercoaster.  We have been so elated with the new babies eating frozen food, getting bigger and healthier that it came as a huge disappointment to lose both of the bigger babies on the same day.  They would have been 2 months old on Monday.  We're still struggling to find the reasons why we have lost them all, but I do now think that the nutritional aspect played a huge part and although we have been adding enrichment to the brineshrimp I don't think that this was enough.

I guess the one thing that we can be thankful for is that we did end up putting both batches of babies in the same tank and it was that reason alone that meant there was frozen food in there for the new babies to eat.  I don't think I would have even attempted to introduce frozen for another couple of weeks if they were in a different tank.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Batch 2, Day 9 - Progress!

The 9 day old babies have started to eat frozen food!

As we have moved both broods into the 10 gallon tank together, I added some frozen Cyclopeeze to the tank to feed the older babies.  I couldn't believe it when I started to see one or two of the little ones follow the food around and then.....snick snick!!  I've since added Cyclopeeze into the tank twice more and the vast majority of them are eating it!

The big babies have yet to show much interest but perhaps the younger ones will show them how its done...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Egg Transfer

Whilst I was at work today, my husband witnessed Willow and Stevie doing the courtship dance with a probably successful egg transfer.  This means that batch 3 will probably be with us in around 15 days!  Joy!!!

Day 43, and Day 5

Batch one = 3 babies
Batch two = 36 babies

We have now started to add phytoplankton to the tank as I have noticed that there are quite a few uneaten brine shrimp in the big babies tank.  This is a means of getting some nutrition in the brineshrimp without polluting the tank water.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

More losses :(

We have lost another 2 of the 6 week old babies today.  We now just have 3 left.

Who needs a hitch when daddy's around!

This made me laugh.  The little fella would not leave daddy's side!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

37 New Babies

Well, I've moved all of the babies out of the nursery tank and into a bucket where they will stay until we sort out another tank for them.  I counted 37 in total.  Still a small brood for H.barbouri which average around 100.  I'm not sure why his broods are so small but they all seem to be healthy.

I did find two premie babies which were not big enough to be viable.  Apparently this is also quite normal.

The 40 day old babies are doing well.  The 5 that we have left now are doing good.  They are all eating well (although still not on frozen foods yet)  and look very strong.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Batch 2 - Day 1 We have babies!!!

Stevie has had about 50 babies this morning.  Its so funny seeing them now and how much smaller they are than the 5 week olds :)

We have put some newly hatched brine shrimp in but they aren't too interested in the food at the moment.  I think they are still coming to terms with being part of the World!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Day 38

Well, no new babies yet, but I think he is definitely getting close now.  I have thoroughly cleaned the nursery tank in preparation for the new arrivals.

Over the last couple of days, I have noticed some eggs in the tank which Stevie has obviously released from his pouch.  After talking to some other seahorse breeders, this is actually quite normal, so that is a relief!

Anyway, I took some more pictures of the babies today and a little video:

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Day 37

Sadly, we have lost another one of the babies and it looks like we may lose another before long.  This leaves us with 5.

Daddy, Stevie, has been showing some signs of having small contractions so its possible that we may have a new batch of babies before long.

Monday, 12 April 2010

New purchases for the fry tank

At the weekend we went to the local aquatic supplier and purchased a blue background (this is meant to encourage bright colour in seahorse) and a bubble ring.  I am hoping that the air stone will help keep the babies off of the bottom of the tank.

I also have just taken delivery of a new sponge filter to help with the additional waste in the tank.

I will post new pictures as soon as I have made the changes to the tank.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Week 5 More Losses

The babies are approaching 5 weeks (tomorrow) and sadly we have lost another two in the last week.  The losses were about 4 days apart, and both were the smallest out of the batch that we had.  The struggles that we are now facing are mainly to do with nutrition and bacteria.  It is imperative that the babies move onto a more staple/nutritious diet as soon as possible.  There are two reasons behind this; the first is that brine shrimp does not provide enough nutrition for a juvenile or adult seahorse and the second is that the transition from live food to frozen gets more difficult as seahorses get older.

As we will need to find new homes for any babies that we raise to adulthood, they will need to be eating frozen food.

So, since mid week 3 we have been introducing two feeding's of shaved mysis and CylopEeze soaked in Garlic Elixir.  The problem with this is that whilst the seahorses have not yet fully transitioned to the frozen food most of it sits uneaten on the bottom of the tank.  The longer it sits in the bottom the more likely it is to be consumed by bad bacteria in the tank.  For this reason we try and remove as much of the uneaten food as we can several times a day.  In the 10 gallon tank it was becoming quite hard to clean.  As the tank is quite tall it is difficult to reach down to the bottom of the tank.  Therefore, I took the decision to move the babies out of the filtered 10 gallon tank and move them to a smaller 4 gallon tank whilst we introduce them to frozen food.  The tank that we now have them in is shorter than the last tank which makes it much easier to clean.  We now need to do regular large water changes to ensure that we don't get ammonia in the tank caused by the uneaten food.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Welcome to my blog

4 weeks ago, my male H.barbouri seahorse gave birth to 16 babies. It has been a lot of hard work but we now have 8 strong babies. This is the first time that I have managed (with the enormous help and support of my wonderful husband) to get the babies to this stage. I had previously attempted to raise H.reidi but without much success.

So, join me on my new seahorse adventure.

As is only polite, let me introduce you to my friends. This is Stevie, the babies daddy and the one who gave birth to them. Seahorses are the only species in the world where it is the male that has the babies.

and this is his mate, Willow.

Willow and Stevie share their home, with 2 other seahorses (Mouse the beautiful H.comes and Ed a magnificent H.erectus).

The Babies

4 weeks ago, I looked in the main tank and saw a tiny little baby seahorse just swimming around without a care in the world.  As it is extremely unusual for seahorses to only give birth to one baby, we presumed that Stevie was still pregnant and moved him to a nursery tank that we had already prepared.  We were fortunate enough to witness the birth.

The babies were initially fed on newly hatched brine shrimp.  After a few days, because they were so big we started to feed with enriched brineshrimp that was 2 - 3 days old.  We initially used Vitality and dried egg yolk to enrich the brineshrimp.

Pictures from Day 2

Pictures from Week 2

The orange that you see in the belly of the seahorse above is the brine shrimp that it has eaten.  Big orange bellies are a good sign that the babies are feeding well.

Pictures from Week 4

Shopping Online