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A Beginner's Guide to Seahorses

Before you try keeping seahorses, learn their basic care requirements to ensure your success.

By Richard Rayl |

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Aquarium hobbyists are often on the lookout for unique animals to stock in their miniature ecosystems. We like to look for striking colors, unique personalities or differing physical forms to accent and complement our tanks. Nothing fits these descriptions more aptly than seahorses. The seahorse is almost mythical in form, with its horselike head strangely mated with an armored, serpentine body. Seahorses are fantastic creatures to observe in aquaria, and with a little advanced planning and research, they are not much more difficult to keep than many other fish. I hope to dispel some of the mystery behind keeping seahorses, as well as demonstrate the basic requirements for building and maintaining a stable environment so that even a “beginner” aquarist may enjoy these fascinating and beautiful animals.

Seahorse Basics
There are many different species of seahorses available to marine aquarists these days, and some species have very different requirements for their environment. The most common horses will reach a similar full-grown size, which is 5 to 8 inches in height. For now, let’s focus on these normal-sized horses, specifically Hippocampus erectus, H. reidi and H. barbouri.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the October 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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