Aquaculture International

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 305–314 | Cite as

Growth of cultured seahorses (Hippocampus abdominalis) in relation to feed ration

  • Chris M.C. Woods


This investigation examined the effect of varying feed ratios on cultured seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) growth and survival using frozen mysids (Amblyops kempii) at daily feed rations of 5, 10, 15 or 20% wet body weight. Feeding these different feed rations did not result in any significant difference in seahorse standard length after 3 months. However, seahorses fed the 10–20% rations were heavier and with higher condition factor (CF). Based on the total amount of frozen mysids offered to the seahorses, the food conversion ratio (FCR) became less efficient with increasing feed ration. However, when the actual mysid consumption was factored in there were no significant differences in FCR. There was a significant difference in daily specific growth rate (SGR), with the 5% ration having the lowest SGR. On a cost/benefit basis, based on the total amount of mysids offered the most cost effective ration for daily length and weight increase was the 5% ration. With actual mysid consumption taken into account, cost/benefit value favoured the 5 and 10% feed rations. Survival was 100% across all treatments. Based on this, a feed ration of 5–10% wet body weight per day of frozen mysids is recommended for cultured H. abdominalis


Aquaculture Cost-benefit Mysid shrimp Syngnathid VIE 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, M.B., Powell, M.D., Purser, G.J. 2001Effect of acute and chronic ammonia and nitrite exposure on oxygen consumption and growth of juvenile big bellied seahorseJ. Fish Biol58848860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cho, S.H., Lim, Y.S., Lee, J.H., Lee, J.K., Park, S., Lee, S.M. 2003Effects of feeding rate and feeding frequency on survival, growthand body composition of Ayu post-larvae Plecoglossus altivelvisJ. World Aquacult. Soc348591Google Scholar
  3. Dwyer, K.S., Brown, J.A., Parrish, C., Lall, S.P. 2002Feeding frequency affects food consumption, feeding pattern and growth of juvenile yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea)Aquaculture213279292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gardner, T. 2003The copepod/Artemia tradeoff in the captive culture of Hippocampus erectusa vulnerable species in lower New York StateCato, J.C.Brown, C.L. eds. Marine Ornamental Species: Collection, Culture and ConservationIowa State PressUSA297303Google Scholar
  5. Job, S.D., Do, H.H., Meeuwig, J.J., Hall, H.J. 2002Culturing the oceanic seahorseHippocampus kudaAquaculture214333341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000Seahorses, Pipefishes and their RelativesA Comprehensive Guide to the SyngnathiformesTMC PublishingChorleywoodU.K240Google Scholar
  7. Lockyear, J., Kaiser, H., Hecht, T. 1997Studies on the captive breeding of the Knysna seahorseHippocampus capensisAquarium Sci. Conserv1129136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lourie, S.A., Vincent, A.C.J., Hall, H.J. 1999Seahorses: an identification guide to the world’s species and their conservationProject SeahorseLondon, UK214Google Scholar
  9. Mihelakakis, A., Yoshimatsu, T., Tsolkas, C. 2001Effects of feeding rate on growthfeed utilization and body composition of red porgy fingerlings: preliminary resultsAquacult. Int9237245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Payne, M.F. 2003Rearing the coral seahorseHippocampus barbourion live and inert preyCato, J.C.Brown, C.L. eds. Marine Ornamental Species: Collection, Culture and ConservationIowa State PressUSA289296Google Scholar
  11. Rabe, J., Brown, J.A. 2000A pulse feeding strategy for rearing larval fish: an experiment with yellowtail flounderAquaculture191289302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Saether, B.-S., Jobling, M. 1999The effects of ration level on feed intake and growthand compensatory growth after restricted feeding, in turbot Scophthalmus maximus LAquacult. Res30647653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Vincent, A.C.J. 1996The International Trade in SeahorsesTRAFFIC InternationalCambridgeUnited Kingdom163Google Scholar
  14. Wang, N., Hayward, R.S., Noltie, D.B. 1998Effect of feeding frequency on food consumption, growthsize variation, and feeding pattern of age-0 hybrid sunfishAquaculture165261267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Webster, C.D., Thompson, K.R, Morgan, A.M., Grisby, E.J., Dasgupta, S. 2001Feeding frequency affects growthnot fillet composition, of juvenile Sunshine Bass Moronechrysops × M. saxatilis grown in cagesJ. World Aquacult. Soc327988Google Scholar
  16. Wilson, M.K., Vincent, A.C.J. 1998Preliminary success in closing the life cycle of exploited seahorse species, Hippocampus spp., in captivityAquarium Sci. Conserv2179196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Woods, C.M.C. 2000Improving initial survival in cultured seahorses, Hippocampus abdominalis Leeson, 1827 (Teleostei: Syngnathidae)Aquaculture190377388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Woods, C.M.C. 2002Diet of the seahorse Hippocampus abdominalisN. Z. J. Mar. Freshwater Res36655660Google Scholar
  19. Woods, C.M.C. 2003aGrowth and survival of juvenile seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis reared on livefrozen and artificial foodsAquaculture220287298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Woods, C.M.C. 2003bEffects of varying Artemia enrichment on growth and survival of juvenile seahorses, Hippocampus abdominalisAquaculture220537548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Woods, C.M.C. 2003cEffect of stocking density and gender segregation in rearing the seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis in culture (Teleostei: Syngnathidae)Aquaculture128167176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Woods, C.M.C., Valentino, F. 2003Frozen mysids as an alternative to live Artemia in culturing seahorses (Hippocampus abdominalis)Aquacult. Res34757763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Woods C.M.C. and Martin-Smith K.M. 2004. Visible implant fluorescent elastomer tagging of the big-bellied seahorseHippocampus abdominalis. Fish. Res. 66: 363–371.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchKilbirnieNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations