Just like other fish in the sea, a seahorse needs to eat to live and survive. Seahorses are known as small marine fishes that belong to the genus Hippocampus. They are slow swimmers, and eating could be very challenging for them. In addition, they don’t have stomachs, so they need to regularly eat because their food goes directly to their digestive systems.
Young seahorses can eat about 3,000 pieces of food every day. At the same time, adult seahorses can eat up to 50x per day. But, what do seahorse eat? In today’s blog, you will know more about the food that seahorses eat. You will also know how they get their food to survive. This will make you understand some interesting facts about this fascinating sea creature.
Understanding the Food that Seahorses Eat
Seahorses are relatively small creatures known for their insatiable appetite. They measure about less than an inch, while large ones are about 14 inches. However, there’s something very intriguing about seahorses, and that is what they eat. No matter the seahorse size, they eat constantly, and they eat a lot. In this section, you will know what do seahorse eat and these are:
Since seahorses don’t have teeth, they need to eat food that they can easily suck and swallow in whole. Planktons are one of their prey that is very small. They feed mostly on plankton, for they are very flexible and well-adaptive tiny creatures. Planktons also use food supplements for most aquatic resources. The freeze-dried plankton is also rich in lipids, beta-carotene, and proteins.
Planktons are great for feeding seahorses, and it needs the nutrition to help them grow. When you feed them with plankton, it must be once every two days. It will ensure they get enough beta-carotene and lipids, which are not found on shrimps and other crustaceans.
So, what do seahorse eat? First, you should know that they consider eating shrimps, including baby brine, Mysis, glass, grass, ghost, and even red shrimps. Second, they feed on tiny crustaceans, like shrimps – that crawl at the bottom of the ocean or the ones that float in the water.
Also, the frozen Mysis is the choice of food that most seahorse breeders and keepers eat. The reason is that they could easily recognize it as food. They would even try to eat pellets or flakes, but it’s quite difficult for them to do it. This is because even captive-born seahorses would be used to eating foods like shrimps.
Rotifers are tiny organisms that seahorse eat. These are too small to eat, and it’s known to supplement the diet of small seahorses. They are easy to define using phytoplankton, special rotifer food, and yeast. And as long as rotifers are fed algae, about 25% of their culture can be harvested to feed seahorses.
Seahorses are known for having a poor digestive system. They don’t have stomachs, so they need to keep eating to stay alive. Copepods are better than shrimps. It’s a live food that closely mimics their natural eating environment, and it’s easier for seahorses to eat live pods than any frozen foods.
A Daphnia is a tiny aquatic crustacean that seahorses eat. They are tiny, and seahorses could easily catch them. They provide vitamins to seahorses, most especially protein content. They are also great for adult seahorses and seahorse fry that will need all the nutrition they want to help them grow. They are easy to find, available in pet stores, making them popular feeders for seahorses and other marine creatures.
Ghost shrimps are a great feeder for seahorses. They are also known as glass shrimps because of their semi-transparent body. They contain a lot of nutrients that are great for seahorses. Ghost shrimps are high in fats and proteins, and they are very easy for seahorses to digest, especially since seahorses don’t have stomachs.
It is always important to know that seahorses don’t eat dead things in the wild. Freeze-dried food or frozen foods are always a great alternative for live foods. They make good alternative food and supplements for seahorses. If you happen to have adult seahorses, they may not eat frozen food yet. Therefore, they need to be conditioned to let them eat frozen foods. It may take weeks or a couple of months to train them until they get used to it.
Seahorses are omnivorous animals. It means they eat animals and also plants. While most of the time, they eat animals, they also enjoy eating plants like kelp, seaweed, and seagrasses. They will bite at it until they are full.
Furthermore, they also enjoy eating algae. Algae also belong to the plant kingdom, but they are not plants. Instead, they belong to an assorted group of eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms that live together.
How Do Seahorses Get Food?
Seahorses are opportunistic hunters in nature. Instead of looking for specific kinds of food, they will just catch and eat whatever is floating around. As a result, they can blend into the environment, and they could easily find a spot where they could wait for their prey to swim.
Furthermore, to pay for their lack of swimming speed, the neck of seahorses is well adapted to catch their prey. They ambush their prey by appearing silently nearby. They may attach themselves to corals and plants and camouflage to blend with their surroundings. They may also tilt their heads and swallow their prey, and this movement may result in a distinctive sound.
Now that you know what seahorses eat, you realize that everything they eat is found on sea waters. They need to keep eating to live because that’s their nature. What we need to do as humans is to take care of the ocean. Not just for ourselves, but also for sea creatures who also rely their survival on the ocean.
Let’s just practice how to take care of the ocean in the best ways we can. That way, seahorses can always find food for themselves and live longer. If we do this, we’re not only protecting seahorses but all the sea creatures. May we also encourage others to do the same thing, so we can live in an amazing world.
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