Nutrition

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WC vs CB

Feeding and Nutrition

 

Variety

That's the best advice I have about feeding.  Variety in foods and variety in enrichments.

Captive Bred (CB) seahorses are normally trained to eat frozen mysis, and if you can, Wild Caughts (WC) should be trained to eat it too.  Frozen mysis is an excellent food and it's easy to keep a dependable supply available.  When possible, frozen mysis should be the bulk of their diet but I don't think it should be the only item in their diet.  Live food should be offered once or twice a week - smaller ghost shrimp, amphipods, shrimp larvae, live mysis, even adult brine.  For those who believe seahorses should fast one day per week (which I don't), perhaps live food could be available on that day.  My seahorses do have at least 2 feedings per week when their food is not specifically enriched.  I also try to keep copepods and amphipods available at all times for snacking and hunting fun.  What else does a seahorse have to do all day to keep from getting bored?

One of the most important aspects of seahorse nutrition is providing the correct balance of HUFA fats in the diet.   There is much discussion on this matter.  In the past, keepers were advised to enrich all foods with fats and that higher fat foods were superior.  It has recently been discovered that many well fed seahorses have fatty livers.  The subject of fats is being reconsidered - the horses appear fat and happy, but perhaps too fat.  For this reason, I now suggest enrichments with vitamin rich supplements rather than the fat based ones.

Many people have had success using a feeding station.  Anything from a candy dish to a natural shell can be used as a place where seahorses know they will find their food.  You can visit an excellent site with several examples at this site.   We used a feeding dish for awhile and it worked very well, however I have since decided that I would rather make the seahorses hunt for leftovers to keep them more active.

A very complete survey of the foods available as well as instructions for enriching food items is available in the Seahorse.org library.

For food sources, please visit the links page, and for the special needs of seahorse fry, visit our special fry nutrition page.

 



   

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