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.
|*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,
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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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