Hydroids and Ponies

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Mar 17, 2004
Columbus, OH
After the big move I am going to buy and keep dwarf seahorses. I have been wanting to do this since I was like 10. It's been a dream. :) Anyways everyone keeps warning me about hydroids. How do I know if I have them? What are they? How can they affect Ponies?? and how can you get rid of them if I do have them?? Lots of questions here. Thanks for any input!


reefer addict
Aug 26, 2003
Portland, OR
I was told that hydroids are like "tube aptasia's" that can sting corals. If you look closely, you'll see a small patch of little brown tubes no more than 1/4" - 3/8" long with tentacles on the end. (if you have some) These grow in patchesand would soon overtake the rock that it's sitting on. I nuke them whenever I'm on aptasia patrol. I would take a pix, but my camera won't focus on something that small - gotta get more lenses.

AS to your ?? on phonies - can't help you there.


electrolyte addict
Jul 4, 2003
Hydroids will kill ponies

This is the classic case of prevention is the ONLY cure. The hydroids will sting ponies and make them uncomfortable at least when trying to hang on to a "hitch" that has them on it. They will cause irritations and possible sites for infection where the pony tries to hitch. At worst they can kill all but the largest fry and even get some of them too. For the dwarfs it is an absolute must to keep them out of the system. They will kill even the adults dwarves. The number one source of introduction seems tobe from hatched brine shrimp eggs. For some unexplainable reason every tank that has been fed bay brine has hydroids. This is easily prevented by decapsulating the eggs before hatching. This involves bleaching the eggs but is much preferred as the shells are removed increasing hatch rate.They can come in on live rock as well so quarrentine and possible disinfection are in order. Live rock isn't really neccessary so drying and/or bleaching of substrate and decorations is reccomended. Provide plenty of "hitches" (such as dead sea fan) and low water movement. Do not attempt any tank larger than ten gallons for the dwarves. They need to be able to catch their prey and in larger tanks they expend too much energy swimming after thier food. Start them on newly hatched bay brine that has been decapsulated. They then need to be switched to mysis for a good nutrional balance. Don't feed baby brine that has been hatched for more than a couple days unless the brine has been nutrionall enhanced. Hatched baby brine can be kept in the refridgerator to slow down their metabolisms and keep them from using up their yolk sac as quickly. Selcon can be added to boost nutrition and it is suspected that more will be introduced if left in the fridge. Whether they actually absorb more or more gets on them due to the longer duration is debatable. Keep them in large concentrations as they are prone to be a "promiscuous herd." Even fifty to a hundred in a ten gallon tank with proper care is not too many. I would say a bare minimum of ten and the twenty to fifty range would make a nice comfortable herd. Pick up a copy of January's "Coral." Happy Trails


Seahorse Wrangler
Jul 24, 2003
Auburn, WA
The dwarves themselves should get a FW dip, since they can be carriers of hydroids. There is a method to treat for hydroids using panacur, but I'm not familiar with it. Check out the Tiny Tots forum at www.syngnathid.org :)

~ Steve
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