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Draco's Dwarf Seahorses


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I've been studying on and off on Dwarf Ponies since 2015 (at least according to my thread on this site when I began my research), I decided to finally bite the bullet many years later. Back in November 2021 I got 6 dwarf ponies. I thought I'd document everything here with my experiences and thoughts. And these guys are not easy! They require daily maintenance, but they are worth it in the end.


NOTE: These are my own rambling thoughts and experiences. This is not a care guide. Just simply my own thing 🙂


Feeding: Daily feeding and BBS hatching which was a chore in itself trying to figure out what method worked best for me, I found BBS Hatchery Dishes like this worked best (though it doesn't produce a whole lot of BBS). Eggs hatch in about 12 hours and continuously hatches for about 2-3 days. I have two dishes going that I alternate through to keep a steady supply of BBS. I struggled with the DIY soda bottles, tried several different ways and just failed with bottles.  I've learned that I MUST rinse off BBS before feeding, I believe some ponies perished from bacterial infections from the food if I didn't rinse it in cold fresh water. Always make sure egg shells does not get into the tank, they can cause hydroids.


Water Quality: Dwarf ponies are messy. Their poops are nearly big as them amazingly. It isn't just the ponies themselves, but the BBS causing poor water quality. Cleaning water out often is key. However, I struggled horribly with red slime algae and dinos for a long time. Weeks of trying to fix the water params and 50% water changes only made it worse. More ponies perished which I believe it's in part to the algae taking oxygen away from them. I finally did a 100% scrub out of the tank recently. A week as of today and no algae and I hope to keep it that way.


Filteration: I dappled between HOB Filter and Sponge Filter. I liked sponge because it aerates the water for oxygen, yet the sponge harbored unwanted nitrates. HOB Filter was tricky to get the flow just right as ponies are stationary creatures and do not like fast currents. Whats nice about HOB, you can add chaetos or small rubble for healthy bacteria to form on. Since then my tank leaked and I got an AIO, I used the back for filter media and an air stone to hide all equipment out of sight. I decided to try HOB for extra oomph (To be updated when filter arrives). Always with filters, cover all intakes! Ponies can and will get stuck and sucked in. I like to use nylon stockings to cover intakes. (Speaking of air stone, make sure bubbles aren't tiny, ponies can get bubbles caught in their pouches and can ultimately lead to death).

Aquascaping: I started out with sand and LR, I properly cycled using material from my established 7-year old reef tank. As nice as it looked to have a natural look, hydroids happened. I couldn't routinely take out the large rocks to rid the hydroids, and they eventually made their way into the sand bed. Hydroids are not safe with ponies, they can and will kill them. I scrapped LR and sand and went all bare bottom. Instead of safe corals, I chose to go with colorful and bright fake plants- and the brighter the plants, the brighter the ponies. bare bottoms allows me to easily vac and clean dead BBS and poop from the bottom of the tank. I have small pieces of rock that I can swap out if hydroids should appear.


Breeding: These guys breed like rabbits. Though I've only had two births in the 5 months I've had them- first batch survived. Second batch perished, and I still don't know why (I feel like maybe it was lack of oxygen from the algae). Babies eat BBS just like adults and can stay in the tanks with the parents.


Tankmates: As of now, there's 3 snails in the tank with them to help with cleanup. The ponies are recommended as species-only tank. That being said, I have dwarf pipefish on order. I will update once I get them and see how they do.


As of now, my pony numbers went up then down, it's still a learning process trying to figure out what went wrong when I find a deceased pony. Right now I have 8 ponies in my tank, and I hope to get them to multiply based off all mistakes I've learned. I am hoping this thread would help others since there really isn't that many journals on dwarf ponies. I am more than happy to answer anything if I can, though take note, I am not an expert by any means. I can just share my experiences.


And some photos, because I know you all want to see them.


Tank: 7 gallon AIO rimless cube. Lighting is stock lighting.






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New ponies and dwarf pipefish arrived today. So cute!

one pony came missing an eye. Not sure if it’s birth defect or if she lost it somehow, either way she’s catching her food just fine!







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