Juveniles hunt nauplii
Since the holidays, we have been exceptionally busy at the VLM, but were rewarded with a nice Christmas/New Years present, albeit a few days late. On January 3, the seahorses in one of our holding systems (the rest are on exhibit), became the parents of several dozen babies. Seahorse broods can vary widely in number, and this one is on the small side, but they are excellent eaters. So far, all are in good health and by the looks of a VERY gravid male, another batch is coming soon!
The babies are put into a special tank that is designed to eliminate any risk of them being sucked into a filter, or buffeted too roughly by current. Also, the flow in the tank must be gentle enough for the juveniles to capture food and gain strength as they grow. Because they are small and have some difficulty maintaining their positioning in the water column, it can be awkward to feed efficiently so we provide them fishing line “hitching posts” they can wrap their tails around and hang onto as they feed. Sometimes they “perch” upright from it, sometimes they lay on it and sometimes they hang from it sucking up food (below).