SEAHORSES

Seahorse keeping should not be tackled by the casual aquarist, because seahorses usually die quickly in captivity. Seahorses are already at risk around the world, partly because they are exploited for aquarium fishes. The following notes are intended only for very experienced marine aquarists. Think about whether you can realistically hope to care for these fishes, before you buy them, and if you have any doubts, choose something easier.

Seahorses are in the same family as Pipefishes and Seadragons (Syngnathidae). There are probably about 35 seahorse species in the world, all in the genus Hippocampus, ranging in adult size from the 40 cm Eastern Pacific seahorse (H. ingens) to the 1.5 cm New Caledonia seahorse (H. bargibanti). Seahorses usually cling to vegetation or other holdfasts such as sponges, pilings or ropes on the bottom, sometimes in less than one meter of water and often only meters from shores. Crabs occasionally prey on seahorses. Seahorses can change colors often and easily. Do not distinguish between seahorses by color. The head coronet shape and size vary greatly from seahorse to seahorse and are an excellent way of identifying seahorses individually.

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*Barbour's Seahorse Hippocampus barbouri
Brazilian Seahorse Hippocampus reidi
Bullneck Seahorse Hippocampus minotaur
Crowned Seahorse Hippocampus coronatus
Dwarf Seahorse Hippocampus zosterae
*Emperor Seahorse Hippocampus procerus
Giraffe Seahorse Hippocampus camelopardalis 
Great Seahorse Hippocampus kelloggi
Knysna Seahorse Hippocampus capensis
Lined Seahorse Hippocampus erectus
Pacific Seahorse Hippocampus ingens
*Potbelly Seahorse Hippocampus abdominals
Pygmy Seahorse Hippocampus bargibanti
Sea Pony Hippocampus fuscus
Short Snouted Seahorse  Hippocampus breviceps
Spotted Seahorse Hippocampus kuda
Thorny Seahorse Hippocampus histrix
Tiger Tail Seahorse Hippocampus comes
*White's Seahorse Hippocampus whitei
*Zebra Seahorse Hippocampus zebra
*Ocean Rider View my Photos

* = Tank raised.

For more information on seahorses, visit:
Seahorse.org
The webmaster is also a member.

As of November 2002, all  species of seahorses have been put on the CITIES endangered species list. 

If you intend to try you keep them, I recommend you purchase tank raised Seahorses from Ocean Rider in Hawaii. 

   

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