Jul 14, 2011

How to Kill Hydroids in Dwarf Seahorse and Fry Tanks

Hydroids are tiny jellyfish-like creatures that infest tanks with low flow, such as seahorse fry tanks and larval rearing vessels. The bad news is, they can sting and kill dwarf seahorses and fish fry that get too close to them. Hydroids love to eat baby brine shrimp and can be introduced to the tank on almost anything, including the shells of brine shrimp eggs.

There are a couple things you can do to prevent contamination of your tank with hydroids. Make sure you are using decapsulated brine shrimp eggs, or decapsulate them yourself. You can buy already decapsulated brine shrimp from seahorsesource.com.

Your best weapon against hydroids is a drug called Fenbendazole (Panacur). However, you should familiarize yourself thoroughly with this drug before using, or better yet, talk to your veterinarian first. Reeftools and its colleagues can not be held responsible for any result of you reading this blog and using Fenbendazole. Personally, I’ve used this drug safely with dwarf seahorses and Fundulus heteroclitus Killifish. I’ve read that it can be safely used with other fish fry such as Clownfish. In low doses it can be safe for clean up crews such as Nassarius snails, cleaner shrimp, and hermit crabs. Be careful and do lots of research before using Fenbendazole.

Any living creatures or plants you want to add to your dwarf seahorse or fry tank should be treated with Fenbendazole first. Keep in mind, most invertebrates and corals DO NOT tolerate Fenbendazole and will die. Macroalgae such as Caulerpa and Chaetomorpha as well as the beneficial nitrifying bacteria in live rock handle treatment with the drug very well. Fenbendazole is by no stretch of the imagination considered to be reef safe. So don’t dose your reef tank with this stuff. Fenbendazole also tends to absorb into glass and rock, leaching into your tank forever. The granules seem to leach worse than the liquid does.

What should you do if you find hydroids in your dwarf seahorse tank or fry tank? Fish seem to tolerate Fenbendazole treatments well. Unfortunately, hydroids don’t even flinch from other common parasite treatments like low salinity, Praziquantel, or formalin baths. So far only Fenbendazole has proven an effective treatment.

Where can you get Fenbendazole? There are plenty of online or local farm animal feed stores that carry it. I use Safe-Guard Fenbendazole/liquid Goat Wormer by Intervet (fenbendazole) Suspension 10% (100 Mg/ml). It’s very important to choose one that is not flavored. Make sure you have done plenty of research and are aware of the risks of using this medication before you proceed. The dosage for fry tanks is 0.2 ml per 10 gallons. Repeat the dosage every other day for a total of three dosages. By the third dose, all hydroids should be dead.

Fenbendazole can also eradicate Aiptasia, bristleworms, and other marine worms.

Jul 13, 2011

Jsoh79's Reef Tank

Acan lord closeup by Felicia McCaulley
Acan lord closeup, a photo by Felicia McCaulley on Flickr.
I recently took some photos of my friend Josh's tank. Here's a teaser pic, if you want to see the rest, go to the Flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/feliciamccaulley/sets/72157626814724924/with/5763863666/

Jul 10, 2011

hybrid guppy endler pintail

This is one of my favorites. He is an old man now; he even moved from Wisconsin to PA with me in January. His father is an albino endler hybrid created by Adrian HD and his mother came from a line of yellow snakeskin doubleswords I'd been breeding for many years.

Jul 8, 2011

Athanas sp. red striped shrimp

Another cool hitchhiker my co-worker Bill Lowe found in a rock where we work at The Hidden Reef in Levittown, PA. This one is super tiny, maybe a centimeter. He found it a couple weeks ago, and it's still alive and well in my tank!

Seahorses on Blue Zoo Radio!

I was honored to be a guest on Blue Zoo Radio last month talking about seahorses. The show was recorded and can be listened to here:


I'm the second guest, starting at about 24 minutes.

Listen in every Sunday night at 8 pm or Check out the archives

About Blue Zoo Radio:

"...Blue Zoo Radio. A show dedicated to each and every aquarist making a difference in the hobby. Blue Zoo Radio features interviews with Industry Leaders, best selling authors, manufacturers, fish clubs, other hobbyists and You.
Blue Zoo Radio is live every Sunday evening at 8pm EST. The archives are available for immediate download to your computer, iPod or Mp3 player OR you can stream them on your computer ON Demand."

Delaware Valley Reef Club Spring Frag Swap 2011 Recap

If you’re like me, you’re a big fan of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation. If you missed the Delaware Valley Reef Club Spring 2011 frag swap and you still want to see Ken’s keynote speech, you can watch the video provided by DVRC on youtube:

I was honored to do my aquarium photography presentation at the frag swap. You can watch video of the presentation here:

Go to http://reeftools.com/news/delaware-valley-reef-club-spring-2011-frag-swap-recap/ for more pictures, videos, and info about the frag swap.

H. angustus x H. erectus Hybrid Seahorse fry – first ever crossing

hybrid seahorse fry by Felicia McCaulley
hybrid seahorse fry, a photo by Felicia McCaulley on Flickr.
On May 12th, my beloved Hippocampus angustus female named Marmalade and my Hippcampus erectus male named Kohala (who I raised from birth) gave birth to about 25 little hybrid fry!

Go to http://reeftools.com/news/h-angustus-x-h-erectus-hybrid-seahorse-fry-first-ever-crossing/ for tons more photos of the fry and parents.

pistol shrimp long leg

On June 14th my co-worker Bill at The Hidden Reef in Levittown, PA noticed an extraordinarily long, but thin, shrimp leg darting in and out of a series of holes that appeared to be drilled through the top of the rock. He chiseled open the rock and found this pistol shrimp. The pistol shrimp had to have been growing inside the rock unable to leave since it was very young, similar to the way a gall crab grows inside a coral. If anyone recognizes this pistol shrimp and can identify it, please go to http://reeftools.com/news/unusual-pistol-shrimp-hitchhiker/ to leave a comment

Hybrid Guppy Endler

hybrid endler guppy by Felicia McCaulley
hybrid endler guppy, a photo by Felicia McCaulley on Flickr.

This is one of my favorite guppies. He is a cross between a hybrid albino endler and a red guppy female. Notice the colored pelvic fins.