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

The Losses
In the first week, we lost 7 of the babies.  I believe that this was due to the tank set up which was, at the time, a filtered 10 gallon ViaAqua with live rock, macro and sand.  We noticed that there were quite a few bristleworms in the tank and these were removed whenever we saw one.  I also found that everytime we tried to clean the substrate or carry out water changes, we were disturbing the sand which would cause cloudy water.  As the days went on, the tank became harder to clean with the quick build up of algae.  I felt uncomfortable with the tank and so we decided to remove all of the sand, macro and live rock from the tank.  We now have a very basic set up, which consists of the filter which is covered by a sponge, and a small branching fake coral.

As we have now started to introduce frozen food, the tank gets messy quite quickly and so this set-up makes the maintenance far easier.

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