Seeking Seahorses

By Kai Bragg

You’ve seen them before floating around saltwater aquariums, but maybe their unique charm scared you away from the idea of keeping one yourself.  These adorable creatures may be more simple to care for than you thought, and yes, you can keep them in your home aquarium.  Did you know that seahorses also mate for life?  As if that didn’t make them cute enough, they have an adorable habit of wrapping their tails around anything they can use as an anchor.  To start your new journey with seahorses, here are some simple tips to help you add these amazing creatures to your aquarium.

Feeding your New Friend
First and foremost is the matter of feeding; Seahorses don’t have a true stomach, so they need more food than your average aquarium occupant.  While most wild seahorses prefer live food, to sustain your new pet the best option is to train them to eat frozen food.  Luckily, most stores sell captive bred seahorses that already know how to eat in this way.  The best option is frozen Mysis shrimp, which are the perfect size for your seahorse’s mouth.  They will need between six and eight shrimp, twice daily. 

A Perfect Home
A single pair of seahorses can be housed properly in a 30-gallon tank.  For additional pairs, just add 10 gallons each.  Here’s where the cute tail anchoring comes into play; seahorses are weak swimmers.  They do best with a gentle current, so stay away from pumps and filtration systems that may create tumultuous waters.  It is also a good idea to add some live rock or decorations for them to grab onto.  Their PH should be kept around 8.0 to 8.3, and temperature around 71 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The Right Tankmates
Your new seahorses can be in a tank all by themselves, but if you prefer variety there are some options.  As seahorses are non-aggressive, docile creatures, you will want to stay away from any fish that could bully your seahorse.  Shyer fish such as small gobies, dragonets, or certain firefish will make good buddies.  Stay away from crabs or small crustaceans; the former may pinch your seahorse and the latter may be eaten by it. 

Keeping these adorable creatures is a fantastic way to add a bit of nature and intrigue into your home.  Taking away the potential worries of difficult care should pave the way to success in giving these little ones a great  home.

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