Caring for Seahorses in the Aquarium

White Seahorses in fish tank

Aqua culturing (commercial breeding) has made it possible for fish keepers to enjoy the seahorse in the aquarium. Most common tank-bred species are the smooth, lined, or dwarf seahorse.

Caring for seahorses – some basic requirements:

The seahorse friendly aquarium should be a tall tank and no smaller then 25 gallons. Crushed coral or sand is recommended as a substrate. The temperature should be maintained at approx. 78 F, pH at about 8.1, and salinity at 0.023.

Thelighting should be a basic LED strip or fluorescent light.

Live rock, decorative corals, gorgonias, or macro algae make ideal hiding and resting places for the seahorse.

The seahorse is highly sensitive to any changes in the aquarium. A tank environment with no water current or turbulence is required.

Caring for the basic needs:

Seahorses are upright swimmers and are quite restricted in their movement due to their bony exoskeletal body. The small dorsal fins only propel them to glacial speed.

While there are compatible species and tank mates, it is recommended that seahorses be kept in a seahorse-only aquarium. Tank mates will outcompete them for food because of their speed advantage. Seahorses however are predators to crabs and other crustaceans, if and once they get to them.

Tall tanks are needed for seahorses because much of their movement is vertical. They also require that extra vertical space for their elaborate courting rituals.

With not much of a stomach or intestinal tract, seahorses are usually busy feeding at all times. They do well on shrimp or plankton, either frozen or live. When not eating or engaged in some mating ritual, most seahorses will rest by “hitching” themselves to anything that will hold them in place.

An interesting seahorse fact:

Male seahorses carry out the pregnancy. The female egg is held in a brood pouch for several weeks until the baby seahorses are born. During this time the expecting dad clings to branches and weeds, in the same way as they do when resting.

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