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Seahorses?


~SHAWNA~

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I COMPLETELY forgot about seahorses today until my son got a package of plastic sea toys. Well it got me to thinking - is it possible to keep them in an aquarium? Does anyone own any?? Anyone have some pictures?? Now THAT would make me want to start a marine tank someday!!

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There are two places in my town that sell seahorses and they said they weren't too hard to take care of if you have a mature, dedicated tank for them with all the good marine stuff(protein skimmer,etc). As far as I know they just hatch and feed live brine shrimp to them.

The way seahorses move freaks me out so I don't know if I could ever keep them because I'd always be worried that they're sick. I'm already super paranoid about my fish now, if I had something that moved like them I'd be a nervous wreck!

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Imber, I know excactly what you mean about the way they move and being paranoid. Everytime one of my fish swims in a way I have never seen them do before I freak. OMG, whats wrong. And they can be perfectly fine. :)

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Seahorses are not for the begginers, they need presteen water and conditions. I have doing Saltwater for a year now and wouldnt even think about them right now. they are delecate creatures :D

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hey everyone what makes an EXPERT,Some one has a tank for a couple of years and that makes them an expert. Sea horses are hard to care for they are slow movers and picky eaters so they need a tank pretty much by themselves,Although i have never had a sea horse i had a cowfish for a couple of years and they are about the same as a seahorse, slow and fragile.Once you have your salt tank established and all levels are good i think you would be fine,The kids running the fish dept at the lfs seem to be able to keep them alive so does that make them experts.Sorry i dont mean to crap on any one but is there anyone who knows everything about fish keeping (honestly). shawna read up as much as you can,talk to the people at the pet store i'm sure you will do fine with a seahorse and if not well noone's had a fish that lasted forever.

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Seahorses are delicate but no more so than a lot of marine fish or inverts. I keep a mandarinfish in my 30 gallon, relatively new tank, something that most people dont recommend doing. However I have set up this whole tank around keeping the mandarin and have researched their needs intensely.

The same is true of seahorses. The hardest thing about keeping them is the feeding issue. Wild caught seahorses will only live on live copepods, which are tiny crustaceans that coem in on live rock and build up over time in your tank. In too small of a tank, not enough copepods will survive and the seahorses will starve. Or, there will be pods, but not enough of them, and the seahorses will run out. They cannot survive on brine shrimp alone as that does not give them enough nutrition.

Anyway, their needs are very similar to my mandarin. I would not put any other fish in with them, and would not have a tank smaller than 20 or 30 gallons. You want it full of live rock, as that is where the pods live and multiply. I also have tons of macroalgae in my tank in which the pods live. As a precaution, I have also set up a separate small pod breeding tank so my fish will never run out of live food.

If you are serious about getting seahorses, I would strongly advise buying captive bred ones. They usually cost a lot more than the wild ones but are much healthier and some of them even eat frozen food (in additon to the live food, of course). Also, wild seahorses are becoming endangered and I would really advise against supporting their collection.

Hope this helps a bit. :)

Also, in comment to the post above about the kids at the pet store being able to keep them alive, that doesnt mean anything. Pet stores get new shipments weekly, so you arent keeping them long term there at all. And I personally have seen many, many seahorses die in pet stores, from rough handling, poor capturing methods, and basically starving to death in sterile pet store tanks. Unfortunatley they have very high mortality rates. All the more reason to go with captive raised.

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hey everyone what makes an EXPERT,Some one has a tank for a couple of years and that makes them an expert. Sea horses are hard to care for they are slow movers and picky eaters so they need a tank pretty much by themselves,Although i have never had a sea horse i had a cowfish for a couple of years and they are about the same as a seahorse, slow and fragile.Once you have your salt tank established and all levels are good i think you would be fine,The kids running the fish dept at the lfs seem to be able to keep them alive so does that make them experts.Sorry i dont mean to crap on any one but is there anyone who knows everything about fish keeping (honestly). shawna read up as much as you can,talk to the people at the pet store i'm sure you will do fine with a seahorse and if not well noone's had a fish that lasted forever.

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When I say an expert that is in the meaning of someone that has some experience in the SW world, I wouldn't ever suggest someone that is just starting out to go to that kind of fish.....Seeing as the SW world is very expensive and they are more delicate than the clown fish are, I wastn saying I was at all....

in no way am I an expert, I lost my clown fish due to the filter going out on me and didn't notice till 12 hours later, so people do make mistakes, I'm trying to save the grief of someone spending allot of money on a tank and creatures and not understanding them and losing them......

As in the kids keeping them alive well......I will leave that one alone.

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hey sorry everyone i wasn't trying to bash anybody about what they can or cannot do or keep alive i was trying to state the facts that there are ways to improve your succes in saltwater and not scare people away from.So i do apologize.and yes seahorses are hard to keep thier life span is 1 to 3 years in a tank,no matter what fish you get always research,look at the fish for problems,get the fish guys or girls to feed to make sure the fish eats,try not to buy fish that just arrived to the lhs. my 3 cents thank you

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I agree hun, my LFS just got in some all black and all brite yellows saying they are rare I know for a fact they must be wild and I just dont like the wild things cause well we know whats going on there :(

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I know a few horse breeders and they do a great job and there horses already eat what we would have readily available for them.... Great colors and strong healthy horses!!! YOU can't beat that!!! :)

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I think there are more and more of us that feel the same way Black oranda....that is why more of us are propagating our own corals and going to frag swaps to grow our own and trade that way...Same thing with tank raised horses...I would personally never buy a horse that was wild caught and I know that there are more and more people that feel that way aslo....

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Thats why I love this store in Ventura Ca they have a huge tank they they use the sale of there corals and such from the main tank, much better that way :heart

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Which store is that Koko? Thats great!! :)

Our store would get wild caught horses in and it always bothered me. I remember watching a large Kuda slowly wither away and die because it wouldnt eat. It was so sad to see. Some of the guys caught molly fry to feed to it and he would eat them, but it wasnt enough to sustain them.

ORA always sent us great quality captive raised horses and they were just beautiful. A lot of people were turned off by the price, though. If it were me, and Im sure others would agree, I would be more than willing to pay for something that I knew would be healthy, ate frozen food, had lived its whole life in an aquarium and wasnt contributing to the endangerment of these animals in the wild.

I did read recently (I think in one of my fish magazines) that what is really endangering the wild seahorses is not the pet trade so much as the medicine trade. In certain countries in Asia seahorses are believed to bring good luck or health or something like that, and they are the ones who are overharvesting them.

I wont buy those little souvenir dried up seahorses in gift shops and wont buy from the places that sell them. :(

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