Rundown on Seahorse Husbandry
Supplement to Seahorse Roundup" from Marine Fish and Reef USA 2012.
Think about the behavior of the proposed tankmate, especially with regard to feeding. Avoid aggressive fish and invertebrates and anything that will attack a slow-moving target. Photo credit: Thinkstock.
Supplement to “Seahorse Roundup” by Christine Williams, Marine Fish and Reef USA magazine, 2012, Vol. 14.
Aquarium: A seahorse tank needs to be of sufficient size for your species; figure gallonage according to numbers and adult sizes of your specimens, favoring tall tanks over broad ones. Tall hexagonal tanks are perfect.
Temperature control: Provide heating and, if necessary, chilling, depending on whether you are keeping tropical or temperate species.
Filtration: A protein skimmer is a must for heavy bioloads, although sponge filtration works for small systems that are kept very clean.
Aquascape: In a seahorse enclosure, it can either be real or artificial. Artificial things, such as plastic plants or corals, rope, air line tubing, etc., all lend themselves to easy cleaning. A natural aquascape can include live rock and sand.
Tankmates: Think about the behavior of the proposed tankmate, especially with regard to feeding. Avoid aggressive fish and invertebrates and anything that will attack a slow-moving target. Mandarins, gobies, some blennies and other gentle community fishes are all good choices. Large carnivores, anemones and aggressive eaters are not.
Foods: Seahorse foods need to be appropriate for the size of the seahorse(s) you have. Dwarf seahorses and juveniles take freshly hatched Artemia (not adult Artemia, which is not nutritious enough!) or live copepods; adult seahorses typically take mysid shrimp or other meaty foods this size. Reef Nutrition's Mysis Feast or frozen PE Mysis are both excellent.
Care: Water quality is of utmost importance to maintain the health of your seahorses and to prevent disease. Frequent water changes and siphoning off visible excess food and waste is key.