Friday, 30 December 2011

Happy New Year!

With the festive season upon us, I have been neglecting my blog somewhat so in time for the New Year, I wanted to wish everyone who reads my blog a very happy new year.  I hope that the new year brings you all happiness and health.

I actually do have quite a bit of updating to do.  The seahorse babies have had to be separated by sex as we now have lots of developed pouches and therefore much flirting is taking place.  The boys don't seem to be too fussed that there aren't any females around and continue flirting with each other regardless.

Some of the girls have now gone to their new home where I know they will be being spoiled rotten!

Feeding time is great fun now.  They all start to come to the front of the tank as soon as they see me approaching and when the food enters the water they start fighting with each other trying to get to the food first!

The other exciting news I have is this:

These little guys were born yesterday and pretty much 2 weeks to the date after mixing my male and female seahorses - let the fun begin.......again!  So, I'm back to looking out for the first good sign - orange digestive tracts :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Flirting Begins....

The little yellow boy is quite proud of his pouch and is very keen to find a mate already.  I've seen him flirting and dancing with another seahorse but today he doesn't seem too sure which one is his mate.  He looked quite funny this morning sitting on one of the decorations watching over the others as if he was trying to decide which one he would flirt with.

His advances seemed to be recognized by one of the other little ones who changed colour in response.  You can just about see her in this video before she changed back to her normal dark colour.  The yellow boy swam over to her but they didn't dance together.....thank goodness!

The feeding station training is going relatively well.  Some of them will now swim straight to the bowl as soon as they see the baster.  Others will hover around the bowl but haven't quite got the grasp of swimming up to the very top of it.  I will persevere and get there in the end with them!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Feed Station Training - Day 1

I guess I cheated a bit really. I just put the dish in the tank to see what would happen.  A few of them took to it straight away, which I'm certain was a fluke but most of them, as expected, just hung around waiting for the food to come to them!

Baby steps now.  I'll follow my normal routine with feed station training and hopefully it won't be long before they're all eating from the dish.

We have our first pouch!

Its funny but I find myself looking out for little markers of progression with seahorse fry; red digestive tract in newborns -  then hitching - then eating frozen - then first purple poops - and then the pouches.  This for me, really is the last step of their development and is the marker for being able to tell the boys from the girls.

They're going through food like there's no tomorrow so their development is starting to get quite rapid now - thank goodness!

I have to apologise for the quality of this picture.  I woke up to find lots of micro bubbles in the tank - which have now been dealt with - but couldn't miss the photographic opportunity, especially as this little guy prefers to stay at the back of the tank.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Latest pictures

It really is impossible to get clear pictures of the babies.  There is one that is a beautiful orange colour and every time I get the camera out he/she swims to the back of the tank!  I was hoping to get a picture of that one today, but nope off he swims to the back of the tank!  We'll have to make do with a picture that I took last week of this little one.  Its a shame as this is the one the now seems to be growing quicker than the others.

And some more pictures...

Pretty much all, bar a couple, have crazy cirri.  These guys definitely have the worst (best?) of it!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Day out at London Sea Life

Well, Ron and I had planned to meet up with my parents and two nephews today so we decided to treat them to a visit to the London Sea Life centre.

A word of warning - if you decide to visit this, or probably any other London attraction on a school holiday weekend, be sure to take snacks, water, a fold-up seat and be prepared to queue!

I should have known better, and although I expected to have to queue a little I really didn't expect it to be like queuing for the most popular ride at Disneyland!  So, an hour and a half later we finally made it to the front of the queue and made our purchase, 4 adults and 2 children.  Even with the 2 for 1 vouchers that I got, I had to steady myself with one hand on the counter when I was told the price!  I guess, I'd forgotten how much everything costs since moving out of London.

We walked around the freshwater exhibits, and saw some freshwater pipefish, although I'm not sure what species they were as I couldn't see an information sign.  

They kind of look  like alligator's, but if that's the case they were in the wrong section!
We then walked around to the touch pool where they had a number of starfish in a little rock pool type thing and where people were encouraged to put their hands in the water and touch them.  In the space of just a few minutes at least 10 different pairs of hands must have been in that water.  Sadly, the sink by the side of the touch pool was out of order and so no one was washing their hands before taking the plunge.  I wonder how safe that is for the animals?

By this time, we had been walking around the exhibition for around 15 minutes and  just before going through the Ocean tunnel (leading to the seahorses) we stopped so that we could sign the Save the Shark petition, and my youngest nephew, Ciaran, could draw a picture of a round, yellow shark!!  Just as we were about to head through the tunnel the fire alarm sounded and we were all evacuated. NOooooo!  Thus, my mission was ruined

On the way out we managed to share a few moments with a rather friendly ray who wanted to say hello!  How sweet!
I have to say that I am so proud of my little nephews who are only 5 and 7 as they refrained from putting their hands in the water when the opportunity arose.  The youngest one pointed out to me why it wasn't good for the fish :)

Regardless of not being able to see the seahorses, we still had a fun day! 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Tiny, tiny dwarf seahorses

Earlier this week there was a TV program about seahorses on Nat Geo.  It was a documentary by Project Seahorse and among other species they were also researching dwarf seahorses.  One of the ladies had a dwarf seahorse in her hand and I thought that it gave perfect representation of just how tiny these little guys are.  So, I thought I would pinch their idea and took a photo of one of my juvi's whilst doing a water change.

This little gal is probably about 6 months old.  She's not fully grown yet, but not far off it.  She's as good as adult size now.
Tiny, isn't she!

Another thing that I have been doing this week is sorting out the fry tanks.  We have a new set up now which allows me to have up to 6 fry tanks in a relatively small area.  At the moment, I just have 2 fry tank, a hospital tank, and a number of culture containers.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


Whilst cleaning the big fry tank yesterday I couldn't help but notice that they appeared to be queuing up to play in the bubbles from the airline.  Its quite funny because they just sit directly in the flow and seem to get blown about quite a bit.....crazy little animals!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Splitting the brood

Well, we have a few of the 15 week old babies that are now really starting to show growth spurts that are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest and as we lost one of the smaller babies this week it seems that now is the time to split them.

I now have 2 tanks for the 15 week olds.  The tank with the biggest babies in it will only get frozen food now, and the smaller babies tank will continue to get live brine as well as the frozen.  I want to give them every opportunity to grow as big as their brothers without having to compete with them for the food.

The bigger babies are really hard to get a good picture of now because they are constantly on the move!  The orange one loves to play in the current and is constantly swimming back and forth in the flow!

There he goes again!  Sorry for the blurry picture...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

20th September

Its amazing to me how much the new babies seem to have grown.  There are only 5 of them left out of the original 7 that we saved but these guys seem to be growing quickly.  They're only a little over 2 weeks old, but they seem to be much bigger than the others have been at the same age.  In actual fact, I've moved one of the smaller ones from the 13 week olds in with these little guys and to be honest, there's not a huge difference in size!

I'm regularly adding frozen food in the tank as I think these guys are going to be early starters, and whilst I haven't actually seen any of them eating the frozen, I have witnessed the bright orange bellies that the Cyclopeeze produce.  I think also, that having one of their older brother/sisters in who is already eating frozen will help a great deal.

Talking of the older babies, they're also doing great.  Sometimes its hard to appreciate how much they are growing when you watch them every day but there's definitely one or two of them in there that are starting to stand out from the crowd.  When I did the 100% water change a couple of days ago I added all orange plants to the tank and this seems to be encouraging some of them to colour up.  Whereas before we only had one orange one and the rest were all black, we now have a good few that are starting to change colour.

And of course the cirri continues to grow.  I'm a real sucker for the babies with cirri.

This one has particularly crazy cirri!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Erectus Fry at 12 Weeks

They're now 12 weeks old and doing great.  We have just one that has turned orange and the others at the moment are staying black, although they are starting to develop their saddle pattern.

Quite a few more are developing cirri, and looking quite wild!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


9 Weeks old
I'm in the process of weaning the babies onto mysis, which will eventually become the staple of their diet.  At the moment they are all eating Cyclop-eeze and have been for some time but have shown little interest in mysis itself.
Yesterday I tried them with shaved garlic soaked brine shrimp, and although there was a lot of interest only one of them ate it with gusto.  So, this is my challenge over the next week or so; to get them all eating frozen brine shrimp.  Usually, once one starts eating the others follow shortly behind, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Feeding Time

The great thing about them now is that they are all starting to really interact with eachother and play.  Often you will see them all holding tails whilst chasing after food, and usually it seems to be a race as to who's going to get there first.  At feeding time there can become quite a tangle of seahorses.

The other lovely thing is that I'm starting to see changes in colour, we have one which is permanently orange but quite a few have flashes of orange on them.  The other thing, which I love, is cirri.  These are filaments that form over the body of the seahorse giving them an appearance of having a crazy wild hairdo.  This is a picture of the babies mother when I first got her.


Most people believe that this phenomenon is a form of camouflage but nobody seems to know why seahorses get it, or more to the point, why some do and some don't.  There also doesn't seem to be any surefire way of influencing cirri.  In my experience, most seahorses that have had cirri will lose it when put into a display tank.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The H.erectus fry are now 7 weeks old

I can't deny that this batch has been a bit of a struggle, what with the temperatures being so unpredictable and the fact that I've got my adults in a temporary tank at the moment but they seem to be stabilizing and doing quite well now.  They've gone through a bit of a growth spurt over the last few weeks and are starting to play in the current.

I'm struggling to get any good pictures and these are the best that I could get.  I really will invest in a good macro lens one of these days!

Today was 100% water change which is now great fun as they are too big to use a hose to transfer them from one tank to another so it now means transferring them one by one by hand!

The Dwarfs

The  dwarfs are doing great and multiplying rapidly!  I think we now have around 20, but I honestly struggle to count them.  One thing I do know is that daddy is pregnant again!  Seriously, that saying "breed like rabbits" needs to change to "breed like seahorses".  Rabbits have nothing on seahorses!!!

Anyway, more bad pics follow!  There aren't many as the dwarfs are even harder to get pictures of than the erectus - but then the adults are about the size of the 7 week old erectus so I do have a good excuse!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Babies! Babies! Babies!

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog somewhat, and yet this isn't because nothing has changed but more just because I've been quite lazy!

To get me back into the swing of things I've had a redesign, which I think makes Seahorse Adventures look much more welcoming.

So, what's been going on in the weeks since I last posted?  Well, as the title says I've pretty much got babies (of the aquatic kind) coming out of my ears at the moment.  On top of this, my display tank (DT) is falling apart and so I've moved all of my adults into a temporary home while I prepare for a new tank which I will talk about in my New Tank pages.

Seahorse Fry

The latest brood of H.erectus is the result of a pairing between Ed and Cow, which I'm a little disappointed with as I had hoped that he would continue to pair with Lily.  I had been hoping that one of my grown up babies, Dizzy, would pair up with Cow.  The get together between Ed and Cow did happen whilst Lily was out of the tank so, I'm optimistic that Ed will go back with Lily now that they are back together - although the flirting with Cow does continue!  It has to be said that he is a bit of a cad and will flirt with anything that swims!

The babies, are 3 weeks old today, at least a proportion of them are.  Ed's labour lasted 5 days with most babies being born on day 1 and day 4 so for arguments sake, they are three weeks old today.

I have lost a significant number of babies and put this down to two things. 1. I tried a new method in the first couple of weeks which didn't work for me. 2. The weather got the better of me on a couple of days when I just didn't appreciate how warm the tanks had got.

I painstakingly counted the babies by hand on Friday when I did the last 100% water change and had 115.

The babies are in an 8 gallon rectangular tank, with a filter and two airlines placed at opposite corners of the tank.  Each time that I do a 100% water change I add some Fluid Filter, and tetra phyto.  Formalin has also been added on days 1, 3 and 5, then as and when required.

The fry are fed with enriched baby brine shrimp between 4 and 5 times a day.  Frozen food will be added to the tank this week to try and entice them to start taking frozen food as soon as possible.  I will add cyclopeeze and shaved mysis.

I really should stick to this method as its what has worked best for me in the past.

Here's some pics that I took yesterday.

Since my last post we have also had quite a few dwarf seahorse (H.zosterae) babies born.  The wonderful thing about the dwarfs is that they feed on the same food as the adults, so they can stay with their parents as they grow.

They are so hard to get a good picture of because they are so small and hide really well, but I love this picture because of the little face in the middle that looks like Maggie Simpson!

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