How to feed your Seahorses.
If you look carefully at the two pictures, you will be able to see that there is an orange line running from the mouth down to the anus of these baby Erectus seahorses.
That is the gut of the seahorse filled with freshly hatched brine shrimp.
Seahorses do not have a stomach to store and process food. It is all done in the gut, which has important consequences for seahorse keepers.
Firstly, they need an almost continuous supply of food so they can extract the nutrition from it while it travels through the gut. So they need feeding at least three times a day, plus be supplied with extra food they can hunt, such as copepods.
Secondly, a good proportion of the food will not be completely digested and will be expelled into the tank. If this is not taken into consideration when setting up your filtration system, your tank could easily end up being poisoned by excess waste and it will also lead to rampant algae growth.
So, great care needs to be taken when considering what type of filtration you are going to use and what clean up crew you have.
So, lets look at what you can feed your seahorses from birth to adulthood.
What you feed the babies depends on their size. Zosterae and Reidi babies are tiny, so need live rotifers.
Erectus are much larger babies and will thrive on baby brine shrimp. Reidi babies can move on to brine shrimp after two or three weeks.
Erectus will start being interested in larger food like small copepods after three or four weeks and that is a good time to start weaning them onto frozen food. Just watch them carefully at feeding time and serve brine shrimp and frozen copepods at the same time. They will soon start taking it.
Reidi will not be able to take larger food than brine shrimp for a month or so. Try it and see.
Once they are on frozen, feed three times a day and top up with live brine shrimp.
As they get bigger gradually introduce frozen mysis for at least one meal.
Then, when ready try them on pacific krill.
As adults we feed ours on one meal copepods, one krill and one mysis topped up with occasional live copepods and baby brine shrimp.