Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. The biggest stumbling block in keeping the fascinating seahorses, pipefishes and seadragons (Family Syngnathidae) is providing them with a balanced diet – all are confirmed live-food specialists, and need a variety of prey items if they are to thrive. However, once past that hurdle we are sometimes faced with a dilemma unique to these fishes – a buildup of gas in the male’s pouch.
Seahorse and their relatives are well known for their unusual reproductive strategy. Females deposit eggs in the male’s special brood-pouch, where they develop and hatch. Male seahorses have even been shown to adjust the salinity of the water in the pouch to meet the special needs of the incubating eggs.
For reasons not fully understood, gas sometimes accumulates in the pouches of male seahorses and related fishes. Animals so afflicted float head down at the surface and soon expire. Read More »