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.

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