overviewThe Black Seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, is one of the hardiest and most energetic seahorse species. In the wild they spend most of their time hunting for tiny crustaceans to consume while using slow movements and camouflage to mimic their surroundings and appear invisible to predators. Although they are abundant in their sea grass habitat in the Atlantic Ocean on the East coast of North America and Brazil, they are a rare sight for divers because of their amazing ability to hide. The base color of these tank-bred seahorses is normally black, often with gray or silver markings. Seahorses are able to change color to match their environment or their mood.
These seahorses are tank-bred in an indoor closed system in Northern Mexico. At birth, they are fed live copepods, and then weaned onto newly hatched brine shrimp and frozen CYCLOP-EEZE®. When they've grown large enough, they are trained to eat enriched frozen Mysis shrimp, which will be their staple diet in adulthood.
Looking for the best food to feed your Seahorses? We recommend AlgaGen Tisbe biminiensis.
These social fish thrive when kept as a mated pair or in small groups in a species-only aquarium. A 30 gallon aquarium is sufficient for a single pair. Add 20 gallons to the size of the aquarium for each additional pair. Spray bars may be used to create gentle flow while eliminating stagnant areas in the aquarium. Seahorses are not strong swimmers, preferring to use their prehensile tails to hitch to branching live rock, algae, or artificial decorations. Seahorses are less likely to contract Vibrio bacterial infections if the temperature is not allowed to exceed 74°F. This is particularly important if the aquarium contains other species of Syngnathids. It is also necessary to remove detritus and uneaten food daily. Calcium and alkalinity levels must be monitored and maintained to keep their bony plates healthy.
They may be kept with small, shy fish such as small gobies, pipefish, dragonets, and firefish. But aggressive, territorial, or fast-moving fish do not make good companions. Seahorses will be harmed by anemones and corals with stinging tentacles or corals that are large enough to consume them, such as brain corals. While sea fans, Acropora corals, and other branching corals may be safe for seahorses, they can be irritated or damaged by a seahorse that continually hitches to them. Crabs and clams may pinch a seahorse causing a wound that could lead to secondary infections. Small ornamental crustaceans may be consumed by the seahorses.
To witness the full beauty of the seahorse courtship ritual, an aquarium height of at least 16 inches is necessary. A male seahorse will court a female with elaborate dances and color changes. He will open his pouch and flush it with water to show her that it is empty. If she is ready to mate, the pair will intertwine tails and dance while ascending to the very top of the aquarium. During the descent the pair will line up face to face, and the female will deposit her eggs into the male's pouch. Approximately 20 days later, the male seahorse gives birth to an average of 300 demersal fry that are able to hitch at birth. When kept in mated pairs, they will greet each other each morning with a short dance and display.
Avoid fish that will out-compete the seahorse for food. These tank-bred seahorses are accustomed to frozen Mysis shrimp, making them a smart alternative to their wild-caught counterparts. They will also feed upon amphipods and other small crustaceans found in live rock. They will also accept vitamin-enriched adult brine shrimp, but this should not make up a majority of their diet. They are slow, deliberate feeders and prefer two or more small feedings per day.
Seahorses are probably the most recognizable fish in the world due to their unusual appearance and habits. They are very social, curious fish that are fun to watch while they interact with their surroundings, each other, and even their owners.
Approximate Purchase Size: Small; 2" to 3-1/2" Medium; 3-1/2" to 5-1/2"