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Re: NFC: Re: survey

Tony wrote:

> Are H. zosterae the same critters you can order from the backs of
> magazines? 

Yes.  Sometimes called "pygmy seahorses" or "dwarf seahorses".  The
adults being a bit smaller than a thumbnail.

> If so, those were the very same fish that lured me into
> marine aquariums. And you're right, when it comes to breeding, I've
> likened them as the guppies of the saltwater world. A year after
> receiving my first batch of six in the mail, I had the little buggers
> living in jars, plastic critter tanks and golfish bowls all over my
> bedroom. Probably could have started my own mail order business.


Unfortunately I think most of the mail order seahorses were wild
caught.  Someone whom I've corresponded with from Florida who catches
WC's occaisionally to revitalize her captive breeding program has told
me that H. zosterae is rapidly disappearing from her area.  There is now
a fairly organized captive breeding program spanning North America to
keep the gene pool varied enough to stop needing infusions of wild
stock, and in a fairly short time they'll be able to meet the demands of
pet shops I think (but never those @#$!@ magazine ads... I'll bet 90% of
those die within a month or two).

> Prolific as they were, they never seemed to live much longer than a
> year. Is that normal, or was I doing something wrong? I've always
> wondered...

I think that is normal.  Seahorses don't live long.  H. kuda, the more
popular pet shop seahorse, lives up to about 2 years in captivity.

What some breeders have found is that seahorses don't do well on brine
shrimp alone, and have resorted to gut-loading the brine shrimp with a
vitamin solution that seems to really improve the health and vitality of
captive seahorses.  I wish I knew more, because this could be the secret
to getting many other fishes to exhibit greater vitality in the
aquarium.  The herpers have been doing something like this for years to
make crickets a more wholesome staple for reptiles and amphibians.  It
only makes sense that fish could benefit as well.


Chris Hedemark
Email: chris at yonderway_com   ICQ: 28986378
Rural Living at Yonder Way - http://www.yonderway.com/rural

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