Help! My Seahorse Just Had Babies!

Or, what to expect when you didn’t know you were expecting. Seahorses are known for their proclivity of having hundreds of babies when you least expect it. Photo by CARSTEN SCHÖNIJAHN You just walked by your tank to discover dozens, if not hundreds of tiny seahorses drifting around your aquarium. These miniature copies of the adults caught you off guard, and now you’re not sure what to do. This guide will walk you through what you need to do within the first few hours to try and save the young seahorses. In the immortal words of Douglas Adams; Don’t Panic! The absolute first thing you must do is decide if you really want to try to raise these babies. Raising baby seahorses is a time, space, and money consuming task. And there is no guarantee that you’ll be successful; very few seahorse fry survive in the wild. Being unprepared means that you’ll be starting from a disadvantage as well. However, thanks to their yolk sack when born, baby seahorses can go 24 – 48 hours without. . .

Foods for Breeding Syngnathids

Copepod detail. Photo by Stephen Begin . Seahorses and their syngnathid relatives provide some interesting challenges raising from birth. Although they produce larger young than many marine species, they often ignore foods that have been the standard for raising marine fish. They must be supplied live food at birth, and each species has it’s own requirements based on size and behavior. First Foods There are three foods that are used the most frequently when attempting to raise syngnathids; artemia nauplii (aka baby brine shrimp or bbs), copepods, and rotifers. Artemia nauplii is by in far the easiest, as it is simple to hatch and come from cysts that can be stored until needed. Unfortunately, most syngnathids fair poorly when raised on baby brine shrimp alone. This is because artemia doesn’t contain the right lipid profile that syngnathids need for growth and survival. When artemia nauplii are used, enriching to get the right lipids is paramount to success. Many food trials have. . .

The Pygmy Pipehorses of Cozumel

Close up of a pygmy pipehorse - Cozumel, Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Jim Lyle Diving in Cozumel, is by all accounts, is an amazing experience. Cozumel is considered one of the best diving locations in the world, with reefs and shallow coral formations teaming with sea life. Divers flock from around the world to see such amazing animals as sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and of course, seahorses. But one surprising animal exists there going mostly unnoticed. It’s the West Atlantic Pygmy Pipehorse, Amphelikturus dendriticus, a diminutive relative of seahorses. Most people know what a seahorse is, and many have some awareness of pipefish, the seahorse’s straightened, snake-like cousin, but few are aware of the in-between fish called the pygmy pipehorse. They are, as you would expect, a middle ground between seahorses and pipefish. They hitch like seahorses, and while they have a slightly bent neck, its no where to the extreme that gives seahorses their moniker. Females tend to rest. . .
Follow Us!
Get the latest reef aquarium news in your email.