Raising Hippocampus Reidi In Jars (The RayJay Method)

By: | Date: 02/18/2011 | No Comments |
Large Gas Jars with Green Water Bubbling

Closeup of nursery jars used for raising Hippocampus reidi

I raise H. reidi fry in up to twelve four litre wide mouth jars using a piece of rigid air line tubing in each for circulation. I add nannochloropsis to allow uneaten live rotifers and baby brine shrimp to feed on, giving some nutrition to the live food after they have divested themselves of the nutrient from the gut loading I do before placing them in the nursery.

Baby seahorses in 1 gallon jar

Day old Hippocampus reidi in jar before phytopplankton is added

The jars are lit 24/7 so that the live nanno feeds on the ammonia produced by the fry in their waste. I feed enriched rotifers for the first 2 weeks, enriched rotifers and enriched brine shrimp nauplii for the 3rd and 4th weeks, and just the enriched brine shrimp nauplii starting in the 5th week.

As they grow, so do I grow out the brine shrimp until the fry are getting fully grown live brine shrimp. Gradually over time, they are acclimated to eating frozen mysis and frozen brine shrimp. More on Raising Brine Shrimp.

Jars and trash bins

Nursery bottles sitting on shelf over brine shrimp containers.

I clean the jars every two days using a complete water change and new phyto and food. When I have a lot of the jars in use, I split them for cleaning purposes so that the most I clean out in one night is 6 jars and it takes me just over an hour to complete the cleaning and water changes for the night. I use AlgaMac Protein Plus and AlgaMac 3050 for enrichment.

I have now switched to using Dan’s Feed with Beta Glucan available from Seahorse Source.com

I have been asked about my water change procedure every 48 hours so here is what I copied from my thread on one forum:

  1. I have a net that I siliconed the bottom 2/3rds of, and in it I place the net to catch the fry when I pour them out of the bottle.
  2. I sit the two nets over a container to catch the old water and pour into the nets, capturing the fry and the water is held by the siliconed net to cushion the entry of the fry into the net.
  3. I then transfer them to an ice cream container with the new salt water matched for temp, pH and specific gravity.
  4. I clean the jar out in the sink and immerse it in a 5g pail of bleach water for several minutes and then rinse it out in the laundry tub.
  5. I add some matched water to the bottle and then pour in the water and fry from the temporary ice cream bucket, leaving enough room to add the nannochloropsis and rots/bbs.
  6. Put the cleaned/bleached/rinsed hitching material and rigid aeration tube back into the jar and replace the jar under the light on it’s shelf.
  7. Then I rinse everything and put it in the bleach bucket while I start the second jar with a duplicate set of already bleached containers/nets.

By the time I’m ready to bleach the second jar, the first equip. is ready to rinse and the bucket is then used to bleach the second jar, and everything just repeats until done.

The most number of jars I do on any night is six and it takes about 30 to 35 minutes to do after you’ve got into a system.

Seahorse babies about 2-3 inches long

5 month old H. reidi moved to aquarium.


 

black seahorses among brightly colored plants

8 month old H. reidi

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More in Breeding (6 of 11 articles)