Reply To: Fire red seahorses

Pete Giwojna

Ocean Rider Fire Reds

Dear Amber:

Yes, when provided with good care, Fire Reds tend to retain their coloration very well. Most specimens, however, are naturally more of a rusty red or mahogany color, rather than a cherry red, Amber.

Two characteristics set Fire Reds apart from other Ocean Rider types: their substantial size and their unusual coloration, Louis. These blazing beauties are very large, solidly built seahorses, and boast the sort of fiery colors rarely seen in other seahorses. Think rhapsody in red, for the flaming finery sported by these ruddy rarities comes in various crimson colors such as scarlet, rust, mahogany, maroon, and russet red. Their dark, reddish base coloration is often highlighted with white diamonds, flecks or dots, and is often adorned with an underlying pattern of fine pinstripes, which tend to show off the reddish highlights particularly well. When provided with good care, they are long-lived seahorses.

Several individuals that I have seen were a deep, rich, mahogany red with a lovely luster that made them look almost as if they had been polished to a high sheen. Some specimens are lustrous brown seahorses – a shade of auburn or henna – which appear to be blushing red over their entire bodies. Many show a strong orange component to their coloration, having a rusty radiance, while others are a bright red-orange or a russet red.

Fire Reds are one of OR’s most exotic types and are highly prized by aquarists because of their brilliant coloration and exceptional size, Amber. As a result, they are always in limited supply, and Ocean Rider prefers that they go to dedicated hobbyists and advanced aquarists who are experienced seahorse keepers that can provide them with suitable surroundings and excellent care. Fire Reds get big, 8-10 inches when fully grown, and their price tags are equally hefty. Ocean Rider doesn’t want new seahorse keepers to get discouraged if they invest a lot of money in such a costly specimen and then it fails to thrive when kept under less than optimal conditions. It’s just better for the hobbyists and better for the seahorses if these prized ponies go to accomplished aquarists and knowledgeable seahorse keepers with sophisticated systems at their disposal who can do them justice, rather than to a casual hobbyist with a spare 20-gallon tank who thinks he might like to try his luck with seahorses and wants to start out with the most impressive stallions available.

There’s never enough of the most exotic types — the rare jewels like Fire Reds and Gigantes and Pintos and Sun Fires — to go around, so Ocean Rider tries to match them up with dedicated hobbyists and experienced aquarists OR knows can provide them with a good home. But as an experienced seahorse keeper with a 75-gallon aquarium at your disposal, Amber, it’s apparent that you are more than qualified as a keeper for these ruddy rarities.

Ocean Rider doesn’t want first-time seahorse keepers to be discouraged by a negative experience; on the contrary, OR tries hard to make their first venture into seahorse keeping a richly rewarding experience, so they will want to try more seahorses of different kinds as they gain more confidence and experience with these amazing aquatic equines. So Ocean Rider tries to gently steer first-time seahorse keepers toward bulletproof Mustangs or Sunbursts, which are super-tough and more affordable, and away from the more costly exotic types, which do best in bigger tanks with more efficient filtration systems.

Fire Reds are big, beautiful, massive animals when fully grown, and Ocean Rider therefore prefers to see them placed in tall aquaria of 55 gallons or more that are equipped with an efficient protein skimmer and hopefully a UV steriizer. The casual aquarist simply doesn’t have the knowledge or the resources to provide the exotic Ocean Riders with the type of system they deserve.

In short, Amber, I think you would do well with Fire Reds and if you contact me at my personal email address ([email protected]) I will be happy to send you a document with more information on the Fire Reds, including a handful of representative photographs that should give you a much better idea of what they are really like.

Best wishes with all your fishes, Amber!

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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