Diary Two

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The fry are getting bigger, it's good to see.  Some are now starting to hitch.

11/18/03 The are one month old today.  It's such a thrill to see these little guys grow.   I feel like I'm holding my breath every day.  Things can go wrong so fast, it's kinda scary.  But every day, the first thing I do when I get home is rush to the tank to count them... same thing when I first get up.  They are so adorable!
12/5/03 Everything still going great with the babies. 

Today we went to the LFS and guess what?  They had a seahorse, very unusual since they don't generally have them.  This poor seahorse was swimming back and forth at the back of a tank full of fast moving fish... she was obviously totally stressed.  We asked if she was eating and the guy says "lets see" and threw in a still frozen cube of blood worms... sheeesh.. so I told him that wild caughts usually only eat live food.  He went and got the other guy who was "in charge" of the seahorse, he was real helpful.. threw in a cube of frozen brine.  Well the seahorse didn't eat.  She is so very very thin. I didn't really want to bring her home.  I was afraid she would die and after last summer's problems, I didn't want to go through that again.  But Wally insisted and we brought her home, at least we have proper food this time.  We put her in the tank, and right away she ate a few ghost shrimp.  She's also changing color, they sold her as a "black" seahorse, but she's already getting lighter colored, kinda greenish-yellow.  I'm still scared though.

12/8/03 The new big girl is an H. kuda she is still alive, not quite so thin, but the really amazing thing is her color she's turning mostly yellow.  The very tip of her tail is white and she might have beginning snout rot.. have added Melafix to the tank.

Today  we moved all eight fry into the silver tank as a grow out.  I've put in a few pieces of live rock (had been treated with panacur) a fake plant and some caluerpa and put in a sponge filter. 

12/11/03 We bought two bookshelves and set them up in the hall.  Wally cut holes in another board (big enough to hold 2 liter bottles) for me to set up brine shrimp hatcheries.  The other shelves have the greenwater, copepods, rotifers, and brine shrimp grow outs.  The guest room closet is now only for shrimp. Got 200 mysis shrimp and set up a brand new jar for 1/2 and put the other 1/2 in the nasty old pod tank.
12/18/03 Hard to believe and I'm still holding my breath, but everyone is doing fine.  Babies are two months old today.  We have one runt, sometimes it seems like she (it) gets smaller instead of bigger - she eats all the time though so I don't know.  I'm still trying to get them (babies and the big girl) to eat frozen.. nobody wants it.
The big girls tail is fine now and so is her snout.
12/24/03 We leave for Hawaii in the morning.  My son, Nick, is getting married on the beach in Kauai on Saturday.  Jana is wonderful, I'm really thrilled about this wedding.   Jana's dad and I are going to "officiate" the wedding ceremony.  The "legal" part will be done separately with a judge.  Wally and I have never been to Hawaii (or much of anywhere) so it's really exciting.

My daughter, Angel, will be babysitting the seahorses.  I've printed out full instructions for her and left her with the link to Seahorse.org.  I'm nervous about leaving the babies but I wouldn't miss this trip for anything!

12/31/03 Home again.... had a wonderful time, hated to come home and the wedding was lovely.  The ocean brought me presents.  Late nights Wally and I would walk the beach and the waves would wash in small coral/rock pieces (from golf ball to fist sizes) I brought home 3 plastic bags of rocks in my suitcases (at least 15 pounds).

Horses are all fine.  Angel did get nervous once because the big girl was hanging out at the top of the tank in the front.. just swimming back and forth.  She went on Seahorse.org and got some advice.  Thanks much to Diane B who sent diamox in case it was gas bubble disease.  Thankfully it was a false alarm, that behavior is how the Kuda asks for attention.  She just wanted to be told how beautiful she is.  She likes attention A LOT.
1/11/04 We stopped by Blue Sierra pet store today and ended up buying two very cute seahorses.  Appear to be sub-adult Kuda - we call them the twins.  Our big girl seemed so lonely in the 37 gal tank all alone.  These are both females too, but at least they will be company for her - we do need males to get some breeding going here.  We were very bad and did not quarantine them.  They like live adult brine.  The big girl will still only eat live ghosts.
1/20/04 Eight 3 month olds!  They still won't eat frozen but otherwise everything is going great.  Good news is the new twins are eating frozen brine and occasionally getting a piece of frozen mysis by mistake.
1/22/04 Heard Aquarium Paradise was getting in "black" seahorses.  Knowing that's either Kuda or Tiger Tail, I went down.. it's a beautiful male Tiger Tail, of course he is now in my seahorse tank. We are serious about breeding Tigertails so even with the babies, we will need genetic diversity (good excuse, right?)

By the way, we are not naming any of our seahorses.  Someone posted on Reef Central that they don't name their fish 'cuz if they do the fish always die.  The seahorses we had last year all got named.. and they're all gone...  so we just call them "the big girl", "the twins" "the male" and the babies (I can't really tell them apart except "the runt" anyway).

1/25/04 Babies have lost interest in their food.  I've been buying 1/4 to 1/2 size brine and all of a sudden, they don't want it.  They are listless and staring at nothing, barely moving.  I don't get it.  One has died - it's so hard to lose them once you've come so far.  I've read other peoples experience of losing them this same way at 3 months of age.  I'm going to feed them every type of food I can find.  Along with the usual brine, I'm adding mysis, amphipods & copepods and a bit of frozen too.
1/27/04 It worked!  Fry are back to normal, eating whatever they find.  I still don't know why that happened but other have the same experience.  Will have to remember that 3 month hump with the next fry I get.

Update on the mysis culture.  The 1/2 I put in the nice clean new jug were mostly dead in a week but the ones in the icky 10 gallon were doing great, so they are all in the 10 gallon.  Just now decided the culture is stable enough to feed some out.  The babies really like them!  I feed the mysis BBS twice a day.
1/31/04 Diane B has fry she is sending me!  They are either Kuda or Kuda/Reidi cross - apparently no one is real sure which one Daddy is.  It will be fun (although a lot of work) to have babies again.  I'm excited.
2/3/04 Fry from Diane were due this AM at my office.  They didn't show up.  Did the tracking thing and found out they were stuck in Memphis overnight!  I went nuts, called FedEx at least a dozen times.  Finally they arrived at SeaTac late in the evening.. so I drove down there to the shipping office and got them... unfortunately, all were dead.  Apparently they got too cold on their journey.  FedEx says they missed the correct flight out of Chicago due to power outages at the facility - not their fault - besides, they pointed out that they do not accept animals for shipping.  I just cried... such a waste.
2/18/04 Another "Birthday".  The babies are 4 months old!  There are now 7 (we lost the one about a month ago).  Still won't eat frozen.. stubborn little cusses.  The twins and the big male now eat frozen brine (but only occasionally a bite of frozen mysis) and the big girl eats live ghosts.. the others occasionally get a ghost too, but are lazy and would rather eat frozen for the most part.
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