Louis the male seahorse giving birth

I thought the big day was yesterday. But as it turns out seahorse sometimes do a pre-birth. This is where the male seahorse will give birth to only a few young. The next day is the big day.

In captivity a male seahorse will start to have contractions as soon as lights are turned on. The baby seahorse are attracted to any light source. The belief is when the male releases the young they will swim to the surface. Once near the surface they can forage for food and will be spread out with the ocean currents. Typically the male seahorse mates around the new moon and will give birth on the full moon.

This video was taken a few minutes after the lights came on. The contractions started as soon as I turned on the light.

This video is the second round of contractions.

I should have some video of the babies up soon.

This entry was posted on February 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm and is filed under Louis, seahorse birth (Tags: , ). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Louis the male seahorse giving birth”

  • Tracy rushbrook says:

    Hi there.
    This is by far the best website I have seen.fantastic! Thankyou
    I have just purchased a pregnant male.can you please tell me if you catch the babies immediately after birth in a net? And how long do you keep them in the small internal tank before releasing them back into the main tank? Thankyou for any info you are able to help me with.thanks again.

  • zippyjr says:

    Thanks, I’m glad you like it.

    To catch the baby seahorses, DO NOT USE A NET. Never use a net on a seahorse. Larger seahorse, you can just pick up with your hands. The babies you scoop up with a measure cup or something similar. You have to push the bottom of the cup below the water line then allow the water follow in to the cup, which will carry the babies in to the cup.

    What type of seahorse do you have? Raising each type will be slightly different.

  • Tracy rushbrook says:

    Hi there.thank you so much for your help,we have reidi.as I am inexperienced,I would of used a net,if it had not have been for your kind help,so I am truly grateful.cheers again.tracy

  • zippyjr says:

    H. Redi are pelagic (they want to float for a few days to a week) and changeling even for breeders. Keeping them in the main tank will not work. If you do they will gulp air and their bellies will fill with air and they will become floaters and not be able to eat.

    I will be honest, if you are not up to a bit of work, you might want to find someone who is willing to raise them for you. H. Redi will have about 200-600 fry. The best breeders get about 80% survival rate.

    It will take about 3 months before you can put them back in the main tank.

    How much time do you have until the babies hatch?

    You may be able to put together a several goldfish bowls with an air hose attached to one side to create a makeshift Kreisel tank. If you can find the largest goldfish bowls ( the kind that has a flat front and back and curved sides ( ) ) which should be about 3 gallons. You can silicon an air line hose to the middle-center of one of the curved sides. Then allow just enough bubbles to force the water to circulate, the water flow should keep the seahorses in the mid water or at least off the top. It is also very important not to use freshly made saltwater. You will need to take the water from the main tank to supply the smaller tanks. You then will need to add fresh mixed saltwater to the main tank. You could probably get away with 10-15 seahorses per gallon to start.

    Next you will need baby brine. You will need to hatch the brine every day, about a teaspoon of eggs each day. If you can get copepods or rotifers that would really help. But they require a bit of work as well. They will need to be feed 3 times a day. Be careful not to over feed and clean up about an hour after feeding. You can use a 3/16 ridged air line tube with a air hose attached to siphon out the waste and collect the dead.

    You will want to do water changes in the small tanks everyday about 10% also use the main tank water to do the changes. So you will need to pull the water from the main tank to add to the smaller tanks.

    Once the seahorses are about 6 weeks you can move them into 10 gallon tanks with a large sponge filter. After about month in the 10 gallon tank you can put on a hang back filter. Just make sure to put a large sponge on the intake of the filter.

    You also want to keep the tanks at 79 degrees any cooler and they will grow very slow.

    I wish the answer was a simple and easy solution, but the efforts are well worth it. A wild H. Redi has a 99% offspring mortality rate. So if you can get 3 to maturity you will have contributed a part in the stewardship of seahorses.

    Good Luck and if you have any questions let me know.

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